Sean Sena hugs his aunt Barbara Fernandez (bottom right) after graduating Friday form Clovis Christian School. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
Once a wayward student, Sean Sena has changed his course. The 18-year-old graduated from Clovis Christian School Friday and plans to enter a field he says changed his life — education.
A move to Dallas, Texas, introduced an adolescent Sena to a rough lifestyle.
“I hung out with thugs, pretty much,” Sena said, “who were always looking for ways to get into trouble.”
His home life wasn’t much better. His father committed suicide when he was 7 months old, and his mother was later arrested for drug use. Sena moved back to Clovis from Dallas, and into the home of his great-grandparents.
Instead of attending Clovis High School, Sena chose Clovis Christian, a much smaller school with a home-like atmosphere. Just 22 students graduated along side Sena Friday night at the school’s chapel.
Clovis Christian School teachers steered Sena straight, he said. He went from a boy who caused trouble in class to a committed athlete and Christian.
“The biggest change I saw in Sean was a growth in his spiritual life. He found some maturity and purpose in his life. I think he is one of the neatest young men who has ever passed through this school,” said Clovis Christian teacher Max Kralicek, who taught Sena in English and Bible studies.
Still, Sena said he feels uncomfortable discussing his newfound spirituality with his family. He attends church sporadically, he said, but he is never accompanied by family members.
“I feel out of place most of the time,” said Sena, who doesn’t discuss his spirituality directly with his family members.
His mother and great-grandparents, who Sena says gave him “everything,” attended his graduation. Sena said he has yet to mend his tattered relationship with his mother, but he said they have made a lot of progress in the past couple of years.
Sena said he plans to go into the teaching profession.
“Teachers have helped me a lot in the past six years. I went from a bad kid to who I am now. I want to help other kids out the way I have been helped,” he said.
A list of this weekend’s area high school graduations:
Clovis — 10 a.m., Rock Staubus Gym
Floyd — 1:45 p.m., high school gym
Choices — 4 p.m., Rock Staubus Gym
Melrose — 7 p.m., school gym
Dora — 3 p.m., school gym
Grady — 5 p.m., school gym