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Celebrating Excellence: Second Baptist School Class of 2024 Graduation

Celebrating Excellence: Second Baptist School Class of 2024 Graduation

As the sun set over Houston, the future shone brightly on the faces of our graduating Class of 2024. This year’s commencement ceremony not only marked the culmination of hard work and perseverance but also celebrated unprecedented achievements, most notably that of our valedictorian Olivia Smith, who made history as both the first black valedictorian and a distinguished Jefferson Scholar.

Olivia's experience at Second Baptist has been marked by both inspiration and impressive accolades. As she prepares to attend the University of Virginia this fall as a Jefferson Scholar, she reflects, “This scholarship is not just an honor; it’s a testament to the support and challenges at Second Baptist that pushed me to excel.” Her commitment to leadership, scholarship and citizenship is a shining example of our school's values in action. Olivia has also been selected to the prestigious University of Virginia Dance Team, demonstrating her abilities and dedication across a wide range of activities.

During her valedictory address, Olivia shared a narrative of resilience and collective growth, humorously recounting the masked beginnings of their freshman year and a senior year filled with joy and normalcy. Her reflections resonated deeply, reminding us all of the journey these students have shared.

Salutatorian Ellie Veeningen also left a profound impact with her speech. Ellie reflected on the class's high school journey, likening it to a "Hero’s Journey,"  complete with adventure, trials and ultimate triumph. Her speech painted a vivid picture of a class that, despite numerous challenges, has grown closer and stronger, exemplifying resilience and unity. 

This year's graduation speaker, Keith Garvin, a respected news anchor from KPRC, shared a compelling message with our graduates. Encouraging them to 'walk worthy,' he emphasized the importance of living a life that honors God. Referencing Colossians 1:9-10, Garvin explained, “Walking worthy means living every aspect of your life in a way that gives glory and honor to God. This requires focus because, graduates, regardless of the college you are headed to, the reality is that you are walking into a world that does not want you to focus on what is godly, right, and true.” His words served as a powerful reminder of the values that Second Baptist School instills in its students.

Head of School Dr. Don Davis offered his praise, noting, "This class has not only met our expectations but has soared beyond, contributing significantly to our legacy of excellence in academics, arts and athletics." His message underscored the graduates' critical role in upholding and advancing our mission to think critically, live biblically and lead courageously.

Head of Upper School Jon Konzelman added, "The Class of 2024 has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt and thrive despite the unique challenges they faced. Their achievements are not just academic but are a testament to their character and determination to succeed against all odds."

The ceremony was more than a farewell; it was a vibrant send-off to a class destined to impact the world. As these graduates step forward, they carry the deep bonds and rich experiences that have shaped them into tomorrow’s leaders. 

We are immensely proud of each graduate as they embark on their next chapters, facing the future with brightness and promise. As this academic year closes, we eagerly anticipate the continued success of our alumni and the new heights they will reach.

Congratulations, Class of 2024, for upholding our core values of Christ-centeredness and academic excellence within a caring community. Your legacy at Second Baptist School will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come.

Click here for the Class of 2024 graduation photos!

Click here for the Class of 2024 recap video!