Rhiannia Solomon – EMHS Class of 2024

June 12, 2024 / Trisha Blosser
Rhianna and Mom Kennea - 2nd grade at EMES
Rhianna and Mom Kennea - 2nd grade at EMES

Senior presentations are a capstone project for Kingdom Living, where students explore how to live the Jesus way. Justin King, High School Principal notes, “EMS literally gives students the mic and asks them: will you share your story about growing up, your experience at EMS, and your dreams for the future? And we listen! We listen to life stories about faith, education, and relationships.”

Listen to a piece of Rhiannia Solomon’s story…

I started attending Eastern Mennonite Elementary School at the beginning of second grade when my dad got a job as head baseball coach. I remember visiting EMES and loving it.

Mrs. Archer, thank you for teaching me how to be an independent thinker and problem solver. You always did an amazing job of hearing all sides, not making assumptions, and truly wanting the best for all your students. I always thought you were so cool because you played piano during “gathering” AND you were our principal!

I struggled with anxiety my whole life, starting in 2nd grade, and this made me even closer to God because I was truly trying to cast all my anxieties onto him. Then, middle school brought new friendships!

Mia, even from the first day of sixth grade you have always been there for me. Proverbs 27:9 says ‘A sweet…soul, friendship refreshes the soul’ and I don’t think that could be any more true.

The class of 2024 started high school during COVID. Almost all of the class had US History together in the auditorium with Mrs. Roth, followed by a socially distanced lunch in the same space. Because of this, I felt like our grade started to branch out more and make different connections we didn’t have beforehand. Sophomore year was more normal with regular volleyball, basketball, and soccer seasons. Junior year felt overwhelming, stressful, uneasy, and I was in an academic slump.

Senior year was filled with change, apprehension about futures, and making special memories with everyone while we are all still together. This volleyball season, I truly felt like I gained my confidence back because of JP and Coach Cat. One thing I wanted to keep consistent during my senior year was trying new things. One of the ways was E-Term: going to the Florida Keys, learning about the ecosystem and history. We became incredibly close with each other and our leaders in just four short days.

Mr. King, thanks for putting up with all of us girls on the trip. You are a dedicated principal who wants to make EMHS an inclusive and nurturing educational environment. It is obvious that you genuinely care about each of us students in and out of the classroom. Thank you.

I also want to say thank you to all my teachers who have helped guide me through my education here at EMS. I truly appreciate the time you all put into helping each of your students achieve their goals.

Next year I will be attending James Madison University to major in Psychology to pursue a career within Sports Psychology to spread awareness of mental health importance within athletics.

Thank you for listening!

To learn more about the class of 2024, and read the blessing written for them by Bible teacher Karen Suderman (and shared with each student at their presentation and at commencement by the Bible teachers – Ms. Suderman, Ben Bixler, and Nathan  Hershberger), go to easternmennonite.org/2024/06/class-of-2024-new-beginnings/

Rhiannia’s story highlights our K-12 community, and principals and teachers appreciated her words of affirmation. A June 2024 letter included her story as part of an invitation to support EMS as we closed the 2023-2024 fiscal school year. To join others with a gift, go to easternmennonite.org/support.

Check out some more photos from this story

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