Class of 8 bids farewell

Seniors will miss close relationships with friends, teachers

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Florie Van Baak isn't sad to graduate from Christian Heritage School -- she's ready to get out into "the real world."

But that doesn't mean she won't miss the school.

Van Baak, who has attended Christian Heritage School since kindergarten, said one of the things she'll miss most is her close relationship with the teachers.

"I've been here so long they definitely care about me more than how I do in class," Van Baak said. "It's not just, 'Get an A, get an A, get an A.' It's like, 'Do well in life.'"

The school has helped her learn that although life won't always be easy, God always will be there, she said.

It also has helped her know what she believes and stand up for it, she said.

Van Baak is one of eight students graduating from Christian Heritage School today.

Although three of the students came to the school just this year, they all have a special place in the hearts of teachers and staff at the school.

"I miss every year's class," secretary Laurie Hall said. "They're special gifts. Every year, you're gong to miss what each one brings to the table."

Teacher Bonnie Gir--ton said the class has left an impression on her.

"This class really has a lot of potential," she said. "They're just bright ... and dedicated and diligent."

Senior Nick Leader said he knows that graduation will be a beginning for him. He will attend Colorado Christian College in the fall, where he plans to try out for the baseball team. What he'll miss most are the teachers and his friends.

"I've formed a lot of good friendships," he said.

Viviana Poulin came to Christian Heritage School in the second semester and said she has loved it.

"This school has just helped me a lot with friendships, and everyone is so nice here," Poulin said.

She's graduating a year early to attend a community college in Florida and hopes to become a teacher.

Van Baak, who is the senior class president, will give the salutatorian address.

This year's valedictorian is Collin Geldmeier, who also will address the graduating class.

The keynote speaker will be state Rep. Angie Paccione, D-Fort Collins, a former national speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and former professional basketball player.

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