South Charlotte

Charlotte Christian School celebrates 54th commencement

Charlotte Christian senior Elizabeth Gowan accepts one of two President’s Cup Awards from Head of School Barry Giller. The second President’s Cup was presented to senior Patrick Girard.
Charlotte Christian senior Elizabeth Gowan accepts one of two President’s Cup Awards from Head of School Barry Giller. The second President’s Cup was presented to senior Patrick Girard. Charlotte Christian School

The Charlotte Christian School Class of 2017 includes 102 seniors that have earned more than $5.3 million in college and university scholarships for academic, athletic and fine arts accomplishments.

The valedictorian of this year’s class is Abby Yoh and she will be attending Wheaton College. The salutatorian is Melissa Goldstein and she will attend the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University. The commencement speaker on June 3 was Bob Angley, a lifelong educator who retired this year after a total of 50 years in the classroom, the last 20 years at Charlotte Christian as an upper school math teacher.

At the commencement ceremony, seniors Elizabeth Gowan and Patrick Girard were presented with the President’s Cup, the school’s highest honor, awarded to two students who fully exemplify the mission of the school in dedication to Christ, academics and service.

Six seniors graduated with National Merit Scholarship Honors. Abby Yoh was named a 2017 National Merit Scholar, Patrick Girard was named 2017 National Merit Scholarship Finalist and the following seniors were named 2017 National Merit Commended Scholars: Grace Blevins, Melissa Goldstein, Elizabeth Gowan, and Addison Weaver.

Twenty-three seniors were named 2017 Honors Graduates and recognized for maintaining a GPA of 4.5 or higher during their high school career. The 2017 Honors Graduates are: Nkiru Afulukwe, Grace Blevins, Matthew Boelkins, Ava Bruns, Jackson Cannon, Ashlyn Cox, Kate Foster, Patrick Girard, Cenia Goldstein, Melissa Goldstein, Elizabeth Gowan, Ellen Johnson, Alexis Jones, McKenzie Lewis, Adam Lewis, Jackson Norris, Mackenzie Ray, Katie Saba, Sydney Scott, Nick Suarez, Scottie Wallace, Addison Weaver, and Abby Yoh.

Eight students graduated with a total of 12 Academic Conservatory Distinctions, a program that allows gifted students to excel both in and outside the classroom in specific areas of specialization including Humanities, Fine Arts, and Math/Science, and World Languages. Academic Distinctions in Bible, Philosophy, Religion: Nkiru Afulukwe and Melissa Goldstein. Academic Distinctions in Fine Arts: Grace Bradham, Katherine Hanebutt, and Addison Weaver.

Academic Distinctions in Math/Science: Nkiru Afulukwe, Elizabeth Gowan, Mackenzie Ray, and Addison Weaver. Academic Distinctions in Social Studies: Nkiru Afulukwe and Elizabeth Gowan. Academic Distinctions in World Languages: Jaiden Mason.

In addition, 16 seniors graduated with Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Honors from the College Board and 26 were recognized with the President’s Education Award. A total of 24 students graduated as lifers, having attended Charlotte Christian School for their entire academic career, beginning in first grade or before.

The Class of 2017 accumulated a total of 11,995 Knights Service Hours in the community and on mission trips during their four years of upper school. The following students earned more than 1,000 hours each in their upper school careers: Cassie Trull (2,231 hours); Cenia Goldstein (1,500 hours); and Abby Yoh (1,451 hours).

A total of 18 Charlotte Christian student-athletes will go on to play sports at the next level:

Connor Armistead (Golf) University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Cody Bischoff (Lacrosse) Montreat College; Eva Bower (Ladies’ Soccer) Milligan College; Drew Donathan (Baseball) Clemson University; Andrew Durden (Baseball) Presbyterian College; Jack Frasier (Lacrosse) Denison University; Emma Giller (Softball) Covenant College; Grant Kiker (Soccer) Southern Wesleyan University; Jaiden Mason (Volleyball) Willamette University; Mac McLennan (Football) Presbyterian College; Nick Murrer (Baseball) Lenoir-Rhyne University; Rob Peterson (Basketball) Hargrave Military Academy; Bryden Reed (Football) College of William and Mary; Beau Snuggs (Football) Butler University; Nick Suarez (Baseball) Lenoir-Rhyne University; Christian VanSickle (Football) Elon University; Scottie Wallace (Baseball) Wofford College; and Kai Young (Volleyball) Virginia Tech.

Seventeen seniors were recognized for receiving 42 awards in the Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Senior Grace Blevins went on to receive a National Scholastic Gold Medal at Carnegie Hall in New York in early June. Senior Ava Bruns won a National Scholastic Silver Medal for her senior portfolio.