The class pictures that adorned the walls of the old Pinckneyville Community High School building have been digitized and are now viewable in the common area of the new school at The Panther Connection kiosk sponsored by First National Bank in Pinckneyville.
The pictures can be searched by year of class or individual name and be seen on either a 60 inch screen – ideal for group gatherings such as reunions -- or a PC monitor. In addition to the class photos, the work of students in the graphic and web designs programs will be presented for other classmates and the public to enjoy.
PCHS Superintendent Keith Hagene envisions that the kiosk will evolve into a larger resource for students looking to connect with alumni to discuss particular professions, choices in colleges and regions of the country in which to live.
“If one of our students is interested in studying engineering, for example, I see The Panther Connection one day including a database where he or she can search to identify PCHS alumni who are in that profession and willing to provide advice,” Hagene said. “We will encourage alumni to input their bios to help build this resource and make this possible.”
David Pirsein, president of First National Bank, said creating the kiosk was in response to PCHS alumni who expressed dissatisfaction with losing the class picture display when the old school was razed in 2012.
“Those pictures represented the legacy of Pinckneyville and connected younger generations with the town’s past,” Pirsein said. “The kiosk was initially meant only to keep that connection alive, but the school has vastly enhanced the scope of what it can mean to the student body. We are proud to be part of this endeavor.”
Hagene said each picture was scanned and a computer program was created to make them searchable. The pictures still exist, but many are in fragile condition and they are in secure storage.
“We’ve lost nothing as it relates to our history, but gained so much as it relates to what technology allows us to do,” he said. “This is a work in progress and we believe some of the most exciting and freshest ideas on how to use it will come from those who will benefit most from it – the students.”