Penn Hills Class of 1969 to tour new high school during reunion
A group of Penn Hills High School alumni will reunite after 50 years by going back to school for a tour of a building that occupies property that – when they were students – used to be their high school’s backyard.
Jacqueline Price was one of the 1,084 students who graduated in the high school’s 1969 class. She moved out to Southern California in 1986 when she accepted a job as communications director for the Capistrano Unified School District, where she still lives. She retired as one of the district’s assistant superintendents.
Price visited Penn Hills’ new high school last year and thought it would be nice to get some of her classmates – some of whom, like her, live outside of the state – back for a tour of the building as part of the class’ 50-year reunion.
“I thought it was a chance to see the new school, interact with the students of 2019 and a chance to see the array of services it now has,” Price said, adding she was impressed by the school’s technology lab and other offerings.
Price is familiar with the controversy surrounding the building, which has been partly credited with thrusting the school district into financial crisis. Its debt hovers around $170 million, largely due to the construction of the high school and elementary school.
“If you put aside all of that that has gone on, you still have teaching and learning going on every day,” Price said. “I wanted to have a chance to see that because that’s what it’s all about.”
For an hour on Sept. 20, Price said around 50 alumni will tour the building. The group will break into smaller cohorts, each led by a student council member.
Price expects the tour to include a visit to a typical classroom, the library, auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria and its TV production and robotics technology areas.
She’s excited for her peers to see those last two areas.
“Those are just unique programs. Those didn’t exist back when we were in school,” Price said.
The school’s tour is part of a two-day itinerary for the 50-year reunion that starts the day before with a golf outing at Edgewood Country Club. Golf is followed by an informal social at the Comfort Inn on Rodi Road and the reunion is capped with a dinner dance back at Edgewood Country Club on Friday night.
Price said those interested in attending the tour and the informal social will need to RSVP at least the day before each event. Email [email protected] for details.
School officials are excited to have the alumni walk through the halls again.
“We are thrilled these alumni want to return home. We’re quite proud of their positive mark on the world. We would like to think their success is due in no small part to the foundation of learning and hard work they started right here,” said Nancy Hines, district superintendent.
Eric Kostic, the high school’s principal, said he is honored to host them.
“We welcome their interest and support and hope they will be inspired to return often as volunteers, advocates, boosters and patrons,” he said.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .