SUMMERVILLE — Defined as a pivotal moment in his life, Judah-David Emilio Shay received his diploma during Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies Friday night at Christ Dominion Academy in Summerville.

Olivia Shay, the first student to be enrolled at Christ Dominion Academy (CDA) and now a member of the teaching staff, gave the salutatory address.

Speaking about “pivotal moments in our lives,” she said, “the defining moment of history was the incarnation of Jesus Christ. All of history was orchestrated by God,” and “education in itself is a defining event.”

The graduation speaker was P. Andrew Sandlin, founder of the Center for Cultural Leadership. His message was taken from Micah 6:6-8, “What does the Lord require?” Sandlin said, “Beware of those who slander God’s motive. He requires; he doesn’t suggest. When temptation comes, learn to say no. Sin always takes us further than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay and costs us more than we want to pay. Fill your mind with holy aspirations; walk, don’t sit.” He concluded his message saying that “what the Lord requires is that we practice justice, love mercy and walk humbly before him.”

In his valedictory address, Judah Shay thanked all his mentors, teachers and family members for helping him throughout his education. “I’m not here only to thank those who gave to me, but those waiting to graduate. You are the future,” he said.

He was awarded his diploma by the Rev. David Shay, headmaster at CDA, who also presented other awards during the program.

“Our students have had an interesting year,” he said, with the “transition to full online classes. It took a few days, and we are thankful for the flexibility of our teachers and parents.”

Before presenting the awards Shay said, “It is an honor to win an award, because the standards at CDA are very high.”

Ivan Ludsinger received his diploma for graduating from kindergarten.

Recognized for exemplary attendance was Lily Harmon. She also received academic honors, for having no more than two B grades.

Academic excellence awards were given to three students who had no more than one B grade: Priscilla Shay, Isabella Johnson and Judah Shay.

The ceremony closed with a prayer for the graduates and the benediction. Following the ceremony a reception was held to honor the students.

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