Ellwood Christian Academy overcomes adversity to hold graduation ceremony

Published 11:01 am Friday, May 21, 2021

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Determination powered the senior class of Ellwood Christian Academy to produce a graduation ceremony.

Led by Class Valedictorian Chakira Jones and Salutatorian Ja’Terry Jones, the 14-member Class of 2021 received their diplomas on Thursday night in front of the school.

ECA’s 11th graduating class did not spend time in the classroom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their learning was done virtual the entire 2020-2021 school year.

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“Despite the pandemic, I’m glad to see my classmates,” Chakira Jones said. “Each of us have our experience at Ellwood Christian Academy. Some of us did not want to get of bed, including me, but we made it.”

Ja’Terry Jones’ speech was brief, but his words were powerful and packed a punch. He thanked parents and ECA faculty for them overcoming the coronavirus.

“Sometimes we overlook the people who helped us get this far,” Ja’Terry Jones said. “I want to thank the parents for getting us this far. We also overlook the teachers who have gotten us this far. Attending Ellwood Christian Academy gave us the opportunity to learn and gave us the essentials.”

Here’s the ECA Class of 2021: Samuel Brooks, Ladarius Dower, Demonte Holmes, Jameria Huff, Jerald Johnson, Chakira Jones, Ja’Terry Jones, ReKiyah Price, Der’Rickey Rhodes, Kameron Richardson, Laginia Smiley, Natji Snow, Jaylen Thomas and Mikeilin Thomas.

ECA Principal Pastor Gary Crum Sr. addressed the Class of 2021 and quoted a Classic 1970’s song from the Carpenters, “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

“This class never spent time together in the classroom,” Crum said. “It’s been a traumatic experience for all of us, our lives will never be the same. Always stay low and stay humble.”