Shelby Spier said she believes the reason she has been successful in high school is a combination of two things – staying focused and having a supportive family.

Shelby Spier said she believes the reason she has been successful in high school is a combination of two things – staying focused and having a supportive family.

“I will miss the atmosphere here because all of the teachers are very attentive to the students’ needs,” said the 2011 graduate of Tri-City Christian School. “I am going to start out by taking classes at Maranatha Bible College in Wisconsin before transferring to UMKC to finish a degree in dentistry. I have always liked science, so I thought it would be a good career for me.”

Twenty students graduated from Tri-City Christian School in Independence Saturday. The valedictorian is Megan Rasmussen, and the salutatorian is Jenny Hicklin.

Hicklin said the race for valedictorian has been close the last few months. She said that both knew it would be one of them, but it was not until the end of the semester that the class placement was set.

“I was really excited that I was able to become salutatorian. I knew that all of my hard work had paid off in a big way,” said Hicklin, who plans to attend Bob Jones University in South Carolina to major in computer programming. “It was important to me to maintain good grades because I knew it would get me far in life. I want my class to stay strong in the Lord and be successful in whatever they do, whether that be in the ministry or whatever else the Lord leads them to do in the future.”

Rasmussen said she believes maintaining strong grades in school is important, no matter if that is as a freshman or as a senior. She also plans to attend Maranatha Bible College in Watertown, Wis., to major in music education.

“I will miss all of the relationships I have built here,” she said. “I don’t think any of us could have been successful without God’s help. He has always been there for me as with all of my other classmates.”

Graduate Kayla Joiner said she will miss all of her classes at Tri-City, but her history classes, she said, will always be special to her. She plans to attend a Christian college in Wisconsin.

“I really enjoyed all of my history classes, and the teacher was great,” she said. “I think it is important to always maintain good study skills and always, always listen to your teachers. Developing those good habits early will be of great help to doing really well in school.”