Calvary grads

Back row, from left: Tori McCumber, Noah Barnett, Kylie Lepore, Grace Hernandez, Ean Cortez and Miguel Flores. Front row, from left: Emma Hern, Michelle Lurenana, and Esther Adu.


Record Gazette

On Calvary Christian School’s 40th anniversary of having students, nine seniors became alumni during their commencement ceremony on June 3.

The private school in Banning was addressed by Steve Labins, administrator of Bethel Baptist School in Carson.

Labins encouraged graduates to look to God when life becomes overwhelming.

“When things get tough, go to God about it,” he said. “He can fix things.”

He urged them to be persistent and to not give up, explaining that “the real success comes in when you don’t quit” and “don’t give up.”

Among the several graduates, valedictorian Esther Adu and salutatorian Grace Hernandez took time to laud family members and those from the school’s community who helped them along their educational journeys.

Hernandez, who has attended Calvary Christian School since second-grade, will attend California Baptist University next year as she begins her path to become a special education teacher.

“I really liked it here,” she said in an interview. “They taught the Bible along with your studies. It was all God-centered. I will miss a lot of the staff who have been a big part of my life.”

Classmate Tori McCumber will also attend Cal-Baptist to study pre-nursing.

She transferred a couple of years ago to Calvary Christian School from Rensaissance Valley Academy in Hemet.

“Calvary Christian was a better school for me,” she said. “I had a wonderful experience here and will miss all the teachers and the people here.”

Noah Barnett will attend Crafton Hills College to work towards a degree in chemical engineering.

He transferred to Calvary Christian from Beaumont High School.

“Calvary Christian was a better school for me, and it had a Christian curriculum,” he said. “I like it so much better here. There’s more one on one with the teachers, who take time to work with you.”

Adu has only been at the school for the past three years, immigrating from Nigeria with her family to take advantage of better educational opportunities.

She will attend the University of California, Riverside to study biology.

As part of her salutatory remarks, Hernandez told her peers “I’m proud of the hard work me and my classmates have done despite the many challenges that have come our way this year.”

She joked with third-grade teacher L.J. Nino, telling him “It has been a great honor being your TA for the past three years, and I’m sad to say you’ll have to find another (teacher’s assistant) even though they will never be as great as me … I think it’s time for me to move on. Consider this my two-week notice. I’m sorry it’s so last-minute.”

For Esther Adu’s valedictory address and Grace Hernandez’s salutatory speech, please see page 12.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , and messages may be left at (951) 849-4586 x114.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.


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Riverside County, and the rest of the state, reopened June 15 with capacity limits and physical distancing requirements removed for most businesses and events. However, other safety measures may be needed based on the type of business or event.

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