Annual Festival Won’t Happen This Year

April 17, 2018



A group of scholars toured Santa Fe three years ago for Fall Fest. In previous years, managers took students all over the state.By Alexandra Juarez and Taylor Kirk

Spring Fest is an annual day where managers pick a place to take a group of students on a field trip to. In the past, scholars have gone to the zoo, hiked the Sandia Crest, gone to Watermelon Ranch,  gone scuba diving, gone into  restaurants and cooked meals, headed to Santa Fe, and even went on a trip to San Antonio. 

This year is the first time in five years that the fest will not happen. The spring semester is overridden with testing days, and the administration cancelled it this year to make more room for curriculum. “With the perspective of fewer days in the spring than the fall, and interrupting the teaching days so much with testing, we felt like throwing another thing in there might distract or take away,” said Paul Stephenson, co-founder of The ASK Academy.

Another reason Stephenson gave for the cancellation of the trip was the lack of funding. The Fest was expensive for the school, even with the fees scholars paid. “We decided not to afford it this year. We might not should have afforded it in years past,” said Stephenson.

In other years, the Ask Academy hosted Spring Fest in the Fall and referred to it as Fall Fest, but that became problematic as well, due once again to time restraints. “The sophomore and freshman field trip was also in the fall, so doing two of those kinds of things in one term proved to be a little too much,” said Stephenson. “It saddened me as founder because that was one of our ideas; the uniqueness that we create for you guys to plug into,” Stephenson said.

Many scholars at the Academy were dismayed by the fact that they would not be able to  look forward to the fest this year.

Other high schools take their students out of state and even out of the country while we sit here and do nothing but come to class. I feel that future students will not want to stay with The Ask Academy because it isn’t a fun school at this point,” said senior  Samantha Hedrick.

In a survey sent out to the student body, 54 people said they felt disappointed that the Fest was not happening at all this year.

“I got to connect with new people, as well as the teacher. It was quite interesting, and also a massively fun experience,” said Aidan Jennings-Quattropani. For many, Spring Fest and Fall Fest made ASK different from the other public schools.

“If activities such as Fall Fest are taken away, ASK will not ever be anything special, but rather a public school that takes luck to get in,” said Mateo Gomez, a middle schooler.

As far as the continuation of Fall or Spring Fest, with the burden on the managers, the lack of time and the lack of budget, it may not be possible in the future.

But Stephenson said not to give up hope yet. “Don’t think it’s dead, we’ll still talk about it and try to get it in planning for next year,” said Stephenson. He also said the administration is open to the thoughts and voices of scholars, and he encourages anyone that has an opinion on the matter to speak up.

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One Comment on “Annual Festival Won’t Happen This Year”

  1. Sal Mangiacapra Says:

    This is what happens when I leave you people for like 3 minutes. tsktsktsk.


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