PCHES murals of inspiration, a guiding light into the future

When Pearl City Highlands Elementary students, faculty and staff returned to school form the summer break last week, they were welcomed back by the vision of joy, happiness and the heart and soul of their PCHES ohana and educational experience.

Principal Zachary Sheets has bridged and perpetuated the vision, success, and beliefs of his predecessors with a fresh vision and positive attitude as he leads his school and students into the future. PCHES students thrive in a culture of learning and experiences that they will share with others as they mature and navigate through life.

Five very special murals painted by local artist from Waipahu, Jesse Velasquez, that depict and define Perseverance, Curiosity, Humility, Embrace Challenges, and Self-Awareness.

MyPearl City.com sat down with Principal Sheets for the following Q&A:

Q: Purpose, mission, vision?

A: There were multiple reasons for the murals. One was to create a more welcoming campus for students, families, staff, and community. Bringing art into a space creates feelings and emotions. We wanted to spark joy and happiness in our students. It was great seeing families and students taking pictures and selfies at the mural during meet and greet and opening week. Furthermore, we want to ensure students, parents, and community members know who we are as a school, and what we value as a school community. Last school year, we worked to revise our vision, mission, and beliefs as a staff. (See attachment for vision, mission, and beliefs) The last couple of years, we have had several new staff join the PCHES family so it was important for us to have a common foundation and understanding moving forward. Our PCHES Mindsets were a big part of our revisions. The mindsets started when a group of teachers attended a professional development conference where they were asked, "What makes a good learner?" We surveyed our students and many said, "Listen to the teacher" or "Follow directions". However, staff mentioned specific characteristics or dispositions. It became apparent we needed to be intentional about promoting the mindsets if we wished for students to understand their importance. 

Q: How you feel the project brings together PCHES students, teachers, 
faculty, administration, parents, supporters and the community?

A: Again, the project supports where we are headed as a school. It is a common language that unites us as a school community. The mindsets are represented on our uniforms, in our vision, and seen around campus. But most importantly, the mindsets are lived out and practiced in the classroom on a daily basis by students and teachers. 

Q: How were the murals financed?
A: We financed the murals as a school in order to support our vision and mission.

Q: Anyone that you would like to thank?

A: A huge thank you to Jesse and his team for making our campus more inviting and beautiful. His artist interpretation of our PCHES Mindsets has brought joy to our students, staff, and community!


Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo provided by PCHES

Artist: Jesse Velasquez, instagram- @dakine.dak1ne

Photo provided by PCHES

Photo provided by PCHES

Photo provided by PCHES

Photo provided by PCHES