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Home | Tag Archives: franklin high school

Tag Archives: franklin high school

Video+Story: Franklin’s Class of 2020 graduates on home turf

The 655 Franklin Cougar graduates spread across their very own football field on Wednesday ready to walk the stage and claim their diploma for what will be the first-ever commencement on home turf for the West Side school.

The class, led by valedictorian Yuko Isabel Ward and salutatorian Shakila Edalatpour, took in nearly $16 million in scholarships. Most notable is the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship awarded to Laurine Kim, who will attend Vassar College on a full ride.

Remarks kept focus on their theme: “Today is the tomorrow we dreamt about yesterday.”

“We stand, gathered together to celebrate the accomplishments of the most resilient class in the history of secondary education,” said Edalatpour. “These days have passed by much too quickly, it’s almost impossible to believe that we’ll be in college the next semester we step into a classroom. These times have been uncertain, and it’s okay to say that we truly have been robbed of the best time of our lives.”

On a lighter note, she added: “I speak on behalf of all of us that when we said, ‘Senior Ditch Day’ –  this is not what we meant.”

Ward reminisced about her days on campus, and how the events and obstacles helped them grow over their four years.

“Through it all, we learned and grew into the people we are today,” Ward said. “Every minor inconvenience, every challenge overcome, every good memory has shaped us. When we leave here today, our high school career is truly behind us. We will face new challenges. And, as we learned to do in high school, we will succeed.”

Also speaking during commencement were All Franklin Boy Fabian Ramirez and All Franklin Girl Summer Sullivan. Senior class president Lauren Menchaca led the tassel turning ceremony, encouraging her classmates to toss their carnation in the air to symbolize their official end to high school.

“We did it,” she said.

Story by Gustavo Reveles |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Franklin teacher featured in music tech publication

An industry catalogue for music education equipment features Franklin High’s Stefan Schyga, a Grammy-nominated musician and New Tech teacher, sharing his skills with the next generation of artists.

The Sweetwater’s Music Educators Technology Resource Spring catalogue details Schyga’s life as a musician, his decision leading him into the classroom and how the state-of-the-art technology he implemented in the New Tech music production class gives students real-world experiences. The bi-annual merchandise catalog dedicates several pages to educating customers and readers on the latest technologies and how to use them.

“Three issues ago we decided it would be great to feature educators from around the country that have built amazing programs using technology to teach and inspire their students,” said Vern Crews, director of Sweetwater Music Education Technology. “I knew then I wanted to feature Stefan and his program in one of our issues.”

Schyga is both honored and humbled by the recognition in the nationally-distributed catalogue. His program is one of the first schools to offer this type of program in Texas.

“I think it is amazing that it shines the spotlight on Franklin High School, NewTech and EPISD,” he said. “We are at the forefront of developing a program that is not common place in public schools. The article gives us credibility.”

Michael Phillips, executive director of 21st Century Learning, attributes the success and credibility to Schyga himself.

Stefan Schyga | Photo courtesy Stefan Schyga

“Having Stefan and the music production program featured in Sweetwater, speaks to the caliber of the musician and educator that he is,” Phillips said. “He is not only an accomplished musician but an educator who connects with students and brings all of his experiences from the real world to his classroom.”

Schyga began collaborating with Sweetwater to develop the music production lab in 2016 – a year before its launch. Crews wanted to showcase the program, technology and experience Schyga offers students.

“This is where the technology Stefan exposes his students to comes into play,” Crews said. “For every one artist, there are dozens of people behind the scene editing, mixing, producing, crafting and creating.”

Schyga guides his students through every step, encouraging and teaching them the tools to take their craft to a professional level. Even during the pandemic, students are still working and creating from home.

“My students are doing some great stuff,” he said. “Since they’re lacking some recording resources, we are focusing on the creative idea. When they come back in the fall, we can work on recording these ideas professionally.”

His hope for his students: “If they can understand that learning – not just music – should be fun, they will be set for life.”

Story by Reneé De Santos  |  Photos by Stefan Schyga – EPISD

Thanks to UTEP-EPISD partnership, Franklin students one step closer to careers in law

A career in law is one step closer to reality for six Franklin students thanks to a partnership between EPISD and the University of Texas at El Paso, which is preparing the high-schoolers to become certified paralegals.

