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Home | Tag Archives: franklin

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Franklin students honored by UN group for community service

The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and InnerView recognized 156 Franklin High School Students at the 2nd Annual National Community Service Awards.

This program has been designed to connect student community service activities and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world.

Students from Franklin High School delivered the most impact for SDG 3 – Good Health & Well-Being.

Collectively, Franklin students completed 10,873 service hours and personal activities to address local needs.  This achievement earned an additional distinction of the Emerald Award for outstanding impact.

“Youth efforts and voices are essential to achieve the SDGs.  These awards allow us to share our appreciation for youth leaders who have invested talent and effort in the causes they care about,” said Rachel Bowen Pittman, executive director of UNA-USA.

“We are encouraged that educators are including community service and cultural engagement in the educational experience of their students.”

Students in the program develop a digital service resume for use in job and college applications to demonstrate personal commitment, 21st century skills, and key areas of interest.

The program recognizes a range of student achievement including the following areas merit, honor and ambassador.

Below are Franklin’s award winners:

Ambassador Awardees:

Natalia Blanco, Bradley DeMeritt, Lily , Leila Pettibone, Fabian Ramirez, Eleanor Schoenbrun, Sophia Solis and Haley Walker.

Honor Awardees:

Maram Abdeljaber, Zaina Alsarraj, Ezekiel Ambriz, Brenna April, Samantha Aragon, Cheyenne Kayla Bateman, Darielle Baustert, Annette Calderon, Emily Do, Natalie Elias, Margarita Enriquez, Karlina Franco, Kameelah Freeman, Taylor Gill, Malu Gonzalez, Larissa Guevara, Serena Gutierrez, Zara Huerta, Connie Jaloma, Alex Kelly, Crystal Lefferts, Jonah Martinez, Nicole Martinez, Amethyst Massaquoi, Mia Melnick, Lauren Menchaca, Nichole Mendez, Zayda Morales, Angelina Noel, Zola Ontiveros, Dominique Ordonez, Danielle Romero, Madison Rosen, Nicholas Ruiz, Jadynne Sandhu, Muriel Sandoval, Julian Sarmiento, Leon Smith, Muskaan Tayal, Paola Trevizo, Eddie Urquiza, Kristofer Valerio, Heavyn Varela, Carolina Villalpando, Yuko Ward, Bailie Whetten

Merit Awardees: Hailey Acosta, Leonor Arce, Julia Aziz, Gabby Baca, Austin Blake, Luke Bohannon, Colby Borak, Jordan Burchfield, Braeden Byrd, Joseramon Cardenas, Vivianna Castro, Maddy Chapa, Jackson Chavez, Kayla Chavez, Alejandra Chee, Chengyi Chen, Devyn Clark, Carlos De Leon, Gabriel Del Campo, Joshua DeMorris, Isabelle Diaz, Alyssa Duran, Isabella Eschbach, Nathan Eschbach, Jayna Fegans, Vanessa Flores, Mundo , Luisa Garcia, Roberto Garcia, Veronica Gonzalez Fernandez, Amerika Granillo, Anika Grendell, Tomas Gutierrez, Emily Hammer, Fazila Haque, Ashley Hendrix, Delilah Hernandez, Jacklin Hernandez, Pamela Hernandez, Jack Himes, Aurora Holt, Dylan Horner, Maria Islas, Eva Jess, Trevor Jess, Beatrice Laberge, Trinity Letuli, Allyson Little, Clarissa Lopez, Itzel Luna, Andy Ma, Alex Marquez, Devin Martinez, Aileen Medina, Albert Mendez, Lauren Montes, Sophia Montes, Natalie Moreno, Madison Morgan, Alondra , Julyann Munoz, Blanca Navarrete, Matthew Nieto, Tori Nolan, Ilissa , Nicholas Ochoa, Isabel Olivas, Valeria Ortega, Jazlen Pacheco, Michelle Pineda, Isaiah Polanco, Joanna Preciado, Isaak Quinones, Katelyn Quinones, Diego Ramos, Camille Raux, Gillian Roman, Meril Saied, Jordan Salas, Esmeralda Salazar, Paulina Sandoval, Chiara Schafer, Timothy Schwarz, Erick Silva, Ian Skillman, Joseph Stuart, Summer Sullivan, Juan Carlos Tanabe, Lauren Torres, Nichole Valenzuela, Kennedy Varela, Victoria Venzor, Adam Vick, Kaili Villalobos, Victoria Villalobos, Sarah Villaronga, Amelia Whitener, Crystal Williams, Amanda Wimberly, Dahlia Wood, Valeria Yu and Jennifer Zuniga.

