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An Experience Like No other

We all seem to expect the common. We seem so positioned that nothing can surprise us. We have become so complacent that nothing astounds us. I held this view until the evening of Friday, September 27th, 2019.

The 50th reunion of the Frankford High Class of 1969 school kids took place in Warminister, Pennsylvania on that date.

My Frankford High School years.  How could I forget? Teachers’ have seen the look of a child face when he realizes the answer to a problem.  That child’s face was our own that evening. We were all baffled by the speed of life.  Indeed we hurdled that bar.

One reaction was, “Dear Lord, we are getting old.” Another would be, “It may be better TO call OUR LIVES a success and move to Florida.” A further thought would be to retire that eager beaver desire to become a “success”. We all wanted to “do well”. We all dreamed of going back to the old neighborhood,
straighten our three piece Italian suit, perfecting that knot in the tie and proudly announcing to mom and dad, “look at me I am a success”

That great post war effort no longer seems relevant. The ambition to “make it” seems as out of date as a 1969 Oldsmobile. We have realized that meaningful success is not measured on how well we have achieved financially or how well we have acquired materially but how much we gave. True assets are the spiritual ones of generosity, compassion, sharing and kindness. These are the contributions we will
pass on to future generations.

Our “alumni kids” told me of their compassion. Some started a foundation for disabled children, for the homeless, for disabled veterans. They have started scholarships for the less advantaged. They have become teachers, doctors lawyers and motivational speakers. Students who were athletic became coaches and yes, health teachers.  They contributed their time in fostering student growth and assisted in promoting healthy relationships.

Reuniting with this 1969 crew was a blessing. I knew these kids when they were shopping for Clearasil. Today we look for soap which promises a more youth appearance. Yes, we have all aged, but we have gotten better. Those juvenile hang ups of putting someone down in order to feel better about ourselves seems something out of an “I Love Lucy” script. Reminiscing with this squad I could not help hearing Hy Lit or Joe Niagria announcing a new release. Who turned on the frequency for Wibbage? Friday’s night game could have reviled “The Dating Game”, “The Newlyweed Game”or “Supermarket Sweep”. We should call it “ The Alumni Game.

The object was to remember someone face and name without glancing at their 1969 graduation photograph. It was also not to react to their seasoned appearance. Congenial responses were as follows:
“Oh yes, I remember you. You were on the Frankford Highway” “ Oh you were dating so and so
Have you heard from so and so recently?” “ I remember you from Edmunds. What did you think of our teachers?” “Oh yes, you were on the ping pong team. No, I played varsity football! You fool!
“Oh yes, sorry Yes, I recall you made that winning touchdown at the Thanksgiving Game against North Catholic. Weren’t you the player who got confused, went in the wrong direction and scored the winning point for North Catholic?” “Oh sure, I remember you. Didn’t you belong to a club called “Ye Spooks”.
“Absolutely no! I would never belong to a club with that kind of name! If you ever repeat something thing like that I will sue!

Some things should never be brought up. Some topics should be left in “The Land of the Forgotten”
The kids should of had a weekend retreat with free beer. Who has the medical Marijuana card? Their was too much to catch up on! We could not recall 50 years of life in four hours!

I wondered about the others who did not attend. Those with the poor grades. Those who felt they did not achieve in their careers. Those who could not get along with people. The loners who felt the world was against them. Those who felt too important to attend. Those who felt a reunion was not important
and wanted to keep that part of their lives compartmentalized.

I have heard Frankford High is not the school it used to be. Nothing ever is! We see inner city hopelessness, high crime, and crumbling neighborhoods. Low expectations seem to be the norm.
Their used to be a large display cabinet in the Frankford Hallway. I recall this was next to the auditorium. It showcased photographs of those Frankford students who were accepted to university. This was their first stop on their way to the Rainbow Land called “The American Dream”.

