Wyatt HS Alumnus Co-Leads Night of Healing Amid Protests
Kirk Franklin, gospel musician/songwriter and Fort Worth ISD alumnus, along with singer and producer Fred Hammond led a night of healing, Sunday May 31. The virtual event, seen live by nearly 300,000 viewers worldwide, was organized to offer hope after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota which drove global protests for change this week.
Mr. Franklin opened “The Healing,” broadcast on Instagram by Verzuz TV, stating the musical event would show love to the families of Mr. Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old black Georgia man brutally killed while jogging in February. The event also inspires and sheds light in the midst of darkness, he said.
“It’s been a painful week. It’s been a difficult week, and there’s no way that we can even act like that’s not real,” the O.D. Wyatt High School alumnus said during the broadcast. “And it hurts to see so many people going through so much pain and discouragement.
“We wanted to create a holistic night to inspire you.”
Joining Mr. Franklin and Mr. Hammond for “The Healing” were special guests Bishop T.D. Jakes, gospel singer-songwriter Bishop Marvin Sapp and Tamela Mann, a Polytechnic High School alumna and singer-songwriter and actress. Mrs. Mann delivered a soul-stirring performance of her gospel hit “Take Me To The King.”
FWISD, City Salutes Class of 2020
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Mayor Betsy Price recently led the city in a salute to the District’s Class of 2020.
At 8:20 p.m. – 20:20 in military time – on Thursday, May 28, the District encouraged residents across Fort Worth to stand on their front lawns, porches and patios showing appreciation for FWISD’s 4,928 graduating seniors.
The Seventh Street Bridge, Pier 1 Building, and other city landmarks lit up in the District colors of “New Day Blue” and “Gold Seal Gold” to celebrate the accomplishments of FWISD’s 2020 class.
Some graduating seniors, dressed in their caps and gowns, gathered with their family and friends at the Seventh Street Bridge for the celebration. Others could be seen from sunroofs of vehicles celebrating the milestone. Motorists driving down West Seventh honked their horns to celebrate the graduating seniors and their accomplishments.
“This is a historic year. These students have overcome so many obstacles,” Dr. Scribner said. “ [This is] a great celebration of their resilience.
“We want them to know that the entire City of Fort Worth supports them through this difficult time and that they’re going to go on and do great things.”
Over at Arlington Heights High School, cheerleaders and band members led a small socially distanced group in the Senior Salute. Cars of well-wishers paraded past the campus celebrating the graduating seniors during the 20:20 salute.
“These kids and their parents and their teachers have found ways to make it very creative and very innovative, and I guarantee they won’t forget their graduation,” said Mayor Price, an Arlington Heights alumna. “I want them to know that community supports them. Everybody here – the business community are all here to support them.”
The District will celebrate the Class of 2020 with virtual graduation ceremonies on Saturday, June 20. Students may choose to participate in outdoor in-person celebrations June 19-26, following recent-issued TEA guidelines for such ceremonies. The District will follow CDC guidelines for social distancing.
For more details, visit www.fwisd.org/graduation.
Musician Will Start FWISD Virtual Graduations on a Stirring Note
On a sunny May morning, Freddie Jones strode to the 40 yard line at Farrington Field, raised his trumpet, and played the national anthem as he always does – pure, confident, and so strong that even the “land of the free” high note near the end seemed effortless.
Mr. Jones has had a lot of practice. The renowned jazz trumpeter has performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at every Dallas Cowboys home game since 2013. But at Farrington Field, instead of the anthem’s final note segueing to thunderous applause and cheers, there was silence. On this May morning, Freddie Jones drove all the way from his home in Carrollton to play to an empty stadium. And, he said he was honored to do so.
It was a performance videoed by the District’s EdTV team for Fort Worth ISD’s Class of 2020 virtual graduations. Mr. Jones’ anthem solo will kick off the seniors’ virtual ceremonies on Saturday, June 20.
“In this pandemic, these seniors are not getting to do all the special things that are supposed to happen your senior year,” Mr. Jones said. “And, I have a direct connection to many of these students, so the honor was mine.”
That connection Mr. Jones referenced was made through Trumpets for Kids, an organization he founded almost 10 years ago. Trumpets for Kids, with a grant from the Fort Worth Arts Council, gives away trumpets to students across North Texas each year. This past year, six trumpets went to students at North Side High School and J.P. Elder Middle School.
Mr. Jones, a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in jazz studies, also holds free clinics for students, and he takes them to perform with him at hospitals, detention centers, and other locations where he feels music is especially needed.
“Music has answered the call for people throughout history, in good times and bad,” Mr. Jones said. “And, for me as a musician, sharing that gift is seriously important – now, more than ever.”
FORT WORTH: WHERE THE BEST BEGINS VIRTUAL SUMMIT SET FOR JUNE 25
Fort Worth ISD and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce are partnering to better understand how education and industry can work together to meet the workforce needs in a post-COVID 19 world. They’re planning an education-business virtual summit called “Fort Worth: Where the Best Begins” on June 25.
But, first the educators and Chamber leaders are doing their homework.
Eight industry-focused virtual discussions – or mini-summits – are taking place this week and will allow organizers to plan ahead of the big event later this month. The individual sessions, held from which started Tuesday and continue through today, will focus on the areas of aviation and aerospace; transportation, both distribution and logistics; the hospitality and culinary industry; IT and cybersecurity business; small businesses: the construction industry: general business; and health care. See photos from mini summits held earlier this week below.
FORD DRIVING DEAMS WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Seniors from area Fort Worth ISD campuses are recipients of The Ford Driving Dreams Scholarship Program.
The scholarship, valued at $2,000, assists and encourages high school seniors from the North Texas, Houston, and San Antonio areas to pursue a degree at U.S. post-secondary institutions. The scholarship is sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund and administered by the LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC).
The FWISD Academic Advisement Office reports the following District seniors are 2020 Ford Driving Dreams awardees:
- Azul Gonzalez, North Side
- Diana Hernandez, O.D. Wyatt
- Emilie Garcia, Amon Carter-Riverside
- Annalyah Rodriguez, Arlington Heights
- Roberto Aguilar, Arlington Heights
- Mayra Sanchez, Diamond Hill-Jarvis
- Aurelia Salazar, Marine Creek Collegiate
- Cherokee Carr, Marine Creek Collegiate
Since 2012, Ford Fund has reached more than 200,000 students across the United States, Puerto Rico and Latin America, delivering more than $10 million in scholarships, literacy and tutoring programs, motivational pep rallies, college preparedness tools, and educational resources that help fuel academic success.
Senior Spotlight: Garland Goodwin
EDITOR’s NOTE: In the weeks leading up to Fort Worth ISD’s virtual graduation ceremonies and in-person celebrations, Inside FWISD will put a spotlight on some of this year’s high school seniors.
Meet Garland Goodwin, a senior at Benbrook Middle-High School.
Garland lives with CHARGE Syndrome, which affects multiple areas of the body. Last fall he shared his education journey with an audience of 1,500 at the International CHARGE Syndrome Conference in Dallas.
In his own words, Garland shares his success story:
Created with an image by AbsolutVision - "Business newspaper pages"