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EPISD Student Spotlight: Tessa Gibbons, Franklin High

(FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL -- May 2, 2022) – Percussionist Tessa Gibbons will be someone to watch in the coming years. The freshman magnet student already is making her mark at Franklin High both as a track and cross-country runner while keeping the beat in the band. Community Engagement interviewed Tessa virtually for this week’s EPISD Student Spotlight.

EPISD: Tell us about your passion for percussion and playing in the drumline at Franklin as a freshman?

Tessa Gibbons: I have always loved music and percussion lets me do all kinds of instruments from drums to keyboards. Being on drumline as a freshman gives me a lot of motivation to keep going and getting better. 

EPISD: What do you like best about being in the drumline? 

TG: My favorite part about being on drumline is all the games and events we get to play cadences. 

EPISD: When did you begin your music career and what instruments do you play? 

TG: I started percussion in sixth grade with the help of my grandpa. I can play a variety of instruments including the snare drum, timpani, cymbals and vibraphone.

EPISD: You’ve already had great success as a freshman, what are your goals for the rest of your high school career? 

TG: My goals for the rest of high school is to keep my grades up as they currently are. I would also like to get better at both running and percussion throughout my years. 

EPISD: Tell us about your passion for running long distance? What are your accomplishments in both cross country and track? 

TG: Ever since I tried running cross country in seventh grade, I have found success. I find it somehow easy to run long distance with the motivation of friends and coaches. This year in cross country, our coach put all the freshman on the junior varsity team and I ended in second place in district. In track, I had a successful season taking first or second in my three events: 400 meters, 800 meters and 4x400 meter relay).

EPISD: How do you train for running? 

TG: During both seasons, we do a majority of road runs which can be from 3 to 8 miles, depending on the day. Other days, we have track workouts to help us build our speed for track and cross country. 

EPISD: How do you balance band, track and academics? 

TG: Although it’s a lot on my plate, I have the motivation to succeed in all three. I tend to have to leave some practices or rehearsals early but I am mainly able to work out both into my schedule. Keeping my grades up has just come easily throughout my schooling years. 

EPISD: What made you want to go into the engineering magnet at Franklin? 

TG: In middle school, we took a lot of career tests and many let me go architectural design which is a part of engineering, so that was why I chose to be a part of the magnet program. 

EPISD: What do you plan to study and what are your career aspirations? How do you hope this prepares you for a future career? 

TG: I’m not exactly sure at this stage what I want to do in the future. I like studying engineering and even robotics at magnet. I also would like to do more English things as I have had a desire to write novels since I was younger. 

Interview by Reneé de Santos