Wilson class of 2020 to be honored with a photo mural

Madison Dias

A Class of 2020 photo mural will be hung at Wilson to acknowledge students whose senior year was cut short. The mural will serve both as a substitute graduation photo and a remembrance of the lost spring, as well as the absence of Wilson senior spirit during the Covid-19 pandemic when the school was abruptly closed. Photos of seniors with their yard signs are being collected via email to be hung for this mural. This mural will include all 436 students in the Class of 2020. 

The project came about the day before Mother’s Day, when senior parent Lisa A. Newman and her daughter Elli Rosenthal were hand-delivering 11 signs to senior classmates in DC. Noticing how happy every senior was to receive and take a photo with their sign, Newman felt inspired. Newman said that, “Later that day, [she] corresponded with Principal Kim Martin about the fact that a 2020 class graduation photo was unlikely,” and mentioned the idea of all 436 seniors taking pictures with their signs and sending them in. Newman said she, “inquired whether the photos could be combined at a later date to create some sort of physical mural in the school,” possibly to be hung in the atrium. The principal, according to Newman, “was very interested in going ahead.”

The Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), specifically Jennie Bonney and Marilyn Kitzes, are in charge of the funding for this project. According to Bonney, they, “along with a team of parents, proposed a plan to the PTSO whereby the four real estate agents: Lisa Resch, Janice Pouch, Rina Kunk, and Jennifer Knoll, would fund a significant portion of the yard signs.” They then developed a plan for creating and disseminating the yard signs. The PTSO funded the remaining portion of the signs. 

 Senior moms Kristin Willsey and Lisa Oakley worked on contacting and organizing the parent volunteers. Photos are collected via a Gmail repository, [email protected], which is primarily accessed by Elizabeth Levenson, Principal Kimberly Martin’s assistant, and Newman. As explained by Newman, “a few weeks into collecting the photos, when we had about 125 of them, Ms. Levenson found a Wilson alum to help us alphabetize the collection.” In a few more weeks, they had received “some 300 photos.” Newman has “emailed back many of the seniors and or parents who sent photos, asking each of them in turn to help us by persuading fellow seniors to take photos and send them in.” In these emails, she asks for the senior to “Snapchat or text their circle of senior Wilson friends, and or teammates or club members, so we can get more photos to our repository Gmail.” 

The project started with a trickle of photos on May 11th after Martin mentioned the mural project in her e-letter. As of right now, around 300 photos have been collected.