Franklin County High School’s Class of 2023 experienced a lot on the road to Thursday's graduation.
Among the graduates is Ian England, who spent his senior year making the trip better for those around him: He was the student representative on the county school board; he started a program for high schoolers to mentor kindergartners; and he was a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program.
“I knew that I wanted to really make something of this year,” England said. “I enjoyed high school for the last three years, but I knew this year I had the chance to do something special.”
About his school board experience, England said the work has been “incredibly rewarding, it’s been amazing to be a reflection of the school on the board.”
“Whenever there were problems in the school, if students had issues, I could bring them to the attention of people who could do things about it,” he said.
People are also reading…
England said he also wanted to spend his senior year giving back to the next group of children coming through the system. England said he was very proud of the initiative he started among the seniors, in which they would work in groups providing classroom assistance to kindergartens.
“When I was that young, I had a friend much older than I was, and I’ll remember him forever,” England said. “He was an amazing role model for me, so I wanted the kids to have someone like that that they could look up to.”
England said he was also proud of his work with the high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He felt he was able to make a difference in that role on the football and lacrosse teams.
“I like to get people to give things their all, even if that seems gruff or jerky at the time,” England said. “It wasn’t for everyone, but a lot of people liked that style of leadership.”
England, a wide receiver and cornerback, was one of the team captains of the football team, and he said that he felt that he owed a lot to every one of his teammates. He said he is looking forward to playing with some of them at Bridgewater College, where he plans to study business, and then psychology as a post-graduate.
“I used to really struggle with confidence, I used to let everything seriously bother me,” England said. “That’s why I want to use my degree for some kind of coaching career.”
England said he has coaches in his life now that helped him through his rough patches, and have inspired him to do the same for others. He said he wants to one day be able to work with professional athletes on their mental health and how it impacts their performances.
“So many people have been such a great help for me, it’s felt amazing being that help for others,” England said. “I’m excited and hopeful for a future where I can continue to be relied on.”