Former student sophomore Sandor Pelle moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, on Feb. 19 and now attends Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, a 10-to-15-minute drive from his house.
Q: What is living in Scottsdale like?
A: (It’s) actually pretty cool and better than I expected. It’s nice, the people are great, it’s easy to get around – except for the all (of) the unprotected left turns – and has a good balance of calm and relaxed versus big and social.
Q: How was your transfer to your new school?
A: The transition was pretty crazy. There are 2800 kids in the school and probably 700-800 in my sophomore class, so it’s literally like a city every time you pass between classes or go anywhere.
My transition went actually really smoothly; everyone was super nice and I made a lot of friends, and the teachers – most of them – are great and made it easy.
Q: What is Pinnacle High School like?
A: Compared to SCDS, it’s (very) different. The first thing I noticed was just the sheer number of people, classrooms, teachers and options. Not to say that it’s necessarily better or worse, it’s just that there’s a lot more in general. The other thing I noticed, which I expected, was that if someone wants to do even somewhat well in school, they can’t expect teachers or staff to help them at all. Everything is self-driven.
Also, I see at least like 30 new faces every day, so it’s crazy. A social thing I recognized, too, is that unlike Country Day, (at Pinnacle) you have friends who aren’t always friends with your other friends, and that was kind of weird at first.
At Country Day, if you have a good friend, there’s almost a 100 percent chance that they will also be friends with your other friend. Here, some people don’t mix, and there are more groups rather than everyone mixed.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite things about your new school?
A: Favorite thing: the people and most of the teachers.
Least favorite thing: the occasional carelessness of it all and that not everything and everyone is as connected. Every once in a while, there are instances where you can see that (the) teachers (and) staff don’t care as much about their students. I don’t mean just me; I’ve observed it multiple times. Unlike at Country Day, your character and relationships can’t get you any help or respect or forgiveness.
Q: Are you playing soccer at school and with a club team?
A: I’m playing with a club team called the Scottsdale Blackhawks. The school soccer team’s season ended two weeks before I got here, so I couldn’t play. I’ll play for the school probably next year, though.
Q: What is your club team like?
A: I like my team. They’re less selfish, so to say, than my team back in Sac. It’s a good group of guys, and while we’re not as close (of) friends yet, we still play well together on the field.
Q: Were there any pleasant or unpleasant surprises?
A: Pleasant surprise: no scorpions at all yet, despite the thought that they’re everywhere. Another pleasant surprise was that it’s not just desert and cacti and nothingness down here. There’s actually stuff.
Q: What do you miss most about Sacramento?
A: The thing I miss most about Sacramento is, of course, my family and friends that are still there. I’ve lived there for 15 years, so people become harder to leave behind than places or material things.
—By Larkin Barnard-Bahn