For Summit Christian Academy graduate Caleb Shcherbina, life is about school and hockey – not necessarily in that order.
Shcherbina, who attended the K-12 program for all but one year, is Summit’s only graduating senior, and he’s doing it two years early after completing all his graduation requirements. His 16th birthday isn’t until next month.
He started earning high school credits when he was in eighth grade, and when a school administrator told him that he could finish early if he doubled up in some of his courses, he leaped at the opportunity.
“I’ve been dedicated and disciplined in school,” he said. “Those are some of the things that I learned from hockey, that and the value of hard work and teamwork. Hockey is a big part of my life.
“I’ve never had time to be bored,” Shcherbina said. “When I was younger, we sometimes had practice sessions at 5 or 6 in the morning, and during the season I’m playing five days a week. I’ve had to be organized and strategic to make time for both school and hockey.
“I started skating at a really young age, and my grandfather introduced hockey to me. He took me to a game, and I’ve always loved it since then. I’ve played for the Spokane Junior Chiefs and now for the North Idaho Knights. Both are ‘rep’ teams, a level above house leagues.”
Shcherbina hopes to someday become the general manager of a professional sports team, and plans to major in sports management with a minor in broadcasting or accounting in college. He will most likely attend Spokane Falls Community College this fall, and is hoping to make the Knights’ 18U team. After that, he would like to attend a university that has both his preferred major and a hockey program. But like other young players, his dream is to one day play in the National Hockey League.
He also has attended and competed in ACSI speech meets since first grade, and several times has been nominated to speak to the entire assembly at events.
“I’ve loved Summit, he said. “It’s been fun and a great atmosphere to learn. I’ll be sad to see it come to an end, but I wanted to graduate early to start on my future goals and to continue my pursuit of learning. It was a hard decision, but it’s a cool opportunity and I’m glad that I accepted the challenge. I’ll miss Summit, but I don’t have any regrets.”
One of his favorite teachers, Laura Carver, noted some of Shcherbina’s qualities beyond his academic excellence: “I have always been impressed with Caleb’s work ethic and passion for learning. He is a great example of perseverance and determination. He is not willing to accept defeat and is always willing to put forth the effort and try until he succeeds.
“A successful person makes goals and uses discipline and hard work to achieve them, and Caleb has all these qualities. In addition, he has a servant’s heart and is always willing to serve others. His speech at our school’s banquet was about how Summit has influenced his life and his desire to serve God and others. Caleb is a model of what a young Christian should aspire to be.”