The six seniors, enrolled in Franklin’s legal studies pathway, are nearly finished with the online course, which was contracted through UTEP and conducted by JER Online Workforce Certification and Courses. The students expect to take the certification exam in the coming weeks.

“These certifications help elevate the offerings of programs for future students at the magnet school, make them better prepared for their field of study and employable right out of high school,” said Franklin assistant principal Gabriela Marquez.  “At the current time, we are the only high school in El Paso and only one of three for the entire state that offers such a program since there are typically barriers that prevent high schools from being able to take part in certification programs such as this.”

Marquez worked on the collaboration with the UTEP’s Continuing Education Department to find a way to be able allow students to complete the certification while still enrolled in high school. Tom Lott, who spent 28 years as an FBI agent before becoming a teacher, facilitates the certification course at Franklin and is currently preparing them for the certification exam with materials he receives from JER.

“It’s set up online but during class time we go over the chapters and discuss it,” Lott said. “It’s a tremendous amount of reading but they are excited and motivated to finish this course. “

The total cost of the program is $1,400 per student.  Franklin covered half the cost and students made payments to cover the balance. Marquez said they are working with UTEP to find financial assistance for those students who might not be able to pay – especially considering that next school year enrollment is expected to jump to 30 students.

Despite the cost, the students know the advantage the program gives them for their future.

“My love and passion for law is what made me decide to take this paralegal certification course,” said Ashley Alanis, who is currently interning at the Law Offices of Michael J. Zimprich, PLLC. “The paralegal work has helped me tremendously. When I’m speaking to the lawyers at the office I am able to understand legal terms that I normally wouldn’t have known.”

Alanis, who’s interested in medical malpractice and business law, plans go to UTEP and eventually Baylor University to complete her degree and law school.

“I know this internship will help me a great amount with my law career because this internship has prepared me to be able to talk to real clients, handle real situations that would happen at a law office and have experience in the office,” she said.

Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD |  Photo by UTEP

Franklin High twirling team wins big

Franklin students twirled their way to success after competing against Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico for a chance to represent their school at the state and national level.

The Franklin Feature Twirlers earned five individual awards at the National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) 2020 Southwest Regional Championship in Canyon, Texas, last week.

The team qualified to compete in state, and one member’s impressive performance earned her a spot at nationals.

“I am very excited to have such a wealth of success,” coach Dawn Menchaca said. “The girls’ dedication and hard work give them the opportunity to compete with other twirlers from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.”

Menchaca serves as the CTE Business teacher at Franklin High School and volunteers her time for El Paso’s only high school twirling team.

The team includes seniors Maddy Chapa and Sidney Vallejo, junior Eleanor Schoenbrun and sophomore Emmy Chapa.

Schoenbrun proved this wasn’t her first time at the twirling competition by qualifying for Nationals with her first place Show Twirl performance. She also swept up first-place awards in the Solo and Military March as well as second place in the Flag Baton, X-Strut and 2-Baton categories.

Maddy Chapa earned fourth-place all-around, while she and sophomore Emmy Chapa received fourth place for their solo performances.

“Baton teaches discipline, patience, determination and compassion,” Menchaca said. “As a twirler you are a role model for your family, school and community.”

During the school year, the twirling team performs at games with the band and practices every day during the season.

“We are very thankful to have the support of our principal Ms. Mena and our band directors Mr. Beach and Mr. Allen,” Menchaca said.

The competition continues for the twirling team who earned Division 1 ratings in their solo and ensemble at the UIL Regional contest and will advance to state for the fifth year in a row.

“I hope they leave a legacy that others will be inspired to continue,” Menchaca said.

Story by Liliana Gonzalez – EPISD
Photo courtesy FHS

El Paso High, Franklin teams qualify for state mock trial tournament

No objection here. EPISD has two of the best mock trial teams in the region.

The mock trial teams from El Paso and Franklin high schools last weekend competed against teams from throughout the area for a chance to represent El Paso at the state tournament and the verdict came out in their favor.

Mock trial gives students interested in law an opportunity to work with teachers and local attorneys to compete in legal teams in a courtroom setting using simulated legal trials.

The Franklin and El Paso teams will now travel to Austin in March for the state tournament.

The Franklin team is made up of students Mia Belder, Kelly Briggs, Gabriel Agustin Del Campo, Michael Fallon, Luisa Garcia Teran, Andres Hinojos, Derek Jones, Marie Peralta, Theresa Peralta, Layne Stokes and Sarah Villaronga.

