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Broncos get their moment in the sun

FHS senior portraits decorate downtown

FRANKLIN

A gesture to recognize Franklin High School’s Class of 2020 is evident to all people who work, live or visit downtown. Lamp posts were decorated last week with the portrait of each senior Bronco.

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The idea came about three to four weeks ago, according to Christine Hill of Coldwell Banker Now in Franklin. Her discussion with a friend was part of the inspiration.

“Samarra Green-Bailey had actually posted it on her own Facebook page,” said Hill, who knows her. “We had been talking that the seniors just didn’t have a lot because of the pandemic.”

She refers to the prom, graduation and other important rites of passage for the graduates that were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That outbreak compelled Gov. Ralph Northam in March to close to state’s public schools; learning was shifted to online.

“I just reached out to [City Manager] Amanda Jarratt about it, and she got me in touch with Amy Phillips, the school board chairwoman,” continued Hill. “I know Jessica Honeycutt of Leonard Graphics Inc. Everything just fell into place. We wanted to do something to honor the seniors.”

Jarratt said, “The City of Franklin is thrilled to be able to celebrate the Franklin High School Class of 2020 through banners hung on the light poles throughout Downtown Franklin.”

Honeycutt, who is the lead graphic designer for the aforementioned company, which is based in Portsmouth, recalled talking with her friend Christine and was asked for ideas about creating signs.

“I did a design, which was proofed. Once we started, it was a steady week of working. I had already talked with Public Works about sizing. The signs [all same size] are made in sets of two; each taking about a half-hour to make and a day to dry — the ink has to absorb.”

She added that her daughter and future daughter-in-law did all the manual labor-intensive work of hemming and grommeting.

Hill said the signs will remain up until July 6 and then taken to the school to distribute to the seniors’ parents.