"Learning to know yourself will take a lifetime." Those are just a few of the words retiring Superintendent Levi Wingard uttered to the Downingtown East graduating class last Thursday at commencement. "Don't let others make decisions for you," Wingard continued. "The recipe for success is inside you, you need to find your own mix."

As the class of 2006 sat and waited patiently to hear their names called and to finally walk the path across the stage to accept their diplomas, they received words of encouragement from numerous different sources.

Class valedictorian Katie Sokolowsky spoke of how each student had courage and grew throughout their four years at Downingtown, and finally each blossomed into who they really are.

Sokolowsky's speech was inspired by the E.E. Cummings quote, "It takes courage to grow and become who you really are."

Teacher of the year Thomas Stewart reminded them of their dreams when they were young, as well as his own aspirations of becoming a professional baseball player, which never did unfold, fortunately for the students of Downingtown.

"Graduates, you are an extra impressive group," School Board President Alice W. Johnson said. "The world needs changing and it will not change without your help."

In concluding his final address to the students of Downingtown East, Wingard warned the graduates not to wait too long to learn from a mistake, because some mistakes can become irreversible.

"I encourage you to pledge your commitment to the community that nurtured you," Wingard said. "You have been loved by many through your years at Downingtown."

Aside from receiving their diplomas, students were also honored with scholarships and awards from various community groups, including the D.A.E.A Scholarship award, the Downingtown Music Parents' Association Scholarship, the John Wensel Scholarship, the American Legion Scholarship, the Downingtown Woman; Club Scholarships, and the Alumni Association Scholarship.

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