GALLIPOLIS — Sometimes one person can make all the difference.
This year, Ohio Valley Christian School celebrated the Class of 2021 which consisted solely of senior Patrick D. Taylor. However, it became abundantly clear during Tuesday’s commencement, Taylor was not alone.
Taylor’s student address included thanks you’s to his family and staff at OVCS.
“Tough love was one of the biggest supporters for me,” Taylor said, remarking on academics, learning all the books of the Bible, and the encouragement of others.
He also spoke about the support of his father, his uncle and particularly his aunt, whom he said “has been the light to everything that I’ve had. She’s helped me through every tough time, every school event, every bad grade, every good grade and every opportunity that is in front of me, and I want to say thank you.”
Taylor’s achievements were also highlighted by OVCS Administrator Patrick A. O’Donnell and included serving on the school’s worship team, president of student council, honored as a part of WSAZ’s Best of the Class, recipient of the Holzer Science Award and Jake Bapst Scholarship, the latter of which will pay for the remainder of his associate’s degree in Business at the University of Rio Grande. After he finishes his associate’s degree, Taylor has plans to begin training to become a law enforcement officer and hopes to begin working for the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Adam M. Holcomb of the Gallia Sheriff’s Office was the guest speaker at commencement.
“Don’t be discouraged about the storms in your life,” Holcomb said to Taylor. “Appreciate that God trusted you with your storm. People are watching you even when you don’t know it. Responding the appropriate way to difficult situations sets an example…”
Holcomb then referred to the “greatest coach/teacher of all time, Jesus Christ.” He spoke about difficult days in law enforcement, drawing strength from John 15:18 – “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you.”
Holcomb told Taylor: “This verse has brought me peace of mind on many occasions and I hope it will bring encouragement to you when the storms of life start to get rough.”
In addition, O’Donnell spoke about Taylor assisting the junior class with fundraising and how Taylor went to New Orleans, La. to help others recovering from hurricanes.
“Instead of complaining about the unfairness of the past 18 months, you took advantage of the time we were away from in-person learning at school to apply your specialized skills,” O’Donnell said, noting Taylor’s Christian leadership and later his work to receive his certifications as a STNA and as an EKG technician.
“Patrick you have much to offer…you have much to offer the people in the circle of your life,” O’Donnell said. “On behalf of everybody in this room, you are going to be missed. …Well done.”
Taylor was presented his diploma from Stephen E. Jenkins, president of the OVCS Board.
Taylor is the 402nd graduate from OVCS in its 44-year history.
Pastor Aaaron F. Young delivered the welcome and Pastor Nathan A. Dupont delivered the Benediction.
The 40th annual commencement was held in front of OVCS’ entire student body.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.