David City Public Schools added 42 more names to the list of alumni on Saturday during the annual graduation ceremony.
Although many graduating classes have come before this year's seniors, David City High School Principal Cortney Couch said this class was special in many areas.
"I'm going to think about the unity that they've shown," he said. "The way they always pulled together as a class and supported each other. When things went well, they supported each other. When things didn't go well, they supported each other.
"On the rare occasions where they made mistakes, they kept moving forward. I think it's rare in all people and certainly also rare among high school students to show that kind of unity and maturity."
Before the ceremony recognizing the 2019 graduating class, the students were staged in a classroom and waited for the big moment.
Carter Ossian, who graduated magna cum laude and was involved in multiple school activities including cross country, track and field, one act, speech, NHS, FCA, quiz bowl, class office and student council, said the moment was a little surreal.
"It honestly hasn't even really hit me yet," he said. "We're all sitting here at graduation, it feels like everybody else is graduating, but not me. It feels like I'm still here."
Ossian said he is planning on going to Wayne State College, where he hopes to major in English education to hopefully come back and teach at the high school level.
"Definitely the people," he said of why he wants to teach high school. "Having the ability to make a difference in people's lives with what I've been able to do as a high schooler, I can only imagine what I would be able to do as a teacher."
Ossian also mentioned the senior's unity as a defining characteristic of the bunch.
"I think we've done a lot of growing this year," he said. "To quote something the principal said yesterday, 'What makes our classes different from those of (the past) is that when things get tough we come together and we help pick each other up ... We all have our own success, but when things get stressful and things get tight, we come together and we help each other."
Class president Will Danielson said prior to commencement that he is looking forward to the future.
"I think we're all just really excited to move on and go on to our different paths," he said. "High school has been a really great part of our lives, but we all know that there are bigger and better things out there."
Danielson is preparing to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he plans on studying Biological Systems engineering before moving on to medical school.
"I'm just going to remember all the memories I made through athletics and all the friendships throughout the years," Danielson said. "All these people have been a key part of my life and they always will be."
In what seemed to be a recurring theme, Danielson also noted how close the class was.
"We've seen a lot older classes that we're kind of separated," he said. "There are two ways you can take it. You can use hard times to come closer together and I think we've really done that, it's been a lot more fun that way."
Ashley Roemmich said it was every senior's desire to improve that made them close.
"I think as we grew older we just got more ambitious and got more drive for success," she said. "We're a pretty tight-knit (group). I would definitely say way more than other classes in the past. We come together when things get hard or when things need to get done."
Roemmich, who was involved in speech, One Act, band, quiz bowl, NHS and student council, said she will be attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she plans on studying either elementary education or communication disorders.
"It just kind of feels surreal," she said. "There has been a lot of buildup to this day the last four years and it doesn't feel like it's here."
The class of 42 is a little smaller than the average of 45, but has still set the mark high for underclassmen who will take the graduation stage in the future.
"They've set a pretty high bar quite honestly," Couch said. "They've achieved multiple championships from athletics to fine arts to music. They have excelled in every area in which we can excel.
"We have 15 students graduating with distinctions today, which means they're GPA is over 3.5. Academically they got it done. They've just been excellent in every area and I think they've set the bar high."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at email@example.com