That cabinet has now been downsized to one the size of a suitcase. Too many of today’s Frankfordites are not meeting their potential. Too many teachers’ cannot relate their educational material into
practical everyday needs. But I am confident that a new and dynamic educational curriculum will be forged!

Our class has had a remarkable run. We had many challenges that, at the time, seemed insurmountable. We had the unpopular Vietnam War, political corruption, bad economy, racism, sexism, family breakdown,  political assassination, and general political disillusionment and America’s role in the world. But we did succeed! Not individually. but collectively!

Students need hands on, real world educational experience which utilize their talents and interests. This energy must be channeled into the actual needs of our occupational workplace!
“Students are wise, they can detect a teacher who does not care! I am confident that future Frankford High graduates will return to the old neighborhood wearing their three piece Italian suit, fix that knot in their tie, and at the door of their childhood home, proudly announce. “Look at me mom and dad. I am a success!”

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3rd Annual Frankford High School 5K

The 3rd Annual Frankford High School 5K Run will be held on Saturday, October 19th.  See flyer below or follow this link for more information.

The run is open to everyone of all ages. Students receive a discount.  For the first time they are also working in conjunction with the String Theory Schools, Arts and Sciences campus which is hosting a community wide health fair at their school on Large & Dyer Streets from 10 AM to 1 PM.

The day will close with the Pioneer Varsity Football Team hosting Ben Franklin HS at 12 pm in the War Memorial Stadium.  A busy, fun filled day in Frankford.

 

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Footloose Opens at Frankford High April 25th

Frankford High School Proudly Presents

Footloose the Musical

Thursday, April 25th and Friday, April 26th at 6:30 pm.

Doors open at 6 pm. $5 admission

All proceeds go to the musical theatre department at Frankford. This is our first musical production in almost 7 years at the school. The students have put months of work and effort into this big production.

Production team includes: Mrs. Kim Ballay-Budney, director, Miss Rebecca Wizov, vocal music director, Miss Andrea Cardoni, choreographer, Miss Brittany Cramer, instrumental director.

 

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2nd Annual Frankford High School 5K

Coming up on September 29th at Frankford High.

Bib pick-up will open at 7:30 AM and will run until 8:15 AM. Runners will also receive race t-shirts!• Bib pick-up is at 5000 Oxford Ave., in front of Frankford HS.• Race bibs do NOT have chip timing devices! Please ensure that if you want to time your run, you charge and bring your Garmin or Fitbit, or utilize whatever app you use on your cell phone.

After the race concludes, there will be a brief award ceremony. The top 3 male and female finishers will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals! Runners are welcome to enjoy their food and mingle with fellow runners, students, and community members!

Follow this link for more details and to register online.

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Frankford High Freshman Art Going to Congressional Competition

Congressman Bob Brady (D., PA) has selected the artwork of Danelly Cabrera, a 10th grade student at Frankford High to represent the First Congressional District in the 2018 Congressional High School Art Competition.

Miss Cabrera utilized digital media to create her artwork, entitled “Double Exposure.”  It features birds in-flight superimposed on the artist’s digital image. She says she was using her hair as a metaphor for a nest from which the birds are flying. The work was also selected for The Center for Learning Through the Arts Award by the School District of Philadelphia.

 

Miss Cabrera says she enjoys her classes with photo media teacher Adam Anderson, who also serves as Lead Technology Teacher and Art Department Coordinator at Frankford. But, as she completes her first year in high school she is not looking toward a career as an artist. She hopes to be a psychologist. Miss Cabrera’s family, originally from the Dominican Republic, moved to Philadelphia last year from New York.

Congressman Brady said, “I was pleased to select the work of this talented high school freshman, new to Philadelphia and the First Congressional District, who is also an immigrant. In these politically confusing and troubled times in our nation it is important that we recognize the talents, aspirations and contributions of those who have come to America for a better life.”

The Congressional art exhibition will be on display for ten months in the Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. “These young artists will have their work seen by hundreds of thousands people from across the country and around the world who visit the House office building and the U.S. Capitol,” Congressman Brady said.