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Christian school celebrates education of 14 seniors

Laughs mark CIA graduation

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

Bursts of laughter punctuated the graduation ceremony at Cook Inlet Academy on May 16.

Family, friends and faculty got a couple of good laughs during a slide show highlighting moments in the lives of the 14 graduates.

The show included baby pictures of most of the graduates. For the unfortunate few, their baby picture was a naked-baby picture. The crowd laughed out loud each time one of the graduates was projected larger than life on the gym wall in his or her baby birthday suit.

The biggest laugh of the slide show, however, came in appreciation of a picture of one of the graduates, who looked to be about 7 years old, sitting on a toilet in a cowboy outfit.

Class valedictorian Thomas Adams had a tough act to follow. He said in thinking about what to say, he wasn't sure if he should be serious or humorous, but it didn't take him long to decide.

"I'm not that funny of a guy," he said, making the audience laugh.

Adams got more serious as he briefly recounted his lifelong struggle with a form of dwarfism that caused his bones to twist as his grew. He told the audience he didn't walk until he was 8, has had 13 corrective surgeries and has spent time in a body cast. Adams now walks with the help of two crutches and credited his faith with helping him both get through his physical ordeal and excel academically.

The crowd got an unexpected laugh when a student turned off the commencement speaker's microphone on purpose. Toward the end of his comments, Bruce Gabriel said he had an agreement with the graduates to keep his speech short, but since he was in control, the deal was off. Which is when the quick-thinking student cut the power to Gabriel's microphone. The speaker took the joke well and got some chuckles of his own when the mike came back on.

"Ok, I've been humbled in front of the largest crowd in my life," he said.

After the diplomas were handed out, the laughter turned to grins and good humor as family and friends hugged the graduates in congratulations.

Cook Inlet Academy

Class of 2004

Thomas Adams

Catrina Brandon

Greg Brown

Josh Byrd

Adam Cooper

Janel Franchino

Charlotte Hillyer

Lindsay Hutchins

Morgan McConnell

Kyle Nettles

Kohei Oguro

Erik Peterson

Bryan Powers

Katie Zimmerman



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