On Thursday, May 28, Island Christian School in Islamorada held a graduation ceremony for eight outstanding students that included front row (l-r) Katherine Dupre, Laura Wright and Ashleigh Verwyst; back row, Thomas Cavanagh, Joel Rhash, Aaron Izaguirre, Jon Eager and James Ray Verner III. Each of them will take valuable lessons learned from life in the Keys as they begin the next chapter in their lives.
Katherine Jean Dupre, 18, is the daughter of Jeff and Christi Dupre. Kate has lived in the Florida Keys for 14 years and has attended Island Christian for six years. Kate was editor of the yearbook this year, a member of Art Club for four years, Key Club, dramatics and the praise band. She has lettered in Varsity Soccer for six years and in softball for four years. In 2008 and 2009 she was named to the all-county soccer team in Monroe County. After graduation she plans to attend Jacksonville University and will study computer art/graphic design. Fond memories that Kate will take with her include times with the sports teams and the senior class trip to London. She learned about community participation through serving in the arts, especially through this past years Bay Jam and ICE scholarship contest.
Laura Kathleen Wright, 17, daughter of Jeffrey and Kay Wright was born in Calais, Maine but has lived in the Keys for 15 years. She entered Island Christian in 4K and has enjoyed serving as a class officer and on the yearbook staff. She has also been a statistician for sports teams. Laura is planning to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City where she will pursue her dream to open a restaurant by studying the classic culinary arts. She loves the Keys, her dog and all animals and she is going to miss Oreo her favorite squirrel she feeds every day at lunch at Island Christian School.
Ashleigh Mae Verwyst, 18, is the daughter of Susan and Rudy Torres and has lived in the Keys for 14 years. She is senior class President, and the President of Key Club. She has been a cheerleader for four years, volleyball for two years and has also been involved with praise band and dramatics. She plans on leaving for YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Hawaii where she will receive mission training for three months and will volunteer for mission work somewhere in Asia for another three months. Upon her return at the end of the year, Ashleigh plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and is undecided on her course of study. Ashleigh learned a lot from her Keys Advisor Mr. Beeler as they worked together with the rest of the club to serve a family in the community that was in need.
James Ray Verner III, 18, moved to the Keys at the beginning of his senior year from Orlando where he attended Windermere Prep School. He is the son of James Ray Verner and Denise Hays. J.R. has been in the National Honor Society for four years and involved in student government. At Windermere, J.R. was team captain of the Lacrosse Team. JR will attend Rollins College and plans to pursue a double major in Psychology and Pre-law. He wants to work in either of those fields and wishes to eventually teach high school. His favorite memories are of the amazing staff and new friends he met at Island Christian this year.
Joel Lee Rhash, 18, is the son of Raymond and Dawnie Rhash. He has attended Island Christian since preschool. He is the drummer in the church praise band at New Life Church in Marathon and participated in the Cultural American Music Program last year. He is a class officer, this year serving as class Chaplain and has been a three-year member of the Island Christian School soccer team. Joel wants to study praise and worship at the Waters Edge School of Music in Ft. Lauderdale. He plans to work before entering school.
Jon Chandler Eager, 18, is the son of Chan Warner and Susan Eager and was born in the Keys. He has been a six-year member of the ICS soccer team. He also played baseball this year and has played basketball for two years. John’s fond memories of the Keys are of driving around Tavernier in his red Mustang and fishing the beautiful Florida Keys waters. He plans on enlisting in the Army.
Thomas Francis Cavanagh, 17, was born in Red Bank, New Jersey and moved to the Keys in 2002. He has played soccer for six years and baseball for five. Tom has fond memories of the Keys and enjoying the water and fishing. He has won several awards for his two-dimensional artwork and will be attending Flagler College in St Augustine in the fall. He will study graphic design and architecture with intentions on working in residential architecture one day.
Aaron Izaguirre, 18, is the son of Horaccio and Paula Izaguirre. He was born in Key West. He has lettered in Varsity sports including baseball, basketball, and soccer for six years at Island Christian. He has been in the praise band and continues to serve as the drummer at Island Community Church and also at Life Point Church in Tavernier. He is planning on studying business and marketing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the fall. He has enjoyed sports in the Keys and hanging around his three brothers and friends.