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Handbook MTHEA Graduation 2023
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MTHEA Graduation 2023 Handbook

Dear Parents of Graduating Seniors,

Congratulations on making it to your student’s senior year! Please take the time to read through this entire packet. This packet and our regular emails are the ONLY way we can communicate with you so it is ABSOLUTELY vital that both parents and students read and respond to the emails.  We suggest that you PRINT Page 6 to hang on your fridge, to stay on top of the Deadlines!

The events coordinator will be sending out monthly emails starting in January.  You can expect a few emails in May as we get closer!  Please add to your contact list, so those don’t end up in spam.

As one of the most significant milestones in the life of your graduate, our utmost desire is for this ceremony to be a time of honoring God, you as parents, and your seniors. If you have any questions after reading this graduation handbook, please contact our event coordinator Meagan Roberts.


Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023

Time: Ceremony 2:00 p.m.

Location: Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN  

If you need assistance on the day of graduation, please contact Meagan Roberts.

Do NOT call the university! 

Contact Info


MTHEA OFFICE (payment questions): ; PO Box 11386, Murfreesboro,, TN 37129


The MTHEA graduation is unique. Because the parents are the administrators of their child’s education, the parents will be presenting the diplomas.  Parents will present the diploma and flip the tassel, the family will take a picture, and then students and parents will return to their seats.

COVID RELATED ITEMS: Trevecca is in Davidson county, we will be following whatever policies Trevecca has on May 20, 2023.  

You can expect between 80-100 graduates.

We will be sending finalized instructions, via email, as we get closer to the graduation date.

What the day looks like:


Formal photos Option 1: go to the photographer studio (Murfressboro) ahead of time and take your photos relaxed and on your own schedule! (Their email will be provided in the Spring.)

        Formal photos Option 2: Select a time for photos on graduation day (a link for selecting a slot will be sent out).  

This will be PRIOR to the rehearsal (most likely around 8:30/9am, depending on how many grads need to be shot that day), please arrive 15 minutes before your slot so we stay on schedule.  Parents will be emailed a photography form to complete - please bring day-of.

10:30 All grads and parents arrive, bring their poster boards and easels.  Please arrive dressed for the ceremony, as the restrooms will not accommodate grads changing.

Students and Parents find their assigned seats

MTHEA board members will review the graduate’s names and pronunciations


11:00 Rehearsal begins. We will literally walk-through the ceremony from beginning to end, and answer any questions.

(NOTE: every year, people ask us if we really need to do a full rehearsal. After doing this for many years, the answer is absolutely YES. During the ceremony we want graduates and parents to be relaxed and confident so they can fully enjoy their experience in the ceremony, and this walk-though makes all the difference.)

12:15 - 1:30 Lunch Break

1:00 Doors open for guests

1:40 All grads must be lined up

2:00 Ceremony begins (the ceremony lasts about 90-120 minutes)

4ish (immediately after ceremony) light reception (cookies and punch) in an outdoor reception area.


The Board of MTHEA requires all graduates to have been home educated for at least their entire senior year and have a current membership in MTHEA.


Early Registration is $275*. This includes the cap, tassel, gown, diploma binder, digital copy of the entire ceremony and a digital professional portrait package, digital access to candid photos that are taken before, during, and after the ceremony, as well covering the cost of the facility and supplies. Upon registering for graduation, a non-refundable deposit of $100 is required by December 31, 2022*, with the balance due by March 1, 2023. After March 1st, no refunds will be given.  As the price increases, the non- refundable deposit will as well, $125 for January, $175 for February and late registration is due in full with no initial deposit.

Balances are due by March 1st.  If you’d prefer to mail a check send it to:


PO BOX 11386

MURFREESBORO, TN, 37129-0028


Caps & Gowns (navy blue w/gold tassel) will be ordered with your registration and will be mailed to your home (usually around March/early April). Please be sure to try on the gown immediately in case there are any problems. Mark your gown with a tag on the inside and inside the cap with your student’s name. STEAM the gown and hang until graduation day – DO NOT IRON!


We will email a link for invitations and class rings if you choose to order them. This will be done on an individual basis, and not as a group. If you need to contact Chad Bone from Jostens, you can call him at 931-684-6717 or email


Each graduate is allowed to invite up to 9 people to attend the ceremony (this includes parents). Parents will be seated in a reserved area up front with the graduates. Siblings should sit with other guests (contact the events coordinator for any special circumstance requests).  


