By: Amy Lilly
When your 25th Anniversary falls during the 2020-2021 school year, you can expect delay, and NRCA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration was no exception. Slated to be held in the fall, the celebration was pushed back to June 5th, the day after the 25th graduating class of North Raleigh Christian Academy crossed the stage, the largest graduating class in the history of the Academy at one hundred fifty-two students, record-setting in size, scholarship dollars earned, and colleges attending. There was much to celebrate. New and prospective students and their families were invited to tour the school and attend the celebration. Classrooms and facilities were open for the viewing of some of the numerous displays of God’s faithfulness to our school over the last twenty-five years. Another seemingly simple testament to His goodness was the completion of the school year. Despite much trepidation nation-wide, NRCA opened its doors to in-person and hybrid learners for the 2020-2021 school year and successfully navigated to a record-setting commencement ceremony, a record-setting enrollment for next year, and a wonderful celebration of the God-story that is North Raleigh Christian Academy.
Food trucks encircled the track, set to be resurfaced this summer, and greeted attendees at the gate to Knights Stadium. Twin climbing towers stood guard at the entrance for lithe students and adventurous parents. Each attendee received a ticket for the drawing of backpacks full of Knightswear from the Armory. As families crossed the football field, carnival games were available from ring toss to skee ball to flipping lizards onto lily pads. Participants earned candy from faculty and staff carnival workers. Obstacle courses, Wipeout style inflatables, slides, and even bull rides were available on the baseball field. The heat of the day was no discouragement to bouncing, riding, sliding students, though many regretted the socks they left at home. Rising eighth-grader, Tyler Edwards, enjoyed the bull rides the most though he lamented the heat. “I only stayed on for three seconds, but it was the most fun… It’s hot.” He was positive he would last the full eight seconds of champion rodeo riders the next time he rode the bull. Friends Landry and Cameron were in disagreement about who stayed on the bull for the longest between the two. The intrepid reporter is almost certain it was Cameron but cannot be positive. A prospective student named Myles, a current student, also named Myles, and his friend Harrison discovered the challenge of skee ball and spent much of the afternoon attempting to secure all three balls in scoring positions. By the end of the day, all three students had completed the task though all would agree that Harrison was the skee ball champion. Rising kindergartener Sadie Spragins, daughter of alumna Molly Spragins, could scarcely contain her excitement that she and her mother were going to attend the same school next year, and was a bit saddened to learn that the picture on Alumni Hall would be the only daily presence of her mother in the fall.
Grateful for the gift of a sunny day, the heat was a small price to pay though many families sought the shade at the edges of the track, setting up their blankets and chairs as home base for their roving children. At the end of the evening, the celebration continued with a worship set from NRCA’s own student chapel worship band followed by a concert by rising Christian music star Anne Wilson. The nineteen-year-old Kentucky native unveiled immense talent and her country roots as she belted out her love for Jesus in a style that was a unique combination of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
God has blessed North Raleigh Christian Academy for the last twenty-five years, and we beseech His blessing as we walk into the future. To God be the glory. Great things He has done.