Chronicle 1 - 2021

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Volume 29 • Issue 1 Franklin High School • 900 N. Resler Drive 915 - 236 - 2200 • September 2021



Cougars share stories of crossing the border

Students ditch fast fashion for thrifted options

Moms making mums for homecoming

read more on pages 8 & 9

read more on page 11

read more on page 4

photos by daniela gonzalez-bustamante and leilani benford Students participate in a protest against the dress code policy on Aug. 27. Students across three schools coordinated the protest. Students marched from the front of Franklin to the courtyard during lunch. A committee of students, teachers and administrators was formed to address student concerns.

Students protest dress code Claire Quintana | Editor-In-Chief

Dress code. It’s the forbidden topic everyone has complained about for years. “She dress coded me because I had a rip above my knee, or “This is so annoying; I just want to wear a tank top cause it’s hot.” However, comments like these don’t produce change. The change wanted comes from actions, not complaints. Students decided to take real steps towards change, it turned all those complaints into a movement. This movement started with a protest and has continued to grow and evolve in the hearts of the students. On Aug. 27, a huge crowd of students made their way from the basketball courts to the foyer of the school, chanting things like “Hey hey, ho ho, the dress codes got to go” and holding up posters that expressed how the dress code made them feel. This protest was led by eight or nine different students, two of whom being Senior Rumi Sevilla and Junior Isabella Rodriguez. Sevilla has felt strongly about a need for a change in the dress code ever since school started. It first became a concern for her when she was dress coded for a shirt that she claimed did not show her stomach. The shirt had accidentally been pulled up, according to Sevilla, and she was kept in the office for approximately an hour. This was because she did not want to change her shirt for something she felt did not break the school rules. “It’s just crazy how we have this rule that’s made to limit distraction and yet the biggest distraction is me having to come out of class for almost an hour just to change my shirt,” Sevilla said. This incident caused Sevilla to take a closer look

at the school’s dress code policies. Upon investigation, she noticed that the dress code was very subjective and unclear about its policies. “After this I was determined to do something about the dress code,” states Sevilla. “It didn’t have to be a protest. In fact, I had a lot of different ideas until I met some other kids who felt the same way I did. They kind of helped me solidify and make my plan.” Of the students mentioned, Sevilla collaborated with Junior Isabella Rodriguez. Rodriguez had also felt like the dress code was unfair. She thought that there were inconsistencies and inequalities that made the dress code unjust for girls in particular. “Me and a couple of girls thought that it was an ongoing problem how there was inequality with the dress code,” Rodriguez said. “We felt that the best way to speak our mind was to show the admin that we are upset with the dress code, why we’re upset, and get their attention about this.” When the protest started to go into action, both Rodriguez and Sevilla admitted that the week leading up to the protest was chaotic and very quick. But with an after school meeting and a group chat, the leaders were able to get the protest more organized by communicating more and assigning different jobs to different people. “I was kind of stressed out about the protest because it was really disorganized. But as soon as we were able to talk about everything and assign jobs to everyone, it became fine after that,” explains Sevilla. There were a lot of different things that went into organizing the protest, but one of the things that Protest continued on page 2

News 2 · opinion 3 · Features 4-7 · Entertainment 10 -11 · Sports 13-15

N ews News

EPISD imposes mask mandate; all required to wear mask indoors

anna castellano | news editor EPISD announced that the district would be following the local mask mandate that was imposed at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 18. The mandate went into effect Thursday, August 19. All district students, employees and visitors will be expected to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside district buildings or traveling in district vehicles. The requirement will remain in effect until further notice. According to the order imposed by city health officials, El Paso is “among the leaders in the State of Texas in terms of COVID-19 deaths as well as the high vulnerability of our population due to morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.” Other factors that contributed to the cities order included low health insurance coverage rates, the impact that COVID-19 has had on the local community, as well a shortage in health care professionals in the area. The local order states that any person younger that 2 must wear a face covering indoors and failure to abide by the order is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.

photo by Alan Acosta Students wear their masks in class on August 18.

TikTok trend sees schools across country vandalized for clout, approval of peers From soap and paper towel dispensers being ripped from their holders to class projectors being unscrewed from their ceiling mounts, the “Devious Licks” trend has found it’s way to Franklin. Restrooms and classrooms across both campuses were found vandalized after a slew of online videos encouraged teens to destroy their schools for clout and peer approval. The vandalization is a trend being seen at schools across the country where students are filming themselves destroying property and uploading the videos to popular social media site, TikTok. While the site says they are actively banning and removing the videos that use the hashtag, the destruction has continued. Junior Alyssa Guzman transferred to Franklin this year. Guzman shared that her former high school was vandalized as well. “They took a urinal!,” Guzman said. Franklin administration addressed the situation and has discouraged this behavior. Students caught destroying school property or stealing teacher belongings would face disciplinary action. - Staff Report


continued from page 2 helped with the success of the protest was Sevilla being in contact with former 2020 mayoral candidate, Veronica Carbajal. “She basically just told me that we had First Amendment rights,” Sevilla said. “As long as we weren’t imposing on class time in order to protest than we would be okay and wouldn’t get put in ISS or anything like that.” As the protest happened, it ended up being very peaceful and did not display any signs of violence the entire time. The leaders were very respectful, both thanking admin and encouraging students to go to class when they needed to. Principal Shawn Mena, while fully supporting


volume 29 Issue 1 franklin high school 900 N. resler drive el paso, texas, 79912

staff photo A soap dispenser is shown ripped off the wall in the Faculty mens restroom on September 16. Restrooms and classrooms across the campus have seen similar destruction.

the protest and her students, felt that it would have been more effective quicker if students had expressed their needs to admin. “I’m here to serve the community and to work with the students with any issues they may be having,” Mena said. “It doesn’t mean they’ll get 100% of what they want, but we’ll compromise and work with them.” Some of the things that Mena put into action concerning the dress code was establishing a committee that would talk with the students, as well as creating a QR code that students could voice their opinions on. Then, as the committee met and they came up with solutions, they would have to go and meet with the Campus Instructional Team, which is comprised of a parent, two students, teachers and admin.

Claire Quintana | editor-in-chief daniela gonzalez-bustamante | managing editor anna castellano | news editor valeria silva | special section editor alan acosta | photo editor/manager leilani benford | design editor anjelika rakes | opinion editor Eddie granados | opinion editor xavib quiroz | features editor gisele ortiz | sports editor javier garcia | entertainment editor blu rivera | web manager katelyn farran | asst. web manager daniel holguin | asst. sports editor david zepeda | asst. sports editor jennifer payan | visual story editor sabrina rodriguez | advisor shawn mena | principal

“The CIT votes on everything. I can’t just make decisions without their votes,” Mena said. This protest has helped Sevilla in more than one way. She has been able to explore her passion for social justice and was inspired to make a club that reflects this passion. When all the students showed up to speak up and have their voices be heard, Sevilla realized that students were just as passionate as she was about certain topics. “It honestly wasn’t until I saw the protest and the success of it that I realized there were a lot of students who want a space to share their opinions,” Sevilla said. “I really feel like it is important to continue making this space that the protest provided.”


antonio rodriguez malachi arceo sydney rumpf ricardo cordero ainslie saenz savannah haynes alessandra moreno shaila torres

reporters yolanda bueno alyssa duran venezzia mendoza claire o’connor Braulio ortega kimberly villar Michael woods


natalie balboa angela camacho victoria franco tessa geary Sebastian hinojos joshua montelongo

erik murillo juan nieto ricardo perez robles caiden ryland maximiliano strawn-monarrez joaquin tanabe

Views express in the Chronicle are those of the reporters and do not express nor represent the views of Franklin High School or of the El Paso Independent School District. “Letters to the Editor” submissions must be typed and signed. The letters can be emailed to or can be dropped off in room E149. The Chronicle staff reserves the right to edit for grammar, spelling and length. This publication is created by students for students and is not a professional publication.



