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Frankfort High School, a city school long with history and steeped in traditions, began a new tradition outside the physical walls of the building itself back in the summer of 2014. This latest tradition spans generations, sees no race lines, religious affiliations, or economic income boundaries. Two years ago, Ben Smith and Tom Bennett could not have possibly imagined their original “unofficial reunion” held back then at Bennett’s residence, would turn into yet another “FHS Tradition”. Held twice a year, summer and winter, this year’s summer gathering saw over 210 guests, once again held back at Bennett’s private residence. They arrived in golf carts. They came by private cars. They drove or flew in from states such as Utah, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, just for this occasion.

Former governor Julian Carroll, whose children attended Frankfort High while he was in office, was in attendance at the event. But he wasn’t the only notable figure at this gathering either. Frankfort High has turned out many graduates who were destined to do wonderful things and lead their community by example and service to it. Kentucky State Representative Derrick Graham, Frankfort Mayor Bill May, Frankfort Commissioner and Vice-Mayor Tommy Haynes, Volunteer Specialist at Frankfort’s American Red Cross Paula Rutledge, Author Ray Peden, Frankfort Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Houston Barbar, Frankfort City Commissioners John Sower and Lynn Bowers, former and current FIS/FHS staff and students, were all in attendance. It was truly an eclectic mix of individuals coming together to share memories, see old friends, and catch up with one another. The event is beginning to see more and more younger faces, and becoming more family friendly as well.

If you are a current or former Frankfort High School graduate, staff member, or supporter, and you would like to get more information about future gatherings or see how you can participate in future events, you are encouraged to contact the Frankfort Independent Schools Education FoundationThe FIS Education Foundation is in the process of establishing an alumni directory database (email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, etc). If you have this information for your class, your sports team, or just a group of fellow Panthers, please email it to the executive director of the foundation, Mac Yocum, at macyocum@yahoo.com.

Don’t forget, Panther Pride runs deep and there is a place for all those FHS keepsakes and mementos collecting dust. The Frankfort High School Traditions Center, located at 327 Steele Street, was opened back in September of 2014, and is sort of a “museum” for FHS. It also serves as a hangout and tutoring spot for the current students. Its a perfect mix of the old traditions inspiring today’s generation. Its worth a trip to see!

A limited number of the DVD movie, “Frankfort Speaks”, is still available for purchase from Julia Harmon. If interested in purchasing one, please contact her at julia.harmon@frankfort.kyschools.us.

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