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 Roarke.
James Roarke has attended LCA since seventh grade in 2013. Before coming here, he had attended Oakwood Christian School in Troy since first grade. Both of James’s older sisters have also graduated from LCA, Sarah in 2013, and Hannah in 2014.
James has been blessed to grow up in a Christian home in a native Upstate family. James’s mother grew up in East Nassau and his father grew up in Troy, right across the street from the house where his family now lives.
James’s father met his mother while he was attending church at Grafton Baptist. A neighbor and friend of James’s mother once took James’s father’s Bible after church and said that she would only return it after his father asked out a friend of hers—the future Mrs. Roarke! The two later met at the Big-E fair in Massachusetts and James’s father got his Bible back. The two have been together ever since!
Today, James’s father is a cryogenic engineer for a company called Air Products and is responsible for a territory including parts of New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Although this means that he has to travel a lot for work, LCA has benefitted from Mr. Roarke’s unique experience with demonstrations of liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic fluids for science classes.
James’s mother works as an extended session aide and physical education teacher here at LCA. She has often worked as James’s schools through the years, serving in the kitchen and as an art teacher at Oakwood Christian and in the lunch room at Turnpike Elementary where James attended kindergarten.
James recalls that his family has attended Brunswick Baptist Church for nine years. James accepted Christ in Sunday school at Grafton Baptist when he was five years old and was baptized later by Pastor Collins at Brunswick Baptist. James is involved in his youth group and serves his church at their annual Family Fun Day as well as keeping the church lawn mowed faithfully.
At school, James serves as a prayer group leader. James has also attended the AACS Leadership Conferences and has entered the NYACS Fine Arts competition in photography and in handbells. James has also worked on the yearbook staff, as a manager for the basketball team, and as a leader on Field Day.
When James looks back on his high school years, he is confident he will remember Mrs. Kettlewood in our school office since they talk “all the time”! James recalls, “She’s nice” and “She makes me laugh!”
Former LCA teacher Mrs. O’Rourke also has a special place in James’s memories as one whose classes were funny. James remembers, “I learned a lot and I laughed a lot!”
James has also enjoyed a friendship with classmate Jessie Chen. They have enjoyed talking and laughing together through the years since James first came to LCA and Jessie was the only one who would talk to him back in seventh grade.
LCA alumnus Josh Arthur (Class of 2018) was also a special friend to James, especially when they would travel on the bus to basketball games and other school activities like NYACS or field trips. James will remember how much fun it was to be on the bus with Josh!
James does like his truck! Last summer, he purchased his Suzuki Equator. James and his truck enjoy their time together!
James shared his advice to the school’s underclassmen: “Do stuff—on time. And try hard!” James is still considering the Lord’s will for him for the coming year. He is considering attending Hudson Valley Community College in general studies. He is confidently resting in the words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”