7 to graduate from Heritage Christian School on Sunday | SteamboatToday.com

7 to graduate from Heritage Christian School on Sunday

Matthew Jones is Heritage Christian School’s valedictorian. He and six of his classmates will graduate Sunday afternoon.

Matthew Jones is Heritage Christian School's valedictorian. He and six of his classmates will graduate Sunday afternoon.
Scott Franz

— After he graduates from Heritage Christian School on Sunday afternoon, senior class valedictorian Matthew Jones won't have too much time to ponder his future.

It begins Monday with a trip to Uganda.

"I haven't had a lot of time to think about life after high school," Jones said Thursday inside his school's auditorium. "It probably won't hit me that it's over until I'm on the airplane. It's pretty overwhelming just thinking about the huge transition I'm going through at the same time I'm going to another part of the world."

Jones will spend a month in the African country working with the Steamboat Springs-based nonprofit organization Come, Let's Dance. With emergency medical technician and intravenous therapy certifications from Colorado Mountain College already under his belt, Jones said he hopes to work in the nonprofit's medical clinic.

He added that he's ready to gain a perspective he wasn't able to get in Steamboat Springs.

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"I'm really looking forward to getting to see people who don't have anything close to what I have but yet have a real joy and genuine smile on their face that a lot of people here are missing," he said.

When he returns, he'll start preparing to study at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

Jones started attending Heritage Christian School in kindergarten, and he is one of seven seniors who will graduate from the private school west of Steamboat Springs on Sunday. Jones and classmates Emily Heiner, Melodie Houston, Aimee Lotz, Victoria Belz, Eric Spahr and Kevin Finch make up Heritage Christian's Class of 2012. Three of the graduates have spent their entire K-12 career at the school, and together they have plans to become photographers, teachers, ministers and businessmen.

"As I think about these kids, I feel like they're ready for that next step," Heritage Christian School administrator Dave Entwistle said. "What I have seen in each of them is a real heart in service. They're well prepared not only from their parents, but we've had a part in helping shape them and preparing for their future. They're a super group."

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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