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Draper Elementary Celebrates Its 40th With Art Gala

May 05, 2016 01:12PM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Draper - Former Draper Elementary secretary Jean Smith worked under four principals and knows much of the school’s history. She celebrated on March 14 with others at Draper Elementary’s 40th birthday celebration, highlighted with an art gala.

“I have lots of memories,” Smith said. “I knew teachers didn’t like the open classrooms they had back then because there were lots of distractions. I remember celebrating my birthday with Principal Ron Garrett and recall where the school hung the Norman Rockwell painting it owns,” Smith said. 

Rockwell’s painting of Ichabod Craine, which former students bought back in 1951 with $800, is highlighted amongst the 100 original works of art — including one Smith’s husband, Lynn, contributed — that decorate the school’s hallways and rooms.

That collection was part of the inspiration for the school’s 40th to tie into an art gala, Principal Piper Riddle said. The evening showcased students’ artwork created under the Beverly Taylor Sorenson ARTS Learning Program grant. 

The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program is a teaching partnership where arts specialist Kylie Welling gives students arts instruction that integrates with literacy, social studies and science students learn in their classrooms, Riddle said. 

First-grader Austin Graff showed his family the bear mask he made.

“I like bears because they catch fish,” he said. “Making the mask was fun, but it was gooey when the wet strips (of paper mache) were put on my face. I liked painting it.”

Fourth-grader Tate Larrabee said he worked with six other students on the eagle portion of a totem pole that was one of several which stood in the center of the school’s multi-purpose room. 

“My group spent three weeks creating the body, eyes, beak and wings,” he said. “We learned about native tribes in Utah and how totem poles tell stories so this is what represents us in fourth grade.” 

Fourth-grader Paige Rees said her group chose to work on the totem pole’s wolf.

“We were supposed to show what kind of animal best represents our group and we chose the wolf since he is symbolic of a leader,” she said. “All the animals are hot glued together and there is a big pole down the middle of them to make the totem poles stand up.”

Mayor Troy Walker, who was there along with many city council members, said that he was impressed with the artwork.

“These totem poles are really unique and striking,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having the quilt hung in Draper City Hall.”

After a walking field trip to many historic sites in Draper, second-graders were given squares of fabric to draw with watercolor pencils one of the sites in Draper from its early days including the Day Barn and Fitzgerald House and Cabin to more recent sites such as Draper Library, the swimming pool and amphitheater. 

“They were given landmarks to see how many of them they could find so it was a way they could learn about their community,” said Shauna Call, who volunteered to sew the squares into a quilt. She was joined by Marianne Barrowes and Leigh Anne Kammerman in the final stages.

Bilinda Wong’s third-grade twin daughters helped create the tile mosaic that will be displayed at Lone Peak Hospital. 

“It was fun to paint the tile,” daughter Mckenna said. “I have a mom holding a baby because when I think of hospitals, it’s what I think of.”

Her sister, Elisha, said that her title portrays how love helps patients.

“I had a little heart with it because if there is enough love, people can get better,” she said.

Their older sister, Alexis, created a ceramic bell along with her fifth-grade classmates, which were on display by the kindergarteners’ watercolor butterfly collage. 

The evening included student musicians’ performances, a birthday cake and photos, slide show and other memorabilia that Parent-Teacher Association president Tammy Hall and other members displayed.

Secretary Smith looked at photos of the students, principals and teachers. 

Her husband, Lynn, said, “She knew so many of the students by name.” 

Before retiring, Smith trained current secretary Marian Broderick, who is in her 21st year.

“Some of the kids that were here going to school are now bringing their kids to this school,” Broderick said. “When they come in to register them, they always tell us that they loved it here and wanted their kids to go to their same school.”    

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