The End of a Chapter Reveals the Unfolding of His Story

A graduate in a white cap and gown holds a diploma and flowers, standing with four people outdoors.

By Elaina Russo, PCA Mom and Director of Development

This weekend, 43 PCA seniors wrapped up their high school education, and with the flip of their tassels to the other side of their mortarboards, traded their roles as PCA students for their new roles as PCA alumni. Just like that, the Class of 2024 graduated!

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to each of our graduates and to their families!

Three graduates in maroon and one in white, in cap and gown, stand with a woman in academic attire outside a brick building. The student in white holds a decorated mortarboard.
A graduate in a white cap and gown holds a diploma and flowers, standing with four people outdoors.

This closes a chapter for many and begins a new one in God’s unfolding story of these graduates’ lives, the lives of their families, and in the legacy and future that each is imprinting on the hearts and halls of PCA.

So consider this a book review of sorts, but not the entire book because it’s a story still being written. Graduation, however, is a great inflection point for reviewing those parts of the story that have led us to this milestone.

As the Class of 2024 makes ready for college, ministry, trades, gap years, summer vacations, and more, I reflect on the impact of each of these graduates—and all of PCA’s graduates…their hard work, trust, faith, tenacity, and commitment. I reflect on the sacrifices it took many families to prioritize a Christian education for their children or their grandchildren over these years. I think of legacies begun and legacies continuing.

As the mother of one of these 43 graduates, I got to hear the formal remarks made at the end-of-year Baseball Gathering, Baccalaureate, End-of-Year Awards Assembly, and the 2024 Commencement Ceremony. I was thankful for the collective remarks made about this year’s class—their spirit, their academic achievement, their growth, their awards and recognitions, and their stats, including $1.6 million in merit scholarships offered to these 43 graduates. To be sure, this IS an impressive group of graduates, and I’m proud to know so many of them. I’m also pleased that the investment and sacrifices made by my husband and I to send our son—and later, our daughters—to PCA affirms our expectation about the caliber of students who PCA graduates.

Graduates in maroon gowns sit outdoors during a commencement ceremony, displaying decorated caps. A podium and greenery are visible in the background.
Graduates in maroon and white gowns stand in a line at an outdoor ceremony; some faculty members seated in the background under a tent.
A graduate in a maroon cap and gown with multiple honor cords stands with two men, smiling for a photo outdoors.

But when I talk about the caliber of PCA students, it’s more than quantifiable stats. It’s also results measured in the cumulative qualifying of their compassion, decision-making, focus, articulation of thought, maturing Christian worldview, patience, unprompted service to others, trustworthiness, and more. If you’re the parent of a new grad or you walked this journey in the past, you know what I’m talking about.

PCA is more than academics. For those of us who brought our firstborns to PCA when they were younger, we heard about how PCA nurtures the whole child, but not many of us knew the depth and breadth of that idea. We stand here today with the benefit of hindsight. We can see this first set of chapters with greater clarity and appreciate the “marathon” analogy as it relates to raising and educating our children.

What a blessing (and for those who had more foresight than I did when first exploring PCA, a strategic and visionary move) to get to be a part of a school community that looks at the whole child and walks with students and parents through a child’s…

…academic successes—and failures;
…their obedience to authority when they’re young—and the resistance or attitude that comes in puberty as they begin sorting personal good and collective good, and the integration of both as we live in community with one another;
…their friendship harmonies—and frictions;
…mistakes—and how to rebound and rebuild trust;
…their growth in independence and reliability—and their lack of motivation;
…their acceptance of biblical truths in their early years—and their questioning and reformulating in their adolescence and teens;
…their giftedness in academics, athletics, and the arts—and their disenchantment when it no longer comes easy;
…the celebrations when they’re having a “good year”—and the rallying and tenacity to help them work through to the other side of adversity without quitting;
…and so much more.

We are privileged to get to support and be involved in the PCAs of this world, where an unabashed love of the Lord, pursuit of academic potential, and Truth in grace are at the fore and where growth of the whole child is evident by the time we reach the end of a chapter.

And at the end of this chapter—the close of their high school careers and the start of their post-high school years—PCA’s newest alums are articulating for themselves what PCA and an education rooted in Christ has shown them: to choose optimism in your relationships and circumstances, trust Him in all things, demonstrate gratitude even in trying times, appreciate the people God brings into your sphere, and give your best to the honor and glory of the Lord.

A graduate with a decorated cap reading "BU '28" participates in an outdoor commencement event, surrounded by a band and attendees.
Two graduates, one in a maroon cap and gown and the other in a white cap and gown, pose together holding decorated caps in front of a brick building.
Graduates in maroon gowns sit outdoors during a commencement ceremony, displaying decorated caps. A podium and greenery are visible in the background.

As a mom, donor, and hiring manager, I’m pleased to partner and invest in PCA with the knowledge of the generational impact and its positive ripple effect on our world through the men and women who go out from PCA ready to impact it for good.

Thank you, alumni; dads and moms of current students and alumni; grandpas and grandmas of students and alumni; current and former staff, faculty, board members, and coaches; donors; and friends for investing in PCA. For some, you may have thought your gift was an “immediate-impact” gift. And to be certain, it was, but it was also an investment into the future men and women of our communities as you laid the financial foundation for PCA to continue advancing our mission-vision of joyfully inspiring students—who become graduates and contributing members of our society—to maximize their God-given potential so that they can go impact His world for good.