Marching Into History Skagit Adventist Academy Graduates First Class of Seniors

More than 40 years ago, a group of people had a vision to start a story of Christian education in the town of Burlington, Wash. Through perseverance and passion, the dream grew as the goal to provide a Christ-centered learning center became a reality.

The legacy that started in the mid-1960s grew over the years, and four years ago, Skagit Adventist School began to expand grade-by-grade to become a 12-grade day academy.

This June marked an important milestone as Skagit Adventist Academy introduced its first graduating class.

Prior to graduation, the academy established a chapter of the National Honor Society and held its first induction ceremony. Recognized for their scholarship, leadership, service and character are six charter members: Laureli Bynum, Clayton Byrd, Charlie Dunlap, Jeff Ladish, Frances Leaf and Jenny Milchenko.

The honor society ceremony fed the anticipation and preparation for graduation on June 3 when the first four graduates from Skagit Adventist Academy marched their way into history.

The graduation, held on the lawn of the school, honored the four seniors, who each attended all four years and who pioneered the education path for future seniors in the ever-growing academy.

"There has been tremendous growth during the past decade, both in physical plant size and student count," said Dan Bynum, school board chair. "Where once a student count of 40 to 60 filled the original plant, now a student count of over 165 fill nine classrooms, a full office, library, music room, gym, and more."

Next year's expansion plans are moving forward on schedule to add four additional classrooms and a full-time math teacher. "We just keep growing," said Ken Knudsen, principal. "It's a good problem to have!"

August 01, 2007 / Washington Conference

Tracey Gaver and Lisa Knudsen, SAA GLEANER correspondents