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Alum Spotlight: Omar Villafranca

current picture of Omar next to younger image of Omar 

You can catch Omar Villafranca most nights reporting for CBS Evening News.

He’s stationed out of Dallas now but was born in San Antonio in the 70s.

He attended Castle Hills Elementary school, and as it turns out, those days at Castle Hills set him on his path to success.

“Like millions of other kids across the country, I remember watching the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger at Castle Hills with Mrs. Carter,” recalled Villafranca. “We saw the explosion. Some of the teachers turned off the TV. Obviously, that is something traumatic for kids. But I had so many questions after seeing that. What happened? Why did it happen? I asked the teachers ALL week questions about it, but it was a tough subject. Now, I ask questions for a living!”

He also remembers seeing news crews at Castle Hills when Senator Phil Gramm came for a visit—then seeing his school in the newspaper the next day.

While those big moments might have set him up for his career path, he also remembers smaller moments that also made a significant impact.

“I remember playing on the big playground by Loop 410. We were always playing soccer. Sometimes the ball went over the fence and got smashed by a car. Big bummer. But a valuable lesson.”

Lessons from Castle Hills continue to stick with Villafranca as he works hard to find answers and inform the public on major events. The classroom, the cafeteria and even the playground proved to be places to learn about life. His advice to kids currently learning somewhere on an NEISD campus:

“Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep asking questions. And do something nice for your teachers. They care about your education and future!”

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Posted by: Evan Henson
posted on: 01/24/2022