In November, Alpine voters will decide whether to pass a 22.5 million dollar bond funding new facilities at the high school. (Marfa Public Radio)
It’s business as usual at the Alpine High School band hall where smiling students rehearse. It wasn’t far from here that a freshman student took her own life after first shooting and injuring one of her peers. The young female shooter had moved to the area just six months before the incident.
Today, one year later, Principal Panchi Scown says administrators are treating it as a normal school day, although changes have been made at the school to prevent another incident.
“After the shooting last year, our faculty, staff, students, we became a much more tighter knit community,” says Scown.
“We try to make sure that we are including everyone, that we talk to everyone, that there’s no one feeling like they are left out.”
Principal Scown says since the shooting, processes have been put in place to make students feel more welcome on campus. For example, all new students are paired with a Student Council or National Honor Society student who can show them around.
Security processes have also been updated and teachers have worked to spruce up their classrooms, painting walls and hanging decorations to create a more welcoming atmosphere.
Principal Scown says though you never quite get over a tragedy like this one, she’s looking forward to a united student body and successful school year.
“I was telling the parents last night, I don’t want to jinx it but this has been the smoothest beginning of the school year we’ve ever had,” says Scown.