Close-knit group of Veritas students graduates

Brenden Gardner, center, smiles during a lighter moment at graduation Friday as Veritas Christian School’s 11-member Class of 2011 got their diplomas during a ceremony at Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.

Veritas Christian School’s graduates like to refer to one another as family, many of them having spent the past 13 years together in class, worship and everything else that goes along with attending the nondenominational institution in north-central Lawrence.

Following the school’s commencement ceremony Friday evening, Ethan and Nate Scott talked like brothers, laughed like brothers and looked to the future like brothers.

Of course, they are brothers — siblings who account for 18 percent of the Veritas graduating class.

“It’s been great because you always have someone there you’ve known your whole life,” said Ethan, the younger of the twins.

Their close relationship looks to continue this fall, as the Scotts plan to attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

“We’re friends,” said Nate, who entered the world 6 minutes earlier than his brother, but patiently waited a few steps behind him to accept his own diploma. “The comfort level has always been high.”

The same could be said for all 11 members of the Veritas class of 2011, who gathered with family, friends and faculty to celebrate at Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.

Salutatorian Caysi Gatts chronicled the graduates’ growth since kindergarten, as the 11 “became a family.” Attorney and former Veritas board member Jim Jarrow urged them to follow scripture, avoid drugs and alcohol, give 10 percent of their income to their church and choose relationships carefully.

And most of all, Jarrow said, don’t forget such lessons learned in school, from parents and through God’s word.

“Remember, remember and remember,” he said.

Phillip and Saro Scott said they won’t soon forget their sons’ growth and successes at Veritas — in athletics, in academics, in church and all other aspects since their enrollment as first-graders.

“It’s a measure of pride,” Phillip Scott said. “You’re glad to see them on good footing and headed in the right direction.”