Valley Forge Connection to Parma Hts. Christian Academy

by Cindy King

How often is it that a kindergarten and first grade teacher from the same school have sons graduate at the very top of their senior class?  This is the case with Mrs. Jodi Blackburn and Mrs. Emily Reeves who teach at Parma Heights Christian Academy located on West Ridgewood Drive.  Their sons, Joshua Blackburn and Matthew Reeves, both graduated Summa Cum Laude on Saturday, June 7 from Valley Forge High School.

While Mrs. Blackburn and Mrs. Reeves have been focusing on teaching kindergarten and first grade respectively at this K thru 6th grade Blue Ribbon School, their sons have been working hard through the years to graduate with high honors.  Joshua and Matt both said that their parents were the most important influence in their lives encouraging them to always do their best and to serve others.

Both young men have been involved at Parma Heights Christian Academy.  Joshua Blackburn attended the school from first through sixth grade, while Matt Reeves has been employed by the school in their after-school care program for the last two years.  Matt has also volunteered many hours at lunch, recess, and special events when his busy schedule allowed.

 “I really enjoy getting to know the kids and providing a positive role model, especially for the boys,” Matt commented.  “It is a great school because the teachers put so much into teaching each subject.  They are focused on what is best for the kids.” 

Joshua, a leader in the Christian Crossfire group at Valley Forge, organized a fundraising project in order to sponsor a child at an orphanage in Southern Brazil, even visiting the orphanage during the summer of 2001.  Joshua stated, “Since God has blessed me greatly, I feel privileged to be able to help others whenever I can.”

Finishing at the top of their senior class, both were selected to write farewell addresses in the Valley Forge High School newsletter.  Joshua said he “wanted to influence the seniors as they embark on a new chapter in life.  I felt that writing about character would encourage them in one of the most important aspects of a person’s life.”

Josh wrote, “I challenge you to consider who you are if fame, money, popularity, and grades are hidden.  Who are you?  What is your character?  As we strive for a life of

importance, I challenge you to sow a character of honesty, honor, and integrity into the thoughts and actions of your life.”

Matt inspired his classmates with these words: “Right now, every moment, we are faced with decisions that will dramatically affect our ability to reach our dream’s door.  A good choice may just empower us enough to step through that door, yet a poor choice, no matter how minuscule it seems could set us back, or dare I say shut that door.  Don’t let the fun of today interrupt the excellent opportunity of tomorrow.”

With handsome scholarships, both young men head off to college this fall with Joshua attending Cedarville University in Ohio and majoring in electrical engineering. He plans to follow in his mother’s footsteps through teaching; however his goal is to teach at the university level.

Matt will major in aeronautical science at LeTourneau University in Texas.  While he plans to become a commercial airline pilot, the possibility of running for president of the United States “has been left open for further evaluation”.

Teachers and best friends, Jodi Blackburn and Emily Reeves, have taught their sons well.  They will remain behind and continue to educate and inspire kindergarten and first graders at Parma Heights Christian Academy.


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