The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

There's More To An Education

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

1 June 2005

Thirty seven Union seniors graduates closed the final chapter of Union High School commencements Friday, May 21st with a traditional ceremony in the school gymnasium along Highway 34.

Teachers were obviously as emotional as the graduates as they stood ready to file in after the seniors to their final days at UHS as well.

The traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" struck a cord with teachers, graduates and audience as tears brought out their emotional side.

It was a reminder not only of the sweat, toil, and tears that goes into education process of each child, but also of the friendships gained, the fun and laughter enjoyed, and the celebrations and accomplishments made under the supervision of the Union School Board and staff.

Superintendent Dean Irlbeck took somewhat longer than usual to talk to the seniors and those gathered at Union's last graduation.

He took a moment to remember those serving over seas. Then he asked graduates to: "Look at this time as going forward and to forgive," he said. "It's your last opportunity here to make a good impression." He told them to respect themselves and others, and to express their appreciation for what so many have done.

"Maybe graduation is where parents and grandparents should get the diplomas.

Doug Sams, President of the Union School Board said it has been a pleasure to serve UHS.

When we teach students what it takes to become an adult, sometimes we use the wrong measuring stick.

We put more emphasis on competiveness, athleletic ability, and academic achievement, and tie it into the size of our job, paycheck and worldly status.

What Sams suggests is putting more into our relationships and finding a cause beyond oneself.

"What kind of son or daughter, brother, or sister, teammate are you?" and as an adult, "What kind of husband, wife, father, mother, citizen or neighbor are you?"

"How do you foster relationships?" Sams says they can't be built on, "What have you done for me?" but on "What can I do for you?"

A second thing, Sams said, is that we each should have a cause that is bigger than ourself.

Look at how many people it takes to run a community, the volunteers ...then make this a better place because of you.

Sams says all your actions should have "pure motives" and you should want what is best for the cause and not personal interest.

Sams told graduates that at the death of his close friend, no one spoke of his successes but spoke of his integrity, his kindness, and of his relationships.

Graduations are a good time for all of us to evaluate our actions and where we are going, as well as celebrate our accomplishments.

Thank you all for reminding us to look over where we are headed and to tweak those areas that have gotten us off course.