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

Gallery+Story: EPISD summer graduates receive high-school diploma

EPISD’s Class of 2019 is now complete.

A total of 171 seniors from every high school in the El Paso Independent School District accepted their diplomas on Wednesday during the 2019 Summer Graduation Ceremonies at the Bowie High School auditorium.

The graduates completed all state graduation requirements during the summer and now join the 4,200 seniors who received their high-school diplomas during ceremonies in May.

“The fact that you are here today is a testament of the hard work and dedication you have demonstrated over the years,” said Dr. Carla Gonzales, EPISD’s Assistant Superintendent of High Schools.

“You have the skills you need to be successful in life. Go out and work toward reaching your goals. You can do whatever you want to make an impact in this world.”

Wednesday’s ceremonies were split in two to accommodate parents and graduates.

The morning ceremonies featured students from Andress, Austin, Burges, Chapin, Franklin, Irvin, Jefferson and Silva Health Magnet high schools, as well as the College, Career & Technology Academy.

The afternoon session featured students from Bowie, Coronado and El Paso high schools.

Author – Gustavo Reveles  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Area Bands ‘Tune Up’ For UIL Competition at EPISD Invitational at Franklin High

27 bands took the field at Franklin High School Saturday, as El Paso ISD hosted their invitational contest for area marching bands.

Serving as adjudicators for the event were Valentino Leyba, Kevin Moreman, and Shawn Silva, all band directors in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Instrumental Coordinator Julio Castillo was the contest organizer.

Due to the large number of bands entered, the contest was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. An awards ceremony was held at 11:30 after the first 13 bands performed. After a lunch break, the afternoon saw another 14 bands take the field, capping the day with an awards ceremony for these bands at the final conclusion of the contest.

Receiving first divisions, which denotes a “Superior” performance, were Franklin, Riverside, Parkland, Hanks, Bel Air, Eastlake and Del Valle High Schools in the morning session, and Irvin, Burges, Americas, and Coronado High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving second divisions, denoting an “excellent” performance, were Horizon, Eastwood, Ysleta, and Socorro High Schools in the morning, and El Paso, Andress, Jefferson Silva, and Chapin High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving a third division, or “good” performance, were Canutillo, Anthony, Fabens, Clint, Bowie, San Elizario, and Austin High Schools.

This contest served as a tune up for the bands and was great for getting some last minute pointers from the judges before the UIL contest next Saturday. All the El Paso-area bands will compete in the state- sanctioned contest which this year will advance 2-, 4-, and 6-A bands to the Area marching band contests for each respective class.

Those contests will take place in Amarillo for the 2-As, Lubbock for the 4-As, and Odessa for the 6-As on October 27th.

Locally, there is plenty more action coming up in Band-tober. The aforementioned UIL contest is next Saturday, October 13, at the SAC. This contest will be for ratings, just as today’s contest was, with qualifying bands advancing to the Area round of contests on the 27th.

On October 20, bands from Texas and New Mexico will take the field again at the SAC for the SISD Marchfest. The Marchfest contest uses a 7- person judging panel and is a two-round contest.

After prelims, 6 bands from the small band class will advance to a finals round, while 8 bands in the large band class will advance. No division ratings are given at this contest. Instead, the bands are given numerical scores and ranked in first place, second place, and so on.

The experience of competing for those rankings will come in handy for the last weekend in October. The advancing bands attending the Area contests will be ranked, and the highest -placing bands will advance to the State marching band contest.

This contest is held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 5,6, and 7.

Meanwhile, most of those bands not advancing to Area contests will instead journey up to Las Cruces for the NMSU Tournament of Bands, also taking place on October 27th. This contest, too, uses a 7-person judging panel and a prelims/finals format.

The Tournament of Bands for many years has served as the penultimate contest for bragging rights around the area, and promises some amazing marching show action for local band fans.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

EPISD Students get Nuggets of Wisdom From Chick-fil-A Leadership Program

For Chick-fil-A, it’s not all about cooking chicken. The fast food franchise has teamed up with area high schools to serve up some nuggets of wisdom through its Leader Academy.

