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A first and a tenth

The first day of school marks the tenth anniversary of the high school.

Celebrating+its+10th+anniversary%2C+the+school+building+is+in+its+9th+year+of+being+open.
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A first and a tenth

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the school building is in its 9th year of being open.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the school building is in its 9th year of being open.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the school building is in its 9th year of being open.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the school building is in its 9th year of being open.

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Not only does Monday start the 2015-2016 school year, it’s also the beginning of the school’s tenth anniversary.

“When we met for the first time as a faculty, I knew this was going to be a different experience,” yearbook adviser Carole Babineaux said. “I felt an undercurrent of excitement and energy never felt before. Everyone was ready to go to make Liberty the best high school in Frisco and in Texas.”

It’s not about sitting back and saying we’ve reached where we want to be, it’s about continuing to move forward and get better.”

— Principal Scott Warstler

 

While it is the tenth year of the high school, it has only been nine years since the school has been at its current location. The first year, the school was housed on the Fowler Middle School campus and functioned solely as a ninth and tenth grade center. The high school was opened in order to relieve an over-capacity Centennial High School, but since the campus on Rolater was not set to be finished in time for the 2006-2007 school year, the school board decided to open the first year at Fowler.

With the high school campus not yet finished, the Frisco ISD decided to house the high school on the campus of Fowler Middle School for its first year.

With the high school campus not yet finished, the Frisco ISD decided to house the high school on the campus of Fowler Middle School for its first year.

“When we opened Liberty on the Fowler campus it was a truly special year,” Babineaux said. “Our leadership team was phenomenal, led by Principal Mike Waldrip. Waldrip set the tone for Liberty, and we have been so blessed to have administrators who kept that tone in place as they came into leadership positions.”

Amid concerns that a middle school campus was not built to handle high school classes and demands, the school board decided to equip the Fowler campus as identical to the high school as possible. The two schools also have identical school colors and similar mascots.

“At Fowler, we really made an effort because we knew being in a middle school setting for high schoolers was going to be a big huge adjustment and that many of the kids weren’t happy about that,” school nurse Emily Mikeska said. “Our goal was to make it the best experience, and that even if we were small, know that we were a high school.”

That first year has since been coined the “Fliberty” year by remaining staff. Out of the original staff from the opening year, 23 faculty members continue to work at the school. Principal Scott Warstler attributes the turnover rate to growth opportunities for teachers, as former staff members went on to become counselors, administrators, or district office employees.

“We’ve had a lot of turnover in the ten years that Liberty has been open, and that’s a good turnover,” Warstler said. “The good news is that who and what we are, and what was established ten years ago and what we still are today, continues to carry forward. As we bring in new teachers, those that are already here pick them up and they slide right in, and they start to learn who and what we’re about and what our culture is.”

Hundreds of staff members have called the school home over the course of its nine plus years of being open, but these 23 have been working at the school since it opened on the campus of Fowler Middle School.

Hundreds of staff members have called the school home over the course of its nine plus years of being open, but these 23 have been working at the school since it opened on the campus of Fowler Middle School.

Within a district of eight different high schools, the school has stood out for its academic excellence. During the 2014-2015 school year, the school had 14 National Merit Semi-Finalists, while the rest of the district combined had 12 Semi-Finalists. In addition, the Academic UIL team placed second overall at the State Meet in Austin in May 2015.

“Going back to Liberty’s first principal, Dr. Waldrip, they created a very good culture of academic, fine arts, and athletic excellence,” Warstler said. “So I think from the very beginning that was established in how we do things.”

The district will honor the school’s tenth year with events that have not been announced yet, and the school administration is working on ideas for how to celebrate the tenth year.

“Every year, we are trying to tweak and get better at the things that we do,” Warstler said. “We can always improve and get better for the students’ success. It’s not about sitting back and saying we’ve reached where we want to be, it’s about continuing  to move forward and get better.”

About the Writer
Sarah Philips, Editor-in-chief

Sarah Philips is a senior and highly involved in the school. She has competed in UIL Journalism all four years of high school, and placed fifth in News...

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A first and a tenth