Opinion: Students should follow school dress A tough guidelines, give teachers a break lock to break senior opinion

anjelikah rakes | opinion editor

eddie granados | opinion editor

Locks are everywhere. It’s Fashion, it’s safety, it’s everything. Everywhere you go, there’s always something protecting someone’s personal treasures. When it comes to EPISD, our login passwords are padlocks on a safe full of district-approved applications. With a given username and birthday-related password, the safe was unlocked. It was no Ft. Knox, but it got the job done. To people’s shock, near the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, there had been a poorly announced password change to most students. Whether it was discovered through social media or friends, the majority of EPISD students and staff were upset. The addition of a new and weird password necessary for important applications used by students was not a smart move on the school’s part. Many students agreed the change wasn’t helpful and left students vulnerable to others accessing their “e-mails and student portals.” The new password is way too simple! Our passwords reduced to our users being flipped with some symbols and numbers that match with other students is a huge security oversight. Now, you all might be wondering, “Why did this happen in the first place?! Our birthdays worked just fine.” According to Patti Mondelo, bookroom clerk, someone at TEA came down on schools statewide for using birthdays as passwords. Apparently, the use of birthdays as passwords is a breach of privacy and is illegal. The schools were given options including three choices: EPISD User, Student ID, and Building Numbers. The school, district and state all agree that it was a bad time to do this, but they felt it was necessary option to fight against hacking and avoid breaking the law. The district’s choice out of many password options available to them was extremely odd. The locks we once had, had suddenly been stripped away from us and replaced with new ones with an oddly shaped key. Who knew breaking the law made life so convenient?

It is nothing new that every school has a dress code, but this year, schools have become stricter about it. The school administration has not changed the dress code from what it was before quarantine, but this year they are heavily enforcing it. As usual, the rules for tops are of the following: No profanity, no sex, drugs, gang messaging, no low-cut tops; no midriff and all shoulder straps need to be two inches. The rules for bottoms are the following: all pants must be worn above the waist; no revealing underwear, ripped jeans are allowed below-knee only, no pajama pants unless allowed for a special event, leggings may be worn when covered by a shirt or dress to the top of the thigh area and no short shorts. Finally, the miscellaneous category of the school dress code. No bandanas are allowed as a hat, belt, or hanging from a jean pocket, head covers for religious purposes are allowed, no hats of any kind allowed in the building, no slippers unless allowed for a special event, and of course, students must always wear shoes. Over the years, it has become obvious that students do not agree with rules from each category. Students are not happy with the rule of no jeans with holes above the knee since it has become a trendy style amongst teenagers. Another rule students have always tried to fight or refuse to follow is the rule of no low-cut tops. Low-cut tops have always been quite fashionable over the years and many students wear them whenever they can. And of course, students have never agreed with the rule of no hats. Although students may not agree with these rules, teachers and administration officials appreciate those who choose to follow the rules causing fewer problems for them. No one wants to give out referrals, but they cannot be blamed when the rules are clearly said and gone over every year. Everyone is happy to be back in school, but we must remember to follow the school’s guidelines. And to all the upper-class students, make sure to set a good example for the students who are new to Franklin! Let us make this year a good one! On Aug. 27, students gathered in front of Franklin High School in protest of the school’s dress code. The protest had a great turnout, over a hundred students attended. Students walked from the basketball courts all the way to the front and yelled their hearts out in honor of the protest. The protest was successful in the fact that no fights or arguments went on, and

Editorial Cartoon by Angela Camacho

Students participate in a protest against the dress code policy on Aug. 27.

because students got their point across. Many students who were a part of the protest brought posters with messages on them. One student had a poster that stated “If you’re distracted by what minors wear, you shouldn’t work with kids. Many of the school’s staff members looked down upon the protest. Counselors were going class by class letting students know that if they were to attend the protest with provocative clothing, they would be punished. Multiple students, including myself, overheard staff members voicing their doubts and questioning the legitimacy of the protest.

photo by daniela gonzalez-bustamante

This of course did not stop students from expressing their right to freedom of speech. Although some staff members looked down upon it, there were still some members who cheered it on. One of my teachers, Ms. Davis, was talking about how she used to dress the way students want to dress today. She highly encouraged students to take part in the protest and the survey that was sent out by school administration requesting students to give their opinion on why the school dress code should be changed. Teachers are just as hungry for change as us students are.

F F eatures

Franklin moms get head start on mum season If there is one thing that Texas always does big its homecoming. From the week leading up to the big game and dance, schools across the state are bustling with students eager to show their pride for their school. From dress-up days to spirit games and shopping for the perfect shoes to match your dress, homecoming is filled with events to cap off the high school experience. One tradition has grown to epic, Texas-sized proportion - Mums. While the history of the homecoming mum is simple, the tradition has turned into a lucrative show of exaggeration with wearers trying go bigger and bigger each year. In room 122 of the magnet campus, some Franklin parents have been hard at work since this summer preparing for homecoming and mum season. According to PTSA volunteer and parent Mayra Tercero, the mum prep begins in the summer. “Over the summer, we’ll start making a lot of things,” Tercero said. “A lot of the heads were made over the summer and then we just come back and we start putting them together.” Each mum is made by hand and can contain any assortment of ribbons, cowbells and other decorations such as lights, stuffed animals and charms. The PTSA has been working to complete as much of the prep work as possible leading up their busy season. “Usually the first two weeks students come in to ask questions,” Tercero said. “Then when they’re ready to buy they come back and order so the last two weeks it is super busy.” From assembling orders to hosting workshops for teams the moms making mums stay busy. “We do workshops so, we have the soccer girls and the girls basketball team come in,” Tercero said. “We come in and put up these tables and then they will make their own.” On Wednesday, Sept. 15, the moms hosted the Student Council and other groups to make their mums together. “We actually built the mums and get to pick our ribbons,” Senior Samantha Galarza said. Galarza said the experience was fun. “It took about an hour and a half,” Galarza said. The workshops are meant for students to create small mums with their team or spirit group and cost each member $10 to create. With the ordering deadline quickly approaching, some students lend to the mom’s stress through their indecision about getting a mum. Junior Savannah Soldi is on the fence about buying her boyfriend a garter. Soldi wants to be asked to the dance before making the expense to buy her boyfriend a garter. “I haven’t been asked yet,” Soldi joked. Although she expects her boyfriend to ask this week, she is cutting it close to the order deadline. Mums started where homecoming did. According to the NCAA, the University of Missouri was the first school to host a homecoming celebration. Students wore chrysanthemum flowers with ribbons attached as an adornment and a show of

PHOTO BY ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ Franklin PTSA volunteers work in room 122 of the magnet campus to make mums for this week’s homecoming celebrations. The mums range in price depending on customization.

PHOTOS BY ALESSANDRA MORENO LEFT: A Mom helps to glue the actual mum centerpiece to the ribbon and backing on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Student athletes from the basketball team and members of the student council got together to make mums for homecoming. RIGHT: A Franklin Mum Mom shows off what the finished mum should look like to the basketball team.

school pride. Sophomore Brooke Flores purchased a garter for her boyfriend to encourage his spirit. “He’s not very outgoing and I am so I wanted to follow tradition and show off our relationship through the customizations.” Flores and her boyfriend will be attending the dance and customized his garter to include their names. Some students like Freshman Kersten Lara opted to make their own instead of buying one pre-made. Lara started working on her mum two weeks before the day students will show them. “It’s not fully done,” Lara said. “I have

to find another letter to finish my name and then I have to add more ripples and the centerpiece said.” Lara is making the mum garter for her date. “[I’ve spent] over $40,” Lara said. While the cost of a mum can range and vary greatly, Lara opted to make her garter to save money. “I thought it would be cheaper,” Lara said. “The better thing about it is you can personalize it more.” Jennifer Payan, Antonio Rodriguez, Javier Garcia and Yolanda Bueno all contributed to this story.

“We do workshops so we have soccer girls and the girls basketball team come in.” - Mayra tercero, PTSA Mum Mom


Photo by Daniela Gonzalez-Bustamante Yearbook advisor William Vega speaks to his class about upcoming photo assignments for the yearbook. Vega began teaching at Franklin last June during COVID closures. Vega is in his tenth year and taught at Bowie HS previously.


