High school graduation is a time of a lot of "firsts" and "lasts" for students as they prepare to exit the world of high school and enter the world of college and all of the independence and challenges that it brings.
And the five high school seniors at Plano's Faith Lutheran High School have the opportunity to be a part of the school's record books. The students make up the school's second graduating class of seniors. The school's first graduating class - which graduated in 2012 - consisted of only three students.
Sarah Denke of Plano, Rebecca Gutzmann of Plano, Swaneet Mand of Murphy, Timothy Merritt, Jr. of Plano and Grace Woelmer of Lucas make up the school's second senior class, which will graduate in an evening ceremony at the school on Friday, May 30.
"Faith Lutheran High School is a special place. One of the main reasons is our students," said Faith Lutheran School Headmaster Timothy Merritt of Plano. "Our students are very hard workers. They do an average of four hours of homework a day. Despite this, they rarely complain, a fact which has been one of my biggest surprises and greatest delights. Not only do they not complain much, they are among the first to step forward when asked to help and to do it cheerfully. This is indeed a rare characteristic in youth today."
Faith Lutheran High School is a small Christian college prep school located in Plano, Texas that currently has 11 students. It is in its sixth year of operation. The school has a rigorous program following a Classical Education model.
Merritt added that all of Faith Lutheran High School's students are very bright academically. Their average test scores are in the top 20 percent nationally on the ITED, PSAT, SAT and ACT.
Class valedictorian Rebecca Gutzmann will attend Baylor University and will graduate under Faith Lutheran High School's distinguished achievement program. She is graduating high school with 18 college credits already completed.
Class salutatorian Sarah Denke will attend Concordia University - Wisconsin in order to study nursing. She will graduate under Faith Lutheran High School's distinguished achievement program. She is graduating high school with 17 college credits already completed.
Swaneet Mand will graduate under Faith Lutheran High School's distinguished achievement program with 20 college credits completed. She will attend Rhodes College to study English.
Timothy Merritt, Jr. will graduate under Faith Lutheran High School's distinguished achievement program with 18 college credits completed. He will attend Thomas Aquinas College where he will pursue a double major in business administration and music.
Grace Woelmer will graduate under Faith Lutheran High School's distinguished achievement program with 20 college credits completed. She will attend Concordia University - Seward where she will prepare for a career in church work as a teacher with a vocal music endorsement.
These five seniors together have been offered more than $300,000 in scholarship monies (including offers from schools with they chose not to attend). The five students received offers totaling about $125,000 from schools they did choose to attend, which means about $25,200 for each student. This total includes academic scholarships and other forms of financial assistance.
Aside from the colleges of their choosing, the seniors received acceptances from many and various colleges and universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Hollins University, Hillsdale College, Concordia University – Texas, Michigan Tech, and University of Texas - Arlington.
"I would never go so far as to say Faith Lutheran High School is responsible for creating these great young men and women," said Merritt. "Their parents, churches, and the Holy Spirit had much to do with forming them. I will, however, be so bold as to proclaim my belief that Faith Lutheran High School allowed them to grow and flourish in ways that would have been impossible at most other schools. It would be difficult to put a price on the value of the ways we have challenged and strengthened them."
About Faith Lutheran School
In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade. School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.