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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

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100 years of FUHSD honored in district-wide celebrations

FUHSD commemorated a century of providing education at Fremont High School and the FUHSD Adult School on May 11. Through events like a war memorial at Fremont and tours of new classrooms at the Adult School, the commemoration both honored the past and looked toward the future of the district. 

“Our goal for the celebration was not only to celebrate our school’s 100th anniversary but also to invite new students and spread awareness about the Adult School,” Adult School principal Lori Riehl said. 

The opening ceremony in Fremont’s Shannon Theater kicked off the centennial at 10 a.m. with the Fremont choir. Their performance was followed by speeches from Riehl, as well as Fremont principal Bryan Emmert, Fremont senior Lia Kamhaji and Fremont alumnus and teacher Jason Townsend. Additionally, current district superintendent Graham Clark, former district superintendent Polly Bove and district board of trustees president Jeff Moe were present as speakers. Sunnyvale mayor Larry Klein, congressional aide from District 17 representative Ro Khanna’s office Jordan Tachibana and district director representing assemblymember Evan Low’s office Patrick Ahrens also contributed addresses. 

At the podium, which was adorned with ikebana (the traditional Japanese art of floral arrangement) from Adult School instructors Connie Chen, Mayshine Huang and Fusako Hoyrup, the speakers recounted their involvement in FUHSD, expressing their hopes for the district’s future and honoring significant figures in its history.

“Listening to the speakers, some of whom are former students and people that I knew or worked with, talk about Fremont was wonderful,” former Fremont teacher Richard Canavese said. “It was very emotional to listen to their recollections of people, my colleagues and friends, who have either passed away or moved away.”

Midway through the ceremony, a video retrospective featured clips of students from decades of Fremont’s graduating classes, beginning with the Class of 2024 and stretching back to the Class of 1950, as well as archival images of Fremont’s past. 

“It’s nice to celebrate the entire history of Fremont, from a school of 40 students in 1923 in a mostly agricultural community to the 2,200 students in Silicon Valley we are now,” Fremont assistant principal Andy Walczak said. “There are not a lot of things in Santa Clara County that have been around this long.”

Subsequently, both the Fremont and Adult School campuses held open house sessions until 1:30 p.m. Booths representing the Science Olympiad and Firebots robotics teams were present at Fremont, as well as an art exhibit organized by the school’s art department. Student ambassadors guided attendees through Fremont’s buildings, which have recently undergone extensive construction and renovation. Its newly built student center, finished in 2022, presented the school’s history through local and school newspaper clippings, photo albums and other memorabilia. A photo gallery of nearly every graduating class was on display at its main office.

“My class, specifically, had a hard time coming back on campus after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kamhaji said. “I think both the district and Fremont have been so helpful in guiding our recovery from the pandemic; the support system has been great all four years.”

At the Adult School, they had an art showcase along with interactive class demonstrations to introduce their classes. Many FUHSD families and friends came together to celebrate the occasion and enjoy the exhibition.

“I loved reconnecting with the current students by seeing the artwork that they created,” said Faye Hane, a parent of an FUHSD alumnus.

Further down the street, the open house sessions at the Adult School introduced attendees to the latest home of its relocated facilities, which finished construction in 2022 and also includes the district office. 

Concurrent with the open house sessions, scheduled events across both campuses showcased the district’s historical significance and modern developments. A war memorial dedication on the Fremont campus paid tribute to FUHSD students who died in service during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Fremont Marching Band opened and concluded the dedication ceremony with school anthems like “Go Big Red” and “Firestar.” Fremont sophomore Daphne Emmert’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a speech from Walczak honoring significant fallen students followed the band’s initial performance. The ceremony ended with a commemoration of all the names on the memorial.

“It was really heartfelt for me to be able to sing the national anthem because my grandma attended school here, and I have grandparents who fought in the wars,” Emmert said. “I feel like this memorial is really special because it talks about all these people who might not have been known otherwise.”

The centennial also spotlighted progress on new and ongoing projects at Fremont. Currently, their biggest project is the construction of a field house, as they are the only campus at FUHSD without one. Slated to be ready for student use by the start of the 2025 school year, the field house will be multifunctional, serving as not only a second gym but also a wrestling room and a space for robotics. 

Classroom tours at the Adult School highlighted opportunities to explore a multitude of unique skills, including Argentine tango, Zumba, memoir writing and knife painting. Each of these skills represent the five Adult School programs: painting fundraisers, the English as a Second Language citizen program, the career technical education program and the Graduate Education Diploma program for people who have not yet obtained their high school diploma.

“We have about 11,000 people in the broader community who do not have a diploma or equivalent,” Riehl said. “We’re always trying to do outreach to get to people who did not get a diploma in high school.” 

In addition to the GED program, they hosted demonstrations for the certified nursing assistant program. They taught the foundations of assisting seniors with personal care, such as equipping wheelchairs, and conducting blood pressure checks for attendees. They also promoted their healthcare interpreter classes at the event, which allows students with a multilingual background to pursue careers as interpreters in the healthcare field.

“Some family members do not have any medical background,” said Dora Liu, a teacher assistant for the certified nursing program. “Our in-person classes will teach students step by step how to care for seniors.”

Preparations for the centennial began two years ago with a collaboration involving staff from the Adult School, Fremont and FUHSD. Planning included creating a physical brochure, determining the venues and coordinating between the three teams. While communication across the different campuses proved a minor challenge, they organized meetings and collaborated to ensure the event’s success.

Fremont and the Adult School were ultimately chosen as the venues for the centennial because of their weight in FUHSD history: founded in 1923 as West Side Union High School, Fremont was the first school in the district to be constructed. Soon after, the 1924 establishment of the Adult School was the start of its storied history. 

Like the rest of the district, both schools have changed much in the decades since: demographics have diversified, campuses have transformed and opportunities have expanded. However, many of its core principles have remained constant.

“The expectation that a student’s experience in high school goes beyond the academics has been a driving force for our district for many years,” Emmert said. “A real commitment to the arts, athletics and activities has continued to this day. Ever since the district’s opening, the focus was on creating comprehensive high schools that support a wide range of students.”

The district’s centennial celebration acknowledges its extensive legacy as a vibrant cornerstone of the broader community, while also presenting a glimpse into its future development.

“I hope the district continues to retain all that they’ve been doing, but also to build new things and to keep reaching out and being inclusive,” Canavese said. “I want to preserve as much of the diversity, the goodwill and the wonderful nature of all the different people in our community as possible.”

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Audrey Sun
Audrey Sun, Staffer
(she/her) Audrey Sun is a senior and a returning staffer for the Epic. Outside of school, she enjoys playing volleyball, trying out new recipes, and looking for new workouts on YouTube.
Olivia Yuan
Olivia Yuan, Staffer
(she/her) Olivia is a sophomore and looking forward to her first year on staff. She loves doing crosswords, making strange edits of her friends, and taking unnecessarily long walks around the neighborhood. She idolizes jellyfish.

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