Posted on


School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite, and PECO Vice President and General Counsel Tony Gay joined the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) to announce the selection of Frankford High School as the site for the nation’s first Solar Energy Program of Study.

“The Philadelphia Energy Campaign is on track to create 10,000 jobs by 2026 and the graduates from the new Solar Program will be poised to step into those new positions,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said.

Dr. Calderone

“I am thrilled that Frankford High School is on track to be the first high school in the nation to offer a Solar Energy program of study,” added Dr. Michael Calderone, principal of Frankford High School. This will give my students the option to continue their studies in solar and other renewable energies at the college level or jump right into a career with continued opportunities for advancement.”

Follow this link to read more about this story.

Posted on

Fly Frankford Fly

Frankford High School to become the Frankford High School Aviation Academy


When Doctor Michael Calderone, Principal of Frankford High School, got the call from downtown, he only hesitated for a second before saying “Yes”.  The offer to establish the Frankford High School Aviation Academy was exactly what he had been looking for, something new to offer non-college bound students since he became Frankford’s Principal in 2015.

Frankford already hosts the Junior ROTC and Culinary Arts programs but something else was needed.  This group of students need something to keep them engaged and most importantly get them on track to well-paying careers after graduation.

At first glance the aviation academy seems kind of out of place in a urban high school but the bottom line is that there is a growing demand for people in that field which includes not only pilots but all the other related careers such as Air Traffic Controllers, Mechanics, Flight Training, Drone Operations, Global Logistics, etc.

The academic course work will be taught, as much as possible, by School District teachers.  Those subjects requiring specialized training will be taught by experts.  The hands-on training will be done at Northeast Airport as part of the normal school day.  Students will finish with a private pilot’s license with a goal of also becoming a certified flight instructor. 

Next year the school will be rebranded as the Frankford High School Aviation Academy.  All incoming ninth graders will take two introduction to aviation elective courses that will familiarize them with the opportunities in the field so that they will be in a position to decide if they want to apply for the aviation track which begin in 10th grade.

Applications from current 9th graders, who have already applied to be admitted into the program, are under evaluation now.  The course is designed for 24 participants.  Those selected will begin the course work in September.

A provider is being selected to give flight training and any other instruction requiring specialized expertise.  That training will take place at Northeast Airport as part of the normal instructional day for the students.

This is a great opportunity for those students who are not heading to college to get on track for good paying, high prestige careers in a growth industry.

Frankford High is Pioneering once again.

Posted on

Moore College of Art and Design Teams Up with Harding Middle School

When Liz Gilly, Outreach and Public Programs Coordinator at The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design, asked teacher Kelly Ann Coughlin if Harding Middle School would like to be the first school in the city to participate in a new community arts program, she didn’t hesitate for a moment.  She teaches Creative Writing at Harding and knew this would be once in a lifetime opportunity for her students.  The concept is that visiting artists would work in a school to create a culminating art project of some kind.

After getting the OK from Principal Michael Calderone they went to work.  So for the past few months, Harding Middle School students in Ms. Coughlin’s 605 Creative Writing class have been working on creating unique story lines for a fictitious movie, developing characters, a plot, and a setting with visiting artists Kathryn Sclavi and Jebney Lewis.

On December 3rd, students received the unique opportunity to actually create the world they imagine by photographing a scene wearing costume, makeup, and posing in a setting similar to the one they imagine with professionals from the movie industry! With this shoot, professionals will be photographing images that will later be used to create a full size movie poster.

This “movie shoot” day took place on December 3rd.  Students worked in groups of 10 to create 3 individual movie plots with characters and setting ideas. In Harding’s library, each group first gathered with a professional costumer, Julia Poiesz (from the Walnut Street Theater) and makeup artists, Marbella Chispe  and Anastasia Balabanova, to get dressed in a costume and makeup akin to their character.

Once students were dressed, they went to the location of the photography shoot.  Most photos were shot in the library, which was fully set up with a green screen and multiple lighting props, as well as a fog machine. There, they worked with a professional photographer, William Gregory Lewis (who flew in from Los Angeles), along with photo assistants, Rebekah Flake and Les Rivera, to shoot a scene. One group even shot out front of the school and in the nearby field to capture students dressed as zombies walking through the fog.

The students will get a chance to see the photographs and receive a copy of their image in January, once the images are edited and designed with a graphic designer.   Once students choose their favorite version of their movie poster, it will be exhibited at Moore College of Art on January 23rd.

The students learned much about hard work, collaboration, and creativity and it is something they will surely remember for the rest of their lives.  Ms. Coughlin’s 605 Creative Writing class is made up of Izayiah Adams, Estreya Aranda, Jerry Arroyo, Haja Bah, Nadirah Bell, Jermaine Berry, Najier Breland, Luis Domenech-Casillas, Ariiyus Elamin, Jaileen Figueroa, Marc Ganthier, Sylvia Garay, Angel Garcia, Alejandro Gomez, Ibrahim Hammoudeh, Lineda Jean-Louis, Aniyah Jenkins, Shyanne Johnson, Gavin Lichtenberger, Christian Love, Adiel Loya-Rico, Kristine Macatantan, Lamont Mull, Angel Padilla, Harry Rivera, Eric Simms-Stephens, Cory Sutton, Kathleen Thach, Istneydina Thomas, Iyania Whitfield, Marissa Wileczek and Quadir Wiley.