Unprecedented end to the school year

FRANKLIN LIVING—After many accomplishments and much success, the Franklin County Schools were forced to shut down for the safety of employees, students and communities. The public health crisis created by the coronavirus caused an unprecedented end to the school year. The traditions that are characteristic of the school system, such as spring sports, prom and walking across the stage to receive a diploma, became events that had previously been taken for granted. These traditions of old were replaced by social distancing, virtual learning, educational packets, meal plans and, in many cases, anxiety.

The challenges that have been created by the pandemic shifted the focus of traditional education to the physical and emotional well-being of our students, support for parents, safety and the reinforcement of standards taught throughout the school year. These challenges were met with hard work and enthusiasm by the employees of the Franklin County Schools district. Words can never express the gratitude I have for administrators, teachers, CNP workers, bus drivers, nurses, maintenance, custodians, aides, resource officers, board members, EMA, first responders and volunteers.

There was no blueprint for how to handle the challenges created by COVID-19, but the employees of Franklin County Schools handled the situation with willingness to do what’s best for the kids, as they always do.

Senior Class of 2020,

Congratulations! You have reached a significant milestone in your lives. None of us envisioned that the last two months of your senior year would end like they did. There are many special events and traditions you missed as a result of this unprecedented health crisis. It saddens me to know you were not able to experience and enjoy them.

Please know the health crisis DID NOT minimize what you have accomplished over the past 12 years. It brings me great joy to realize your many accomplishments and the lasting impact you will have on your schools.

I wish you all the best in the next chapter of your lives. The word unprecedented will forever be linked to the year 2020. May the Franklin County Schools’ graduates of 2020 accomplish unprecedented achievements throughout the rest of your lives.

Greg Hamilton is superintendent of Franklin County Schools. He and his wife Jessica have four children: Taylor, Carolyna, Dakota and Ty.