They are coached by teacher Alison Cundari and helped by lawyer Elizabeth Howard.

The El Paso High team is made up of students Allyson Stresow, Kalista Fong, Xochitl Candelaria, Mackenzie McElry, Marijose Ramirez, Adriana Chavira, Ariana Mendoza, Francisco Dominguez, Javier Padilla and Santiago Candelaria.

They are coached by teacher Ingrid De Alba and helped by lawyers Lynn Coyle and Dennis Candelaria.

Story by Gustavo Reveles – EPISD

Franklin senior earns prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship

Franklin senior Laurine Kim received the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship to attend Vassar College this fall on a full ride.

Out of more than 15,000 applicants, Kim is among only 1,127 seniors to be a QuestBridge National Match recipient nationwide and the only one in EPISD.  The QuestBridge is worth more than $92,000 a year in tuition, fees, room and board, books and other educational needs.

“It’s really exciting because one of the things I was most stressed about during my college application process was how am I able to go to these top schools that I really want to go to,” she said. “QuestBridge has opened so many doors for me to dream that I had the chance to go to the top schools.”

QuestBridge is a prestigious scholarship program that grants scholars with early admission to college partners and offers them full four-year scholarships based on academic merit.

“This scholarship will ensure that all of Laurine’s education will be completely covered and allow her to obtain a degree without the worry of family contributions or student loans,” said Richard Couder, EPISD college readiness facilitator. “I hope her selection motivates other outstanding EPISD students to apply for this and other prestigious scholarships.”

The Franklin senior plans to double major in sociology and music performance but admits that those plans may change once she arrives at the New York college.

Kim began her QuestBridge journey as a junior College Prep Scholar, which allowed her to attend a conference at Pomona College in California to network with other candidates, recipients and college admissions representatives.

“It was eye opening to talk to the those reading my application and meet so many other college prep scholars,” she said. “It was good exposure to students from all around the country. I felt I was more competitive because I went through the College Prep.”

Kim, an accomplished cellist, loves to spend her free time volunteering through school clubs and activities outside of school. She has had leadership roles at Franklin in the National Honor Society and Key Club.

“I’m passionate about educational experience and relieved to know the financial aspect won’t be hindering me from anything.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photo by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Game in Many Pics: Montwood marches past Franklin 36-16

While the fall chill was in the air at the Gem in Far East El Paso – Socorro ISD’s SAC – two of the city’s elite teams heated up the gridiron under the Thursday Night Lights.

However it was all Rams from the opening kickoff, as Montwood took the ball and scored on their opening drive. With the help of their defense, the Rams never looked back and pulled away from the Cougars to win the contest 36-16.

With the play of Rams quarterback Sebastian Galvan and running back Christopher Ramos the offense was firing on all cylinders.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense forced turnovers at key times and stopped the Cougar offense for much of the night.

Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was at the blustery contest and we bring you his view via this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

 

Game in Many Pics: Cougars crash T-Birds, take Westside Bowl 28-14

The 2019 edition of the Westside Bowl took over the Sun Bowl once again as Franklin and Coronado continued their storied Sun City rivalry.

As expected, the game was a classic battle with the Cougars emerging victorious against the Thunderbirds 28-14

Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was there and we bring you his view of the contest in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

The 2019 Westside lived up to the hype and Both teams showed up ready to play for the “Pride of the Westside.” In the first half of action it was back and forth from both teams with turnovers and penalties costing both teams field position and in some cases taking points off the board. The second half saw Franklin pull away and eventually take the game 28-14 as well as the 2019 Westside Bowl Trophy once again. Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post

Game in Many Pics: Americas bests Franklin 17-13

In a much anticipated matchup between the two top schools in the Borderland, the Americas Trail Blazers hosted the Franklin Cougars at the Gem in Far East El Paso – Socorro ISD’s SAC.

And the battle did not disappoint, as the heavyweight teams slugged it out in a Thursday night battle for the ages.  As the scoreboard struck ‘0:00’ Americas would go home with the 17-13 victory.

Our very own Johnny Yturales was there and we bring you his view of the contest in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

Game in Many Pics: Cougars claw Aztecs 63-14

In game two of Socorro ISD’s Thursday Night Lights doubleheader, the Franklin Cougars traveled to the SAC to take on the El Dorado Aztecs.

