Just to the left of the front entrance to Stonegate Elementary School in Silver Spring is a glistening glass mosaic, the thank you gift from the fifth-grade classes of 2011 and 2013.
Two years ago, fifth-grade students made a four-by-eight-foot mosaic with the school’s name embedded in it, Adam Grant, Stonegate’s art teacher, explained.
This year’s fifth-graders created a second four-by-eight-foot section, an underwater scene including a reef shark, the school’s mascot, to complete the mosaic and presented it to the school June 4.
“We are the sharks and we are riding the waves of success at Stonegate,” Audra Fladung, principal, said at the unveiling.
Grant and mosaic artist Ali Mirsky, who has a studio in Ashton, worked to design the mosaic to complete the half already in place. Each of the school’s 79 fifth-graders worked to complete different parts.
“It all came together like a puzzle,” Grant said.
The fifth-grade students were invited to stay after school one day in May to grout the mosaic and more than half of them did, Grant said.
“We made one big mess, rather than a lot of little messes,” he said.
The fifth-graders were outside the school June 4 as Fladung uncovered the students’ gift.
“I think it’s really cool because everyone that comes to Stonegate will see what we made up on the wall,” fifth-grader Bronwyn Weikert said. “I liked doing it with my friends and showing my creativity.”
Emily Smith said she thought adding to the mosaic already outside the school was a great idea.
“My sister’s class did the top half and I really enjoyed putting it together,” she said.
Mirsky said that most students enjoy mosaic as an art form.
“Mosaic art really levels the playing field,” she said. “Students who were not successful in other projects really flow with this.”
Alex Willis said he thought the project was fun and exciting.
“It’s exciting because we got to have fun and put something on the school that stays,” he said.