Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for?

Every year Academy Wildcats gather together to feel gratitude before the break at the Thanksgiving Assembly.

Lower Division students performing at the Assembly

This year the Kindergarten class sang a song about all the things they’re thankful for. After the song there were students from every grade giving a speech on what they are most thankful for. One of the most touching stories was from 9th grader Ryleigh Van Veghel. She shared her story being an orphaned baby in Russia. The police searched the entire town and never found her mom. She was then moved to an adoption center and 6 months later she was adopted by her wonderful parents. She is so thankful because a lot of kids don’t get adopted and she was one of the few who did. Her story brought many people to tears and even Ryleigh herself had tears of gratitude as she talked about her siblings and how much she loved her family.

Ryleigh tells her heartwarming story of thanks.

Another great story was from Matthew Martin who told his story using a deck of cards and each card stood for someone he’s thankful for. For example his queen was his mom and king was his dad. Matthews way of presenting his speech was so creative and interesting, many people thought it was very cool how he did it. He also made it more interesting by doing a few quick card tricks while saying his speech.   

Like magic! Matthew Martin shows off his slight of hand while giving a thoughtful and touching speech.


The assembly concluded with the presentation of 2 scholarships. The Paul Hagneau scholarship was presented to 10th grader Devyne Davis, and the Esse Quam Videri scholarship was presented to Lexi Kilfoyl, who was just signed to a full scholarship with University of Alabama.

All of the students, faculty, and staff were able to celebrate a lot of things our community is thankful for!

Story by Delaney Bowden

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

What are YOU thankful for this year? Please let us know in the comments below!

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