Chad Owens, master photographer with Lifetouch National School Studios in Glenmont, photographs students and staff at the Franklin Central School on Wednesday.

Accompanied by a banner marking 175 years of schooling, Franklin Central School staff and students gathered Wednesday to take a group photo _ the first of several events to commemorate the milestone during the coming year.

The Delaware Literary Institute started in 1835 and became a central school district in 1930, according to the school's website.

The anniversary events were planned by a committee of school and community members in June, enrichment coordinator Anne Burgin said.

"Franklin has always had a tradition of academic excellence," she said. Its students have done "many great things" in such areas as music, art and sports, she said. "We want the school and community take pride in their past," while looking to the future. For instance, she said, during the 1940s and '50s, the school held community fairs.

To remind students about those and other achievements, the school is holding a school fair Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with about 25 school and community organizations participating. This includes an EMT health program, an elementary drama-club bake sale and a Rotary exchange student information booth.

Other events during the year include the quilt-making, led by junior high English teacher Andria Finch; rotating displays of historic material in entryway display cases (which is already under way); and a Nov. 6 elementary drama production of "The Magic Beanstalk," an operetta performed at FCS in 1934 by the sixth grade.

Senior Brandon DuMond will be among those taking part in some of the activities.

"I think it will make it more memorable," he said about his senior year coinciding with the historical event.

"It's pretty amazing that the school has kept its traditions all these years," he said. "It's a great school."

Franklin Principal Jason Thomson said he was involved in the planning, which he said celebrates the importance of the school to the community.

"The various events solidify the sense of community that comes from understanding your past and where you come from."

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