The nationwide Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students in monthly Leader Labs with a focus on important leadership skills that they will use to create student-led community impact projects.

Franchise owners throughout El Paso have adopted neighboring campuses to offer the Leader Academy. Burges, Silva Health Magnet, Coronado, Franklin, El Paso, Chapin and Andress are among the high schools sponsored by an area Chick-fil-A in EPISD.

“Our vision at Chick-fil-A is to make a positive impact on the lives of others and so we believe that our youth are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Joy Martinez, who owns the Airway location with her husband Anthony Martinez. “It is important to invest our time and energy so that we can give them the tools that they will need to be better equipped for the world tomorrow.”

The Martinez’s kicked off the 2018-19 Leader Academy at Burges High School on Friday with 30 students at an orientation for the year-long program. The day began with some ice breakers, an introduction to the curriculum, a boxed lunch with the famous Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a visit from Cow, the restaurant’s mascot.

The curriculum taught in the academy focuses on servant leadership – a style deeply rooted in the Chick-fil-A organization and modeled by its founder, the late S. Truett Cathy.

“Our servant-leader spirit, in which we put others first, really comes from a sense of mission to serve others with compassion dignity and respect,” Joy Martinez said. “The same compassion dignity and respect that we would want others to offer us. We want to encourage all Chick-fil-A Leader Academy students and help them in any way that we can because Anthony and I had many mentors, family members, friends who encouraged us and believed in us and helped us in our journey.”

Last year, Burges’ project created a more inclusive environment for special education students in the Community Readiness Classroom (CRC), nicknaming them “the cool kids.”

“I think this year we will just make a larger impact and keep growing the relationships we already have,” said senior Lailani Chehedeh. “I’m really excited to see the way the new students start and the way they end. Last year, even for myself, just being able to see the way I grew and began understanding different types of people and just growing relationships was really a unique experience.”

Student Activities Manager Ruth Bohlin saw the leader academy as a great opportunity for Burges students to develop virtue and civic responsibility.

“While we have our leader academy kids go through the curriculum, they also have an opportunity to build relationships with our CRC kids,” Bohlin said. “And that in itself was a wonderful opportunity for each of them – both enriching for the CRC kids and the leader academy kids.”

Joy Martinez saw first-hand how successful the program was at Burges last year.

“What I noticed was that the energy, the spirit and enthusiasm was just remarkable – truly remarkable,” she said. “Seeing the cool kids just have so much fun and feel the love was just so heartwarming. You saw all these students come together and bring a ray of sunshine to the lives of kids.”

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

Catching Up with Cross Country: Andress’ Wilkes, Americas Boys, Franklin Girls Win

Andress senior Chauncey Wilkes won his first varsity meet ever winning the Chapin Invitational at Skyline Park in 16:40.3

Americas junior Jacob Ye was second (16:43.18), third went to Socorro senior Mario Luna (16:52.22), Franklin senior Jacobo Wedemeyer was fourth (16:56.73) and Americas senior Tyler Rodriguez was fifth (16:58.11).

Ye and Rodriquez led the Americas boys to a meet championship. Americas won the team title with 32 points followed by Socorro (77), Chapin (97), Burges (99) and Franklin (101).

On the girl’s side, Franklin sophomore Eva Jess continues her two-year El Paso unbeaten streak alive, winning the race in 19:15.11. Chapin senior Skyler Goodman was second in 20:39.84 followed by Franklin senior Amalia Dorion (20:58.52) and a pair of Americas juniors – Daphne Duran (21:00.14) and Priscilla Villalobos (21:05.44).

Franklin’s top five finished in the top 12 to take the team title with 34 points followed by Americas (48), Socorro (66), Bel Air (108) and Hanks (114).


For complete and in-depth coverage of the meet, as well as photos, this week’s Power Rankings, top 10 teams, top 25 times and more, log on to, follow them on Twitter @eprunning or visit their Facebook page

Video+Story: CTE Students Expand Training Thanks to New Virtual Reality Tool

A new virtual reality tool will allow CCTE, Franklin and Silva Health Magnet students to look deep into every aspect of the human body, dissect animals, explore paleontology and even study automotive applications without leaving the classroom.

Trainers introduced the new zSpace technology to Career and Technology Education teachers from CCTE, Franklin and Silva Health Magnet last week.

