Wilkinsburg High School: Hope amid dysfunction and disorder
June 13, 2014 7:53 AM
James Herbert, 19, wipes sweat from his head as he makes last minute preparations for his senior project as Shyanne McGarrah, 15, looks on at Wilkinsburg High School Thursday, May 22, 2014. James, who wants to be a fashion designer, did his project on the fashion of the 1950s and 1980s. He had to pass the senior project, which included a presentation,community service and reflection of his experience, to graduate.
James Herbert, 19, along with his aunt Cynthia Herbert, left, and mother June Howard, right, watch as the limo pulls up to his house in Wilkinsburg on prom night Thursday, May 29. Friends and family gathered at James' house to take photos of him.
Iesha Stover, 19, walks to class while principal Steve Puskar monitors the hallways Thursday, March 20 at Wilkinsburg High School.
Iesha Stover, 19, leaves her house in Wilkinsburg with her mother, Tracey Alcantara, stepfather, Lee Epps, brother, Luke Stover, 20, and Leelee, the family dog, in tow Thursday, May 29 for her senior prom.
At low-achieving Wilkinsburg High School, where the Class of 2014 graduates tonight, the Post-Gazette’s reporter Mary Niederberger finds inspiring stories of success.
"Wilkinsburg High School rises four stories above Wallace Avenue like an aging brick and stone castle that was once impressive, but is now forgotten and forlorn...
The dismal appearance of the building reflects the achievements of the students who go there. Test scores are among the lowest in the state. The habitual truancy rate of 76.2 percent — those who have six or more unexcused absences — soars above the county and statewide averages of 8.18 percent and 7.52 percent, respectively.
On any given day, there are as many students out of class as are in class.
Those who show up frequently stroll in late or leave early, and while there, they often text and listen to music and videos on their cell phones.
But in the midst of dysfunction and disorder, success stories can be found.”
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