Union County High School graduated 104 students at the Forty-Ninth Union County High School Commencement Exercise on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Accompanied by the UCHS Band, the UCHS graduates made their entrance in blue caps and gowns to the center of the football field for all to see.

“Class of 2021, you are emerging from a world unlike any we have experienced in our lifetime,” Principal Connie Rosenberger began her message to the graduates. “Your class is emerging as one with stronger will, with stronger vision and with stronger bonds. Like a butterfly emerging as a beautiful insect, you are all emerging from the darkness of a pandemic as beautiful, driven individuals. As you take flight, remember who is most important in your lives and take some moments to share your feelings with them. These moments could be the most important moments in your life.”

Speaker after speaker offered special thanks to those who have assisted them throughout their school careers.

Mixing in a little humor in his recognition of those who assisted in many ways, Salutatorian Braydon Reiboldt offered this...“I extend my thank you to those who have aided in each of our journeys; parents and caretakers who have transformed us from stumbling toddlers to teenagers screaming like toddlers, teachers who incited the very same screaming with tests and homework, administrators and faculty for facilitating this learning environment and allowing me to speak today, to everyone who had to clean up our meager senior prank attempts – thank you and sorry – and to the cicadas who waited their whole lives just to celebrate this milestone with us. All jokes aside, it takes a village to raise a child, and this tight-knit community is that village.”

Valedictorian Mahlon Page remembered how time and effort changes things.

“If you had asked me how I felt about UCHS last year, I would have told you I was ready to leave. School felt tedious, sports were tiring, and I was as addicted to TikTok as the rest of you,” Mahlon began. “But now, I couldn’t feel any different. My last track season was a blast and when Mrs. Barnhizer told us not to count down the days of school left, I actually agreed. Now, it’s all over and that’s surprisingly a disappointment. I’ll miss watching CNN10 together. I’ll miss doing homework the night before it’s due together. I’ll miss our casual conversations together and I’ll miss our sports together. But, most importantly I’ll miss all of you.”

Rosenberger then asked the audience to stand, seniors to remain seated, to recognize the graduates on their upcoming service to our country...
•Colton Brown - US Air Force.
•Matthew Hampton - US Army.
•Kendal Katzler - US Army.
•Garrett Townsend - US Marines.

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

She also offered congratulations to many seniors for their efforts including...

•Madison Gray, Derek Grissom and Cameron Woods for providing an uplifting Baccalaureate program.
•Art Students for all the beautiful art work that has adorned the hallways.
•Academic Competitors for all their hard work.
•Band and Choir Students for the performances throughout the year.
•Ryan Lay for getting into Erskine Green Training Institute with a full-ride scholarship.
•Patriot Post Seniors - Jaden Bias and Mason Hornung, Alex VanWinkle, Halie Scott, Chloe Dale, Emily Harrison, Emma Witter, Hayley Kottka, Sarah Johnson, Ryleigh Hollen.
•Voice of Union County High School - Jaden Bias and Reece Watterson for clearly communicating announcements at the beginning and end of the school day.
•Volunteerism - The Class of 2021, with its 104 graduates earned at least 4,160 hours. Kalin Baumbauer, Vanessa West and Cameron Woods have contributed well over the required hours (over 200) and have embraced volunteerism.

“As you can see, this is certainly an extraordinary group of young adults. Rest assured that you have all made your mark on UCHS. I wish you all much continued success as you look forward to a future filled with many challenges and opportunities for success,” Rosenberger said. “Mr. Borowiak, I proudly present to you the graduating Class of 2021 and certify their eligibility to participate in this afternoon’s ceremony.”

Superintendent Aron Borowiak accepted the Class of 2021 and requested the roll be called for the presentation of diplomas.

“Well fellow graduates, we have made it. Throughout all of the procrastinated assignments and images of Mrs. Rosenberger, we have made it,” Reiboldt said. “I want to congratulate you all on this incredible milestone and thank you for the memorable four years that will forever impact my life. But as you create your path in the world, always remember to not procrastinate in the important things in life.”

Suddenly, all that remained was the turning of tassels and the long awaited final dismissal. Turning tassel leaders, Matthew Hampton, Mason Tipton and Mahlon Page rushed to the stage and on cue, tassels were turned.
Then came the cheers and applause, the tossing of hats and the processional.

“We come here today as a send off to the next step in our lives,” Grissom said. “As we go into our future careers, set our new goals, and live out our lives, I want each of you to focus on building relationships. After all, relationships are the catalysts of building leaders, entrepreneurs and even learning little life lessons. Life is short, so spend time with the people who make life feel like life should last forever.”