Santa Fe South Pathways Student Wins First State Title

Santa Fe South Pathways middle college recently won its first state title. Erik Franco placed first in class 2A division cross country. This was a significant event for Santa Fe South Pathways. This is the school’s first win in their new athletic program. 

Franco started cross country during his junior year. “My junior season I didn’t have much success, but I was still putting in the work.” He said.

After a good season at the beginning of the year, Franco developed IT band syndrome which took him out of commission for the summer, but even that couldn’t stop the Pathways senior from taking the state title.

Says Franco, “It feels great starting up a new culture here at my school. I mean, this was the first year we had sports, and to be an individual champ for the first year ever, it feels good. It’s surreal.”

Franco hopes to attend college after graduating from Santa Fe South Pathways, potentially to pursue a career in veterinary practice.

Chris McAdoo, Principal at Santa Fe South Pathways, spoke about the win. 

“The kids are excited for Erik. We also had Ruben Gonzalez finish 10th and he is only a sophomore,” said McAdoo. “ He will have an opportunity to win a state title in the next 2 years as well. Hopefully, we can get others to join our cross-country team and build on the tradition that they started.”

Santa Fe South Pathways began simply as “Pathways,” a small high school operating out of Oklahoma City Community College since 2001. After Pathways shut down in 2014, Pathways partnered with Santa Fe South and is now officially sponsored by OCCC.

“The relationship between OCCC and Pathways is stronger than ever.  OCCC has been a great support of our students in my going on 8 years,” said McAdoo.

84 percent of seniors at Santa Fe South Pathways last year were able to graduate with an associate’s degree.

“We have students going to college from Stanford, to OU, OSU, Columbia, to Florida State, all the way to the Netherlands. Yet, nobody knows about us.” Said McAdoo, “We are the best kept secret in Oklahoma. We continue to focus on academics, we are adding sports, we even have a Marching band of almost 40 students.”

Santa Fe South Pathways is a charter school with a lottery admissions process. Parents who wish to enroll their kids in Santa Fe South Pathways can do so when the lottery opens in January.

People can find the online application either at santafesouth.org or pathwaysmiddlecollege.org