Not every student who lives in Cranston goes to a Cranston high school. And, for that reason, for the past 10 years since he's been in office, Mayor Allan Fung has held a small, private ceremony honoring all Cranston students who are in the top of their class at any high school in the state.
"This is the best time of the year,” Fung said to the students. “I look forward to this event every year, it is a chance for many of us to gather our students from all schools. Many of you might have known each other in elementary or middle schools, but went your separate ways for high school.”
He explained the importance of the ceremony.
"Tonight we recognize the best and brightest, we recognize your talents especially in the classroom,” he continued. “You guys represent the top 10 percent in each of your respected high schools. This is our way to not only recognize the effort you put in, not only in your studies, I love seeing all your extracurricular activities. On the sports field, drama, art, JROTC, music, but more importantly, I see all the hours and dedication you have given back to our community through your community service hours.”
Fung talked about how long he has been attending this program.
"I've very lucky,” he continued. “I've gotten to see many of you grow up. It's been nine years now, you were nine years old when I started. I feel old. You inspire me to keep doing better. Keep making sure we have great facilities in our city.”
He said there were a total of 68 students from 15 schools. Eleven schools were represented, with two new schools being honored for the first time, St. Raphael's in Pawtucket and the Green School in West Greenwich. One international student from China was honored.
"This evening truly recognizes so many different talented people we have in Cranston,” Fung continued. “In the past, traditionally we have been predominately represented by many of our females, but this year, finally, a lot of the male students are catching up. We are close; we have 36 females and 32 males. We are almost there, guys.”
Fung went on to read an extensive list of the colleges all over the country the students will be attending, and offered his sincerest congratulations.
"Tonight, I want to say congratulations on all your wonderful achievements, and to your parents for their support and guidance," he said.
The students from Bay View Academy were unable to attend, but their names were read off. They were Caitlyn Bowles, Erin Dillon, Grace Hagberg, Lauren Moonan, Shaylene Pena and Caroline Russell.
Sara Remmler from Providence Country Day School was also unable to attend.