Community works together to create Farquhar roadrunner mosaic -- Gazette.Net


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William H. Farquhar Middle School Principal Diane Morris said she’s often impressed by student artwork when visiting other school buildings.

When former student Sam Redman, 15, of Silver Spring, approached her about doing something in the school for his Eagle Scout project, they came up with the idea of creating a mosaic of the school’s mascot — a roadrunner.

Morris said a typical Eagle Scout project at a school involves beautifying a courtyard. Because the current school building is scheduled to be demolished next year, that was not an option.

Sam, a student at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, proposed a mosaic, since he had seen his younger brothers work on one at Stonegate Elementary School and he thought it looked like fun.

Morris was receptive and supportive of the idea.

This effort became a community service project involving Sam; the Farquhar PTA, which provided funding; and Ashton professional stained glass mosaic artist Ali Mirsky.

Over the past few months, Sam collected more than 200 pounds of donated scrap stained glass from local artists, coordinated preparations, trained volunteer helpers and worked on the design with Mirsky.

The design includes a roadrunner, along with the lettering for “Farquhar Middle School.”

He invited about 75 students and fellow Scouts, along with parents, siblings and school staff, to create the mosaic in the school’s cafeteria on Saturday.

The work consisted of laying the glass onto the four-foot-by-eight-foot mosaic design board. After it dries, it will be grouted.

Morris spent the day with the students working on the project and was touched by their sense of pride.

“Whether it is this year or 10 years from now, they will feel a connection, a whole kindred spirit, behind this project,” she said.

Morris said the adults wanted to jump in to participate because it looked like fun, but they stood back and watched Sam lead.

The mosaic will be hung inside the main hallway of the current school building within the next few weeks. It will be installed in the front hallway of the new school.

“It looks really great,” Morris said. “I hope this project leads to more ideas for student artwork in the years to come.”

Construction on the new school, which will be built just north of the existing building, is expected to begin in January 2015 and be completed by August 2016.

Sam is a member of Boy Scout Troop 433, based out of Oakdale Emory United Methodist Church. He hopes to complete the remaining requirements for his Eagle Scout award over the summer.

He said he was pleased with the project, which was more difficult than he anticipated.

“I had to coordinate between the Boy Scouts of America entity and meet the school’s requirements,” he said. “It was a unique project, so the Scout leadership wasn’t familiar with it, plus I had so many people working on it. But it was still fun.”

thogan@gazette.net