RHS Opens Early Doors to Success

The Early College room is a comfortable area for students to complete their UTPB coursework.  Photo by Abigrace Davis
The Early College room is a comfortable area for students to complete their UTPB coursework. Photo by Abigrace Davis

By Bryleigh MacGregor, Abigrace Davis and Catherine Ward

For many high school students, the word “college” brings automatic stress. Rankin High School encourages college as early as the ninth grade. Rankin is one of the few schools in Texas that have the Early College program. We are teamed up with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) and The University of Texas-Permian Basin (UTPB) These two colleges allow high-school students to take technical courses and basic classes such as English 1301 and History 1301.

The Early College program is also known as Rankin Colligate Academy. When asked, Principal Sammy Wyatt stated, “I think it’s awesome. Early College is an advantage on those who didn’t have that experience while they were in high school. Those who go to college usually panic and do not succeed as well as those students who have already experienced the pressure of a college course.”

RHS is opening the doors for success, and many students are walking through them. As of this fall semester, RHS students are enrolled in nine UTPB courses and two TSTC courses. Many students are enrolled in multiple UTPB courses, and some students take both UTPB and TSTC courses.
Freshman students who have passed the TSI Accuplacer test can take Introduction to Presentation Graphics Software (TSTC Semester I), Music Appreciation Jazz/Pop (UTPB Semester I), Desktop Publishing (TSTC Semester II), or Professional Communications (UTPB Semester II).

Sophomore students who are TSI Compliant can take English 1301/1302 (University Common Core Credit & HS English II Credit), History 1301/1302 (University Common Core Credit & HS English II Credit), Advanced Word Processing—POFI 2340 (Technical College and BIM II Credit), or Advanced Spread Sheets—POFI 2331 (Technical College and BIM II Credit).
Other UTPB courses that are available to RHS students are English 2322 (British Literature), Political Science, College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Sociology, and Psychology.

Differences Between Dual Credit and Early College High School
Although there are not many differences, Rankin provides both Early College and Dual Credit. The main difference between these two is that Dual Credit is limited while with Early College, students can take as many classes as they want. With Dual Credit, students can take two classes their junior year and three classes senior year. With Early College High School, students can take many classes, from English 1301 to Physiology. Here at Rankin High School, freshman can enroll in these classes while with Dual Credit only juniors and seniors can.

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RISD Improves Facilities

RISD renovated the football stadium during the summer of 2014.  Photo by KO Ray
RISD renovated the football stadium during the summer of 2014. Photo by KO Ray
By Michael Rodriquez, KO Ray, and Si Exum

Rankin ISD has made many improvements to its facilities over the last couple years. These include the football stadium, school housing, weight room, practice turf field, turf playground, and a new track and field.

Just the football stadium and the school housing cost around $3.5 million, which was made possible by the oil boom in the Permian Basin. With the oil boom, property values in Rankin’s school district have increased tremendously and are continuing to climb. When property values increase, so do taxes.

By passing bonds, a certain percent of the taxes go to the school district especially for the projects mentioned in the bond. Therefore, Rankin got its wonderful facilities from its generous taxpaying citizens. If the property values continue to increase, then there could possibly be more advancements in the future for Rankin ISD, such as new science labs, college-type classrooms, or even a whole new high-school building.

“A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To…”

RHS students have fun on Halloween. Photo by Allison Reid
RHS students have fun on Halloween. Photo by Allison Reid

By Allison Reid, Elsy Alvarado, and Shania Valdez

Rankin High School students and teachers were interviewed about memorable school activity trips. Here are a few favorites:

When “Zero” made a bet that for every pushup I did he would in turn do 10, and he ended up doing 100 pushups. ~Mr. Adrian Gallardo

When Damian’s hair got caught on a rope while he entered the stage at District One Act Competition. ~Mr. Adrian Gallardo

When we took Jeremy to Waco for a shop trip and he thought he was in a different state. ~Mr. Robbie McClure

Fernando got on the PA system at State Shop Competition and started calling my name on the loud speaker as his One Act Character “Gilbert” ~Mr. Robbie McClure

