Branch returns to FHS after 20 years

Ashanti Branch returned to Fremont this year, 20 years after graduating. He is co-leader of the ASAP Center, which helps students achieve four target attributes — Academic Excellence, Social Responsibility, Accountability and Proactiveness. Junior Breanna Owens asked him these questions:
What was your first experience at Fremont High School?

When I was in 9th grade at Calvin Simmons Jr. High, I took Algebra. But during my last two periods of the day, I walked to Fremont to take Geometry from Annette Hilts so that I could take Calculus before I graduated.

What was your first day like as an employee of Fremont?

It was awesome. I am very excited to be back. I made a point to remember new names and to support every studentto be successful.

How was Fremont different then?

Wow, well there are many things that are different. In the courtyard was a sign that said, “Fremont High ‘The Friendly School.'” There was a student store in the office inside the cafeteria. The B portables had a fresh red color back then, and all of the portables were being used. The library was always used by students. The football field was horrible. We had some ugly grass, and it was very hard to practice on that field.

What was your favorite subject?

Media Academy Photography. I was the photo editor for the newspaper from 1990-92. We used to develop our own pictures in the lab; it was an incredible experience.

What inspired you to come back?

I came to Fremont almost every year since I graduated and even more often after I completed my credential, but I did not feel there was a place here for me to use my talents to their fullest potential. After speaking to Principal Daniel Hurst… I saw this year was going to be a year with a lot of passionate folks ready to make Fremont the school where students are held to high expectations.