Tragedy brings Prosser High School students, staff together

November 8, 2012 

RAY TOLCACHER, Prosser

One of the most difficult aspects of holding the position of superintendent in a school district is hearing news that one of the students has died.

The recent tragic accident that took Alejandra "Alex" Islas' life was a very difficult time for her family as well as her fellow students, staff and administration at Prosser High School.

Being the father of two Prosser High seniors, I know the affect that such an incident can have on the emotions and lives of the students at our school. In times like this, the core values and the heart our students and staff become apparent.

From the first notice of the tragic incident; the staff under the direction of Principal Kevin Lusk, began the difficult job of addressing the needs of our students, staff and parents.

With the assistance of David Funk and Anna Fazzari, our assistant principals, as well as our counselors, the greater part of the weekend after the accident was spent preparing for Monday morning.

The call to the school staff was met with an immediate response, with everyone's concern being for the students, who on the weekend had no way to address the situation before Monday morning.

Many of the staff and parents opened their homes and hearts to students in need of a place to go for information and care.

On Monday morning, our students, staff and administration pulled together as a family.

This event overshadowed any other issues or needs, as they focused on how they could support each other and Alejandra's family.

To that end, the students showed unbelievable respect and sensitivity for one other.

Under the guidance of our Prosser High staff, students had the opportunity to mourn and try to deal with a death, an event which some students had never experienced in their lives.

The students at Prosser High School may be operating in close quarters, but I will tell you, the Prosser community has a great deal to be proud of with our students.

The staff is the most caring and dedicated group of educators anywhere.

This community should be very proud of their high school students and staff. It is an honor to be associated with them.

w Ray Tolcacher is superintendent of the Prosser School District.

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