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Stepping Up and Leading Out

Communications Fellow Cameron Kelley ‘22
Years of tradition compressed into a single medallion. SBS Junior Leadership Inauguration is a yearly ceremony that not only honors juniors for their hard work over the past three years of high school, but also challenges them to step up into a new role of leadership as they are rising to the forefront of Second Baptist School.
A Beloved SBS Tradition

Originally an event to receive class rings from the earlier days of SBS history, now the school honors rising seniors with a medal ceremony alongside a celebratory luncheon. Last week, current juniors participated in the Junior Leadership Inauguration ceremony. During the event, each junior received a gold medallion on a purple ribbon signifying the Class of 2022’s class color! The inscription on the back of their commemoration quoted Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” These medals serve as physical reminders of the weight that will be resting on the neck of the rising seniors as they step up to courageously lead SBS. 

Charged to Lead

Several outgoing seniors shared remarks on their experiences, challenging the Class of 2022 to not take the year ahead of them for granted. Connor Claypool ‘21 called his underclassmen to attend and participate in every event possible, claiming that it goes by faster than you think it will. Head of Upper School John Konzelman asked the rising seniors to be uncommon next year. He charged them to understand their purpose and let it drive them so that they utilize their gifts to serve God and others. As seniors, he hopes they will do common things extraordinarily well, live biblically, and rise to the occasion so that when they graduate a year from now, they will have no regrets. 

Afterwards, the students made a procession toward Woodway Village, home to SBS middle schoolers. It was a very à propos way to celebrate the rising seniors when many of their journeys at SBS began in that very building. Set up with an impressive lunch, parents had decked out the room with 2022 memorabilia and navy and gold. The lunch felt like a celebration of the struggles, triumphs and profound memories we have experienced together as a class. 

A Prayerful Community   
 
After receiving their medals, students sat down in the sanctuary pews, their heads bowed and their parents' and teachers' hands resting on their shoulders as senior Bible teacher Ms. Jeannene Simonton, affectionately known as “Simo,” prayed over her future students. Having taught some of the current juniors' older siblings and even some of their parents, Simo shared her excitement about living biblically in the upcoming school year with her new students. Her heartfelt prayer paired with the presence of their parents reminded the juniors that no matter the challenges they face this next year, they will not be alone. With this promise of community, the burden of leadership becomes easier to bear. Senior Willow Bullington closed the ceremony by praying her hope for her friends in the grade below. 

My Hope as a Rising Senior

High school at SBS is a time for us to grow in our faith, relationships and academics in an environment where we are constantly being challenged, uplifted and loved. For me and many of my classmates, senior year hurtles toward us quicker than we could have ever imagined. Ready or not, it is time for us to step up and take on the year set before us. Junior Leadership Inauguration served as a reminder of the community that surrounds us at SBS and further instilled the vigor within the Class of 2022 to never take a second next year for granted. Junior year has been a year filled with new experiences and senior year will be a year filled with bittersweet lasts. I cannot wait to experience it all with my classmates and teachers. I hope the next time our names are called and we walk across the graduation stage, we will be doing so proud of ourselves and the leadership we imparted on SBS. This community has instilled within us the ability to think critically, lead courageously and live biblically, and we are grateful that they continue to celebrate our adventures over the past three years. Time truly flies, senior year here we come!

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