Photo Gallery: Historic FHS Class Of 2016 Graduation

2016 FHS Graduation - 93

Members of the FHS Class of 2016 cheer on their classmates at the June 23 graduation.

For the first time in its 11-year history, the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” wafted through the air at Franklin High School on June 23, accompanying more than 500 graduating seniors.

Under cloudy skies that initially threatened rain, but later opened up to a beautiful summer morning, the 527-member strong Class of 2016 listened to speeches, strained to see their family members and cheered their classmates as they received their diplomas on a stage in the FHS football stadium.

This was the first time in 25 years that graduation was held at FHS, and the first time in the current building.

While all speakers received applause, probably the biggest response was reserved for Valedictorian Kevin Hsu Qian, who, after asking his classmates if they would “fight for a new world,” exhorted them – to a standing ovation – to “make it happen.”

“We must be thankful that we are here,” he said. “We must be proud that we have achieved so much.”

“You and me, 527 strong, are all the greatest,” he said.

Noting the different cultures of FHS students, Salutatorian Priti S. Kantesaria told her classmates that “we are the physical and intellectual embodiment of diversity,” without which, she said, “we would lack the ability to converse with those who are different than us.”

“Being a member of the Franklin ‘fam’ gives us an advantage,” she said. “It gives us a greater understanding of the world around us.”

“We have a long road ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see how you all succeed in the future,” she said.

Student government co-president Inna Kapoor told the students that they are “all united by the distinct worldview that we all possess.” Franklin’s size and diversity creates an environment where students “not only exist, but thrive,” she said.

Kenia Reyes, the other student government co-president, congratulated her classmates for making “it through this long and winding routine.”

Life, she said, “is going to get harder, we will continue to face challenges along the way, but we must endure.”

Jay Shah, co-president of the Class of 2016, said he will remember his years at FHS through “all of the friendships I’ve made over the years.”

“We are all participants in each others’ lives,” Shah said.

“We all move on to the future, but the future will only get brighter,” he said.

Davon Johnson, the Class of 2016’s other co-president, said graduation “marks the end of an era. Here we are today, to conclude a journey that sometimes seemed impossible, but we are here to prove it was possible.”

“Let us take the world by storm,” he said. “Let us always be Warriors.”

Johnson and Shah then presented interim principal Thomas DiGanci – who will be leaving at the end of June – with a signed picture of the class.

DiGanci told the students that “to witness the accomplishments over the last two years and to cheer you on over the past two years has been a truly joyful experience.”

“No matter what in life awaits you, we will not forget all you have accomplished to get to this place in time,” he said.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally told the class that 75 percent of them are going on to 80 different colleges and universities, and that they received about $1 million in scholarships.

Following are some scenes from the day.

2016 FHS Graduation



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