Five hundred and three graduates walked across the Franklin County High School stage to collect their diplomas Saturday May 25 with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.”
More than half the class graduated with recognition as there were 67 distinguished honor graduates and 231 honor graduates. Law Building Administrator Allyson Lynch said counselors will not have the final numbers on plans for students — college, workforce and military—until this summer.
Franklin County High School students were awarded more than $7 million in scholarship monies this year. High school principal Jon Crutchfield said the funds were almost all academic scholarships and it is the largest amount he can recall in the school’s history.
“The largest amount I can recall is $5 million and we have hit that a couple of times, but this is the largest amount of scholarship awards in my memory,” Crutchfield said.
He added the student government for the class of 2019 set high standards for the upcoming classes and he believes the rising senior class will be driven to continue that pattern.
Carly Smith delivered the distinguished honor graduate address and former English teacher Raymond Williams delivered the graduation address during Saturday’s ceremony.
Senior Class President Chloe Newbill said each member of the graduating class wanted to create change this year. As a result, she said the class experiences new things such as a three-day senior class trip to Disney World.
“Because of our passion to create change we were able to have prom at the Hotel Roanoke and yearbook quotes are back,” Newbill said. “There was a really big push from class sponsors from the junior and senior class, and we had Mr. Crutchfield on board, which helped get administrators on board.”
Crutchfield echoed Newbill by saying this year’s graduating class was a “unique group from the start” and he will remember the class of 2019 for their responsibility.
“It was the ownership that they took,” Crutchfield said. “They were a very driven group as a whole and they had an idea of what they wanted their years to look like, specifically their senior years.”
Newbill said she believes all 503 students are going to “go out and do big things” and she is happy with the example the class of 2019 set for other classes.
Class treasurer Hallie Wray agreed with Newbill that the graduating class’s determination to make the school a better place was fruitful and the class of 2019 will be remembers for motivating future classes to make school a positive experience.
“Student council went beyond expectations to get more privileges such as the senior class picnic,” Wray said.
As Wray is Virginia Tech bound to study biology, she said it is the Franklin County environment she will miss the most.
“It’s just a warm place to be and everyone is there to help you,” Wray said. “It is a really good place to grow up. I will always be thankful for what Franklin County has given us.”
Newbill said being a leader is what she will miss the most, as she heads to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study Chemistry.
“It’s been an honor to have this position and incorporate ideas to help improve the school.”
Senior class secretary Emma Barber said she will miss her lacrosse teammates and just going to school and greeting her classmates.
“Our class is so diverse, you could meet new people every day if you wanted to,” Barber said.
She added she hopes her class will be remembered for being respectful and dependable as a class.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please be sure to see our full Class of 2019 section in the upcoming June 5 edition of The Franklin News Post.