The National Art Honors Society, overseen by Mr. Michael Skura, will paint a mural in memorial of beloved teacher, the late Ms. Nicole Larsen and the morals she represented. It will replace the current tree made out of paper that’s in front of the math and science departments.
“Ms. Larsen impacted the school with her warmth, her caring, and probably the most important thing her passion for education,” Mr. Skura said. “All the stories that I’ve heard anecdotally, that’s why we value person to person education as opposed to online. She reminds us why we love educators.”
The current tree includes a number of hearts that have people’s names written on them, along with Ms. Larsen’s traits that people remembered and valued. These include “understanding” and “trustworthy.” People most notably valued Ms. Larsen’s advice and understanding on a personal level, which is not a common trait. “I hope it’ll make the school a kinder, more grateful place,” Skura said. He hopes this mural will promote and embody all that Ms. Larsen stood for as an educator.
As for the mural itself, its creation will involve B.I.O.N.I.C., Art Club and National Arts Honors Society. As the project is student-led, Mr. Skura has taken the role of an artistic overseer.
“Most likely, it is going to be acrylic paint,” Skura said. “To describe more of what the image is going to be – it’s the tree, I would imagine, with the .”
Mr. Skura spoke on how this mural and Ms. Larsen’s memory will affect the school five years down the road, when only the staff can remember hearing the announcement of an untimely loss.
“I hope it’ll generate stories, so people can ask ‘who is Ms. Larsen? Why is there a memorial there?’” Skura said. “A natural conversation could come up about teachers that give so much and have such a positive impact.”
Even when only a minority of the people that come to Oswego High School each day will be able to remember a time when Ms. Larsen taught here, this memorial will continue to establish all the traits she stood for.
“Regardless of whether you believe in an afterlife or not, this is our best attempt at recognizing someone and keeping a person’s name to live for as long as possible,” Mr. Skura said.