Pearl Con IV takes on a WWII theme to celebrate school’s history

Sam Torres

Isabelle Marin

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  • Sophomores Petra Vass, Valery Barrera and Sara Marquez check out the comics sold at a booth in the vendors room during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • The Hula Dance Troupe perform on the outdoor stage during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Students learn how to dance on the outdoor stage at Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Sophomores Julissa Jaco and Brenda Zaragoza make buttons at a booth during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Veteran Barney Leone shows Sophomore Heather Alvarez-Granados the Wings over Wendy's display located outside of the MPR during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Social science teacher Francisco Ortega dances with his dance partner on the outdoor stage during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Freshman Chareena Pascua looks at a booth in the vendors room during Pearl Con IV on May 11.

  • Sophomores Adrienne Bangert, Valery Barrera, August Defore, Harlow Frank, Fransico Weltman and Stephanie Pynes dressed up as WWII nurses and soldiers during Pearl Con. They are in history teacher Francisco Ortega's AP World History class.

  • Junior Logan Townsend cosplays as Shrek during the fourth annual Pearl Con.

  • During the fourth Pearl Con volunteers brought in classic cars to put on display. One of the many included was the 1931 Ford Model A 5 Window Coupe.

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Although he is just weeks away from his retirement, science teacher Stephen Schaffter kept up his high school spirit at the fourth annual Pearl Con and already has plans to return and help organize next year’s event.

“We had the World War II museum, funnel cakes, a dance exhibition (and) far more participation by community members this year,” Schaffter said of the event that took place on May 11.

Science teachers Schaffter and James Morrison are the founders of Pearl Con, which drew hundreds to the campus on a cool Saturday to view comic books vendors, check out the car show and listen to a variety of speakers, including actress Aliyah Royale from “The Red Line” on CBS.

Some of the new additions to this year’s event were recruited by Francisco Ortega, the school’s new history teacher. Ortega organized the World War II museum and dressed up as a military officer.

“I took the initiative on that because as soon as I came to this school and realized that it used to be an army hospital, I started doing research and started compiling some artifacts,” Ortega said.

The museum featured artifacts that ranged from currency, to license plates and life jackets. Along with the museum, there was a World War II-themed encampment activity that featured soldiers and nurses that were played by Ortega’s students.

The addition of a car show returned to Pearl Con this year as well. The cars drew the attention of many pedestrians and people driving by. One of the cars that were presented was a 1915 one-of-a-kind fire truck. The show featured classic and more modern luxury cars, many of which are owned by Daniel Pearl Magnet High School cafeteria manager Kathy Mrasz’s family.

Pearl Con is the main fundraising event for the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School PTSA and estimated to earn nearly $5,000. It also doubles as a way for many incoming freshmen to get acquainted with the school. This year, there were around 450 people in attendance including paid attendees, volunteers and participants. Next year’s Pearl Con is scheduled to take place on May 9.

“This year was by far the largest Pearl Con yet,” junior Katharina Hanna said. “It had more attractions and events that people could participate in.”


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