BHS commencement speaker: ‘Find your niche’

A longtime city resident and retired business owner related the importance of finding a niche and a passion to the Bellefontaine High School Class of 2014 during commencement exercises Sunday at Dodd Stadium.


Nicholas Heydinger, left, Bellefontaine High School Class of 2014 class president and valedictorian, asks to take a “selfie” photograph with school officials and others on the stage following his class president speech. Also pictured are, from the left, Superintendent Beth Harman, commencement speaker D. Fred Burton and Board of Education President Joan Haushalter. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)

Featured speaker D. Fred Burton, a 1959 BHS graduate, told the graduates that finding their niche, or a specialty, helps a person to “be distinct” and stand out.  

He said his business, the former Family Pharmacy in Bellefontaine, had to differentiate itself to stay competitive with all of the other pharmacies located in the area.

“I had to find a niche when I had to compete with five other big box stores with pharmacies.”

For a niche to continue into a long-lasting endeavor, passion also has to be developed to make it a sustainable pursuit. Finding your passion is “something you have to work at, and you have to enjoy it,” the speaker said.

While students look to pursue their passions, whether that is in the work force, trade school, college or the military, Mr. Burton encouraged them to never stop learning no matter what field they choose.

Finally, the BHS alumnus explained a different way to look at success, which includes taking advantage of different setbacks that come about in life.

“Life isn’t about having any problems, but it’s about how you work through them,” he said.


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