Robert Toombs Christian Academy hosted its forty-ninth commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 13th at 8:30 a.m. on McLendon Field. This was the first time RTCA has ever had graduation on the football field and was also the first in their area to host graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020. This year, graduation began with the Baccalaureate services, which is usually done the Sunday prior to graduation. Senior Mikayla Manning gave the invocation followed by senior Riley Corner welcoming friends and family to the ceremony. Seniors TJ Jackson and Kaitlyn Corner led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American and Christian flags. The congregation then sang “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman, which was led by seniors Madi Moncus, Cade Jones, Ella Stanly, and Analise Williams. Senior Hunter Brotman introduced the speaker for the Baccalaureate service, Reverend Chester Proctor. Following the sermon, senior Sam NeSmith gave the prayer of dedication. Reverend Proctor then presented each senior with this year’s Bible, a favorite tradition for the seniors.
Following the Baccalaureate service, Travis Absher, Head of School at RTCA, addressed the students, families, and friends with opening remarks to begin the graduation ceremony. Salutatorian, Landon Botelho then gave his speech, followed by the Valedictorian speech from Fernando Zayas. Seniors were then awarded their diplomas by Board Chairman, Mark Findley. Finally came the tradition that all students and parents look forward to, the turning of the tassels and the presentation of flowers to their mothers. The commencement ceremony concluded with the singing of RTCA’s Alma Mater, led by seniors Madi Moncus, Cade Jones, Ella Stanley, and Analise Williams. Senior Samantha Threlkeld gave the closing benediction followed by the recessional of graduates.
“I am very proud of this senior class. All of our graduates across the country were forced out of the classroom at a crucial point in their academic careers, and they missed out on a tremendous amount of activities that typically make their senior year special. I am exceptionally proud of the way that this senior class handled themselves and continued doing the things necessary for them to be successful. Although they missed out on a lot, they are prepared to move on and become the leaders of their generation. Although it was not the typical RTCA Commencement Ceremony, I am happy that we were able to get them together for graduation and they were able to have their friends and family there to witness them turn their tassels! We will always remember the Class of 2020, and they will always hold a special place in RTCA history,” states Mr. Absher, Head of School at RTCA.
The Class of 2020 celebrating at the end of graduation.
Valedictorian Fernando Zayas and Salutatorian Landon Botelho giving their speeches.