NCCS is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International. Each year they sponsor activities that we participate in. Students whose writing has been evaluated and determined to be “superior” have their submissions included in an anthology which is distributed to participating schools. We have copies in our library at the Grammar School. Following is a submission from 2015. Watch for more to come…
Grade Level: 5
Category: Rhymed Poetry
Title: Family of Three
Sometimes I wonder
why I don’t have a brother.
I get my own books and I get my own toys
but having a brother would also bring joy.
I can’t play Scrabble, I can’t play chess–
I can’t play checkers or the rest.
Board games are boring when you have only one;
Playing with one isn’t much fun.
There are pros and cons to being an only.
Sometimes it’s fun, but sometimes it’s lonely.
God made us this way, and I have to agree
He chose what was best…our family of three.
At graduation, speeches are written and presented by our valedictorian and salutatorian. Following is from the class of 2015:
Valedictorian Speech – Gianni Cappelletti- Class of 2015
If anyone had told me four years ago that I would be standing in front of a crowd of people delivering a speech, I would have laughed and probably cried a little. In fact, public speaking has brought me to tears in the past. The final project for my home school 6th grade literature course was a book report that I had to present to my family. I was given a work sheet to fill out with information on the book, and I had to read that sheet to my family. When the time came to present this grand project, my family gathered in the basement to hear me read it out loud. I walked to the center of the room, paper in hand, and broke down in tears from fear of public speaking. My sobbing continued for about twenty minutes, until I was able to squeak out the few words I needed to say. This one particular project characterized my affection of public speaking from the time I was able to speak until I came to New Covenant. As evidenced by the current lack of tears, God has helped me to grow tremendously over the past three years. Throughout my time at this school, God’s sovereignty has been plain; and as my classmates and I begin the next phase of our lives, God will continue to abundantly grant us His grace.
My journey here at New Covenant started under some unfortunate circumstances. My mom passed away in October of 2011, and my whole world turned upside down. Amongst the numerous challenges that confronted my family was the reality that we would no longer be able to continue homeschooling. The following spring, I shadowed at New Covenant. I’ll admit, I was rather intimidated after sitting in on Latin class and not understanding a single word anyone said. It was like they were speaking a foreign language or something. However, God had a plan for me. In the fall of 2012, my brother, Dimitri, and I began attending New Covenant.
My class warmly welcomed me into their shenanigans. From laughing hysterically in Spanish to struggling to understand significant digits in chemistry, I quickly felt very at home. While I hardly talked at all for a majority of my first year, which led some to believe I was a “silent judger”, by the end of the year they made me feel very comfortable, which allowed me to come out of my shell. In junior year, I was made the captain of Calvin house, which pushed me very far outside of my comfort zone. God continued to use the school to challenge me in new ways. I’ve learned how to be a servant leader, how to plan events, how to waltz and foxtrot, how to deliver a speech without crying, and other important life skills.
God has been exceedingly good to me over the past three years. When the Israelites were wandering through the desert, Moses reassured them with these words: “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” I am sure my class will affirm that there were times over each of our journeys at this school that it felt like we were wandering through the wilderness; not that our time here was punishment for our sins, but that it seemed as though we would never reach the next stage of our lives. But God has certainly used our time here to edify us and teach us, as He did with the Israelites in the wilderness. He has been sovereign over every day we have spent at this school. During each and every trial we experienced, God has been with us. We have not lacked anything. God is sovereign and works all things together for good. In every difficulty we faced, God used it for good, even if we may not see the fruit of that good yet.
Tonight marks our entrance into the “Promised Land”: the next stage of our lives. However, just like the Promised Land was not the end of the journey for the Israelites, this commencement is not the end of the journey for us. The Israelites faced countless new challenges and struggles after they crossed the Jordan; and we will face innumerable difficulties as we go on to college and beyond. However, I strongly believe that we are more prepared to face the world than we may realize. We have learned how to write and communicate effectively, defend our faith, and ask questions about the information we receive (ask any of our teachers about how we like to ask questions, they will agree). I challenge you as my classmates to test the skills we have learned. We may not remember the accomplishments of every different Maximus and Marcus in Livy’s History of Rome, but that is not the information that prepares us for the world. The life skills of knowing how to deal with conflict and communicate clearly cannot be taught by a book. We are prepared to go into the world as thinking and active adults, not just storehouses of dates and events. God has given us the education and tools we need to succeed where He has called us, whether it’s in music, psychology, occupational therapy, business, or any other career. We know how to learn, and that is why we are prepared to face our futures. God has been abundantly good to us in the past, and we can trust Him to continue to be good to us as we move beyond the walls of New Covenant.
Now, we would not be where we are today if it weren’t for God’s abundant grace in each of our lives and the people who God has called to serve this school and teach us. First and foremost, I want to thank God for His grace in my life and the incredible ways that He has helped me to grow as a person and a follower of Christ over the past few years. It has been an amazing journey, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the grace He gives me daily.
I would like to thank all the people who have taught me over the past three years. Whether you taught me in the classroom or not, you have given me valuable life lessons. All of you have devoted so much time to helping me know God and love learning, and I can’t thank you enough for helping me get to the place that I am today.
I would also like to thank my classmates for making me feel so welcome as I transitioned to life at New Covenant. We have spent most of our lives together for the past three years, and it is going to be strange not seeing you all every day. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but I am going to miss all of you.
This school is a huge part of my life, and I’m going to miss all of the wonderful relationships I’ve made with those outside of my class as well. Whether it’s jamming during lunch, practicing for the Frisbee competition (which Calvin house won this year by the way), or going crazy at a school dance, I’ve been able to form some amazing friendships (for the sake of time I am not going to spend time naming names, but you all know who you are). I encourage you all to continue to grow in your faith, and do not take your time at NCCS for granted. God has you at this school for a reason. He is sovereign over every day. Your education will only be as good as you make it, so use it wisely.
Well, to say that my time here was anything other than extraordinary would be a lie. I’ve made so many friends and memories, more than I can even begin to describe in one speech. I could probably fill up an entire presentation just explaining the countless nicknames I’ve been given here at New Covenant (most notable among them include Cappasmoochie, G-Money, and Kitten). The past three years have been pretty amazing. I’ve grown in my walk with Christ, I’ve become friends with some incredible people, and I’ve accomplished things I never imagined myself doing. I have learned the power and truth of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This night marks the end of a chapter in my life. But I am fully confident that God will use everything I have learned here to better equip me to glorify Him in the years to come. With each new phase of our lives, we are given an opportunity not only to thank God for the work He has already done in our lives but to wait expectantly for Him to challenge and test us in new ways. God has been sovereign over every day we have spent here at New Covenant, and He is continually working everything for good in our lives. He is good, and He has been good to us. As we enter the new stage of our lives, let’s glorify Him in everything we do. Thank you.