Williamsburg High School Principal Barry Dalton credits Mindy Hastings, a math teacher at Williamsburg High School, with discovering and writing the Learn and Serve grant for the school. This grant has allowed murals to painted throughout the school.
“One of the things we had been talking about as a staff was increasing school pride as well as pride in the community. School pride has really been increasing and so has pride in the community. However, the inside of the high school building needed something to enhance the kids a sense of pride,” Dalton said. “The walls were mostly bare and had no color, really.”
When approached with the idea of bringing color to the otherwise plain walls within the school art teacher Byron Jody jumped at the opportunity.
“I was very excited. This is a dream come true for me. I didn’t even know what the grant was all about of even how long it would last. All I knew was that I was going to be able to paint murals on the walls,” he said.
Jody says he currently has two students helping paint murals. However, he is responsible for painting the huge Eagle that can be seen as students enter the doors located at the school’s east parking lot.
“It only took me two days to paint the eagle. I also painted Knowledge Brightens the Future. I have also painted Williamsburg Middle Wildcat in the middle school office. I did a Williamsburg Wildcat in the entry to the gym and an SBAAC lob Southern Buckey Academic/Athletic Conference logo located at the high school’s main entry.”
“There will be many more to come,” Jody said. “We are going to work through the holiday painting more murals. Some will be historic scenes in the auditoria at the high school.”
The art students in Jody’s advanced art class paint during free periods and sometimes during class periods or after school.
When it comes to designing the murals, Jody says he leaves it up to the students who are participating.
Samantha Oliver designed and painted the Teens Against Bullying mural and the WWII mural, located in the history classroom. The Mural titled “Starry Night,” which is a copy of a Vincent Van Gogh’s original piece of art, was painted by Mandy Schweitzer.
According to Jody, he wasn’t even sure how he got the grant or why, he was just excited about the whole project.
“It (the grant) provided us with all the materials and the overhead projector. I’m not sure how long the grant will last, but we have done a lot in a short period of time,” he said.
According to Dalton, environment has everything to do with pride. However, he is not sure how long this grant will continue.
“The grant was renewable, and I use the word ‘was’ because grants are based on money given from the government or some organization. As far as we know from the last meeting we went to the funds have dried for he grant,” Dalton said.
Dalton says he is not sure yet if they will be able to renew the grant but he hopes they will be able to continue to do the murals as well as some other possible ideas they may have.
“We do have enough funds, depending on the size, to do four or five more murals. We do have some funds left, I just don’t know the exact figure at this time,” he said.