Photo by Claire Quintana English teacher Ashley Douglas helps Senior Jaylene Nimnualrata. Douglas began teaching at FHS in January during the COVID closures. Douglas is in her fourth year teaching and previously taught in San Angelo, Texas.

Teachers who began during pandemic talk on being new cougars on campus xavib quiroz | features editor (Editors Note: This is the first part of a multiple part series where The Chronicle will be interviewing multiple new teachers throughout the school year.) Although last year may have been a crazy year for teachers all over the world, it didn’t stop teachers from attaining new opportunities in their teaching career. From English to Journalism and Dance to Band, Cougar Nation welcomed new teachers across many disciplines; Ashley Douglas, English; William Vega, Yearbook; Alyssa Loweree, Broadcast; Tyler Simon, Band and Alyssa Donnelly, Dance. Ms. Douglas, Mr. Vega, Mrs. Donnelly, Mr. Simon, and Mrs. Loweree overcame the struggle that was last year to become new Franklin Cougars Q: What is your first and last name? What do you want your students to call you and what do you teach? Ms. Douglas: “Her name is Ashely Douglas but she wants her students to address her as her Ms. Douglas and this year she teaches both English 2 and English 4.” Vega: “My name is William Vega, Mr. Vega is good and I teach newspaper and Digital design media production.” Donnelly: “I would like my students to call me Ms. Donnelly and I teach Dance and I am the director of the dance team.” Loweree: “My students call me Ms. Loweree or Ms. Low (sometimes my last name can be hard to pronounce.) I teach photojournalism, journalism, and broadcast journalism.” Simon: “I would like my students to call me Mr. Simon and I am the band teacher here at Franklin.” Q: In the amount of time you have been in Franklin, how has your experience been? Donnelly: “My experience at Franklin so far has been a great one! Being the “new kid on the block” at any place can be really nerve wracking, but I quickly learned that I had nothing to be nervous about. The staff and students have made me feel so welcome. I’ve enjoyed learning from everyone around me and I feel lucky to be a teacher here!” Loweree: “Although I’ve been teaching for two years, I feel like I’ve only been teaching for one year because our last year was virtual and this is my first time teaching in a virtual classroom. Although last year was different, I’ve enjoyed every second of being a teacher at Franklin.” Vega: “It’s been really good, a lot of support for sure, from the admin and the administration, I like to think that I get along well with a lot of the other teachers. It was virtual last year and now luckily we are here in person and I think that it has been going very well.” Douglas: “In the time I’ve been at Franklin, my experience has been interesting. I got here in January so the first couple weeks were online but then we started going physically to school a little while after.” Simon: “My experience at Franklin has been fantastic. I have felt welcomed by the students and staff since day 1!” Q: How did online learning affect you last

Photos by alessandra moreno Left: Band Director Tyler Simon gives directions and notes to his band before taking the field for a performance. Right: Drill instructor Alyssa Donnelly speaks with her team before a performance at Andress High School on Sept. 10.

year? Loweree: “online learning was interesting last year. I felt frustrated at times not being able to be hands on and it was rough overall not being able to use cameras but I would say I enjoyed the challenge.” Douglas: “Online learning last year improved my class because you can do anything with technology and technology also helps you stay organized with all your classes.” Simon: “online learning was difficult for me because teaching a music class online was hard. The performances were hard to keep authentic and it just became a sterile activity in general.” Q: How did you end up at Franklin? Donnelly: “Before I came to Franklin, I was working on my undergraduate degree at UTEP. I graduated during COVID then worked as a substitute while also teaching at a local dance studio,”. Loweree: Before I was at Franklin, I was in the news industry for 12 years and this is now my first year teaching.” Douglas: “I was in Saint Angelo Texas before I was teaching here at Franklin.” Q: Is there anything in particular that you would like your students to know? Donnelly: “I would like my students to know that I love what I do. It is a privilege to share something I’m so passionate about with Franklin students, and I hope that it shows how excited I am to be in a classroom with them.”

Douglas: “I would like my students to know that it is up to them to get what they need from their education.” Vega: “I want my students to know to just be honest and to write as accurately as they can to make sure that whatever they put in the yearbook is honest. If they say something about a sports team it is important to make sure that everything is very accurate and honest as to not put out wrong information.” Loweree: “I would like my students to know that I am here to support them and help them whenever they are struggling. It is a learning experience for me too as I am new to teaching and I’m always here to help.” Q Do you like your current classroom? If not, what would you change about it? Donnelly: “My current classroom definitely feels like a safe space to me. I enjoy being inside my classroom and look forward to decorating it even more to my liking.” Simon: “I think that the band room is a little small and I wish it was a little bigger because you need a lot of room for the band.” Vega: “The decor is alright, I haven’t changed much other than just putting up all the computers around the room. My editor-in-chief, Amber, Is helping me decorate for Halloween, which is coming up so I’m very happy that my editors are helping me decorate with things like holidays. I’m not a very creative teacher when it comes to

decoration, I can do a good job at organizing but I’m not the best at decoration” Douglas: “I think that my classroom itself is good but I think the colors are all over the place. There are many different colors all over my class and I think it would be better if it was more similar.” Q: Do you have any future goals as a teacher? If so, what are they? Vega: “We want to expand our yearbook this year and that is a future/ current goal. Other than that I want to build good teamwork with all the staff. We have a large editing group this year and I hope that we all get along this year and we do well with teamwork in general.” Loweree: “my future goals as a teacher are to expand the broadcasting program. I’m really honored to be the one to help launch the broadcasting program and I hope to be able to see it expand and grow in the future.” Donnelly: “I would like to expand the drill program. It would be awesome to have even more students on the team” Douglas: “A future goal of mine not necessarily here at Franklin but just as a teacher in general is to be able to teach University in the future.” Simon: “Future goals as a teacher are to be a finalist in the state marching band contest and take the band to Midwest international music conference. I would be so excited! My goal as a teacher was to be the head director of a 6A band program and here we are.”



Senior helps to Build classrooms in Service Trip to southern Africa Building classrooms with heffy


Made cement and concrete using rocks, gravel, sand, and water. Layered the bricks to build up the walls using the cement.


Used a cement powder mixed with water to create a plaster.


trowels to put and 4 Used smooth plaster on the wall in

order to create insulation for the classrooms.


Built and painted beams for the roof.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Holden

Valeria Silva | Special Sections Editor

“I really like serving and I really like traveling,” said Sarah Holden Franklin senior, Sarah Holden, traveled to Southern Africa and Mozambique to help build schools with the help of the Humanitarian Experience for Youth. HEFY, which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is an organization that gives American volunteers the chance to help people in poverty. For the last 20 years, they have gone to multiple locations and provided people with access to healthcare, education, and social services. HEFY’s mission is to change lives through service— the lives of the volunteers and the lives of the ones being served. “[This whole experience] really made me feel blessed to live in the United States and to have simple things that [other people around the country may not have]: like AC, food, or an education,” Holden said. Holden is very involved in the many activities that the school has to offer. She is Fusion Dance Company’s captain, part of the Spanish Honor Society, and is in the Compassion Club. Since she is so involved in school, her interest in this once in a lifetime opportunity was no surprise to her parents. “[My parents] were super excited for me to go and they were so supportive,” Holden said. HEFY provides a trip to Mozambique that includes a safari in Kruger National Park, a swim in the Indian ocean, and the main activity— building two classrooms for the students studying under trees and insecure structures. The first activity under Sarah’s schedule was a safari in North Africa, where she got to experience the wilderness, as well as the difference of cultures between the United States and Africa. After the safari, they went to Mozam-

