Williamsburg, VA - Providence Classical School held commencement exercises on Saturday, June 4 at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. PCS graduated its fourth senior class, with 9 students, representing its largest graduating class to date. Many of the graduates have attended the school for 13 years.
The commencement address was given by Jonathan Diggs, BS, MS and M.Div., the PCS Greek teacher. He provided an inspirational message, encouraging the students to aim high, but to stay true to the roots that they established at PCS. He cited the value of the in-depth knowledge they have gained through the classes at PCS, which stand apart from other schools. He noted that they are well-prepared to face the challenge of collegiate-level academics, which follows after the classical trivium taught at PCS (liberal arts which follow the classical model of grammar/core subject instruction for K-5, including Latin beginning in 3rd grade and a strong focus on great literary works; dialectic/logic for grades 6-8, including formal debate and logic; and the rhetoric stage of 9-12th grades, which includes Humane Letters, philosophy, literature, history and theology, plus ancient Greek beginning in 9th grade. PCS offers a strong curriculum of math and sciences, including astronomy, earth and lab science, calculus and more.)
Mr. Diggs reminded students of the importance of maintaining a strong faith life, including the discovery of a friendly church while at college. He urged them to be intentional about staying in touch with each other, and to stay in touch with their families.
The class speaker was salutatorian Luke Waldrop, who will attend William & Mary in the fall. Luke spoke about his grandmother, who was also her class salutatorian and likewise was elected class speaker by her peers many years ago. He reminded the class about the importance of finding peace and not sweating the small stuff, which is a message that his grandmother had shared with him.
Head of School Susan Oweis gave a charge to the graduates that included a reminder to be kind to their parents, who will be experiencing separation for the first time, and to remember the closeness that was part of their years at PCS.
Dr. Joe Calkins and the PCS school board prayed over the students at the conclusion of the ceremony. Board member Lynn Howard gave the benediction and PCS music teacher Timothy Seaman, noted local musician, provided live music played on the hammered dulcimer.
Scholarship offers for the class were nearly $1 million, which represents the highest per-graduate average of the Williamsburg private high schools, and is consistent with data from previous graduating classes at PCS. PCS has attained NCAA accreditation, so student athletes may participate in collegiate level athletics.
The class of 2016 represents PCS's fourth graduating class. This class has a 100% college acceptance rate and will be attending the following schools: William & Mary, Virginia Tech (2), Christopher Newport University (2), Lynchburg College, Brigham Young University, NC State and Texas A&M. Additional collegiate acceptances included: Ohio State, University of Tennessee, Salve Regina University, Sweet Briar College, George Mason University, Randolph-Macon, Randolph College, James Madison University, VCU, Univ. of Mary Washington, and Hampden-Sydney.
Providence Classical School is Williamsburg's only K-12 classical, Christian school and celebrated its 15th year.
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