Leaving a legacy


Departing seniors put up a ceramic mural at Glendale High School Friday depicting their drive toward the future and departure from the past.

The relief displays a landscape from the perspective of a student at the driver’s seat on the road of life, ceramics teacher Christine Rose said.

“We all came up with the idea, since we’re graduating and it’s the perfect time to look into the future,” said 17-year-old senior Lina Tovmassian, who was one of the advanced ceramics class students who helped create the work.

A sinuous road curves into the distance, and lining the journey are billboards with pictures of doctors and business professionals, images that represent the future, said Roger Dolin, the artist in residence who helped with the student project. The rear- and side-view mirrors reflect images of childhood and family life that the student leaves behind in his or her journey, he said. And there is a global positioning system device on the dashboard, representing the whole world of possibilities before the students, he said.

“It represents our whole chapter in life while we were here in school, from family and friends to things we can become,” said 18-year-old Renia Paria. “It means, I think to me, all the potential we have.”

Paria and eight other seniors were getting their hands dirty during their fourth period Friday helping Dolin put up the mural. The 4-foot by 8-foot piece is constructed of 36 square tiles that the students molded and painted themselves. Students mixed mortar at the work site, applied it to the back of the tiles, then pressed the tile against the brick wall. Work was slow because they had to wait for each row of tiles to be securely cemented on the wall before starting the next row.

The entire mural-making process took about two months of dedication from her students, Rose said.

Some of the ceramics students said their schoolmates do not take much notice of the 13 other ceramic murals on campus. The first mural the class produced, a relief map of the city, can be seen in the lobby of Glendale Unified School District’s main office, Rose said.

But the most noticeable on campus is the mural on the bridge above the quad area, a large ceramic “Glendale” in block letters, Lina said.

“But I think this one will make people start thinking about it because it’s life after high school,” she said. “Like right now, I’m really nervous because now I’m going into the real world. I’m not safe in high school anymore.”

The new mural is on a wall near the corner past the south side of the main bridge — where these few students will have created a lasting legacy at their school, Rose said.

“The best experience, besides the teamwork thing, is that they have a piece of themselves on campus,” she said.

  • ANTHONY KIM covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3238 or by e-mail at
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