hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

December 27, 2012

From school roof to Christmas gift

Students make slate into art work for parents

Children at Walnut Square Elementary School got to take home a piece of their school this year — literally.

The slate tile roof that protected generations of children in the building from the elements was being replaced this summer, and when a parent volunteer saw what was happening, he had an idea.

“We saved 150 pieces of slate because workers were hauling them away,” said first-grade teacher Judy Reilly. “Our art teacher, Gayle Teichman, washed all of the slates and prepared them for children to paint as Christmas presents for their parents.”

It was the kind of one-time offer the nearly 150 students in kindergarten through grade two couldn’t refuse. All they had to do was a little painting with a brush and they had the perfect gift to give.

“My mom told me they came from the roof,” second-grader Braedon Smith said. “I painted a snowy owl on mine.’’

Braedon was talking about a rectangular piece of slate that was part of his school’s roof until this summer, when the 1898 building got a new roof. Reilly said parent volunteer Larry Trevette watched the tiles being removed and suggested the school salvage some of them for use in a classroom art project. Trevette approached Reilly with his idea and, after obtaining permission from School Superintendent James Scully, he gathered up 150 tiles with help from school custodian David Sargent.

As the holiday season approached, Teichman surprised children in her art classes with the tiles. She gave them several choices of images to paint on one side of the gray slate pieces, including snowy owls, snowmen and penguins.

“She told us to be careful not to drop it,’’ Braedon said. “t was very fragile and it could break.’’

Children used an acrylic paint to create their winter scenes and then added their names and the year on the back as a lasting memento of their time at the school.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • Schools protect students with food allergies Posted 48 days ago
  • hunking2

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Dena Papanikolaou, a parent organizer, talks to parents packing a room to hear about a proposal for the new school to replace Hunking. This February meeting was a kickoff to their campaign. 2/6/14

    Bradford to get new school Posted 69 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140606_et_tje_havgrad_13

    Graduates applaud and cheer for their classmates.

    'Hillie Nation' celebrates the Class of 2014 Posted 69 days ago 6 Photos
  • Write Away!! Contest celebrates 23rd year Posted 69 days ago
  • 140603_HG_MSC_HUNKING

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Lisa Prendergast, left, and Melissa Seavey stand with Lisa's son John, 7, as he holds a sign in support of a new school to replace Hunking School. In the background is the Hunking.

    If voters approve, new school project starts in spring Posted 76 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140529_HG_CRU_WHITTIER_29

    CARL RUSSO/Staff photo Jonathan Maker, right, of Rowley, Whittier Regional High's valedictorian at this year's graduation ceremony, and his father, Donny Maker, a graduate of Whittier's Class of 1974, hug before the ceremony.

    Father and son graduate from Whittier 40 years apart Posted 76 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • 140522_HG_HAND_ALINA

    Courtesy photo Russian exchange student Alina Skripets, 17, plays the character Annabella in the Haverhill High School senior class production of Alfred Hitchock's "The 39 Steps." At left is senior Alex Zylkuski in the role of Richard Hannay.

    From Russia to Haverhill Posted 83 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014
  • necc2

    TIM JEAN/Staff photos Hayley Carlin and Elizabeth Simpson, both of Methuen, give the thumbs up sign at the start of the graduation ceremony.

    NECC graduation generates excitement Posted 90 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, May 15, 2014
  • 140429_ET_ASW_TREE_3

    Tom Minichiello of the Haverhill Exchange Club helps the students in Judy Reilly's first-grade class sort, bag and tag pine saplings, for distribution by the club to first-graders in Haverhill, Groveland and Salem, N.H.

    Tiny trees for tiny kids Posted 97 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, May 8, 2014
  • 140502_HG_RHU_HEARTS_004

    Sacred Hearts first-grader Grace Wafford shows off her image of what she thinks she will look like at 75 years old.

    Cherishing the past, celebrating the present Posted 104 days ago 5 Photos

Photos of the Week
Stocks