As stated earlier, our goal with this ceremony is to honor God, seniors and parents. In this light, we have set forth the following guidelines for dress.  We reserve the right to deny participation to any seniors who choose not to comply with these codes on the day of graduation—with no refund of fees.

GENTLEMEN: White dress shirt, tie, dark dress pants (no jeans), dress shoes (no tennis shoes, sandals, flip-flops, etc.)

LADIES: Dark pants or dresses. As long as the dress doesn’t show underneath the gown, the dress can be any color (be sure to check the hem line once your gown arrives), dress shoes (no flip-flops, casual sandals, tennis shoes, etc.).   If the dress goes beneath the gown, it needs to be light or dark colored.

PARENTS:  As you will be onstage too, we encourage you to wear your “Easter Sunday” best.


If your senior would like to wear honor chords, they need to be professionally made and you are responsible for ordering and purchasing them yourselves. Other than professionally made honor chords, added decorations to gowns and/or mortar boards is not allowed.


Each graduate is encouraged to display a picture board on an easel (which you supply). These are not required. Past displays have included pictures, captions, sports teams, church youth events, etc. The board should be approximately 2’x3’ (poster board size). These will be displayed around the room.


It is your responsibility to contact your umbrella school regarding your diploma. MTHEA DOES NOT grant diplomas.  We are here to host a celebration for you!  We will have a diploma cover for you to give your student during the “presenting of the diplomas”, they will be empty and you can put the diploma in after the ceremony.  We advise you not to bring the diploma day-of, so it doesn’t get lost or damaged.  


The graduation will be live streamed for friends and family to enjoy!  A link will be sent out the week of the event.  A professional edited version will also be made of the ceremony.   This video will be uploaded to YouTube, and a Dropbox link will be emailed.   The video is normally completed and sent out around July/August.  Please download this video for your files immediately.


Included in the graduation fee is a formal photo of the graduate (and parents, if desired).   These photos will be emailed to you, for you to print as you will.  You can also order professionally printed photos from the photographers.

Formal photos Option 1: go to the photographer studio (Murfressboro) ahead of time and take your photos relaxed and on your own schedule! (Their email will be provided in the Spring.)

        Formal photos Option 2: Select a time for photos on graduation day (a link for selecting a slot will be sent out).  This will be PRIOR to the rehearsal, please arrive 15 minutes before your slot so we stay on schedule.  Parents will be emailed a photography form to complete - please bring day-of.


Please use Times New Roman, 12-point size.


FILE NAME: “student’s full name BIO” (ex: Jonathan Grey’s BIO)


OR Email to:

Email Subject Line: “student’s full name BIO” (ex: Jonathan Grey’s BIO)

Each graduate is to submit two bios: one long and one short version.

This deadline is VERY IMPORTANT as the long bios will be published in Jonathan’s Arrow, and the deadline for publication is the beginning of April.  

Please remember that grammar and spelling are of the utmost importance. Biographies over the word count will be returned for editing. Please double check your word count. We reserve the right to edit all biographies. **see examples below

The long version is to be no longer than 150 words and should include a favorite quote or scripture verse (which is INCLUDED in the word count). This version will be printed in the Graduation Program Booklet and in Jonathan’s Arrow.

The short version is an abbreviation of the long version and should be 25-30 words. This will be read as the graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma.



FILE NAME: “student's full name Photo 1” (ex: Jonathan Grey’s photo 1 (or 2))


OR Email to:

Email Subject Line: “student's full name SlideShow” (ex: Jonathan Grey’s SlideShow)

This includes two photos of each graduate – one as a baby or small child, and one current photo (this does not have to be the senior picture). These may be fun or serious – whatever best reflects your graduate. High quality, close-up shots are better. Please bear in mind that we are maintaining an honorable event. Do not send photos with inappropriate dress, activities, logos, etc. We reserve the right to remove any photos that do not comply.


We invite all graduates to apply as a student speaker for the ceremony. Applications are available by clicking HERE. These applications must be completed & submitted no later than April 1st. The graduation committee will choose two student speakers. Parents, please encourage seniors to apply for this position of honor. Speeches should be about 5 minutes long.   Please note that the board will need to approve your speech ahead of the ceremony, so have it ready to submit to them by May 1st!


We need a graduate (or graduates) to sing during the ceremony and provide prelude music. Interested seniors should email the , with an audition video, by April 15th.