The teachers donned special tracking glasses and wielded a stylus to get a close up, authentic look at internal organs, blood vessels and other parts of the human body. The skull virtually popped into the space between teachers and their screens – giving them a chance to maneuver the stylus and go in for a closer look.

Anatomy is only one of many virtual, 3-D learning applications available through the zSpace technology.

“One of the things that makes this so important and so critical is the high level of engagement that it evokes from students immediately,” said Kevin Dougherty, zSpace sales director. “You don’t have to rely on the teacher to evoke that from kids. It actually comes from the child themselves from elementary through high school when they have this experience with virtual reality.”

Photo courtesy of zSpace

During the all-day training, the teachers spent time exploring the human body and discussing how to incorporate their lessons with the new technology.

The initial movements of the stylus brought lots of oohs and ahhs – something the teachers expect to hear when their students begin using zSpace. The technology offers engaging, real-world training that offers students a deeper understanding of their curriculum.

“The training has been very interactive,” said Dr. Dominque Nehring, who teaches vet tech at CCTE. “The kids are going to be really excited to use this.”

Nehring finds the possibility endless for the new technology – giving students virtual hands-on lessons in areas they might not otherwise experience. Students could perform anything from a virtual EKGs to examining the inner workings of a car, learn how to take it apart and put it back together.

“We could even do a virtual spay or neuter,” she said. “This has been a nice experience. I’ve learned a lot and we’re excited about bringing our kids in and letting them start playing.”

zSpace technology is spreading throughout Texas but Dougherty said EPISD has become an area of focus for the company.

“What’s most exciting about working here in El Paso ISD is the great sense of vision and the idea that anything is possible,” Dougherty said. “As a result, we’re looking to set El Paso ISD as our first district of distinction in the state of Texas for zSpace.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Video by Raymond Jackson/EPISD 

EPISD: Burges, EPHS, Franklin get Upgrades; Work Kicks Off District-Wide Improvements

Burges, El Paso and Franklin high school football teams tackle a smoother, softer and even cooler field this season under the Friday night lights.

And when the student athletes call their field cool, they mean it literally. The cushier and cooler field is made with coconut fibers which is 40 percent cooler than previous turfs and an extra layer included within softens it for reduced knee and head injuries.

“Your feet are not burning up and don’t have to wear two pairs of socks anymore,” said Burges junior Michael Amezaga. “There’s no heat at all. You used to be able to see the heat rise when you looked across the field and you don’t see that anymore.”

Amezaga also likes the fact that the new field brings back the traditional mustang design, putting to bed forever the Denver Bronco-like design that existed for a decade.

“Now we have a real running mustang not a bronco anymore,” he said. “The field has been restored to how it should look.”

The newly rolled out turfs at the three high schools represent the first of 10 fields to be redone through the Bond 2016. All high schools will have their fields replaced under the bond program.

Beyond the safety upgrades, the new fields replaces patchy and pockets of torn up turf.

“They were in terrible shape,” Kennedy said. “We’re excited to be able to make these improvements for our kids.”

The cooler fields keep players better hydrated, and even impact other aspects of practice.

“The temperature factor is very important,” said Burges head football coach Neil Routledge. “We’re able to do things that involve tackling to the ground and we feel a lot safer about it because it isn’t as scorching hot as the old turf.”

The new football field and track upgrades inspired the alumni to add a fresh coat of paint to the trailers and ticket box.

Emblazoned on the the track are mustangs, and a tribute to the 2012 4×4 state championship boys track team, led by rookie Green Bay Packer Aaron Jones.

“No one had done it before and after a lot of years coaching track, I can see how special that the situations was,” Burges head track coach Manny Herrera said. “So when we had the track redone, we wanted to make a statement to show it was a meaningful time in our heritage not only for us but for the City of El Paso, too.”

Across town at El Paso High, coach Robert Morales sees his players inspired by their new field – the perfect compliment to the century-old school’s legacy and beauty.

“The color coordination and layout just puts a giant exclamation mark on the most beautiful high school football stadium in the country,” Morales said. “Our old turf was very dirty, ugly, and all patched up. We called it the ‘Field of Patches’ instead of the ‘Field of Dreams.’ Now our athletes play on it feeling they will have an edge on the competition because of all the pride they have in our facility.”

