Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have nine graduating seniors during the 2018 – 2019 school year. Several members of the Class of 2019 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all become good friends during their time here. We will be highlighting one of the seniors each month in an article published in our Knightline newsletter. We continue this week with senior James Earnest.
James Earnest has attended LCA since K4 class with Mrs. Urban, way back in 2004. James and his classmate Jessie Chen have the longest tenure of any current LCA student.
James was born in 2001, eight years after his parents married. His older brother Jace, who graduated from LCA in 2014, lives in Clifton Park and works at Global Foundries. James’s older sister Jasmine, a member of LCA’s Class of 2016, is continuing her studies at SUNY Albany and working as a clerk at an area law firm.
James’s mother grew up in Queens after moving to this country from India. She valued the freedom and educational opportunities offered in the States and was able to graduate high school early and go on to SUNY Albany at that time. Since graduation, she has worked in the banking industry, rising to a Vice President at Key Bank.
James’s father moved a lot as a child, but claims Brooklyn as home. His family had come to America from Pakistan to get a better life. James’s father is described as a “Jack of All Trades,” having worked in a variety of fields and even having owned his own commercial cleaning business. He now works for Culligan’s in Troy.
James’s parents met through family connections in Queens. They had a true “love at first sight” relationship, and had their first child just a year after they married.
James has enjoyed a special friendship with his classmate Mikael Flory, remembering him as someone who “has been there for me a lot.” Mikael has helped James make the right decisions and helped him see what he calls “a different version of life.” James also appreciates that Mikael sees “some peace in the world.”
James will also always remember Mrs. O’Rourke who taught at LCA for many years before moving to the Midwest a couple of years ago. James will never forget that “Mrs. O” was known for being available, “Anytime I had a problem, I would talk to her, and she would help me with any problem I had. She taught me how to study.”
James also remembers former classmate Stavros, who was “a big part of my life and brought happiness and made me laugh.” James remembers Stavros as “that person who knew what I was thinking.”
James has fond memories of a few other teachers at LCA. He says that Mr. Fry taught him a different way of learning. After all, James admitted, “I learn in weird ways!” He appreciates Mr. Fry’s different view of the world and will remember his history class, even saying that he wants Mr. Fry to teach at his college with his enthusiastic and funny expressions. Mr. Fry also taught right from wrong—the right God wants from us.
James will never forget Mrs. Kettlewood and her ministry at LCA. “Mrs. Kettlewood has been there since Day One. She led me to do the right thing and helped me learn to control my temper,” James remembers. Mrs. Kettlewood has had an important part of getting James through some of the tough days of high school.
Mrs. Hogan, an educator from the North Colonie School District, has also played a big part in James’s life. James recalls, “Mrs. Hogan taught me how to study—for real study!” She guided James in writing his first solo report and has always brought joy and happiness to James during their time together. James said, “I always look forward to seeing her. I always want to learn what she is teaching me.”
James also enjoys telling what he remembers as the funniest story from his time at LCA, back in junior high. He was coming back to Mrs. O’Rourke’s history class after a visit to the restroom. As he returned to his seat, his cousin and classmate Samuel said from the seat behind him, “James, fly!” Of course, James jumps up and waves his hands at his wrists like he is attempting to lift off the ground. Samuel responded, “No, your zipper!” The class became very quiet until someone said, “James, are you stupid?!” when the whole class erupted in laughter. For what felt like half an hour the class was laughing so hard they were in tears. James remembers that they did not get to their lesson that day. The next time you see James, just say, “James, fly!” to him and see what happens!
James attends Clifton Park Community Church with his family. James accepted Christ as his personal Savior at Grace Bible Church under the ministry of his Sunday school teacher Mr. Pelcher. (James also remembers that Mr. Pelcher was a “really awesome” teacher who always brought food to class!) James was baptized by Pastor Beckwith at Grace Bible. His favorite verse from the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:11 – “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
James plans to work as a model while he attends SUNY Albany, his mother’s alma mater. James plans to major in exercise science and put to work his skills and interest in science, especially biology, as he follows God’s leading in his life.