Ripon Christian High is where Beomseok (Jacob) Kim spent enough time to create a lifetime of memories.
“Throughout my 18 years, I’ve been moving and traveling to different places,” he recently noted.
Kim, who was salutatorian for the Class of 2021 thanks to his 4.22 grade point average, was born in South Korea – in the capital city of Seoul – and spent time in Brazil (Amazon), Kenya, Egypt and Israel, to name a few, during family trips.
“It was great fun and (played an) impact as to who I am at this point,” he said.
In terms of education, Kim attended several small Christian schools in the countryside of Korea, arriving at RC during the second semester of his freshman year.
Along the way, he enjoyed plenty of the local traditions such as the RC Knights Homecoming King & Queen, sports – he took part in basketball, soccer, cross country, tennis – and music. Kim was involved in band, choir and had “nostalgic memories” of the music festivals.
His next stop is Washington University in St. Louis. Kim is planning to major in Biology and Philosophy.
As for his plans, he wrote: “I’m uncertain of what I will do in the future, but I might be interested in becoming a scientific researcher.”
As Samantha Anema, RC has been a familiar place. She’s been at the school since kindergarten.
"Five thousand hours. That's how much time we spent at RC," said Anema in her valedictorian speech at Friday's graduation ceremony.
She was referring to her time in high school.
Anema earned the top academic honor based on her 4.25 GPA. Her sister, Taylor, was valedictorian for RC Class of 2019.
Samantha Anema will be attending Dordt University on an athletic scholarship (track & field) while eyeing a double major (Biology and chemistry).
Anema is the recipient of the Dordt’s Presidential Award along with Dordt’s Alumni Association Scholarship, Omicron Beta, Lion’s Club and Donker’s.
She participated in basketball, volleyball, debate, Knight Sound (choir) and Daughters of the King ministry while at RC.
“My biggest accomplishment would probably be giving my testimony in front of my church this past year, as well as my profession of faith before my freshman year of high school,” Anema said.
The 76th annual commencement exercises on Friday night featured 46 classmates receiving their diplomas amid challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is your final time of you being an RC student," Superintendent Eric Segaar said to the graduating class.
Principal Joe Venema, in addition, acknowledged Upper School Secretary Grace Van Elderen and longtime elementary school teacher Barb Anderson. Both are retiring at the end of the school year.