Glastonbury's Class of '17 recognized for arts, community spirit

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jun. 13, 2013
Eighth-grader Gina Rossetti peers out from behind a sculpture she made with three classmates from recycled soda cans, at Smith Middle School's Eighth Grade Reception on June 11. Photos by Steve Smith.
Eighth-grader Gina Rossetti peers out from behind a sculpture she made with three classmates from recycled soda cans, at Smith Middle School's Eighth Grade Reception on June 11. Photos by Steve Smith.

Smith Middle School's soon-to-be graduates were honored during the Eighth Grade Reception on June 11.  The event was planned and staffed by parents and showcased the students' work in the arts and electives.

“It celebrates students in a variety of ways,” said Smith Principal Donna Schilke. “It really shows off our arts programs, too. It's a nice way to send the students off.”

While the classrooms showed many student projects, the gymnasium was turned temporarily into an art gallery with works from nearly every eighth-grader.

Gina Rossetti said she and three other classmates collaborated on a recycling art project for which they created a sculpture out of soda cans. “We had to make it look interesting from all points of view – from all angles,” Rossetti said. “We sketched out all the cans, and then we drew designs and combined them all together. We used around 50 cans.”

Lauren Grandchamp had to create a portrait by matching half a face to a magazine cut-out. “We had to find a picture of a face on a front view,” Grandchamp said, “and then we spent several classes learning how to draw a feature in each class. We learned how to do the lips, and how to shade the skin, and then the eyes.”

Art teacher Dea Shea said the eighth-graders have the ability to create unique works when given a challenge, and also have a great cooperative spirit. “I've never seen more teamwork than this year,” Shea said. “The collaboration was great. They actually take the initiative to do that on their own. It's a good skill to have.”

Schilke said the Class of 2017 is comprised of a students who are responsible to themselves, but also to the community. “They are a group of kids who are very community-spirited,” she said. “Community service is a big thing with them. They are a strong class academically, with strong leaders. At our leadership awards at the end of the year, there were myriad students we could have selected for the awards.”

Schilke said that among the class's efforts were fundraisers for Newtown and for victims of other tragedies, and that shows the students' overall kindness. “More teachers this year than ever before have come up to me and said, 'These kids have such great character,'” Schilke said. “They understand about acceptance and tolerance for people who are different, and it's been seen – it's noticed.”

Assistant Prinicpal Stephen Falcigno, the eighth-grade administrator, gave his class some advice. “Remember to enjoy your time with family and friends, as these interactions will continue to shape who you are and who you will become,” Falcigno said. “Make us, and more importantly, make yourself proud.”


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