Pine Lake Prepatory celebrated its largest-ever graduating class Saturday during its commencement ceremony at a jam-packed Cove Church in Mooresville.
After the 148 members of the class of 2018 filed into their seats, school Executive Director Andrew Moceri highlighted some of their achievements, which included acceptance into colleges in 25 different states.
“This group of seniors is our most accomplished,” he said.
Student speakers compared the skills Pine Lake gave them to adding pieces to the puzzle of life.
“I think we can all agree Pine Lake has supplied us with those foundational pieces that will eventually come together,” Caroline Coleman said.
Eito Yuminami reflected on moving to the United States from Japan in the fourth grade. At the time, he couldn’t speak any English.
“I wouldn’t be here without the service of other people,” Yuminami said. “I would recommend you step out and have real conversations with real people in real life.”
Student Body President Abby Kidder, one of the original class members who has been with the school since second grade, spoke on the support the school and fellow students gave to the graduating class.
The last speaker, Jordan Antonic, became emotional while talking about his time at the school.
“Pine Lake gave us every piece of the puzzle we needed,” Antonic said. “We’ve received a community -- one I’ve never been more grateful to be a part of.”
Anna McKenzie said graduating was “bittersweet, but exciting” after crossing the stage and receiving her diploma. She plans to attend North Carolina State University in the fall and major in communications.
Classmate Jake Merkel said graduated made him feel accomplished. He plans to attend High Point University in the fall and major in biology.
Here are some other figures that were celebrated during the ceremony:
» As a whole, the senior class was offered over $10.5 million in college scholarships and accepted $2.4 million.
» The class was offered admission to 115 colleges.
» More than 60 percent of the class will receive merit scholarships.
» More than 80 percent of the class received college credit while attending Pine Lake.
» Seventeen student-athletes will compete at the collegiate level next year.