bique and started to tackle the whole reason for the trip– the building of classrooms. “We would leave the hotel at around 8 a.m. and we would leave the worksite at around 7 p.m.,” Holden said. HEFY started bringing work groups to this country because they discovered that in Maputo, Mozambique, there is one elementary school that about 2000 kids ages six to 14 rely on, but the school is very small. There are a few classrooms that the community built themselves with sheet metal and tin, but they leak when it rains and many of the students don’t fit in the classroom. When the group got to the work site, there were workmen who had already started building the classrooms with other groups. The workmen then explained how to correctly mix and lay bricks in order to successfully build the classrooms. Each of the volunteers were given different jobs and Sarah had a very important part. “My job on the worksite was to mix the cement, which was actually very hard to do,” said Holden. She was also given the job of laying down bricks and plastering the wall to make insulation for the building. As one may guess, she wasn’t sleeping on nice hotel beds or eating restaurant food, but instead she slept in a hut and ate the same thing every day. “In South Africa we stayed in these little huts, which was really cool, and in Mozambique we stayed in a hotel that I shared with four roommates,” Holden said. All of the volunteers that attended the trip ate chicken and rice every day, which they could barely force down by the end of the trip. “I can’t really eat [chicken and rice] anymore without getting sick,” Holden said. After they were done building classrooms for the day, they would visit dif-

ferent families and hear the stories that they would share. Not only does visiting families and hearing their story make it a very heartfelt moment, but Sarah also made special connections with the kids that were watching her build classrooms at the worksite. “I had a very special connection with the kids that go to school at the worksite and I was able to earn their trust week by week,” Holden said Being in Africa for two weeks and getting to meet new people can end with everyone making new memories that you will remember for the rest of your life. “I love being with the kids at the worksite so much, they are all so funny and cool,” Holden said. This whole trip with HEFY is done without a cellphone. Every person who volunteers has their phone taken away so they can focus on what is happening right in front of them, and not what is happening around them. The first day that Sarah went without her phone she was always aching and wanting to check it, but as the two weeks past she found herself not needing her phone. She mentioned that when she got her phone back, she hated it and didn’t like that she could just use it when she wanted. “[Not having my phone] made me make better connections and friendships with the people on my trip”, Holden said. Not only did she put herself out of her comfort zone she also made huge impact on the kids at the worksite. With the help of her group, she was able to build two classrooms so that kids don’t have to learn underneath trees, or all squished into a small room. She was able to meet more people from all over the United States that have that same mindset as her— helping people around her. “If I could do this all over again, I would”, Holden said.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Holden Sarah shared photos of her while on her trip to build classrooms.



Photo by Alan Acosta

Students await instruction during mariachi class.

‘Por Un Amor’ a la musica Eddie Granados Opinion Editor

The rumors are true. Franklin’s new Mariachi course is up and running. The course is currently being taught by new Franklin instructor: Mike Hernandez. This class was a surprise to many, and a few were intrigued. Although there is much talk about this class, not much is known, and a lot is left to learn about it. The class is almost impossible to find without help from the office. The teacher and class are literally nowhere to be found on the Franklin website, and only a select few staff have access to such information. After much research and a lot of sweet talking the staff, one can find that the Mariachi class is in a small hallway next to the Magnet gym. For such a big room, it was easily overlooked. No mariachi class is without a band, of course. The Franklin Mariachi consists of trumpets, violins, violas, guitars and even a guitarrón. Now, many might not know of the guitarrón. The guitarrón is an acoustic bass guitar commonly used in mariachi music. It’s massive in size and is extremely difficult to hold without a shoulder strap. It has six huge strings that leave blisters on even the most calloused guitar player’s fingers. Students rotate in singing positions when not playing instruments. The current repertoire is mostly unknown but one song that is incapable of es-

caping anyone’s mind after hearing it performed: Por Un Amor. Por Un Amor is a hearty ballad of someone singing their heart out about a love lost. The song requires a strong and soulful voice to translate the story of an aching heart well. Senior and singer Kyleen Salais does just that. Salais has a strong connection to the song, and it shows in her vocals. “When I’m singing Por Un Amor, I think of my tÍas,” Salais said. Salais says the song gives her a warm feeling that reminds her of “family” despite the meaning of the song being heartbreak. Salais’ warm and powerful vocals imitate one beautifully wailing over the one that got away, the strings cry with sympathy, guitars play a comforting melody and compliment the bold, blaring horns to create… Mariachi! The tale of a broken heart and many more will soon be flooding the halls of Franklin as Hernandez plans to have small events and concerts to display the music they’ve worked endlessly on. “We’re going to be doing gigging,” Hernandez explains students will be “playing out in a formal or non-formal school function.” This new course will be able to unite the students at Franklin more by bringing in a different style of music that many may not have heard of before. New music, new songs, new course. You will be able to hear the beautiful song, Por Un Amor, blaring through the hallways of Franklin.

Top: Senior Kyleen Salais plays the guitar and sings with the Mariachi group. Bottom: Students practice during class.

Photos by jennifer payan

Special Section

Editors Note: Names have been withheld to protect student identities. All sources have been verified by the Publisher.

Cruzando el puente |

Estudiantes comparten sus historias, experiencias 4:30 a.m. ¡Beep! a.m. ¡Beep! ¡Beep! 4:30 ¡Levantate!

5-5:30 a.m. Tiempo de banar y alistarse

6 a.m.

Desayuno y maquillaje si hay tiempo

6:35 a.m. Llegar al puente libre y esperar en las filas

7-7:30 a.m. Esperar un ride o tomar un uber

8 a.m. Llegar en Franklin

(dependiendo en el trafico)

8:45 a.m. Clases empiezan

3:55 p.m. Ir al trabajo o regreso a casa

By Daniela Gonzalez-Bu and Venezzia Me

4:30 a.m. El beep constante de su alarma penetra a travez de su sueño para destruir su siesta. 5:00 a las 5:35 a.m. Se apresura para alistarse para llegar a la escuela a tiempo, solo desayuna, y se maquillá si tiene el tiempo. 6:35 a.m. Luego vienen las largas filas y la inocua espera para cruzar la frontera. 7:00 a 7:30 a.mvv. Ahora que ha cruzado, debe de conducir bastante a Franklin High School. 8:00 a.m. Finalmente a llegado a su destino y puede prepararse para el día en la escuela. La vida de los estudiantes que viven en Juarez tiene un horario muy especifico. Una estudiante, Maria, empieza su dia levantandose aproximadamente a las 4:30 am para poder completar su rutina diaria. “Primero me despierto a las 4:30 o 5:00 de la mañana, dependiendo de que ganas tengo,” señaló Maria. Despues empieza su dia. “Luego me meto a bañar durante aproximadamente 15 minutos y despues salgo para alistarme y duro como 20 minutos,” destacó Maria. Hay veces en que Maria no tiena tiempo para maquillarse o desayunar. “O aveces ni siquiera me maquillo para poder llegar a tiempo, desayuno algo si me queda tiempo o lo hago cuando llego a la escuela,” dijo Maria. Su papa la lleva al puente y le toma entre un hora a hora y media cruzar. “Mi papá me lleva al Puente libre, llego ahi aproximadamente a las 6:00 am y termino cruzando a las 7:00 o 7:30 am y de ahi alguien me recoge o pido algun Uber,” dijo Maria. Dependiendo del trafico, Maria llega al la escuela entre 30 minutos. “Justamente llego como a las 8:00 am a la escuela depende mucho de como este el trafico en la ciudad,” Maria dijo. Esto afecta su rutina diaria pero mucho mas en su vida social. Maria comentó que le ha afectado con sus amistades de El Paso porque muchas veces no es posible quedarse a convivir con ellos despues de escuela o incluso algun fin de semana porque tiene que regresarse, aunque aveces hace el esfuerzo de quedarse algunos fines de semana aquí. Otro estudiante, Jose, mencinó como el trabajo, el hecho de levantarse a las

5:00 a.m. es dificil para el por que sale del trabajo a las 11:30 p.m. o aveces a las 12:30 a.m. y llega a las 2:00 am, lo que hace que muchas veces no le da tiempo de hacer sus trabajos pendientes de la escuela. Hay muchas anecdotas que uno puede pasar por alto durante el tramo de salir de sus casas a llegar a la escuela cómo a Maria. Una anecdota que le paso es que en una ocasión un perrito de la policia descubrió un poco de marihuana, y se le hizo interesante porque el perrito fue muy inteligente y desde mucha distancia pudo dectectar el olor. Las familias que quieren que sus hijos estudien en El Paso hacen sacrificios para poder mandarlos a estudiar o los estudiantes en si hacen sacrificios tambien como Lupe que cuando ella decidio venir a estudiar en El Paso sabia que se la iba a ver ella sola y aun asi salir adelante o Jose al principio pagaba $200 dolares para la renta en donde se quedaba, luego de su primer año estudiando, tomo la decision de cruzar por varias razones. La primera era que le daba tristeza nomas ir a Juarez un dia y los demas estar en El Paso y la otra es por que queria saber que se sentia, el sacrificio que hace Maria es que vive con su papá, entonces el siempre ha trabajado muy fuerte para darle lo que necesita y poder estudiar aqui. Muchos mas estudiantes viven esta experiencia dia a dia, por eso es importante ser comprencivos con esas personas que hacen esos esfuerzos solo para tener el privilegio de estudiar para querer superarse y en algun futuro recompensarle a sus padres todos sus sacrificios.

