The 53 graduates of Westlake Academy’s Class of 2014 received their diplomas on June 7 — including valedictorian Victoria Garabedian and salutatorian Morgan Braun.
Town of Westlake Mayor Laura Wheat, the mother of a graduate this year, provided opening remarks at the commencement ceremony. She began by defining the word commencement, which she, as the mom of a graduate, said felt more like an ending than a beginning.
“Then it hit me that today is not about me,” Wheat said. “It’s about these amazing young people here to change the world. It’s their beginning and everything in their lives has been in preparation for this day. We are simply the platform from which these graduates will launch and go places we have never dreamed.”
Garabedian, of Keller, is a founding student of Westlake Academy who has attended the school for 14 years. She has been accepted to The University of Texas in Austin, where she will study film and business.
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Braun, of Westlake, has attended Westlake Academy for 10 years. Braun has received the Chancellor’s Scholarship — a full, four-year academic scholarship awarded to 40 students out of 18,000 applicants — from Texas Christian University, where she will major in nursing and minor in Spanish.
Commencement speaker Glenn Beck addressed the seniors and the more than 600 family, friends and faculty in attendance for Westlake Academy’s fifth graduation ceremony.
Beck, a radio talk show host of “The Glenn Beck Program,” author and journalist, is founder and owner of Blaze.com. He has number one New York Times bestsellers in both fiction and nonfiction.
Beck told the graduates, “There is no problem big or small that you cannot navigate. As long as you have the current day, you can write the course of your life.”
The 53 graduates have a 100 percent college acceptance rate, and have been accepted into many top universities with almost $4.4 million in scholarships and grants.
Out of this class, which is the largest for the academy so far, 12 seniors have been named AP Scholars (three with honor) and three students were recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars: Braun, Rachel Cox and Krishna R. Gadi.
This designation is reserved for the top two percent of the 1.5 million entrants in the National Merit Scholarship competition.