Franklin was on fire from the opening kick off, dominating the Aztecs 63-14

Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the contest in this ‘Game in Many Pics.’

Franklin Cougars vs El Dorado Aztecs, Sept 19, 2019, Andres Acosta / El Paso Herald-Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game in Many Pics: Franklin mauls Midland 55-21

The Franklin Cougars played host to the always-tough Midland Bulldogs Friday night in West El Paso.

The visitors from the Permian Basis were no match for the Cougars, as Franklin dominated en route to a 55-21 win

Our very own Johnny Yturales was there and we bring your his view of the contest in this, ‘Game in Many Pics.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Business Leaders of America club comeback at Franklin makes strong impact

The resurgence of the Future Business Leaders of America club at Franklin High School is proving to be a successful one for students interested in business careers.

The club, now known formally only by its initials FBLA, was reactivated in September of last year. It is EPISD’s only FBLA chapter.

“We had hopes of bringing together a group of well-rounded individuals who would enjoy the FBLA experience,” said advisor Dawn Menchaca.

“The club recruited 14 members who were ready to engage in community service and compete at the local and regional level.”

The Franklin FBLA recently competed in the regional tournament and eight members qualified for state competition. They are:

  • Cynthia Gallegos, first place in Introduction to Business Procedures.
  • Emily Do, Jordan Burchfield and Samantha Aragon, first place in Management Decision Making.
  • Jayna Fegan, second place in Health Care Administration.
  • Jadynne Sandhu, Shreya Vijay and Victoria Villalobos, second place in Digital Video Production.

Freshman Cynthia Gallegos’ performance at the state competition qualified her for the national FBLA Tournament.

Story by Gustavo Reveles  |  Photo courtesy of FHS – EPISD

Franklin High’s Mock Trial Team competes in State Tourney

The Cougars once again won the District Mock Trial Competition and represented the city in the Dallas Bar Association’s State Mock Trial tournament this weekend.

This is the third straight year Franklin has taken first place at the district tournament and participated in the state competition.

Mock Trial is a tournament for aspiring lawyers and legal fans where participants are given a ficticious case and must then develop and present both the prosecution/plaintiff and defense. The students then play the roles of the attorneys and witnesses.

Members work together to learn the facts of the case and create strategies for trial and then compete in local-area meets.

The 2019 Franklin Team is:  Mia Beldner, Gabriel Agustin Del Campo, Michael Fallon, Luisa Garcia, Andres Hinojos, Derek Jones, Sam Magana, Jorge Pompa, Alec Tellez and Alec Trujillo.  The Franklin sponsor is Alison Cundari.

Two members of the El Paso District Attorneys Office, Amanda Enriquez and Elizabth Howard, serve as the team’s lawyer coaches.

At the State Competition in Dallas this weekend there were 28 teams from around Texas competing for the honor to represent Texas at the National High School Mock Trial Competition, in Athens, Georgia, this May.

While the Franklin Team did not break the Top 10 this year at the State Competition, they know that their hard work paid off this year and look forward to competing again next spring.

The regional competition was organized by the regional coordinator, Claudia Duran, on Feb. 8-9 at the El Paso County Courthouse.

El Paso ISD High Schools Earn Cash for Athletics

Three EPISD high schools will get a boost in their athletic facilities thanks to their participation in a video contest by Powerade.

Franklin and Austin high schools each won regional grand prizes in the “Power Your School” contest from Powerade, earning them $10,000 toward improvements to the athletic equipment at their campuses.

Additionally, Bowie High School earned $2,000 for their participation.  A total of $100,000 were awarded throughout the region.

“We wanted to show some the need for new weight room equipment and we also wanted to the wide range of diversity in our school and how so many athletes use the weight room,” Franklin’s student activities manager Angel Santa Cruz said. “We also wanted to be creative with our transitions, making sure we included every type of sport.”

Three students worked collaboratively with Santa Cruz, teacher Jose Bueno and football coach Frank Martinez to create the concept for the video, direct it, film it and edit the final product.

Senior Georgett Hernandez spent her time behind the video camera documenting footage of each sport captured in the video.

“It’s so cool to take part of something that will benefit the school for years to come,” she said.

Author:  Reneé de Santos | Photo courtesy of Franklin HS – EPISD
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