Photos were submitted by various students who cross the border daily f

| Crossing the border

ustamante | Managing Editor endoza | Reporter

for school.

Students share stories, experiences of border crossing 4:30 a.m. The redundant beeping of her alarm clock penetrates through her dream to break her sleep. 5 to 5:35 a.m. She rushes to get ready so that she can make it to school on time, only eating and doing makeup if she has the time. 6 a.m. Then comes the long lines and mindless waiting to get across the border. 7 to 7:30 a.m. Now that she’s across the border, she must make the long drive to Franklin High School. 8 a.m. She has finally reached her destination and is able to prepare herself for the school day.

4:30 a.m.

The life of the students that live in Juarez have a specific schedule. Maria starts her day by waking up around 4:30 a.m. She wakes this early to be able to complete her daily routine. “First I wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning depending on how a feel,” Maria said. Once she’s up and has pushed the grogginess away she begins getting ready. “Then I take a shower takes me around 15 minutes,” Maria said. “Then I get out and get ready it usually takes me about 20 minutes.” There are times when Maria leaves the house without breakfast or an opportunity to put makeup on. “Or sometimes I don’t even do my makeup so that I can arrive to the bridge on time,” Maria said. If she misses breakfast at home, she has to wait to have it when she arrives to school. “I have breakfast if theres time if not I eat at school,” Maria said. “My dad takes me to the International Bridge. I get there around 6:00 am and cross the border around 7:00 or 7:30 am from there someone picks me up.” There are times in which Maria has no ride and Uber is her only option. “I’ll arrive at school around 8 a.m. depending on how much traffic there is.” Maria feels this schedule affects not only her day-to-day life, but also her social life. Maria said it has affected her friendships in El Paso since a lot of the time she is not able to spend time with them after school or on the weekends. Maria said there are times she makes

6 a.m.

the effort to stay in the city. Another student traversing international borders to reach school is Jose. According to Jose, he has a very hard time waking up so early in the morning due to his work schedule. Jose works after school and there are times in which he is leaving his job after 11:30 or midnight. On the nights where he works late, his schedule gets him back home around 2 a.m. and by then he’s too tired to work on his school work - especially knowing that he has to be up at 5 a.m. to travel back to El Paso for a new school day. According to Jose he has seen a lot while traveling across the border that he cannot share for publication, but he does remember a time where he witnessed a drug dog sniff out marijuana in another kids backpack. J Jose says he found the situation peculiar and thought the dog to be very intelligent in that he was able to detect the substance from quite a long distance. Maria and Jose’s families want their kids to get their education in El Paso. Many parents like Maria’s and Jose’s sacrifice much of their money and livelihoods to provide this opportunity to their students. Another student mentioned paying $200 a month to rent a room of his own, but after a year he is back to crossing daily. Many students across El Paso and along the border in other communities live in this reality every day. This sacrifice is made with the hope of better educational opportunities and more opportunities post graduation.

Beep!a.m. Beep! Beep! 4:30

5-5:30 a.m. Time to shower and get ready for school

Eat breakfast and apply makeup if there’s time

6:35 a.m. Arrive at the border and wait in line

7-7:30 a.m. Wait for a friend or catch an uber

8 a.m. Depending on traffic, arrive at Franklin

8:45 a.m. Classes start

3:55 p.m. Go to work or return home


music review


Kanye West release albums days apart

B o o k Fans Divided: Rap mega stars Drake, All selections and book synopsis’ by Alyssa Duran|Reporter

The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller

The novel is about a boy who has been exiled from his father in the court of Peleus, who soon falls in love with his host’s son. The novel is a historical, romance, and a war story all in one.

we were liars

E. Lockhart The novel is about a wealthy family who spends their summers on a private island. The daughter of the family suffers a head injury which leads to her not remembering anything from the trip. The novel is a psychological thriller fiction.

The silent girls Eric Rickstand

The book is about a horrible murder-suicide that happened 19 years ago, in a restaurant. It left five people dead, except one woman who is still alive and connected to the murder, who knows a secret. A secret hidden in the shadows of Chinatown. The novel is a thriller, mystery, suspense, and horror fiction.

by JAVIER GARCIA | entertainment editor

‘Certified Lover Boy’ a certified hit Ontario native, Aubrey “Drake” Graham’s sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy” debuted on September 3. With a runtime of an hour and twenty-six minutes, the record was received to mixed reaction from fans and critics alike. Sophomore Spencer Delgadillo has been a Drake fan since he was in the Fourth Grade. COURTESY OF OVO • REPUBLIC Delgadillo gave the album on overall 8 out of ten. “It’s not his best album but it’s up there,” Delgadillo said. Delgadillo said his favorites from CLB were the tracks ‘Views’ and ‘More Life.’ The “God’s Plan” rapper took to social media platforms Instagram and Twitter on August 30 to introduce his new project and previewed the now viral cover art. With highlights of the album coming in the form of fan favorites such as “Champagne Poetry,” “Fair Trade” featuring Travis Scott, “No Friends In The Industry,” “Knife Talk” featuring 21 Savage & Protect Pat. After some controversy due to the surprise release of the album “Donda” by Kanye West so close to the pre-announced date of Graham’s album, the two artists were now put up against each other by fans to see who would come out with the superior album. Delgadillo feels Graham’s album was released so close to West album’s to create tension. “It was done intentionally,” Delgadillo said.” After some back and forth from the artists, Drake solidified his spot in the music industry as the hit maker by breaking the record for most streamed album in a 24-hour period, not only on Apple Music, but on streaming platform Spotify as well. The record also became the biggest debut in Apple Music history, beating his precursory album “Scorpion.” Editors Note: As an overall work of art, Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” is a coherent project with a solid artistic vision. But, a good idea may not be brought to fruition with its best potential. With the strong point of the project coming in the form of it’s production, constructed by from Graham’s all-time collaborator and personal producer Noah “40” Shebib. Another supporting pillar being some of the biggest names in hip-hop collaborating in the project such as Travis Scott, Jay-z, and Future, the album had a major star factor, which correlates to its success. With high quality production and diverse tracks, my personal rating of the project is a 6.5/10.

