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Here comes UCHS Class of 2019

By Vivian Risch, Contributor

Union County High School’s 95 senior students closed the chapter on their high school education and are ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives after receiving high school diplomas during the 47th Union County High School Commencement Exercises last Sunday, June 2.

Entering Millett Hall on the Campus of Miami University, the grand march of UCHS graduates in red caps and gowns were empty-handed but exited approximately 65 minutes later ready to take on the world with diplomas in hand.

“Graduation is one of the most important milestones in a person’s life,” Denton Shepler said. “This marks the spot where we embark on our dreams and change the world.”

Salutatorian Russ Hensley began thinking about the people in his life who have made a big impact by expressing “good,” and he found it in the morning crossing guard.

“The first person I want to thank is Mrs. Sharon Holt.

“Rain or shine, she never failed to greet me with a smile and a hug,” Russ said. “She was the light in my darkest days and the true definition of doing ‘good’ right where you are.”

In closing, the salutatorian focused on his peers.

“I see the future in all of you - future award-winning authors, future aerospace engineers for NASA, future marketing geniuses making funny commercials, future mechanics using their good to get people to work, future Ivy League doctors and military personnel helping to create a safe future for America,” he said.

Valedictorian Tyler Osborne reflected on his classmates’ greatness.

“We have been great in sports, we have about 10 percent of our class at 4.0 or higher. and we are a great group of intellectuals,” He said began. “However, it is not all us. I would like to thank all of our parents for their commitment and success in raising such a great group of kids.”

“College will be fun,” He continued. “We will go out and meet new people, see new places and follow our passions. Other people may ridicule you for your pursuits; they may say they’re too outlandish or too ambitious, but they aren’t the ones who will change the world. They aren’t the ones who will prevent climate change, find world peace, smother inequality, or cure the political scene of corruption. We are. We are the movers, the changers, the catalysts for the advancement of the world.”

Principal Connie Rosenberger offered her congratulations and thoughts to the Class of 2019.

“The Class of 2019 has shown responsibility, has accepted obligations and understands their duty as they move past their high school career,” Rosenberger said. “They will, no doubt, change the world.”

Rosenberger than asked the audience to stand, seniors to remain seated to recognize the graduates on their upcoming service to our country...

•Justin Miller - US Coast Guard.

•Brandon Olsen - US Coast Guard.

•Jeremy Dillhoff - US Army.

•Eric Moser - US Navy.

•Mitchel Moegerle - US Air Force.

•Logan Browning - US Marines.

•Autum Ricketts - US Marines.

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

Then it was Rosenberger who presented the Class of 2019 as eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony, Superintendent Christopher Winchell requested the roll be called for the presentation of diplomas by teachers Patrick Tafelski, Karla Barnhizer, Steven Dick, Ryan Brattain, Charlotte Hale and Shannon Hill.

In her farewell, Sarah Daggy said: “Know your worth, know yourself and know that you have something wonderful inside of you,” she said. “Whatever that may be, use it to bring a smile to the faces around you, and to embrace your true character. With this philosophy in mind, I have faith that all of us will lead lives of purpose, and accomplish far more than we ever imagined or even planned.”

Suddenly, all that remained was the turning of tassels and the long awaited final dismissal.

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

“It is staggering to believe we are graduating today and beginning our journey into the real world,” Denton Shepler said. “I believe it is safe to speak for the Class of 2019 and say, ‘Thank you’ to all who have pushed us over the past four years and thank you for coming today.”