Daniel Boone Area High School's Class of 2012 looked back upon their last four years of high school while the faculty sent them off with some final life lessons as the senior class officially closed one chapter of their lives and prepared to embark on another.
Prideful, joyous onlookers had packed both sides of the Brazinsky Field bleachers and lined the fences and grassy hills as the sun set on Friday, June 8, to join in with the celebration of Daniel Boone Area High School's 56th Commencement Ceremony. Class Valedictorian Hunter Foster, Salutatorian Jacob Reck, and Third Honors recipient Austin Herring where the speakers representing the 270 students of the graduating class, while Daniel Boone Area School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Otto, and the district's President of the Board of Education Andrew Basile spoke to the graduates on behalf of the faculty.
'Your life is about to move forward,' Otto told the seniors. 'You will have winning streaks and you will for sure have some losing streaks as well. That is just the way life is, but remember no matter what ever may get in your way, remember that it truly is how you finish that will measure your success in life. Just keep the faith, cultivate your dreams, and go forward knowing one day all of your efforts may lead to a life worth living.'
Basile followed by giving the graduates a word of caution, 'A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for. Navigating the waters of life is difficult, because life is not fair, it's hard. It's full of unexpected hazards and storms. Don't sail into this world with the expectation that you are entitled.'
So Basile asked, 'How does one steer a course through this life of uncharted waters? As you leave the safe harbor of Daniel Boone behind you, and you navigate the waters of your life, always have a positive attitude, no matter what happens. Ask yourself, 'What would you do if you weren't afraid?'. Then summon the courage to act and take with you the tenacity to see it through.'
Third Honors graduate Herring likened his classmates to another family, from inseparable siblings to nurturing parents to distant cousins. No matter how alike or different, they were all linked by common experiences throughout high school.
'The good, the bad, the weird,' Herring described the experiences. 'In no time at all we'll be meeting our in-laws, whether it be at college, place of employment, or somewhere else. For the time being though, let us remember the last few moments we have with our brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents, Class of 2012 family.'
Salutatorian Reck cited Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a psychological theory of human motivation, and his interpretation of the pinnacle of the hierarchy, 'Self-actualization'.
'Self-actualization is living your life to the highest possible tier of its potential. It would be that feeling I would get if I become a successful engineer,' Reck said. 'We will all be able to reflect and think to ourselves we are happy and successful and we would not change a thing about our lives. Class of 2012, I am saying this to you because I know that every single person seated before me can achieve this elusive goal.'
'Just remember that the great teachings of Pokemon say, 'you gotta catch 'em all',' he added.
Valedictorian Foster offered his own thanks to those that helped along the way and provided some encouraging words to his classmates.
'To my peers in the Class of 2012, I say go forth and face the challenges that will come. Do not retreat when the road is rough. Rather, live up to our legacy as Daniel Boone Blazers, and blaze a trail through the challenges and hardships we will face as adults,' he said.
After the speakers and each of the graduates had walked across the stage and received their diplomas, the ceremonial hat toss served as a symbolic victory lap. The graduates circled the Brazinsky Field track with ear-to-ear grins offering each other congratulations, some with arms raised playing to the crowd, and even some beach balls were strewn about as the class song, OneRepublic's 'Good Life,' played over the loudspeakers before they all formed a complete circle and simultaneously flung their graduation caps into the sky.