‘Donda’ leaves fans with more questions than answers about Kanye West’s 10th studio album The controversial and long-awaited album, “Donda,” by Kanye West is now out. After many statements, label problems, multiple listening parties and false release dates, the long-awaited album was released by Universal Music Group Recordings LLC on August 29, allegedly without West’s consent. The artist took to social media platform Instagram the same day with the following statement, “UNIVERSAL PUT MY ALBUM OUT WITHOUT MY APPROVAL AND THEY BLOCKED JAIL 2 FROM BEING ON THE ALBUM,” West said referring to a song set to feature controversial artist, DaBaby. The 22 Grammy award winning artist held three listening parties, two at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and the last being at the Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago. West held these listening parties to give his fans a performance and chance to listen to the album, which is dedicated to his deceased mother, Donda West. Sophomore Dante Portillo feels that ‘Donda’ is West reckoning with his mother’s death. “My first impression of ‘Donda’ was Kanye fighting to accept his mother’s death,” Portillo said. The project, which was received to mixed reviews, has strong points in the form of tracks such as “Jonah” and “No Child Left Behind,” featuring Houston native Vory; “Jail,” featuring longtime collaborator, Jay Z; “Hurricane,” featuring The Weeknd. Portillo loved the album and feels this one was one of West’s best. “I love it,” Portillo said. “I think my favorite is ‘Pure Souls’ and ‘Lord, I Need Help.” The album is projected to reach number one of the Billboard charts, making it the artist’s tenth chart topper, the most in the decade. With a near-perfect production, this record adds to the already vast discography of the Chicago rapper. Editors Note: With West’s near perfect team and production, there are very few artists that can get close to the quality and caliber of West’s work. In standing against his past work, “Donda” is neither Kanye’s best or worst work. With many powerful pieces, and inevitably, some skips in the almost 2-hour project, I would give this work a rating of 7.5/10.

Review: Tyler, the Creator releases fifth studio album, claimed no. 1 spot on the Billboard charts JAVIER GARCIA | entertainment editor Tyler Gregory Okonma, now going by the alias Tyler Baudelaire, is back with his fifth studio album, “Call Me if You Get Lost.” After a 2 year period of having little to no presence in the media, Tyler is back after his critically acclaimed album “IGOR,” which landed him his first number one album on the Billboard charts. Okonma started teasing his album by putting up billboards in major cities which read “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST 1(855)444-8888.”

When one would call the number they would be received with a snippet of the album. On the days following the “EARFQUAKE” artist kept teasing with images and small videos throughout different social Medias. Shortly after “Baudelaire” released his first single of the album, “LUMBERJACK”, on June 16, 2021. Having his fan base waiting for an official release date, critically acclaimed artist took to social media to announce, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOSE: JUNE 25TH,” with a picture of the album cover attached.

In preparation to his grand release, Tyler release a second single, “WusYaName,” on June 22. On June 25, the album released at midnight to critical acclaim, beating Doja Cat’s “Planet Her,” which released on the same day, to the number one spot on the Billboard charts. In the album Baudelaire goes into his struggles of being in love with a girl that is already in a relationship. In his story telling ways Tyler brings the listener into a roller coaster of emotions as he brings the listener into his thoughts and emotions for this specific individual.




T HR I F T S e e k e r s

Students share their tips on thrifting

Where are your favorite places to thrift?

katelyn farran | Asst. Web Manager & Angela camacho | Designer

“I like to shop at Goodwill and local family thrift centers”

When people go thrifting, it doesn’t just mean that they are going to buy old, dirty, used-clothing. It means that they want to go explore the world of unique,vintage, items for a great low-price. Many go for fun while others go to find something in particular. Anyone who shops can guarantee to find something they like, such as books, furniture, decorations, and etc. Not only is thrift-shopping a great way to save money, but it’s also amazing for the environment! Each time you thrift, you’re reducing the massive and harmful waste of energy and resources used to produce new clothes. Plus, you can find unique items that nobody else has! Thrift shopping has become increasingly popular, thanks to big social-media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. Students at Franklin have also caught on to the world of thrifting. Take a look at some of their tips and tricks!:

- Natalie Balboa, 9

What are your favorite thriftfinds so far?

“I found this really cute cow-print bag and this black zip up sweater. They are definitely my favorite pieces in my closet.”

“Look in every single section, even if it’s not your size. A lot of times, clothes are mis organized and you have a chance of finding something great.” - Angela Camacho. freshman

- Angela Camacho, 9

“Always have a good idea of what you are looking for. Gather pictures similar to what you want to find, and don’t be afraid to shop in different sections. Some of my favorite clothes have actually come from the men’s section.” - Natalie Balboa, freshman

Whats the weirdest thing you’ve found while thrifting? “I once found a mannequin head. I named him Clarence and he now lives on my shelf”

“If you’re looking for something specific, go as often as possible. The stock changes every day. Another one is to just go with the flow. You never know what you might find!” - Sydney Rumpf, freshman

Review: Shang-Chi breaks box office records claire o’connor | Reporter The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong since 2008, and it continues growing bigger with new projects such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which smashed into the box office Labor Day weekend making the most money any movie has made during that weekend. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) being confronted by his past with his father (Tony Leung) and taking care of unfinished business dealing with the Mandarin from Iron Man 3, and the Ten Rings organization from the first Iron Man movie. It’s not just his father however, Shang-Chi also has to deal with his sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) but at least he has his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). Kevin Fiege, president of Marvel Studios remarked how this movie is giving a group of people around the world the representation they feel hasn’t been rightfully given to them. With the film taking place mainly in China and about a third of the dialogue being in Mandarin, the movie also has a predominantly Asian-American cast. The release of Shang-Chi is being compared to Black Panther’s release since it dealt with similar ways of showing representation to other ethnic groups. Speaking of representation, Shang-Chi’s soundtrack brought attention to native Asian and Asian-American artists who worked on it. Like Black Panther, the soundtrack is supposed to be a statement piece showing off their respective

- Sydney Rumpf, 9

MUSIC CONNECTIONS Song selections were curated by staff members to upgrade your playlists.

Caught a vibe IF YOU LIKE...



Baby, are you coming for the ride? I just wanna look into your eyes I just wanna stay for the night, night, night When ORION SUN we take a drive Maybe we can hit the 405 Hypnotized by the lights Man, this must be the life COURTESY OF ROC NATION/MSFTS MUSIC


cultures. After seeing this movie twice myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the action sequences that included lots of martial arts, the comedic relief that Awkwafina’s character Katy brought to the film, and the pure and raw emotion from the actors. You don’t even need to see every single Marvel movie to enjoy this masterpiece, just brush up on Endgame, Infinity War, Iron Man, and Iron Man 3. Being Asian-American myself, it was such an amazing experience seeing the movie. My final rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.




S ports Sports

Powers nabs scholarship with West Point Blu Rivera | Web Manager & Daniel Holguin | Assistant Sports Editor

Scholarships are something a majority of students would love to have. One student who did manage to snag a coveted scholarship is Senior Steven Powers. According to stats and player records Powers maintains a top spot on the Franklin roster. Powers plays defense as a linebacker and played offense in the 2020 season as a running back. As a linebacker, Powers recorded four sacks and 83 tackles last season. On the offensive end of the field, he rushed for an impressive 381 yards and seven touchdowns. With these statistics as well as consistent numbers throughout his years of playing it’s no surprise that several schools have tried to recruit him but only one succeeded. “I think I did really good last year and all the hard work I put in, in the offseason it showed on the field,” Powers said. “[I] could have had more numbers if the season wasn’t cut short.” The school who managed to bring Powers into its roster is United Sates Military Academy at West Point , one of the top military colleges in the country. The school also has a long history with many well-known presidents and generals being former graduates. Missing from the West Point roster or any military roster for that matter is any Powers family members. “I don’t have any family in the military it was really seeing [West Point] and family that reeled me in,” said Powers. The military is a place where a sense of family is often celebrated and embraced. According to Powers seeing that commarderie of the stu-

dents and the school’s structure were some his main factors for choosing the school. He did not visit any other military schools during his time uncommitted. “I’ve always been into structure, there’s a lot of good structure,” said Powers. “WestPoint had good facilities and good atmosphere no reason to keep looking.” Powers is currently out due to an injury he hopes to be back soon and says it won’t put a damper on his senior season. While injured Powers has been able to reflect on the opportunities he has potentially given to others in El Paso. He hopes to see more students get picked up. “It’s a special feeling honestly to bring more attention to El Paso, not a lot of kids here get recruited and I feel like that’s not a good thing because there’s a lot of good talent here,” Powers said. “El Paso brings good players every year, I think it’s just a good thing to see other players get recruited too. Coach Polo Gonzalez has worked to coach Powers for three years. Gonzalez works with the running backs. “He has an absolutely over the top work ethic,” Gonzalez said. “What makes Powers a great player is his understanding of the game and desire to be great.” According to Gonzalez Powers has the maturity, understanding of the game and overall effort that makes him a great player. Gonzalez feels Powers earned this distinction. “The scholarship was well deserved and well earned from his dedication,” said. Gonzalez doesn’t have any worries about Powers’ injury and says his goals should be “All-District, All-State, and District champs.”

