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Franklin High School Class Of 2019 Given Hot Sendoff

One of the more than 500 members of the Franklin High School Class of 2019 who graduated June 28.

The more than 530 members of Franklin High School’s Class of 2019 were urged by their classmates and others to stay positive, think big and help others at their June 28 graduation.

It was a sweltering day, but the graduates held up under their dress clothes and caps and gowns to cheer their speakers, the FHS Concert Choir and the FHS Band during the ceremony.

Class of 2019 co-president Jerijah McCray told his fellow graduates that the adversities they encountered during their high school careers could have been setting them up for something good.

“Over the last four years, many of us have encountered mountain highs and valley lows,” he said. “Over the last four years, many of us have lost loved ones, lost close relationships, failed classes, ran into some trouble, even hit rock bottom. But I’m here to testify to you that your setbacks were setting you up for your comebacks. The very thing that you thought was going to take you out was just building you up.”

“Looking back on it now, the valley lows made the mountain highs so much sweeter,” he said. “Looking back at it now, the sleepless nights, the tears, the growing pains, just might have been worth it because it’s brought us this far.”

“See, these past four years were more than just a classroom experience, but for many of us they have built our characters, shaped our mindsets, sparked an interest in civic engagement, curated a passion for community service, exposed us to culture, ethics and taught us about the world around us,” McCray said.

Class co-president Sarah Vickerie said the class is “not only diverse in ethnic composition, but in the various talents in each of my fellow graduates.”

“You are having the first preview of future doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, dancers, musicians, senators and maybe even the future President of the United States,” she said.

“The word warrior for the most part is defined as somebody who is involved in warfare or conflict,” she said. “But at Franklin, we live the Warrior experience by engaging and challenging ourselves to overcome and win. As I look into the audience and I see the beautiful faces of this graduating class, I encourage you all to continue your great and passionate pursuit of your various career paths.”

Salutatorian Adityah Shah predicted that the Class of 2019 would go on to great things and remember their time at FHS fondly.

“As we all move on to greater things, like becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers or athletes, we will always have our roots in Franklin,” Shah said. “After each of us has achieved what we strived for, we will look back and remember the friendships we formed.”

“Class of 2019, thank you for giving me an education,” Shah said. “Thank you for giving me lifelong memories filled with endless laughter, but most importantly, thank you for giving me the friends that eventually became family.”

Valedictorian Jahnavi Bavuluri told her classmates that they should never stop trying to improve themselves.

” Today after four years, we can finally step back and look at ourselves, the best version thus far,” she said. “There is still work to be done, we are never done improving ourselves. We must continue to work hard and have confidence. Hold your head high and walk with pride.”

Bavuluri gave an emotional tribute to her late father, who died last year of a heart attack.

“He made me who I am today and is the reason I am standing here,” she said. “Even if he’s not here today in person, I know he’s watching and giving me all the strength and support that I need. Dad, this is for you.”

FHS principal Frank Chmiel told teh graduates that they must stay positive to achieve their goals.

“Whenever you’re tired today, or any day, or frustrated, think about something you’re grateful for,” he said. “Hold on to that in your mind, your attitude will stay positive, things will get better and sooner or later, things will go your way.”

“Your learning does not stop after graduation, keep building your intellect,” Chmiel said. “Read more books and articles, have deep discussions, solve problems, keep your mind sharp. Keep that mind growing. Not only will you feel happier, but you will value learning more and more an realize your true intellectual abilities.”

“If you live a life constantly filled with gratitude, if you keep building your intellect, if you value what’s around you and if you practice this every day, you will go forth Warriors and give everything that you were meant to give to your family friends and community, and you will make this world a better place to live,” he said. “Claim it Warriors, it’s yours.”

Schools Superintendent John Ravally told the grads that there would be no limit to what they can do with the right attitude.

“Judging by the success of this class, your abilities are endless,” Ravally said, noting the class members’ success in sports, academics and extra-curricular club activities.

“Thanks to the support of many, such as your family, your friends, your teachers and your administrators, you were given plenty of opportunities this year to prove those abilities,” Ravally said. “As you leave Franklin High School behind, you will need to focus on motivation and attitude. When it comes to success, these two words are dependent on each other.”

“As you walk off this field, I encourage you to motivate forward, taking on new challenges as you work through these challenges, keep your attitude positive,” he said. “If you do, there is no limit to your ability to make our world a better place.”

Board of Education president Nancy LaCorte told teh graduatse that they should savor the moment.

“When you come across this stage and shake our hands, you come across so fast you don’t take in the moment,” she said. “This is a pretty great moment in your life, you’re graduating high school. Take it in, enjoy it and when you go out into the world, be that community member that looks out for the kids like the people who looked out for you so that you can be the best Warrior that you can be.”

Here is an expanded photo gallery of the day:

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