Athletic projects make up $32 million of the overall $668 million bond. Projects include: includes replacement and installation of turf at all high schools, renovations of track and tennis courts at eight high schools, court and field lighting and shading and court renovations at various playgrounds.

“Athletics is part of class,” Kennedy said. “A lot of kids come to school because of athletics and because of athletics they have to their pass their classes. Athletics keeps them motivated.”

The renovations make a difference throughout the District and give student athletes a chance to play on a level playing field no matter where their game is in EPISD.

“It’s big for our District keep up with the other districts,” Routledge said. “Other districts have newer facilities so now we can retain the kids have and maybe attract some kids from other districts

Video+Story: Irvin Joins Burges, Franklin as Publishing National Winners

Three EPISD schools joined the ranks of the top performing high-school publishing programs in the nation after bringing home an impressive number of prizes from the National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle last week.

Burges, a student journalism powerhouse, surprised few by winning the Pacemaker Award for its Hoofbeats yearbook and other awards. Franklin’s yearbook, which also has a history of winning awards nationally, also received prizes in Seattle this year.

But it was Irvin High School’s broadcasting program that perhaps surprised the most in the convention, when the program won its first national award for ‘Rocket Vision’ news show.

The school placed third Best of Show in the Broadcast Program category at the a semi-annual gathering of high school journalists and advisers sponsored by National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association.

Irvin broadcast teacher Mariel Torres-Tobias couldn’t hold back tears when she saw her students had placed third.

“I was super excited. I feel very proud of the students,” Torres-Tobias said. “It’s shown how far we’ve come. I want to put Irvin on top for broadcasting, and this really shows we are moving in the right direction.”

The students were excited to attend the convention, which provides the opportunity to network with industry professionals and journalism students from all over the country.

Irvin submitted an episode of ‘Rocket Vision’ focusing on life in a border city. The episode highlighted current event issues and featured an interview from Representative Beto O’Rourke.

“I thought this was a strong episode for the students to submit,” Torres-Tobias said. “Especially with everything that’s happening recently with the proposal to build a wall. A lot of people don’t know we already have a wall here and what life is really like as a border town.”

For senior Josh Roman, the Best of Show award gave him a confidence boost to pursue a career in cinematography when he graduates. He feels invested in the

“It’s a good feeling to receive this kind of recognition,” Roman said. “Irvin is a great school, and it has the potential to exceed any limits. I am beyond proud to be part of this program and this school.”

The Rockets weren’t the only ones celebrating a national win. Burges continued its impressive tradition in journalism by earning both a Pacemaker and a first-place Best in Show award for the school’s yearbook ‘Hoofbeats.’ The Mustangs also received distinction for their work on the ‘Stampede,’ winning a sixth-place Best in Show award in the Newspaper Tabloid 16 or fewer pages category.

“Receiving the Pacemaker is such an honor. It’s always exciting, and then to win ‘Best in Show’ was like the cherry on the top,” Burges journalism teacher Pat Monroe said. “It means a lot to the staff members because they work incredibly hard to create a yearbook their peers will always treasure. To receive the highest national honor means everything.”

Franklin High School also brought home in award for its yearbook ‘Pride,’ winning second place Best in Show in the 337 or more pages category.

El Paso ISD Announces new Principals for Andress, Franklin

On Thursday, El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera announced the appointment of two experienced educators to lead Andress and Franklin high schools as new principals.

Joseph Manago will start his tenure as principal at Andress on March 23. Shawn Mena will take over as principal at Franklin on April 3.

“Mr. Manago and Ms. Mena come with a long list of accomplishments and we feel they’re the right fit for their respective campuses,” Cabrera said. “Our search for principals at these two campuses was extensive and thorough. I have the confidence that we have selected two educators who care deeply about the schools they’re about to lead and the communities they will serve.”

Manago has 23 years of experience as an educator and is currently the principal at Nolan Richardson Middle School in the Andress feeder pattern.

Before that he served as an English teacher in both the Ysleta and Socorro school districts, and as a high-school assistant principal and assistant fine arts director in Socorro. He has a bachelor’s of arts and master’s in education from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Mena is currently the Director of the Arts and Humanities Academy in the Austin school district, where she also served as a high-school assistant principal. She taught speech in the Ysleta school district and was a lecturer at both UTEP and El Paso Community College.

Mena has bachelor’s and master’s of arts degrees from UTEP and is completing her doctorate at Grand Canyon University.

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