Celebrating our ILS Class of 2017

As they enjoy their final days as ILS 8th graders, our Class of 2017, along with their parents, teachers, and Upper School classmates gathered on Saturday, June 3rd, to celebrate their time at Immanuel, their upcoming graduation, and the beginning of the next phase of their education journeys.

It has truly been a joy watching this class learn, grow, and lead. We celebrate their many accomplishments in their time at ILS, and we look forward to watching them as they embark on their high school years in the fall. Our door is always open, and we hope to see this class, and the classes before them, back at ILS frequently in the future!

At Saturday's gathering, each 8th grader shared some parting remarks. Please enjoy an excerpt from Justus's graduation speech.

Justus’s Graduation Speech
May 29, 2017

Within the Father’s House
The Son has found his Home
And to His temple suddenly
The Lord of Life has come.

There are two words that are special about this hymn. Two words that are important and meaningful. The words are House and Home. “Why are they important?” you might ask. Well, when I leave Immanuel, there is one music class discussion that I will always remember, one thing that Miss German has talked about every year that has stuck in my mind, and that is the difference between a house and a home. A house, according to the always reliable Dictionary.com, is, “a building in which people live; residence for human beings.” Now I have spent the last 9 of my 14 years of my life at Immanuel, and I could easily say that I reside there, but there is something missing. And that is that I don’t just reside there. It is more than just where I live. Now a home is very different than a house. It isn’t just a place where someone lives. It is a place where you are supported, encouraged, and cared for. That sounds like ILS…for I can say with complete, 100% certainty, that Immanuel is my Home. When I arrive at ILs every morning, I am excited to joke around and to play with my friends. I am excited to see my awesome teachers. I am excited to go to my home…outside of home.
    Mr. Schultz is compassionate and loving and has taught me to be a strong Christian leader. Miss Davis is friendly and generous and has taught me that it is possible to be good friends with people much younger than yourself and that in art, perfection isn’t everything. Mr. Thompson is funny and confident and has taught me that man-buns can be cool (just kidding, although I do like your man-bun Mr. Thompson). He has taught me to try my hardest, even if I don’t start at the beginning of a task. Pastor Esget is outgoing and has taught me to be a faithful Christian even though I am not Lutheran. Miss German is gracious and has taught me how to sing and to write truly amazing songs. And last, but most certainty not least, Miss Kramer. Now Miss Kramer will always have a special place in my heart. Going into second grade, I remember being told that a new teacher was going to be teaching. I was confident that this new teacher would be mean and strict. I was so nervous that I asked my mom to homeschool me. If she had agreed, I would have made the worst mistake of my life, for Miss Kramer was the complete opposite of all my fears. She is kind, forgiving, charismatic, and has taught me faithfully for the past 7 years. So, Miss Kramer, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you for everything.
    I want to also thank all the teachers who do not have the pleasure to be here right now, who have all helped me grow to the young man I am today. I want to thank the 7th graders who have had to put up with me all year. I want to thank my parents, who have led me faithfully through this first important chapter in my life. I want to thank my two amazing, wonderful sisters who have supported and loved me no matter how much I annoyed them. And I would especially like to thank Preston, Gabriel, Huit, Kris, and Josie, who have stood by me and been my friend, for either one year, or for nine (or anywhere in-between). And as I enter into the second important chapter in my life, I want to let you all know that I will miss you all… and I will miss my home.