Photo courtesy of Steven Powers’s Twitter Senior Steven Power’s poses for a photo for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Powers will be sponsored by West Point.

Cougars ranked No. 1 in the city; district to begin against Montwood braulio ortega | reporter Friday nights are lit up again with Texas high school football season underway and the cougars are on the prowl for a district championship. The district season officially begins for the Cougars with Friday’s September 24 homecoming game against Montwood HS. While the cougars are ranked No. 1 in the city, they have an uphill battle to climb if they want to win the district championship. Nine playoff starters have returned to the field. The cougars had seen new leadership but will begin the district season against Montwood with Head Coach Darren Walker back on the field after a brief leave. Coach Leigh McWhorter had been named as acting head coach while Walker was out. “I expect us to do well, I have a great group of coaches and a great group of kids I’m working with,” McWhorter said.

The cougars fought hard during their pre-district games with losses against Cleveland HS (35-32) in Rio Rancho , New Mexico and Midland Christian (5120). “Our pre-district was tough,” McWhorter said. The team won their final pre-district game against Andress HS 41-21. Fans are ready for the start of district play. Senior Nathaniel Peralta follows the Cougars stats and is ready to cap his senior year off with cougar wins. “I’m honestly looking forward to the (start of district),” Peralta said. “We have a great defensive leader, Steven Powers.” Peralta is excited to spend his Friday Nights in Cougar Stadium. Fans and coaches alike are expecting success in this season. “They’re all diligent and focused on having a great season,” McWhorter said. “I expect it to be a good season.”

Photo by alessandra moreno Running back Miles McWhorter scores on a 19-yard pass play against Andress on Sept. 11. The cougars won 41-21.

With this win the varsity cougars get their first taste of victory and the team hopes many more to come in the near future. The team is capable of many things and winning is definitely one of them. “They’re all diligent and focused on having a great season. We put together

a good summer and our pre-district was tough but we came out of it healthy and we learned a lot so I expect it to be a great season,” McWhorter said. The cougars will face off against Montwood for their first district game and homecoming on Friday, Sept. 24.



Silver Starz prepare for drill season with new leadership amid pandemic valeria silva |

Special Section Editor

As the new school year was coming in quick, Franklin High School Silver Starz got a dramatic change in leadership. The 2020-2021 coach took on another dream of hers and left Silver Starz under the direction of co-director Rebekah Munoz, captain Jessica Nidadhal, and co-captain Damara Baustert until the school was able to find a new director. “It was a little bit of a shock, since it was so close to school, so it was a bit hectic but so far everything has been going good,” co-director Rebekah Munoz said. Before the school year starts, the team would usually start two weeks of practice but this year they had to postpone it because of the lack of coach. The team would use these two weeks to condition and teach the new team members correct technique for kick or pom routines. Not only are these two weeks beneficial for the team members but also for leadership so that they can evaluate the team and make sure to work on what needs to be fixed before the football season begins. As the first week of school began, the team was informed that they found the new director for Silver Starz, Alyssa Donnelly. Ms. Donnelly was a former student at Franklin and was captain of Fusion Dance Company during her time at Franklin. When she heard that the spot was open to be director of Silver Starz, she decided that it was the perfect opportunity to mix both of her passions— dancing and teaching kids about dances. “Having the best of both worlds was something incredible and something that I was interested in doing as a job,” Donnelly said. Since the change of leadership was so sudden, the whole process wasn’t as smooth. Captains had to start choreographing for the first couple of performances including pep rally, but at the same time they had to make sure the team was fully ready to learn the complicated pieces. All of that stress falls under the captains. The stress was also distributed to the co-director, since she had to supervise every single practice as well as lead Donnelly in the right direction to be a successful drill coach. “Officers and captains have had to take on more work than we would of last year, since we had to deal with the change of director,” Co-Captain Jessica Nidadhal said. Before Donnelly started teaching at Franklin, she used to be a dancer and teacher at breaking beats dance studio. Donnelly has great technique that can be passed down to the dancers and is currently learning from the captains and co-director on how to lead a drill team. A drill team and a studio team can be two completely different things. A drill team has to make sure that arms are strong, and every beat is hit, as to where a studio dance team has more styles of dance and many styles include that arms are flowy, which makes both teams the complete opposite. Donnelly made sure to go to workshops to help her learn the necessities for choreographing strong drill routines. “It was a huge jump from teaching a small group of girls at studio to teaching over 50 girls on the drill team,” Donnelly said. “But I was able to quickly adjust to.” Leadership not only has changed because of the directors but also on the closeness of the team. This year’s team includes of two captains and five officers. The two captains teach choreography and makes sure that the team knows everything that is necessary for an upcoming performance.

Photo by alessandra moreno From left, Senior Co-Captain Damara Baustert, Junior Officer Braelinn Anderson, Junior Officer Kayden Bang, Senior Captain Jessica Nidadhal, Junior Officer Valeria Silva, Senior Officer Daniela Carranco, Senior Officer Mia Gonzalez.

Photos by daniela gonzalez-bustamante

Coming here, I instantly felt welcome, not only by the team but from the support of admin. - Alyssa Donnelly, Silver Starz Coach Since the team has around 50 girls, officers are each assigned a line of about 10 girls each. An officer’s job is to go over dances that captains taught and answer any questions that the girls have about the dances. Officer and Junior Kayden Bang mentioned that this year officers were more involved with their lines than they were last year. “Leaders are more involved this year with their lines than they were last year, so they are having to put more work in,” Co-Captain Damara Baustert said. A change in leadership comes with a change in team. According to Munoz, Donnelly will be able help the team with community exposure as well as bringing in more performances opportunities and she would love to make travel in the future.

Donnelly likes to focus on the team bonding because she believes that once the team knows more about each other they will be able to work and dance better together. Some of the girls on the team have known Donnelly since she was a dance teacher at her studio, so they knew that her personality could really help her with this transition. “I knew that Ms. Donnelly was a very bubbly and kind-spirited and I was very excited to get to work with her,” Officer and Junior Braelinn Anderson said. The team has accepted their new coach with open arms, and for a coach that could make the transition easier. Donnelly heard that Silver Starz had an opening for head coach, and she did her best to get that position. She took workshops and researched

all over the internet to make sure that once she got the job, she could fully understand the idea of being a drill team coach. Being the new kid in town can really make you nervous and Donnelly mentioned that she is a worrier when it comes to being in a new environment where nobody knows you. She mentioned that the team made her feel welcome as soon as she walked through the doors of Franklin High school. “Coming in here I instantly felt welcome, not only by the team but from the support of admin,” Donnelly said. “It quickly relinquished my anxiety and made me more excited to be here than I was.” Silver Starz has come a long way from the beginning of the school year to now. They have performed at a couple events and succeeded in every single one of them. With the help of their new head director, Silver Starz will continue growing in ways that many won’t expect. Every single leader on the team handled the change of leadership in the most professional way. They were able to take charge by scheduling meetings with Ms. Mena, organizing uniforms, and talking with the band director about new cadences this year. Leaders really showed the team that with or without a head coach, they can accomplish big things.



Photo by Leilani Benford

Photo by daniela gonzalez-bustamante

Photo by daniela gonzalez-bustamante

Photos by daniela gonzalez-bustamante Clockwise from top left: Junior Kayden Bang performs a fan kick during Fusion’s performance. Members of the varisty cheer team pose for a photo after the event. Senior Ilan Ben laughs after being announced. Ben is a lineman for the Cougars. The Star of the West band and Colorgaurd team pose for a group photo after the event. Senior Margaret Chapa twirls her baton with precision for the crowd. Senior Yearbook photographer puts her camera down to smile for a photo.

