Rianna Brennan entered Franklin Academy as a freshman. Over four years, she made her mark at our school. Three times Ri was a Roosevelt Service Award recipient. During junior and senior years, Ri served as president of the student government. Additionally, she orchestrated two spectacular all-school proms. At her graduation in June of 2017, Ri received a Headmaster’s Commendation Award for effective leadership, selfless service, impressive personal growth, and continuous contributions to our school community.

Ri’s choice for post-secondary education was Emerson College, located in downtown Boston, where she focused on theater education. Towards the end of her first year of college, Ri wanted more physical activity. Inspired by her enjoyable summer circus camp experiences as an eleven-year-old and encouraged by the example of her Franklin Academy friend, Ray Diamond, Ri enrolled at Esh Circus Arts, a circus school in Boston. Two days each week she had classes on the stationary trapeze. Then, she had a lesson on the flying trapeze during a day trip to New York City. Suddenly, the circus took over.

Subsequently, Ri requested leave from Emerson after two years. First, she auditioned and enrolled in the Esh Circus Arts Professional Preparatory Program during the fall of 2019. Next, she became a student and coach at Trapeze School New York. When I asked Ri the question, “how good are you?” she was unsure how to answer. Here is what her coach at Trapeze School said: “You’re advanced. This school is your job. You’re a coach and a professional.” Meanwhile, Ri hopes to continue her circus career and go back to college, probably in New York City, to major in special education and student advocacy. Her concluding words to me were simply these: “I am very happy.” Click here to see photographs of Rianna in action; click here to see some video. You will be amazed.