With a walk across the stage and a turn of the tassel, the Valley Lutheran Senior Class of 2024 became the latest VL alumni.

Head football and softball coach, Mr. Paul Reid was selected by the class to speak at the service.  He reminded the graduates of the strong foundation they’ve received at Valley, in academics and in faith, and of the many supporters they have.  “As you depart from Valley Lutheran,” he told them, “you take the love and friendships of your family, your friends, staff, and your coaches – all have been a constant influence in your life the past few years even if you did not always see or feel their presence.”

As the five Valedictorians took to the stage they each expressed one of the many areas for which they are all thankful.

Shane Darling began by thanking the Lord. Expressing gratefulness that at Valley, “we get to talk about, learn about, and pray to God on a daily basis”, he then implored his fellow classmates, “please continue strengthening that faith because there is nothing more important.”

Elliot Harris spoke of parents, families, and other mentors who have played an important role over the years. 

“The people who have guided us, all the mentors who have told us to ‘Be the Light’ and who have shaped us into the young Christian men and women we are, the people who God has placed in our lives – it’s going to be tough to move on without having [them] right by our sides”, he admitted.  “But, these people have prepared us, they’ve gotten us ready,…they’ve led by example and taught us to be the people we are today. So, thank you.”

Next, Madelyn Herzberger highlighted friendships. “You [friends] have played a significant role in shaping our journey”, she said, “and we are incredibly thankful for you. After today it may seem like we are all going our 74 different ways but together as friends we will always be 2024 Chargers, and ‘I thank God every time I remember you.’ Phil. 1:3.”

Ella Holzhei expressed her gratitude for the teachers. “It’s through their guidance, lessons, and continual support that [we] stand here today.”

Envisioning childhood as a box, she remarked, “graduation is the final knot [to the bow on the box]. It’s time to put that box on the shelf. Now there’s a new box that needs to be filled up. There will be places, experiences, and friends.”

Claire Neumann finished the thank yous by recognizing the many coaches at Valley. “Through sports and competition, my coaches have taught me to work toward my goal while giving glory to God for my talent,” she said.

Neumann then ended the speeches with a reminder: “So, Class of 2024, as we walk out today graduated and ready for the next chapter, let’s never forget what we’ve learned here. May we never forget the power of our God and his working hand in our lives; always remember God’s unending love for us and His purpose.”  Amen. Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Many Seniors were recognized for academic and activity awards at the annual Senior Banquet. For a full listing of award recipients head to www.vlhs.com/awards24.