Franklin-Simpson High School graduated the class of 2019 on Sunday, May 19, during the schools 75th commencement at Western Kentucky University.
The class of 2019 walked into E. A. Diddle Arena as the band played Howard Akers, "Pop and Circumstance." Once all 198 students were seated, senior, Emma Jones gave the invocation to begin the ceremony.
Senior Class President, Hunter Crafton, welcomed his peers and congratulated them on making it this far. After thanking family, friends and the staff of Simpson County Schools he urged the graduating class to use the skills and knowledge they learned at FSHS.
"Don't be afraid of moving forward, your future is bright," Crafton said. "As we graduate, and all move our separate ways, I want to thank you for the friendships and the memories. I wish each of you all the best."
Before Dr. Jim Flynn, superintendent of Simpson County Schools spoke, Tim Schlosser, principal of FSHS presented Flynn with a plaque as a thank you for his 16 years of service. This is the last year Flynn will participate in the graduating ceremony for Simpson County Schools.
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Flynn thanked the students for giving him purpose and passion everyday for 16 years. He encouraged the graduating class to not waste their time because life is short and not let someone's opinions get the way of their dreams.
Flynn ended his speech with a quote by John Wesley, "Do all the good you can by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all of the places you can, in all of the times you can, to all of the people you can, as long as you can."
The senior members of the FSHS choir sang, "That's What Friends Are For" by John Higgins as they held hands. The FSHS band, with their senior members, played "Remembrance" arranged by Larry Dachn and directed by senior James Robert Graves.
Stephanie Downey, assistant principle of FSHS announced the six senior scholars, Brianna Moyers, Laney Moyers, Collin Preston, Jenna Robertson, Andrea Scates and Lizzy Weems.
To be eligible for senior scholar status, students must have taken and passed at least six advanced placement courses, accumulated at least 90 points out of a possible 100 based on their ACT composite score and GPA. Students must also participate in co-curricular, extracurricular or community activities with a leadership position or exemplary achievement in at least one of them.
Jenna Roberts gave the first senior scholar address to the graduating class, taking her message back to elementary school with Dr. Seuss, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not," to remind the class of life lessons they learned young, but need to hear again as a senior heading into the world.
"Use the influence that you have to do something good every single day," Roberts said. "I challenge us to be the ones who care a whole awful lot, and make the world we live in a much better place."
Mark Dobbs, assistant principal of FSHS announced the eleven seniors who enlisted in the U.S. military. Curtis Bade, Jacob Clark, Grant Ferguson, Gabe Binion, Brandon Boyer, Dylan Philbrick and Terry Lee Scarbrough enlisted in the army, Katelyn Hollingsworth enlisted in the National Guard, Joshua Page enlisted in the marines and Bryce Ball and Destiny Lowhorn enlisted in the air force.
Shalee Mann, senior counselor, announced the 20 honor graduates of the class, which is the top 10 percent of the graduating class. She also announced the nine students who graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.9 and higher; seven students who are Magna Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.750 to 3.899, and the 36 students graduating Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.375 to 3.7499.
Flynn returned to the podium to announce the recipient of the Leon and Lassie Page Scholarship, worth $40,000 and covers tuition and books for four years of study in a business field at WKY, Maeli Johnson.
Flynn also announced the recipients of the Gilbertine Moore Memorial Scholarship, four scholarships were given to graduating seniors. Hanna Turner received a one time scholarship for $7,000, Destini Cook received a $3,500 scholarship renewable for two years totaling $7,000 and Brianna Moyers and Laney Moyers each received a $5,000 scholarship renewable for four years totaling $20,000 a piece.
Once he completed handing out the scholarships, Flynn announced the class of 2019 had won a total of just over $2.3 million in first and four year renewable scholarships.
Weems gave the last senior scholar speech also drawing inspiration from Dr. Seuss's, "Oh The Places You Will Go." She told the senior class that it is okay to not know what they want to do with their lives, but that they know they are in charge of their future.
"You have the power to create whatever future you want through your actions," Weems said. "Today, we are on the brink of our future; I guess you could call this the first day of the rest of our lives. Life can literally take you anywhere after today."
Emily Schmieder closed the ceremony with the benediction and Tre Bass led the throwing of the caps.