Staying on Track
A few weeks ago an incident took place over the weekend where Pinnacle High School was vandalized. The vandalism included racist symbolism and wording. While we all know that the content of this graffiti was disturbing and upsetting, it is also important to recognize that in many ways incidents like this can serve to bring our community closer together. As the principal of an outstanding school like Pinnacle, I was pleased to see the incredible community support that was directed towards our students and staff. I personally received many calls of support from parents, community members, and a variety of local organizations. The intent of these contacts was to offer words of support and encouragement. This is a clear indication that our community is truly outstanding!

One such example of the collaboration and support that exists in our community is the Desert Ridge Community Association. The DRCA has been actively partnering with the City of Phoenix Silent Witness for a number of years. The focus of this partnership has been on matching funds offered by Silent Witness with regard to the reporting of crimes in our community. The end result was that several suspects admitted to their involvement in the incident and were apprehended. The entire staff at PHS would like to thank our community members who helped identify the suspects and for the wonderful support!

We also received outstanding support at the district level. We are in the process of upgrading our security cameras and expect to have this project completed at the end of April. I would add that our facilities department and site-based maintenance staff responded quickly as all graffiti was cleaned up by mid-day, only hours after the graffiti was discovered.
As we move forward, I am pleased to report that our students and staff have not been distracted by this incident and are continuing to engage in the many wonderful activities that make our school such a great place. We are gearing up for Advanced Placement Testing where many of our students will secure college credits prior to entering the college environment. Additionally, we are wrapping up a successful spring season in athletics. Our many clubs on campus are providing engaging activities for students and making an impact at school and in the community. Most importantly, we are preparing to say farewell to the wonderful class of 2017 this May. I am proud to note that our students are resilient and understand that we will not allow challenging situations to take us off track.

Chad J. Lanese