UHS Class of 2019 graduates

More than 360 Unionville High School seniors officially became high school graduates Thursday as the Class of 2019 — all 364 strong — got to turn their tassels and toss their caps in the air at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

High school Principal Jimmy Conley gave the opening speech, reminding the class of their first meeting when he was the new principal and they were the new ninth graders.

“On that June morning,” he said, “I challenged you, Class of 2019, to come together as a class and to build a community at Unionville High School. I spoke about the importance of a class leaving their respective stamp on the school, while at the same time making our school a better place because of the impact of your class.

“What seemed like lofty expectations for a group of eighth graders have come to fruition all these years later. Members of the Class of 2019, you have built a true community at Unionville High School, and you have left a positive and indelible mark on our High School Community.”

Mike and Ann Ashmore, of Chadds Ford, have an unobstructed view to watch their son Evan graduate.

How did the class do that, he asked rhetorically. There was no secret formula or magic spell, Conley said. He simply reviewed their four-year history together as a class: the proms, homecomings, talent shows and musicals.

“Having spent the last four years with you, there is no secret … It’s a pretty simple equation. Members of the Class of 2019, you have built a community, through your kindness and your friendship to one another and to other members of our school community,” he said.

Conley then had the class look ahead to the future and quoted the author Mitch Albom: “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

U-CF School Board Director Gregg Lindner walks off the stage with his son Ethan after he awarded the diploma to Ethan.

He then challenged the class: “[T]ake the experiences that you have faced over the last four years with your classmates and transform your college and university campuses; go to your workplaces and build positive communities if you are entering military service bring these attributes to your platoons or your battalions. Build communities through kindness and friendship wherever you go and show the world what you have learned from each other over the last four years. “

Superintendent of Schools John Sanville also asked the class to look to the past and to the future: “When you leave here today, diploma in hand, the rest of your life begins. All the plans you have made will commence. The long summer days will still be filled with sun and fun, thrills and spills, but also preparation – lots of preparation – to put you on the path to what is next.”

He told them to enjoy the planning but reminded them to not let time slip away, as it has a tendency to do. He reminded them that there are 168 hours in a week but told them to not let distractions erode those hours.

Quoting William Penn, he said, “‘Time is what we want most, but what we use worst’. And he was right. We have all gone down the rabbit hole online.”

He told them to use their tome to learn new things that would move them toward their goals and to listen to their inner voices. “Spend time nurturing your soul and your body so they keep you going.”

Sanville also took a moment on the 75th anniversary of D-Day to quote former President Dwight Eisenhower, who was the Supreme Allied Commander on D-Day: “We will accept nothing less than full victory.”

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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