Every year MTHEA chooses one male and one female to be that year’s MTHEA OUTSTANDING SENIOR.  They will be awarded a $500 scholarship in a special recognition at our Graduation ceremony.  MTHEA’s Outstanding Seniors also are recognized by THEA at the THEA Rally Day, March 28, 2023.  The MTHEA OUTSTANDING SENIORS are voted anonymously by the MTHEA Board and are based on more than just academics.  We are looking for an individual that not only has good academics, but is involved in the community, has a broad extracurricular resume, and a good plan for the future. Applications need to be submitted NO LATER than February 15, 2022.  To apply, please fill out the online form.  

Thanks again for your time and attention to the many details of graduation. Congratulations graduates!

MTHEA Graduation 2023

Deadlines and Checklist

Please mark these dates on your calendar now!


By December 31st

_____Fill out Intent to Graduate form and submit to MTHEA with a $100 non-refundable deposit

By February 15th

_____Submit your OUTSTANDING SENIOR application (optional)

By March 1st

_____Pay the balance due per graduate, either online at or by mail (make checks payable to MTHEA. PO Box 11386, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

_____Contact umbrella school to determine graduation status

_____Confirm with umbrella school that you will be receiving diploma prior to graduation day

_____Order announcements, invitations, rings, honor chords, etc. (optional and done on an individual basis)

By March 15th

_____Two bios (one short, one long) UPLOAD TO DROPBOX   **see examples below

By April 1st

____Submit your STUDENT SPEAKER application (optional)

By April 15th

_____Submit two photos (young and senior) UPLOAD TO DROPBOX  

_____Musicians should email to apply (optional)

_____Decide on Formal Photos:

Formal Photos Option 1: schedule photos at the photographer’s studio in Murfreesboro (they’re contact info will be in the monthly emails from the event planner)

Formal Photos Option 2: Select a time for photos on graduation day (a link for

selecting a slot will be sent out in early May)

Early May

_____Steam gown and place on hanger; put name inside cap and gown

_____Make sure your umbrella school will be sending you the diploma

Biographical Sketch


LONG VERSION SAMPLES (posted in Jonathan’s Arrow and on the program)


Ally, the youngest daughter of Todd and Jill Anderson, is excited to have successfully completed her 13-year homeschool career. Ally has enjoyed spending her time working as an online ESL teacher for children in China, volunteering at an assisted living home, and performing in school musicals and dramas. Her favorite things are traveling, baking, dogs, candles, and Disney. Ally plans to pursue a degree in business management at Harding University in the fall. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:18-19


Billy enjoys exploring the city and meeting new people. As a homeschooler, Billy raised backyard chickens and started an egg-selling business. He was a youth soccer referee, and an active member of Williamson County 4-H, where he made many friends and developed a passion for public speaking. Billy used this passion to address concerns such as bullying, nutrition, healthy living and food insecurity during the Covid lockdown. In 2021 he was selected by Mayor John Cooper to serve on the Nashville Mayor's Youth Council where he worked directly with some Metro City Council members and the Mayor's Office on various interests and concerns of the city’s youth. Currently, he and his younger brother have a candy machine vending business. Billy loves spending time with his family and he plans to major in Public Policy at MTSU. "Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." - Mr. Rogers


Lydia Cranford thrives on creativity, spiritual insights, and close friendships. Born Oct. 31, 1998 in Bangor, Maine, she’s lived in Tennessee since 2004 and was home educated from the beginning. She’s been a dancer since age 5 and is presently an instructor with a vision of having her own dance studio. She’s been an ice skater, artist, stage performer, and presently enjoys photography, writing, and playing the ukulele. She’s active in the children’s ministry and outreach efforts of The Experience Church in Murfreesboro. She is the daughter of Joe and Beth Cranford of Murfreesboro and big sister to Josiah. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5


Devin Mims was born in Arlington, TX. He was the first child of David and JoAnne Mims. His dad’s job brought the family to Nashville, TN when Devin was only 16 months old. Devin quickly showed love and talent for the game of basketball. He is thankful to have played for the wonderful NCC Warriors for the last 6 years. His passion is spending time with family, eating, and watching sports. His future plans are to attend Columbia State Community College and then transfer to a 4-year university to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -I Corinthians 13:13

SHORT VERSION SAMPLES (Read as the graduate walks across the stage to receive their diploma.) 


Is looking forward to new adventures, Ally will study Business Management at Harding University this fall.


Lydia was homeschooled from the beginning. She’s presently a dance instructor with plans for her own studio. She enjoys photography and is active in ministries of The Experience Church.


Devin has been homeschooled for 11 years. His passion is basketball. He plans on attending Columbia State College and pursue a career in Physical Therapy.