When Weldon, John, and Frank got locked in the inside of their hotel room and we had to get the hotel guy to break the door. ~Mr. Robbie McClure

How my “favorite” students, K.O. and Andrew, burst into song daily during accounting class. ~Mrs. Kendra Davidson

During the final rehearsal before One Act Competition, Brandon fell off the set and broke the gray pieces. ~Mariah Gaston

When I would get Damion in trouble in Algebra class, and Mr. Burk would yell at him, when he didn’t even do anything. ~Shania Valdez

When Garrison got stuck in my hoodie at the hotel room and started freaking out and crying, asking to cut the hoodie off. ~Zane Nail

When I chipped Ms. T’s tooth at the very first pep rally ~Allison Reid

When Coach Thompson tried pulling into Henry’s Dinner with the bus and hit a telephone pole. ~Abigrace Davis

When we started an Impromptu Black Ops Shootout during the middle of One Act Practice. ~Amye Templeton

When we were going to Marathon for a basketball game, and the bus got a piece of metal stuck in the gears, so we had to pile in parents cars as they drove by. ~Bryleigh MacGregor

When Mr. Jones decided to take a “detour” and created his own exit to go to Chick-fi-A. ~Ms. Vicki Templeton

When Kevin passed out in health class because of an epi-pen video ~Jr. Rodriguez

There was water in the front of the school and I slipped and fell on my knee, and it hurt for days. ~Coach Tamara Fouts

Rivalries Last Generations

Rankin and Garden City have been bitter rivals for generations.  Their latest meeting on the field happened on November 7, 2014.
Rankin and Garden City have been bitter rivals for generations. Their latest meeting on the field happened on November 7, 2014.

By Bryleigh MacGregor, Abigrace Davis, and Catherine Ward

Rankin High School is known for its low population, success in sports, and interesting gossip, and its rivalries. Garden City and Wink ISD are the top two that will pop into anyone’s head when you say the word Rankin and rivalry together.

Back in 2007-2008, Garden City did something Rankin will never forget. Coach Garrett Avalos, who graduated that year, said, “Back when I was a senior, Garden City filled our locker room showers with deer remains. We chose not to react because Rankin has more class than that.”

However, filling the boys’ locker room with deer meat wasn’t enough. Garden City also burned Rankin’s bonfires, which is why Rankin students do the bonfire watch now.

Elementary school teacher Brandi Halfmann graduated from Garden City, so she was asked about the rivalry. She replied, “It started before I was in school; it was pressured upon us by upper classmen to not like Rankin; we never knew why.”

Wink and Rankin go head to head when it comes to sports and academics, so that is probably the basis of that rivalry.

Rankin Haunted by Multiple Ghosts

Photo of Rankin Hospital hallway, where staff members claim to have seen the ghosts of Dr. Scott and his children
Photo of Rankin Hospital hallway, where staff members claim to have seen the ghosts of Dr. Scott and his children

By Allison Reid, Elsy Alvarado, and Shania Valdez

Museum Mystery
According to Mrs. Donna Bell, Ghost Hunters have been to the Rankin Museum two times in the past couple of years and have found many different things. They found pictures of orbs near the fire trucks and found what looks like a ghost of a German Shepard on one of the fire trucks that Dr. Gossett, a German Shepard raiser, donated to the museum. Workers at the museum say that they have had cold feelings, seen things out of the corner of their eyes, and have had just creepy feelings throughout the museum. Other teams of ghost hunters have heard heavy boot steps and a music box playing, and some say if you stand on the train tracks nearby, you can see someone walk across the ceiling.

