Just the Facts

Macon County sends seniors on their way

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Deena Bouknight

Since the early 1800s, when Macon County was first established, students have been attending schools – then one-room versions. Today, five high schools operate in the Macon County School System, as well as a middle school and multiple elementary schools. And each end-of-May-to-June in Macon County high schoolers are presented accolades, awards, scholarships, and diplomas. 

This spring, a total of 374 students graduated in Macon County – Franklin High School (FHS), 224; Highlands School, 23; Macon Early College, 29; Nantahala School, 7; and, Bartram Academy, 77. Macon Virtual Academy had 14 graduates. 

Additionally, FHS’s annual Athletic Awards Ceremony, held May 23 in the Fine Arts Auditorium at FHS, was packed with students recognized for both their athletic achievements and overall roles in leadership, on and off the court or field.

DANIEL RIDDLE performs “The Star Spangled Banner” on the piano for the Athletic Awards program.

Franklin Panther Sports Network’s most recognizable face and voice, George Young, emceed the evening. After Athletic Director Matt Bradley opened the ceremony, rising senior Daniel Riddle, Panther football kicker, played a piano rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

JESSIE HAYLES and Kaydence McDonald (below) graduated from Macon Early College.

Senior swimmer Logan Guynn then offered a prayer that included that “all in attendance would know Him and the “way,” ending with, “We Give You the Glory.”

FIRST UNITED Methodist offered a blessing for Franklin High seniors on its marquee on East Main Street.

Scholarship awards are a regular part of the annual athletic honors event, and this year seven in all were handed out:

  • Thomas Raby Memorial Scholarship Award: Reed Raby and Avery Moffitt
  • Thomas Walter Scruggs Memorial Scholarship: Laura Holland and Elijah Cochran
  • Brandon Stiwinter Memorial Scholarship: Aaron Jenning
  • Parker Mathis Memorial Scholarship: McCall Sanders and Reed Raby
  • Walter Wright Memorial Scholarship: Ian Knepp
  • Eric Witherington Scholarship: Malachi Hayes, Laura Holland, Elijah Cochran, Hope Smith, and Gracie Elliott
  • FHS Booster Club Athletic Scholarship: Braxton Deal and Gracie Elliott

Finally, along with a reminder of who received teacher and support person of the year recognitions during the 2023-24 school year, the Macon County School System announced June 4 that the District Principal of the Year recognition went to Kristen Lynch, principal of Cartoogechaye Elementary School, while the District Support Person of the Year was bestowed on Tamara Deal, school nutrition manager at Cartoogechaye Elementary School. 

Dan Finnerty contributed to this article.