Unionville High graduates 94th class

Members of the Unionville High School Class of 2017 celebrate graduation by throwing their hats in the air.

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

NEWARK, Del. — With some wistfulness, one less power outage than 2016, (but the same amount of selfies) Unionville High School graduated its 94th class Wednesday at the Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware.

Sporting new robes of navy blue — a better match for the school colors than the old royal blue robes used in recent years — the Class of 2017 enjoyed a drama-free and typically efficient graduation ceremony.

Unionville High School Principal James Conley shared a bit from his own life, detailing his challenge of raising a teenager (his oldest just turned 13) and reflecting a bit the value of “being that guy” or the sort of person who lives up to being their best self.

“Whatever platitudes you may hear over the next few months, no matter how old that you are, please know that it’s really hard to stand up and be ‘that person!’ ” Conley said. “But also know, that we have your back.”

Superintendent of Schools John Sanville suggested that graduates remember to focus on the small things, the details, the feelings that shaped their years in school.

“If I were to ask you to tell me what you liked best – you would tell me about the moments, conversations, observations, revelations, discoveries- all the little things that made your time in UCF SO special,” Sanville said. “There would be hundreds- maybe thousands- of stories that you would connect to your sitting here today. And I would not be surprised-because it is the little things that add up to big things for all of us.”

UHS principal James Conley and Unionville-Chadds Ford Superintendent of Schools John Sanville share a selfie during Wednesday’s ceremony.

Conley and Sanville — noting the lack of a power outage (a brief power blink briefly interrupted the 2016 ceremony, prompting Conley to improvise a “selfie” photo of him, Sanville and that class) — took a “selfie” for the second straight year with the Class of 2017, firmly establishing that as a new tradition.

UHS Senior Dina Spyropoulos speaks to her classmates.

Senior Dina Spyropoulos reminded her classmates that it is important to do things not just because other expect you to do them, but to find the things that matter to them and pursue them.

Senior Jessica Homitz read a poem written especially for the graduation: “Those Very Distant Stars.”

Go shake the universe and its old atoms.

Because after all is said and done, we too are made of these ancient elements but packaged in marrow, sinew and beating hearts.

Utilize the ideas in your brains and the stardust in your veins.

UHS Educator of The year Andrew Dippel spoke of his own development — and lack thereof at times — in a humorous speech about inclusion and making sure that others are not frozen out.

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