On September 8, 2018, F.L. Schlagle social sciences teacher Edward Franco was honored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Sporting KC as a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan.
“Through inspired and effective teaching, Edward is making a difference in the lives of his students,” said Christina Lively, Department Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Blue KC. “The lessons he is teaching go beyond the classroom and help students prepare for life. We are proud to honor him as a Blue KC Sporting Samaritan.”
Serving at Schlagle since 2012, Franco has earned a reputation as one of Kansas City Kansas Public Schools’ finest teachers. In 2015, he was recognized as the district’s secondary school teacher of the year for his ability to demonstrate how the content he taught worked outside the walls of his classroom. And he continues to make a sizable impact on the students at Schlagle, helping them understand that anything is possible for them no matter what their circumstance.
“Teaching taught me to believe that with the right support and positive environment, any student can be successful regardless of their background,” said Franco, who has been teaching for 15 years—including eight years in the Philippines. “I use Alan Stein’s quote on success which states, ‘Success is not an accident. Success is a choice.’ I share this advice with my students because it reminds us that at some point, everyone will struggle, and the struggle will be hard but we have to have grit and determination to overcome it.”
Part of Franco’s strategy in helping his students choose to be successful is making sure they have opportunities to challenge themselves and achieve. Through programs such as Schlagle’s “Change Project,” Franco provides students with project-based learning experiences that allow them to create real solutions to real problems in the community. Last year alone, Schlagle students hosted a number of events—including the Schlagle health fair and a job fair—that gave the students hands-on experience while impacting the local area. The health fair even earned national attention, taking third place in the annual Lead2Feed Challenge.
“The project was their response to the driving question, ‘How can we serve the needs of Wyandotte County?’ said Franco, who was born in the Philippines and moved to Kansas City in 2007. “Our school and its administration embrace innovation. Despite the challenges that we face, the Stallion community always tries our best to collaborate and provide meaningful experiences to our students.”
While Franco is pleased to help students get firsthand experience at projects that benefit the community, he also ensures that they understand the importance of doing quality work.
“It’s important to instill standards with students because the real world operates on standards,” said Franco. “We live in a society where expectations exist whether it is at home, in school or at work, and whether we agree with it or not, we have to meet these standards consistently. It is also important to keep in mind that meeting standards takes a lot of training and practice. Once students have internalized this mindset, it becomes part of their routine and eventually their work culture. They begin to realize the value of turning in quality work on time and producing exemplary work given the resources that they have.”
As a husband and father who maintains his family as a top priority, Franco enjoys taking the principles he and his wife incorporate into their home and applying them to the classroom.
“As parents, my wife and I always remind our kids to do their best in school and find time to help others in any way they can,” he said. “This mindset extends to the classroom as I treat my students as if they are my kids.”
With Blue KC Sporting Samaritans being honored monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games, fans are encouraged to nominate students and teachers like Edward Franco who are making a positive impact on their schools and in their communities. To nominate, visit https://www.sportingkc.com/bluekc.