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Valedictorian: ‘Work hard for Christ’

Witt top graduate for Ripon Christian High School

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Valedictorian: ‘Work hard for Christ’

Derrick Witt

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED May 23, 2014 2:06 a.m.

Ripon Christian High School valedictorian Derrick Witt is presenting his commencement address tonight at 7 p.m. during the 2014 graduation ceremonies in the high school gymnasium.

Lane Van Elderen has earned the salutatorian role at the private Ripon school for the  graduating class of 49. 

Witt has attended Ripon Christian schools from kindergarten through his senior years and has kind words for his sixth grade teacher and soccer coach Jerry Terpsma.  

“He made it interesting,” Witt said.

The graduating senior is heading to Le Tourneau University in the East Texas city of Longview declaring a major in petroleum engineering.  Going to the same university are classmates Brad Van Vliet and Tim De Raadt. Le Tourneau is a non-denominational Christian university.

“Don’t be afraid of hard work and stand for Christ” are two of the challenges he will direct at his class mates at tonight’s graduation.  

Witt has been in several plays from eighth grade through high school.  In his last year of middle school he had the lead in “Music Man,” later joining the casts of a number of plays throughout high school.  Those included “Just Another High School,” and “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” along with “Canterbury Tales” presented just this year.

In sports tennis was his favored competition taking a first in the Southern League as a senior.  His team got into the Sections, he added.

Witt said tennis is a family sport with his dad having played in high school and in college.  His brother Kendall plays and they all play as a family.

As for college he feels he will have to add a master’s degree and possibly a PhD to complete in the professional ranks of the petroleum industry and searching for the right position from Texas to Canada and Alaska.

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