The past two years have been anything but ordinary for students.

Facing a global pandemic, students, educators and administrators have all had to make adjustments, adapt and overcome to progress through the school year.

Fortunately, the Franklin County High School Class of 2021 was able to participate in a traditional commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 6. Due to potential inclement weather, the ceremony was held in the FCHS gymnasium.

Graduates did their traditional lap around the top of the gym to members of the FCHS band playing “Pomp and Circumstance.” Select chorus members then performed the “National Anthem.”

Senior class president Brady Murray began the speeches. All of the speeches contained the theme of having to overcome adversity. Murray said everyone present had encountered and conquered adversity, something they will have to continue to do as they make their individual journeys through life.

Ashley Meyer followed with the Salutatorian's address. Meyer will be attending Stanford University in the fall.

“Graduation is more than just a celebration,” said Meyer. “It is the culmination of several major, pivotal moments within our lives.”

Meyer stressed the importance on continuing to ask “Why?” and keep learning as the graduates begin their next chapter of life.

Josephine Selm concluded the speech portion of the ceremony with the Valedictorian's address. Selm is the daughter of David and Jennifer Selm. Selm will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall with the intent to major in chemistry on a pre-med track. She also hopes to pursue a supplemental major in Spanish.

Selm began her speech by thanking everyone who made it possible to be get where they are today. She then introduced the simile of life being like walking up a flight of stairs.

“We all have goals and in order to reach them we must take steps to do so,” said Selm.

She said this requires hard work, perseverance, and sometimes they will be stumble but they must continue on. Selm addressed the pandemic and all the adjustments they had to overcome to get where they are today and the importance of embracing those setbacks.

In an interview following graduation, Selm said she was involved in a lot of activities in high school, but the main ones were cross country, Future Business Leaders of America, Lifesmarts, Key Club, 4-H, Spanish Club, MCATZ and the National Honor Society.

Selm said she was relieved when she found out she had been selected as valedictorian as it was something she had been working on since her freshman year.

“I had been in the top three of the class my entire high school career, so it was nerve-wracking to see how everything would pan out,” said Selm.

Her favorite memories from her time at FCHS include competing at semi-state with the girls cross-country team her freshman year and traveling to San Diego and Orlando to compete in the lifesmarts national competition.

Selm's advice for incoming seniors was to get involved.

“It's your last chance to truly participate, so make it count no matter what you are in,” said Selm.

Following the speeches, Sara Shaver, college and career readiness coordinator, introduced the students who received cord recognitions.

Academic top 10 percent: Meredith Bundy, Garrett Darwish, Kalene Dean, Laura Edwards, Gracie Graf, Karenza Gray, Karley Ison, Rebecca Johnson, Adam Kelly, Hannah Melugin, Ashley Meyer, Trent Meyer, Brianna Meyers, Olivia Monroe, Bailey Parkhurst, Makyah Richardson, Lonnie Schwartz, Josephine Selm and Kimbriana Settles.

MCAT Members: Camryn Brewer, Kyla Clark, Garrett Darwish, Kalene Dean, Joesphine Durbec, Raeann Ertel, Wade Estes, Mason Flannery, Mary George, Gracie Graf, Chloe Hoffman, Olivia Heid, Audrey Herrmann, Karley Ison, Rebecca Johnson, Meredith Jordan, Lauren Kelley, Madisyn Kerr, Abigail Kidd, Elisa Klei, Cameron Kraus, Audrey Laughlin, Hannah Melugin, McKenna Metze, Trent Meyer, Brianna Meyers, Olivia Monroe, Brady Murray, Bailey Parkhurst, Sara Pyfrin, Makyah Richardson, Lonnie Schwartz, Joesphine Selm, Kimbriana Settles, Cameron Smith and William Wade.

JAG Students: Brett Anderson, Jackson Brumback, Kenny Bruns, Haley Carr, Gracey Cox, Abigail Devoll, Alivia Fields, Cameron Finch, Seth Friend, Kenneth Glardon, Madison Gregory, Zoey Gruber, Jessica Halcomb, Brianna Hecker, Gary Hettrich, Madison Jones, Kaylee Miller, Mary Minniti, Brittney Moulton, Lillian Oakley, Bailey Parkhurst, Molly Smith, Dorian Switzer, Michael Trimpe, Rebecca Weaver, Shytana Whitfield.

Early college: Brady Brandenburg, Jackson Brumback, Gracey Cox, Olivia Engram, Kenneth Glardon, Kathryn Harrelson, Brianna Hecker, Christian Hollon, Isaiah Houston, Ashley Mauntel, Alexis Pennington and Christopher Tilyou.

Two times blood donors/blood drive coordinators:
Kloe Bolos, Olivia Engram, Raeann Ertel, Mason Flannery, Kaylee Miller, Cayla Moore, Robert Parsons, Kiya Rains, Josephine Selm and Brenda Wilson.

Following the presentation of the class and diplomas, the graduates exited the gym to “Fanfare and Recessional.” Congratulations Class of 2021!