UNION TWP. — Daniel Boone Area High School awarded diplomas to 281 graduates at its 63rd Annual Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 7, held at the high school’s athletic stadium.

Principal Preston N. McKnight congratulated the Class of 2019 for being the first to graduate with a Capstone Project — a “multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students,” the third year for being an AP (advanced placement) Honor Roll school, and for being one of the best high schools in the U.S.

“You looked adversity in the eye and stared it down,” said McKnight during opening remarks, recognizing personal and class struggles, including the tragic loss of some students.

Superintendent Brett A. Cooper, encouraged graduates to embrace the graduation experience: “This evening begins your land of opportunity.”

He challenged them to be the optimist in their lives, and to “be that person who makes a difference.”

“Your course in life is not set in stone,” said Valedictorian Matthew Pyle

“There are a thousand different ways to define success, and your definition of success is the only one that matters.”

Pyle also quoted his hero, Ferris Bueller, from the movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” during his light-hearted speech to his fellow graduates: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

“Now is the time to try something new — something daring,” said Pyle, before wishing “farewell to the Class of 2019.”

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