Franklin grads, NC first lady reconnect


Governor’s wife guest speaker at Franklin graduation

By Bill Colvard - [email protected]



North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper makes the keynote speech at Franklin Elementary School’s fifth grade graduation Friday, as friends and family of the Franklin graduates record the speech for posterity.


Bill Colvard | The News

From left to right are Kristin Blake, Franklin assistant principal, Dr. Jill Reinhardt, Surry County Schools assistant superintendent, Kristin Cooper and Jodi Southern, Franklin Elementary principal.


Bill Colvard | The News

Franklin graduating fifth graders sing at their graduation.


Bill Colvard | The News

North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper congratulates Nathan Bledsoe on his graduation from fifth grade as principal Jodi Southern (left) watches.


Bill Colvard | The News

Franklin students have photo ops with Kristin Cooper, North Carolina first lady.


Bill Colvard | The News

Franklin Elementary students played a part in Kristin Cooper’s transition into a new role in life when she became first lady of North Carolina when her husband, Roy Cooper, was elected as governor.

On Friday, she returned the favor for the Franklin students.

“They were my first house tour,” said Kristin Cooper of a group of Franklin students on a field trip to Raleigh soon after she and her husband occupied the Governor’s Mansion.

“I spontaneously gave them a tour.” Cooper laughs and adds, “That was before I figured out the rules.”

On Friday, it was the Franklin fifth graders who were facing a momentous milestone in their life, and Cooper traveled to Mount Airy to wish them well as they moved on to a new stage of their lives.

“All of you have this middle school thing,” she assured the students in her remarks as guest speaker at their graduation.“You will have great adventures. Go out there and get them.”

Cooper told the children and their families that she was the child of an artist and a Vietnam veteran, that she was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and came to North Carolina to attend Campbell Law School. She practiced law as a staff attorney in both Oklahoma and North Carolina, focusing on the needs of children, and providing them with a safe, nurturing, healthy environment. Foster care, hunger and were important areas of her work.

Cooper said that the arts and nature were twin passions of hers, which together allow children to play and think creatively. She has served two terms on the board of the North Carolina Arts Council.

Cooper has also raised three daughters, all of whom graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a fact that brought a round of applause from the audience.

After addressing the graduating class, Cooper greeted each of the 102 students individually as they stepped forward to receive their certificates of completion, and congratulated them on their achievements, as announced by their teachers.

Special awards were presented to students who had served on the student council and as its officers, other awards were given out, the graduates sang two songs, and a faculty choir sang another.

Franklin principal Jodi Southern brought the ceremony to a close with a customized reading from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the places you will go.”

At which point, they did go.

North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper makes the keynote speech at Franklin Elementary School’s fifth grade graduation Friday, as friends and family of the Franklin graduates record the speech for posterity.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_IMG_9351.jpgNorth Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper makes the keynote speech at Franklin Elementary School’s fifth grade graduation Friday, as friends and family of the Franklin graduates record the speech for posterity. Bill Colvard | The News

From left to right are Kristin Blake, Franklin assistant principal, Dr. Jill Reinhardt, Surry County Schools assistant superintendent, Kristin Cooper and Jodi Southern, Franklin Elementary principal.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_IMG_9363.jpgFrom left to right are Kristin Blake, Franklin assistant principal, Dr. Jill Reinhardt, Surry County Schools assistant superintendent, Kristin Cooper and Jodi Southern, Franklin Elementary principal. Bill Colvard | The News

Franklin graduating fifth graders sing at their graduation.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_IMG_9355.jpgFranklin graduating fifth graders sing at their graduation. Bill Colvard | The News

North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper congratulates Nathan Bledsoe on his graduation from fifth grade as principal Jodi Southern (left) watches.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_IMG_9358.jpgNorth Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper congratulates Nathan Bledsoe on his graduation from fifth grade as principal Jodi Southern (left) watches. Bill Colvard | The News

Franklin students have photo ops with Kristin Cooper, North Carolina first lady.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_IMG_9365.jpgFranklin students have photo ops with Kristin Cooper, North Carolina first lady. Bill Colvard | The News
Governor’s wife guest speaker at Franklin graduation

By Bill Colvard

[email protected]

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

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