Daniel Boone Area High School’s 261 graduates received their diploma at Commencement in the school stadium on June 4.
Of the graduates, Madison Albright was Boone's first student to graduate high school while simultaneously earning her associate’s degree through Reading Area Community College's dual enrollment program. She graduated from RACC last month. The program was started at Boone her sophomore year. It is a four-year program that she completed in three years by taking extra courses and summer courses at RACC.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity that has been afforded to me because of the partnership between RACC and Alvernia. I am looking forward to furthering my education in criminal justice and forensic science,” said Albright.
Additionally, Christopher Giuliano is competing in time trials for the United States Olympic swim team in Omaha, Nebraska, and was unable to attend graduation.
“I am super excited and proud to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Notre Dame!” wrote Giuliano on his page. “Notre Dame is the best place to excel at both. A huge thank you to my family, friends, and all of my coaches who have helped me along the way. I can’t wait to get to work with Coach Litzinger, the rest of the staff, and my future teammates.”
Welcoming everyone to commencement, Senior Class Secretary Hannah Cassner said she hopes her fellow graduates remember their days as a Daniel Boone Blazer with pride, dignity and resilience.
“This last year turned into something very unexpected and out of any of our control. With this year came great obstacles but also great learning experiences. Our community and school district came together and made what was supposed to be an impossible year possible. For that we are so very grateful,” said Cassner. “This is the end of an era but the beginning of a new one. We have just entered a new chapter in our lives, one that is filled with many opportunities and future successes.”
Senior Class Treasurer Megan Burns said graduation marks an event they will all remember forever.
“We are all moving on from all we have ever known. Even though our senior year was far from what most of us ever expected it to be, getting through the pandemic allowed us to discover the true meaning of resilience and we are stronger because of it. We learned that we can get through anything life throws at us and make the most of what we have,” she said.
April Browne, who achieved Third Honors and a self-described perfectionist, said she learned to give herself grace, especially over this past year.
“No one is perfect and we all have our battles but it’s the way we get back on our feet and turn it around that really counts. At the end of the day, failure is what shapes us into the young men and women we are meant to be.”
Browne advised that big changes can be discouraging so instead set small goals and achieve them every day.
“We have to realize we are not born great. Greatness is achieved from the desire to do extraordinary things, to reach beyond your status quo and relentlessly chase your dreams. It all starts with small victories compiled over time until you reach your ultimate goal… Each step every day will bring us closer to our goals.”
With diplomas in hand, Salutatorian Mia Bishop said today is the beginning.
“Thinking about how life is about life is about change, it’s pretty intimating but even more exciting. Instead of feeling sad that a chapter in your life is ending, we should all cherish the memories we have made here and take them with us as we continue to grow and mature.”
Losing a lot of their junior and senior year due to COVID was not anything they could have expected, Bishop.
“It was definitely challenging but we all got through it together and are able to celebrate that greatness today,” said Bishop. “All of the things we’ve been through up to this point in our lives made us who we are. It is how we handle life’s experiences that matter and we most certainly persevered. No matter where we all plan to take our futures, there is no doubt that we will greatly impact society.”
Valedictorian Erin Goudie encouraged the Class of 2021 to take advantage of the world of opportunity contained in the question of what’s next.
“Pause that constant barrage of outside opinion. After all, your future is yours. You can do whatever you wish with it. So, do what you love. Do what will benefit you and do what will benefit others. Make a decision and then work to make that decision the right decision by filling each moment with joy and potentially coloring in bright jigsaw pieces,” said Goudie. “Regardless of the path you choose, seek a life of honorable actions.”
Their time at Daniel Boone will never be forgotten.
“May the Class of 2021 go down in history not for our achievements or even perseverance through COVID but because of our commitment to pursuit of personal growth for the sake of a better future,” she said. “What we did here matters because it all built to this incredible moment of our graduation.”
Goudie believes it is redundant to harp on the hardships they faced this past year, not only because she prefers the bright side but also because those difficulties never even came close to holding them back.
“We are strong and determined. I can’t wait to see the amazing things we do with the open future before us.”