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From Its Prayer Room To Student Podcasts, Liberty High In Frisco Shatters Stereotypes

Amna Salman (foreground) and other Muslim students gather to pray inside a classroom at Liberty High. Photo/Lara Solt
Lara Solt
KERA News special contributor
Amna Salman (foreground) and other Muslim students gather to pray inside a classroom at Liberty High.

The city of Frisco has transformed over the last quarter century – from a country town to a booming suburb that’s home to high-end shops and the Dallas Cowboys. Its schools have been transformed, too. Here's a look at how one school — Liberty High — is changing.

It’s a Friday afternoon, a little after 2, at Liberty High School. Student Zaki Sayyid recites the Islamic call to prayer. He and 10 other Muslim students are inside a classroom, on their knees facing east.

Girls wear hijabs. Everyone’s taken off their shoes. They spend the next 15 minutes in prayer.

This isn’t a common scene at most schools. But at Liberty, it happens every Friday.

Frisco, once a small, railroad town, is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Two decades ago, three out of every four people living in Frisco were white. Today, it’s a fusion of races and ethnicities.

And the schools are a microcosm of the city. At Liberty, less than half of the students are white, while 30 percent are Asian.

Read the full story on Liberty High School in our American Graduate series: "Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools."

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.