School Spirits
At the James D. Gosset Elementary School, there have been sightings of some scary spirits flowing down the hallways and down stairs in the girls locker room. Former students say if you turn off the lights in the girls locker room, you can see handprints on top of the ceiling. Others tell a story of when three junior-high girls had cheerleading practice and they saw a little girl that kept sneaking up by the door. The cheerleaders went upstairs and searched to see if they could see where she was coming from, but they saw no one up there. Students have also driven by and seen a little girl standing in the 2nd story window of the high school. The one-act cast swears that in the auditorium, seats will mysteriously fly down and back up again for no reason. A small team of ghost hunters has gone into the school and reportedly heard noises and voice throughout the high school. They even took a picture near a locker and saw a man in a letterman jacket standing by the lockers. Even here today, teachers experience weird ghostly encounters, like Mrs. Kendra Davidson finding limes that were thrown away before back in their place in her refrigerator.

Hospital
Rankin Hospital is known for many ghost encounters. Workers tell some interesting stories. One chilling story was about a worker who was in the old pharmacy room and his phone went off. He kept hearing voices down the hall, and out of no where, the old intercom started making a loud static noise. He then rushed out of the room and went back to the front desk to ask if the other nurses heard the creepy sound coming from the old intercom; they then told him that the intercom hasn’t been plugged in for 25 years. Other nurses said that back in the day, a nurse took a Ouija board to work one night and then started asking it questions just for fun; the staff thought it would be cool to try to communicate with the spirits that they believed roam around in the hospital. The Ouija board brought up the name Dr. Scott, who supposablely was the old doctor back in the day. He had two children, and sometimes children’s voices are heard throughout the halls. People have witnessed objects getting thrown off of shelves, and a little girl has been seen following nurses in a white dress. Others believe they have seen a mysterious man in a nice suit as well.

Courthouse
There has been some ghost hunting by paranormal activity investigator Joey from Ghost Trax at Rankin’s Court House. Some of his workers witnessed in the old jail cell a lady praying in front of a jail cell and a girl coming from the ground up and posing for the camera. They reportedly also heard women laughing on the 2nd floor of the Court House; some things they could actually hear clearly were, “What I do is not easy,” “Not Really.” An interesting story they told was about this man staying up late at three in the morning in his office doing some paperwork for an arrest he had made a night before. Just when he sat down in his office, the phone began to ring. He picked it up, and no one was there, only static like someone just left it there. The phone rang again, and the man heard it coming from the judge’s office, which was empty that night. Once he hung up, it began to ring again, so he disconnected the whole phone line, and continued on doing his paper work.

Transition to Six-Man Football Successful

Coach Garrett Avalos as a Rankin football player

By Si Exum, Michael Rodriquez, and K.O. Ray

In 2006, Rankin was compelled to drop from playing 11-man football to 6-man football due to lower enrollment numbers. At the time, this was a huge change for not only the coaches, but also the players who had never played or even seen a 6-man game before.

According the Pat Potts, a current Rankin coach who moved in a year after the drop, “11-man is more controllable. There are not as many big plays.” Although 6-man seems like a whole different sport, Coach Potts said, “Football is the same.”

The year of the drop, Rankin needed to find a coach who knew 6-man well. They decided to hire Danny Davis, state-championship coach from Throckmorton, Texas. A new coach and way of playing football in one year seems overwhelming, but according to Coach Garrett Avalos, the quarterback during that time, the transition from 11-man to 6-man was a “piece of cake.”

Avalos said he felt that the hardest part to learn was the new rules. He also felt that the defensive part of the new game was more difficult because the offense had much more room to run or throw the ball.

Were the players excited about moving to 6-man? According to both Mr. Davis and Coach Avalos, they were ready for a change because Rankin had not been very successful in last few years before the drop. Coach Avalos said he was “ready to compete.”

Even though the players were excited, 6-man was a lot to learn in a little time. Coach Avalos said the best way they learned how to play was by “watching a lot of film from Coach Davis’s state team.” Now, obviously the biggest difference from 6-man to 11-man is probably that there are only 6 players on the field instead of 11. According to Mr. Davis, other differences include the philosophy. “There is more emphasize on offense in 6-man. You focus more on scoring.”

This is exactly what Rankin did in 2006, ending the season with an 8-2 record. Just the next year, Rankin went all the way to the state semi-final game. This success helped the coaches, players, and fans through this transition.