WESTFIELD, NJ — Each year when Franklin Elementary School’s fifth-graders are “clapped out” on the last day of school to graduate to middle school, they are reminded they will forever be part of the Franklin Family. The sincerity of those words was evident Wednesday when Franklin welcomed members of the Westfield High School (WHS) Class of 2018 for a reunion with the teachers and staff at their former elementary school.

Coordinated by Franklin teacher Daria Gerber and WHS senior Mackenzie Smith, students arrived at Franklin soon after their final afternoon of classes at WHS. Mrs. Gerber said she was very pleased with the large turnout and expressed her appreciation that so many seniors chose to take the time to return to their former school. 

And return they did. The gymnasium exploded with chatter as staff and students shared hugs, laughter, memories and future plans. Their original fifth grade slideshow displayed former Franklin moments above the stage and light refreshments were available to all. The seniors also enjoyed one more tour through the Franklin hallways where their Westfield Public Schools education began.

On Friday, while the seniors fasten their caps and gowns, Franklin will clap out yet another fifth-grade class. A lot may change between now and when they graduate WHS in 2025, but one thing will remain constant: Should they ever choose to revisit their Franklin Family, they will be welcomed with open arms.