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Class of 2018 members receive diplomas

By Vivian Risch, Staff Writer

One hundred thirteen area students turned to the next chapter of their lives after receiving high school diplomas during the 46th Union County High School Program last Saturday, June 2.

Entering Millett Hall on the Campus of Miami University the grand march of young adults entered empty-handed and exited approximately 90 minutes later with diploma in hand and a step closer to becoming the leaders of tomorrow.

“We, as a class, are resilient. We grew up surrounded by the fear of terrorism, school shootings and too many of us experienced personal loss, yet we continued and now we see the effects of our perseverance,” Jessica Robinson said. “It wasn’t smooth sailing, but we completed the challenge with added stress in an era of uncertainty. I am proud of our accomplishment today, and it is my honor to welcome our friends, families and teachers to the Union County High School Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony.”

After congratulating his peers, Valedictorian Levi Logue and looked into the future.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life, and the awesome part about this is you get to choose what you are going to do with the rest,” Logue said. “This may seem intimidating, but all you have to do is find what makes you happy. So reach for the stars and strive to be the best ‘you’ that you can be.”

Salutatorian Luke Haas reminisced about childhood dreams and their value in finding your place in the world.

“I wanted to become a NASCAR driver like Tony Stewart and race around the Brickyard at 200 miles per hour leaving nothing but the smell of burnt rubber in my quake,” Haas said. “But as I grew older, I lost my dream and moved on. I know everyone in here has that inner 7-year-old that just wants to go out and play in the rain. Because it’s never too late to achieve your goal.”

Principal Connie Rosenberger offered her congratulations and thoughts to the Class of 2018.

“This has been quite a year at UCHS. We began our year with grief and we end today with gratitude,” Rosenberger said. “In the end, it does not matter what you do or how much you make; it matters that you have a hand to hold as you continue your journey. This class has a special bond that is rare – they genuinely care about each other. I wish you all well and thank you for setting such a great example for the classes that follow yours.”

Two graduates, Derek Dearth and Zach Weston will enter the military, which Rosenberger and the entire audience acknowledged with a hearty round of applause.

“I appreciate the sacrifices you are about to make to ensure all of our freedoms,” Rosenberger said.

Then it was Rosenberger who presented the Class of 2018 as eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony, Superintendent Christopher Winchell requested that the roll be called for the presentation of diplomas by I-STAR Teachers Megan Meier, Chad Gutzwiller and Debbie Allbright.

In his farewell statement, Haas said,“I want you to look around at each other. See the faces that we have known for the past 13 years. Many of us are taking different routes in life, and it is entirely possible that a few of us may never see each other again. Not meaning to get all sappy, but I love you guys, and I’m going to miss you. So thank you to the Class of 2018 and congratulations. We made it.”

All that remained was the turning of tassels and the long awaited final dismissal from Rosenberger...“Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present you the Graduates of the Class of 2018.”

Then came the cheers and applause, tossing of hats and the processional.

“I know that the Class of 2018 at Union County High School will do big things,” Logue said.