Meet The Cougars Brings fans back into the stands By Valeria Silva | Special Sections Editor

As soon as COVID-19 closed schools, athletes were shut down. No more after school practices, no more nerves before games, no more stands full of students and parents. Instead, after school was reserved for Netflix and TikTok binging. Through the loss of physical time on campus, many student athletes feel that their performance has been affected due to COVID-19 closures. “I feel like at first I didn’t do particularly good just because I was extremely nervous about doing them, but after [a couple of practices] I got into the feel of it,” sophomore Cielo Macias said. The start of the 2021-2022 school year has allowed student athletes to return to actual practice and many already feel ready for their season of success. The inaugural spirit event of the year, Meet the Cougars, was the first time the stadium stands were full of parents and fans in over 15 months. The August 27 event gathered members of all athletic groups to showcase the teams and introduce parents and fans to this year’s athletes. From cheer to swimming to volleyball, the cougars came out to show off for their teams for parents, students, and faculty to see. Macias is a Junior Varsity cheerleader and she felt like the lack of time on campus has hurt her overall performance. But from struggle comes success and Macias feels that the team has bounced back and gotten into the groove of their sport again. Along with sports comes the Star of the West band, that took the field for one of their first performances together. Drum major Alli Hunter mentioned that he felt as though the band wasn’t necessarily affected by the school closures that were brought by the pandemic “The band is still the same as in we are making music,” Hunter said. Hunter felt there had been a learning curve for

some of the members as they had practiced on zoom, but they had overcome those curves. “I think it’s going to be great from here on out, especially since everyone is excited to learn,” Hunter said. From having practice on zoom, having to be six feet apart or wearing a mask, teams are now able to meet at school and have practice as if nothing has happened. Students and student athletes will both start appreciating weekly games more after being starved of them for a full year. With the new upcoming seasons, teams will be able to represent Franklin High School as out of town games will begin to happen. Meet the Cougars was a successful event in Franklin’s book as all sports this year will continue to grow from last year and make the best out of their season. Kimberly Villar and David Zepeda also contributed to this story.

Photo by Leilani Benford

Photo by Leilani Benford

Photo by Leilani Benford

Clockwise from top right: Junior Andrea Melendez performs at Meet the Cougas on Aug. 27. Melendez plays the flute. Silver Starz senior Karina Carillo waits patiently on the track for the seniors to be announced to the fans. Varsity football seniors pose for a photo after the event.



Cougars on the rise: Volleyball Cheer, cross country put in work toward fall season dominating the 2021 season

s po rts s pot l i g h t Gisele Ortiz | Sports Editor & anna castellano | News Editor

Braulio ortega | Reporter

It’s volleyball season and the Varsity Cougars are sweeping the competition in district play. The girls began their domination with pre-season wins against Midland and Permian. The girls then swept in tournament play against Heritage, Midlothian, Timber Creek, Centennial, Lamar Dumas High School’s. The girls continued their pre-season domination after winning the title at the Margret Hussman Tournament of Champions and defeated school from the Las Cruces area to the Austin Area. District play began on Sept. 10 and the girls haven’t missed a step. With wins against Montwood, Eastwood and Eastlake the girls are on fire. The Franklin girls do more than just win. They’re dominating the stats! When it comes to the numbers, they’re all above national average. Kills per set, hitting percentage, total blocks per games, and the number of aces served exceed the national average by a huge gap. With the season just starting, our Cougars are dominating the game and not even breaking a sweat. The Cougars are preparing for match-ups against Socorro on Tues. Sept. 21 and against rivals Coronado on Friday, Sept. 24.

Photo by jennifer payan

The Varsity girls Volleyball team celebrates a point against El Paso High on August 17.

vb schedule september 21 @ socorro 24 vs. coronado 28 @ americas october 1 vs. pebble hills 5 @ montwood 8 vs. eastwood 12 @ eastlake 15 vs. socorro 19 @ coronado 22 vs. americas 25 @ pebble hills All varisty games begin at 6:30 p.m.

Editors Note: The Chronicle acknowledges that in the past we have missed out on sports coverage so this year we are going to focus on covering more of the athletics at Franklin that has been under our radar.. Our school has many sports to offer, yet only so many of them get coverage. Football and soccer tend to be the sports that get more recognition. We have so many other teams that need the same amount of support. Two of these teams are cheer and cross country. They both work so hard and deserve equal coverage for their achievement. All athletes have to balance school and personal life, along with training for their meets. The cheerleaders have the same responsibilities that every other sport has, if not more. They not only perform at school events and games, but the athletes also have their own competitions to attend. Seniors Kirsten Hatch and Yolie Bueno have many obstacles in their day to day lives. Bueno mentions, “There will be situations where I have a Friday night game, so I don’t have time to do homework and I get home late.” The members still have to find time and energy for this exhilarating sport, even after having to cheer and perform for multiple events a month. Hatch and Bueno disclose that they devote more of their time to cheer, rather than spending it on personal needs. Students in cheer go through a significant amount of stress and don’t have much time or flexibility. Some wish to continue participating in their sport, even if it means having to continue this same amount of dedication to cheer. “I think I want to [continue cheering] because you get a lot of great scholarships for cheer and I was realizing that it gives you a lot of great opportunities,” Hatch said. Like cheer, cross country runners face many challenges and obstacles. They are able to overcome these obstacles by remembering what motivates them as a runner. Junior Alyssa Laspada shares her motivations, which are, “the people there and [her] friends.” Everyone needs encouragement, especially when the forecast isn’t always on your side. When bad weather hits, all that the runners have is their own determination to help them get through their run. “I try my best to run through the bad weather,” freshman Tessa Gibbons states. “The adrenaline that comes with running gets me through it.” Unfortunately, it may take a little more than motivation to get them to practice. With early morning practice at 5:30 a.m. and the school day ending at 3:55 .m., there is not a lot of time for rest.

The Varsity cheer team completes a stunt on Friday, September 11 at Andress High School.

This is besides the fact that some students may have after-school extracurriculars. With more on their plate at school, they can struggle with balancing their time. Junior Alyssa Laspada has been working to find the perfect schedule for three years. “It’s difficult to manage school and running,” Laspada said. “ It can be stressful and sometimes I will go to school tired.” Cross country runners, cheerleaders, and other sports athletes have a lot on their plate. These athletes come home exhausted and only

Photo by Alessandra moreno

a handful of people will have seen their hard work in action. And then they wake up and do it all again the next day. The life of an athlete isn’t always easy, so as fellow students and friends, we need to support our teams equally. Helping them push through and giving them the love and motivation they need and deserve will make them feel like they are getting the recognition that they rightfully deserve.

The Cross Country leads against their competitors at the EPISD Invitational at Mary Frances Kiesling Park on September 11. The Varisty boys placed first overall with Junior Diego Flores and Junior Austin Percifull taking the first two spots in the Boys 500 Meter final. Flores finished with a time of 15:51.32. The Varisty girls placed first overall with athletes placing in spots, 2-5. Junior Alyssa Laspada placed second with a time of 18:52.40 in the 500 Meter final.

Photo courtesy of Pride Yearbook Staff Photographer AA .







on campus


6 5 7


1. Seniors gather for Senior Sunrise on Sept. 7. The event is meant to commemorate the start of their senior year. Seniors are invited to come to the stadium before the sun rises to watch the sunrise as a class. 2. Yearbook photographer Anna Vargas works to capture photos during the September 11 Memorial event. The event was held Thursday, Sept. 10 and honored military veterans and first responders. 3. Freshman Joleen Crespo works on decorations for homecoming. 4. Seniors pose for a photo during senior sunset. 5. Seniors Edgar Loya and Alec Alvarez work on an assignment during Mr. Lechners On Ramps Physics class. 6. Varsity volleyball players run drills during class. 7. Freshman student council members discuss a project during their second meeting of the year. The meeting was held on Thursday, Sept. 9. 8. Mrs. Harris teaches her AVID students during class on Sept. 9. A student in Mr. Galceran’s art class catches the photographer for a photo. Photos by Alan Acosta, Yolanda Bueno, Daniela Gonzalez-Bustamante, Savanah Haynes, Jennifer Payan, and Sydney Rumpf


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