Christian Academy of Knoxville is proud to announce that the Class of 2022 Valedictorian is Mr. Noah Oaks and the Salutatorian is Mr. Matthew Newton. Learn more about these outstanding students below:
Noah Oaks, Valedictorian
Mr. Noah Oaks is a well-rounded student who excels in not only academics but also in the arts. Noah is a National Merit Commended Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and has earned the French Award. He also has taken eight AP courses, a challenging number. Musically, Noah has been a member of the auditioned CAK high school musical theatre group as well as the Spirit of Praise Ensemble for three years. He was a member of the All-state choir his sophomore year, and he has won a number of ASCI leadership awards over the years.
Noah also gives back to his school in many ways. His senior Capstone project involved a chemistry magic show for CAK’s 5th graders. He also served as a teaching assistant to CAK’s Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Siard. Noah is on the Robotics team and in the Bowling Club.
“Noah has always seen the world through a unique lens that keeps him learning,” says his mother, Lindsay. “He sets lofty goals and achieves them with poise and ease. He has the kindest heart, exudes generosity, is always humble, and is a joy to be around. His transfer to CAK in 8th grade was one of the best decisions as he immediately flourished and fell more in love with science from all his great teachers. We are proud of the man he is becoming and know he will thrive in college!”
“As I reflect on my high school career,” says Noah, “I am grateful for the teachers at CAK. They are passionate about what they are teaching. They truly care and put in time and effort to ensure our success as students—not just getting by. Teachers such as Mrs. Siard, Mrs. Bleyl, and Dr. Moazen have instilled in me a desire for lifelong learning.”
After high school, Noah plans to major in chemical engineering and computer science. He has a number of options for his post-secondary education and is still narrowing down where he will attend. He is considering the Honors program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as well as Tennessee Technological University. He is also waiting to hear back from MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.
Matthew Newton, Salutatorian
Mr. Matthew Newton also excels academically and in a number of other extracurricular areas. Matthew was awarded the ACSI Leadership award and was selected to be a part of Youth Leadership Knoxville his junior year. He is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the National Honor Society, and the CS Lewis Society. He has served as treasurer of the National Honor Society for the last 2 years and assisted with the financial restructuring to online bookkeeping.
Matthew was awarded the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, the rank of Eagle Scout. He has served in many leadership positions during his scouting career including senior patrol leader, chaplain’s aide, and crew leader (both in the states and aboard a sailboat in the Florida Keys). Newton's Eagle project consisted of planning, designing, fundraising, and leading the construction of a Gaga Ball pit for Camp John Knox. CAK's 5th graders attend Camp John Knox's River Ridge program and now have an opportunity to enjoy Gaga Ball!
Athletically, Matthew has played lacrosse for 4 years as a defender, goalie, and midfielder. In 2021, CAK Lacrosse won Tennessee state runner-up. Newton has been a member and leader of CAK Robotics Club helping the team place 2nd, 6th, and 4th in regional competitions in the past 3 years.
Matthew has been involved with CAK's High School musical theatre for 4 years, having multiple supporting roles throughout each show. He was selected to be a member of the CAK Spirit of Praise Ensemble for the last three years. He has been named to the East Tennessee Vocal Association’s All-East Tennessee Choir twice and was invited to All-State. Matthew plays bass guitar and provides vocals for the Fellowship Church Student Worship team.
Matthew has a heart for service. He volunteers his time in helping lead the middle school robotics club, leading quarterly flag retirement ceremonies, helping with an annual Veteran Memorial 5K, and as a Middle School Bible Study leader. He has helped CAK middle school musical theatre in their past three productions. Newton was a part of the Montreal, Quebec mission trip in 2019, the music team for CAK's Montreal Mission trip in 2019 and 2020, and has been on the prayer team for four years.
For his senior capstone project, Matthew led and organized both the CAK Robotics club and the CAK bowling club.
“I am thankful for all of the opportunities and activities that I have been able to have,” says Matthew. “I have been exposed to so many things whether in the classroom, in clubs, in the arts, or on the sports field. CAK has instilled in me the academics to go through college and further education, strong leadership skills, Christian values, and how to defend my faith."
"Our family is thankful for the opportunities, strong faith-based community, solid academic instruction, and wonderful faculty at CAK. We are very proud of Matthew's strong drive and hard work. He has truly made the most of his high school experience" says his mother, Bethany Newton. "As this next chapter begins we are excited to continue watching how God uses Matthew's life for His glory."
After graduation, Matthew plans to major in biomedical or biomolecular engineering with a medical career in mind. He is considering UTK, Auburn, and Clemson and is also waiting to hear back from some prestigious schools like Duke, USC, and Vanderbilt in April.