SOMERSET, NJ - Graduation time for the Class of 2020 seemed unlikely months ago, but Franklin High School seniors celebrated the first day of a three-day in-person graduation ceremony event.

Because of Gov. Phil Murphy's COVID-19-related restrictions on crowd size, the high school had to split the 2020 graduating class into six separate ceremonies to maintain social distancing. The two ceremonies earlier today were held, at Warrior Stadium. 

Students and a maximum of four guests were escorted onto the field and seated together, but socially distant from their classmates. The small size made for a more intimate ceremony, with the graduates facing their guests. 

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This group of seniors had a senior year like no other graduating class. There was no prom, project graduation, spring concerts, senior trip, yearbook signing dinner, or spring sports season.

“You have taken this all remarkably well," FHS Principal Frank Chmiel told the graduates. "While you are very disappointed, you also realize the seriousness of the disease plaguing our world even down to our community, and your maturity in dealing with this situation makes us proud. You chose not to focus on the negative aspects of the quarantine but kept working.”

As a sign of the times in addition to in-person graduation, the school had virtual graduation and a virtual awards ceremony for student-athletes

Chmiel's speech focused on the senior class's academic, sports, and arts accomplishments, as well as their dedication to social justice. 

"As if the pandemic and quarantine weren’t enough, you were reminded again of the systemic racism that still exists in our country and watched painful images of police brutality on the TV and through social media," Chmiel said. "But instead of focusing on yourselves, staying down and depressed about how everything was affecting your lives, you shifted your attention to the bigger problems going on in society and got involved. You marched. You showed up and showed out." 

Read: Franklin High School Alum Leads 2nd Peaceful Protest In Front of Police Headquarters

Chmiel encouraged the graduates to remember their teachers, interesting learnings, and positive memories while never forgetting they will all always be Warriors. 

"Even though you are leaving, and we are going to miss you, remember that you will be forever Warriors, and that Franklin will always be your home," Chmiel said. 

Each senior was individually recognized by name and stood when their name was called. Cap throwing wasn't allowed but seniors stood, moved their tassel from the right side to the left. 

The remaining ceremonies will be held Tuesday and Wednesday rain or shine, and will only be postponed due to thunderstorms or other extreme weather. 

Morning Graduation 
First  Last 
Maher Abdel-Fattah
Tatiana Acevedo
Stephanie Acheanfour
Isaiah Adams
Adedoyin Adebo
Micheal Adeniyi
Celinedion Adrian Lopez
Madelyn Aguilar
Maniha Ahmad
Rabia Ahmad
Afsheen Ahmed
Mary Akerele
Malik Akinlabi
Rahul Alaigh
William Allegro
Cory Allen
Jada Allen
Jhamie Allen
Joy Allen
Hilary Almonte Minaya
Jose Alvarez De Los Santos
Kimberley Alvarez Sanchez
Georgina Amankwah
Savon Anderson
Matthew Andrews
Don Anigbogu
Bartosz Antonik
David Joseph Angelo Arceo
Jasmine Arellano
Daniela Ariza Visbal
Shagoon Arya
Talha Asghar
Onasis Assoumany
Omairis Azcona Torres
Abiola Babalola
Tobi Badru
Leslie Baez
Sean Baez
Alhajie Bah
Chernoh Bah
William Baines
Tamara Balbuena
Mariely Banegas
Abdul Bangura
Rachel Banko
Henry Banta
Hector Barahona Diaz
Jasmin Barfield
Arianna Barnaby
Walter Barnes
Aminata Barry
Mia Bates
Brandon Beckles
Andrew Beketa
Allen Bello
Marquise Belton
Rosemarie Betzler
Aaron Bidlack
Anuj Bilakhia
Javon Blackburn
Michael Angelo Bona
Nadell Booker
Jessica Bosompem
Asaiah Boyd
Treyvon Boyd
Troix Boyd
Zaire Branham
Isaiah Breedy
Jeremiah Brice
Jadiah Brooks
Aaron Brown
Tracy Brown
Shelby Bruno
Giovanny Burgos-Diaz
Janiya Burney
Fiona Byrne
Haley Calderaro
Colleem Calderon
Madeli Calderon Diaz
Joshua Calderon Montes
Heather Callaghan
Valeria Campos-Canete
Ana Capellan
Kendall Carruthers
Ricardo Cartagena
Amanda Carter
Julian Castaneda
Ashley Castillo
Rosa Castillo-Castano
Mikyle Laing
Evening Graduation 
First  Last 
Madelyn Castro
Tyler Chan
Kahseem Chandler
Saneiya Charles
Willie Chatman
Krystal Lee Chester
Jadyn Chiocchi
James Chiriboga
Colin Chung
Shantoy Clarke
Ibrahim Cole
Ayanna Coleman
Matthew Collado
Ashley Colom
Sierra Colva
Henry Condado
Davon Corbin
Karla Cordon
Ana Cordon Hernandez
Katelyn Cornell
Joseph Coronado
Jenay Crawford
Kaila Cross
Vera Cruz
Adriana Cruz Estrada
Lizbeth Cuahutle
Skylar D'Angiolillo
Melany D'Meza
Sonia Dalal
Amaan Dar
Jalen Davey
Chelsea Davila
Danny Davila Reyes
Ashandra Davis
Aveena Davis
Camryn Davis
Ashley De Jesus Torres
Keven De La Rosa- Cruz
Rianne Gabrielle De Leon
Gabriela Delgado
Nyasia Demmitt
Saheli Desai
Angelica Diaz
Naraly Diaz Martinez
Kourtney Dibling
KeiYoni Dilworth
Terri Dixon
Cynthia Do
Christopher Donald
Jeremy Dorneval
Amanda Drayton
Tamia Drew
Ariel Duarte Castillo
Rachelle Dubuisson
Paige Duell
Zulymar Duran Perez
Connor Eby
Sabrina Echavarria
Brendan Eckhart
Imoni Elliotte
Ihunaya Eluwa
Jefrre Encarnacion
Sydney Epps
Estefany Erazo
Aryani Erazo Martinez
Elmer Erazo Martinez
Reynaldo Espinoza
Brianna Estevez
Marcus Estevez
Oladeji Fagbewesa
Jakyra Faison
Syeda Fatima
Rafael Ferreira
Kyle Ffrench
Janiah Fladger
Noah Flores
Alexia Fraser
Ashley Funez Gamez
Matthew Furlong
Angela Gallagher
Brittani Garces-Reyes
Jonathan Garcia-Meneses
Amoura Garrison
Ashley German Bueno
Dakota Gernert
Kashawn Geter
Christopher Gillooly
Guillermo Gomez
Leila Gonzales
Gabriel Gonzalez
Jack Gonzalez

 

Email Editor Malik Lyons at mlyons@tapinto.net with your best graduation, graduation preparation and graduation celebration photos, and we will publish them in the appropriate article. Please include FHS Graduation Photo in the subject line and the day of week your graduate was celebrated. Let us know the name of the person we should credit for the photo and, the names of people pictured in your email. Also, let us know the day of week your graduate(s) celebrated.