Each year, Rio hosts a memorable on-campus event to celebrate students’ accomplishments so far in the year and give thanks back to God and families for their support. Although this year’s circumstances did not allow for large group events, Rio still held an online Parent Weekend of celebration, praise, and thanksgiving through testimonies, performances, and conversation.
On Sabbath, November 21, Rio’s music department and chaplain’s office organized a church service featuring music groups and student leaders. Senior Landon Chamberlain said he was thankful for all of the things that keep him warm each day such as blankets, socks, warm food, and a heater. Junior Cyril Guarin shared his testimony while home for distance learning.
“During distance learning, I am amazed that the feeling is similar to what it was while we were on campus. I thought it would be a lot different, but with chapels, and in the last week, Week of Praise, I realized that God is in control and working through us. Whether it’s through the message of an individual or through students happily singing praises to the Lord. Even though we are apart, I see the blessings flow through everyone. We’re there for each other. I am blessed to have supportive friends and schoolmates who are kind and dependable. Many thanks to the staff at Rio; our teachers who are encouraging and empathetic, and watchful of our wellbeing in spite of the distance between us all. I’m so glad to have stayed at Rio! My prayer is for all of us to be all together soon.”
Rio’s orchestra performed “Simple Gifts” with a collage of video clips edited together by music director, Connie Schlotthauer.
Students shared testimonies and gratitude in several languages throughout the service and encouraging words of hope and personal testimony. Religious vice president Levis Waiyakishared his personal struggles with distraction and how he made an intentional effort to grow closer to God by encouraging friends and checking upon them.
“Every time I call someone to say hi, it always encourages me back,” says Levis and shared the Bible verse Proverbs 11:25.
“A generous person prospers and whoever refreshes others will also be refreshed.”
Rio’s Lindaires performed as a collage virtual choir “Be Still and Know” arranged by Steven Curtis Chapman. The video featured peaceful clips of Rio’s natural campus and the Lindaires singing from their homes as individuals.
For Saturday night’s special virtual variety show, Vice Principals Kevin Hardesty and Rika Meyer emceed dressed up as “spy staff” who were on a mission to solve the mystery of the missing vhs tape. Their acting deserved an Oscar. Students submitted talent videos such as freshman Quin Leon, who played a classical piano piece and junior Elia Privat who sang “Oh What a Reason” by the Talley Trio. Senior Angelina Walters sang a song of hope called “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”, by Danny Gokey. The performances inspired all who watched.
The Variety Show ended with a re-written version of 6-feet apart by task for dean, Caleb Privat, who sang about our hope and joy that we will have when we’re all back together again after the pandemic subsides. The song was accompanied by a slideshow of Rio life from before students had to go home and what they have to look forward to.
Rio’s Parent Weekend ended on Sunday with Zoom parent-teacher conferences to give parents time to personally connect with each teacher.
Principal Mr. Anderson said, “I was pleasantly surprised at our virtual Parent Weekend. We had strong participation from parents, students, and staff and although it wasn’t the same as having everyone here, it was a close second.”