Connecting early and often

Overall 2As we at PCC know, the road to college begins early in a student’s formal education. Last week I had the pleasure of attending two events that help propel middle school and high school students along the path to further academic achievement.

The College is a supporter of the Sunnyside Unified School District Foundation, and at the organization’s annual Pathways to Success Luncheon, PCC and a wide range of community partners learned how the Foundation is furthering educational aspirations of the district’s students. Particularly inspiring were Sunnyside’s middle school orchestra students, whose achievements illustrate once again how the power of the arts extends from the stage or concert hall to the classroom.

Diane Lussier

Diane Lussier

On Oct. 23, we held our 10th annual High School Mathematics Competition, with more than 130 high school mathletes, some coming from as far away as Yuma and Willcox, taking part. For a decade, Diane Lussier, Downtown Campus Mathematics faculty, has been the driving force of the event, with math faculty from all six campuses involved.

The impact of Diane’s longstanding collaboration with our area K-12 districts became especially clear this year, when a former participant, now a high school math teacher, brought a team to the competition. At PCC, supporting community partners in order to foster a culture of educational excellence, and connecting with students years before they graduate from high school, is important work, and some of the most rewarding.

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