A new year brings new hope to Woodland Hills

When Antwon Rose II was shot and killed by police in June it marked the sixth shooting death in two years at the Woodland Hills School District.

In a series beginning this week, photographers Michael M. Santiago and Jessie Wardarski will document the lives of students and staff at Woodland Hills as the district looks for new hope and continues to face challenges in trying to educate young people fairly.

Woodland Hills High School Homecoming Queen Ciara Turner of Turtle Creek waits for the start of the homecoming parade with her brother Julian Turner, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Turtle Creek. Next to her is a picture of her twin brother, Jerame J. Turner, who was murdered on Nov. 27, 2017. “He was like, a real like jokester,” she said of her brother. “He was super funny. Even like when we got in trouble or something, my mom would end up laughing too.” The Post-Gazette will be following Ciara’s story throughout the school year. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)

 

Hundreds of students dance in the cafeteria during the homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Woodland Hills School District Superintendent James P. Harris laughs with his cabinet members during their weekly meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at the Woodland Hill School District’s administrative offices in North Braddock. During the meeting, the department heads informed Harris of the district’s weather policies, issues with busing, school attendance and new technologies being implemented in the district schools. Read more about the new superintendent here. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
Woodland Hills School District Superintendent James P. Harris leads his cabinet’s weekly meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at the Woodland Hill School District’s administrative offices in North Braddock. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
From left, Jarron Best of Wilkinsburg, Rasaun Brown of Braddock and Jianni Riggs of Forest Hills pose for portraits during the Woodland Hills homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Ariya Jetter, 17, of Rankin dances under multicolored lights in the cafeteria during the homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
Homecoming court member Rasaun Brown of Braddock, center, dances during the Woodland Hills homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. The Post-Gazette will be following Rasaun as he goes through his senior year. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Rasaun Brown of Braddock cleans up after printing a sample shirt in the print room for Young Autonomous Art Zone, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, at the Carnegie Library’s Braddock branch. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Homecoming court member Rasaun Brown of Braddock is introduced during the Woodland Hills homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Phillip Woods, principal of Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School, monitors the cafeteria during a lunch period, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. Read a profile of the new principal here. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Phillip Woods, principal of Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School, greets students as they arrive at school, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, Phillip Woods, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Homecoming Queen Ciara Turner and the first runner-up for homecoming king, Jayden Lucas, are introduced during the Woodland Hills homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)
Senior Ciara Turner smiles as her grandma Joann Dickerson gives her a hug and kiss before leaving with a group of friends for their senior homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Chalfant. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
“I can’t ever get it around my head,” Ciara Turner of her twin brother’s death as she starts to take off her necklace reading his name while changing for the homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Turtle Creek. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
Ciara Turner’s reflection is surrounded by photos of her twin brother, Jerame Turner, who was shot and killed last year, as she gets ready for her senior homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Turtle Creek. (Jessie Wardarski/Post-Gazette)
Hundreds of students pack the cafeteria for the Woodland Hills homecoming dance, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Woodland Hills Junior/Senior High School in Churchill. (Michael M. Santiago/Post-Gazette)