Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Mural earns $1m for Immaculate High School

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Gabrielle Watts tells Sister Angella Harris, principal of Immaculate Conception High School, and Francois Chalifour, director of marketing and development for Wisynco, about the School Spirit mural created by visual arts students to win $1 million for the school in the Cran Wata Million-Dollar Mural Competition. The mural depicts the theme, 'School Spirit, Education and Alma Mater'.-Contributed

The creativity of students at Immaculate Conception High School (ICHS) has earned the school an award of $1 million dollars from Wisynco. The financial boost, which comes as a result of winning the Cran Wata Million Dollar Mural competition, enables the school to fund a new project to install solar panels to power the pumps for the school's swimming pool.

"This comes at the perfect time as we knew that we wanted to go solar as a school. Since we don't have enough money to go all out at once, when we heard we had won the Cran Wata mural competition, we knew this would be a part of the long-term solar plan for the school," said Sister Angella Harris, principal of ICHS, as she explained the decision to use the funds for the solar project.

This is the second year that Wisynco has invited secondary schools to enter the mural competition for a chance to win more than $1,000,000 in prizes. The qualifying schools were challenged to create and paint a mural on a wall at the school to portray three themes - school spirit, education and alma mater.

"Wisynco wishes to support schools meaningfully by providing funds which can be used for important projects of their choice," said Janine Josephs, brand manager. "This year, over $1.85 million in prizes has been presented to Immaculate and Old Harbour high schools. Last year, St Jago High School used their prize to pave a section of their road and build a culvert for drainage."

GOOD EXPERIENCE

Students Justine Marie Williams, Gabrielle Watts, and Shanae Butler, guided by visual arts teacher Nicky Ann Chambers, selected school spirit as the theme for Immaculate's entry. The design was created and drawn on the wall by Justine Marie and her teacher, with the other students assisting with the painting. "It was a really good experience because I don't really paint much, so this really helped with my art studies," said grade-10 student, Gabrielle. "It was really fun because I was working on it with friends and learning at the same time. And we just had a good time."

Sister Angella reiterated the importance of school spirit to Immaculate, and revealed that it was this spirit that galvanised the entire school community of current students, alumni and friends to generate the largest number of votes on Facebook in order to win the competition. "School spirit is important in bonding a community. So while you have individual students who are talented in different areas - whether academically, in sports, music - school spirit brings it together. It's not just individuals excelling, it's the school community that is rejoicing when something good happens. And so something like the Cran Wata Million Dollar Mural Competition that had so many Immaculate students and past students coming on board was great for our school spirit."

The mural which depicts the unity of students and the achievements in academics and other co-curricular activities is located in a prominent position where it can be easily viewed by students as they move between classes. "We hope that when the students walk past, they always feel a great sense of pride," said Josephs. "We want them to remember how talented they are and how many people with different skill sets had to come together in unity to make their mural possible. We hope they know they can achieve anything!"