Alumni News

Graduate to Speak at Local High School Baccalaureate

by Office of Marketing | May 23, 2013

The success of Kathleen Bird, a 2013 graduate, extends beyond the boundaries of Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC). Not only did she graduate Summa Cum Laude from the Honors Program with a B.S. in Secondary English Education, she also completed a successful student teaching requirement at Owen J. Roberts High School (OJRHS) and did so with such excellence that she has been invited back to the school for a special event - graduation.

Bird completed her student teaching program at OJRHS with Mr. Jeremy Fox – teaching two honors ninth grade sections, two sections of eleventh grade college-prep and one debate elective for 9-12 grade students.

“I learned a lot from Mr. Fox, my cooperating teacher, and grew as both a teacher and a person through my experience there,” said Bird. “I was able to connect with the students on a deeper level than I have before in other field experiences, which meant a lot to me.”

Now she will address the Class of 2013 at the OJRHS baccalaureate service.

This public school is within the Owen J. Roberts School District and spans nearly 100 square miles in northern Chester County. Over 1,500 students attend this school, where 119 teaching staff members educate them.

According to Bird, the process of her selection as keynote speaker was “kind of complex.” In summary, Bird’s mentor is the wife of Pastor McKinley – a member of the Owen J. Roberts Ministerium (a group of pastors from different denominations who work together to help their community and also happen to organize the annual baccalaureate service at OJRHS). After hearing Bird’s sermon as senior speaker at a November VFCC chapel service, Mrs. McKinley mentioned Bird’s preaching ability to her husband, who then nominated Bird for the keynote address of the baccalaureate service. Due to Bird’s skill as a speaker and her involvement at OJRHS as a student teacher, she was an obvious selection. The entire Ministerium came to an agreement and asked Bird to address the OJRHS Class of 2013.

Bird said, “This selection is important because I’m being given the opportunity to share my heart with the students of OJRHS. Being selected as a senior speaker allowed me the opportunity to share my heart with VFCC and now I get to move beyond the walls of our college to share once again.”

She plans to encourage the students with Joshua 1:6-9 in which the Lord urges Joshua to be strong and courageous despite challenges that accompanied his leadership role in Israel.

“Graduation is a joyous time,” said Bird, “but it also can be a fearful time when you are unsure of what lies ahead. I hope to share with the students that they can tackle any adventure life gives them because God is the one who gives them the strength and courage to face it.”