OPS STAFF MEMBERS gathered in the historic barn at Stone House Farm in Bancroft on Wednesday, Aug. 28 as part of a challenge, just prior to starting the new school year, to demonstrate that every individual is capable of making a masterpiece – something uniquely special and valuable.
With ongoing construction at the Owosso High School campus, along with the recent completion of construction at the elementary schools, the OPS administration was inspired to offer each staff member with an out-of-the-ordinary experience and a positive message for fall of 2019.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Going into a new school year is a momentous, though somewhat daunting, experience for numerous students. The administration at Owosso Public Schools, with the new school year beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 3, decided to explore the different and complex viewpoints students might have when tasked with so much change by similarly challenging all staff members by giving them a project that might not be in their comfort zone – by painting. All 400-plus staff members were invited to participate in creating a painting at Stone House Farm in Bancroft on Wednesday, Aug. 28. Two sessions were held, with approximately 200 staff members at each session, divided up between five painting stations. Each station was given a unique project, representing an aspect of the International Baccalaureate propensities, though the participants were not made aware of the scholastic philosophy behind their creations until after they were completed. In fact, they were unaware they were going to be asked to create a painting until they arrived in Bancroft.
“When we accept and celebrate the uniqueness of each child in our school system, we can absolutely change lives,” Superintendent Dr. Andrea Tuttle recently stated. Likewise, when individuals are asked to expand beyond their normal place of comfort, to create something on a canvas, it becomes obvious that every person is unique and worth celebrating – and capable of composing something of intrinsic value. Everyone is capable of painting a different picture – a masterpiece.
The inspirational and rural venue of Stone House Farm, combined with the unique task of creating a painting, offered a fun, eye-opening experience for the OPS team. The event was made possible through sponsors including Young Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Dr. Ayaz and Laura Jafri of Mid-Michigan Dental, Keith Maike of Main Beverage, Keven and Janena Kregger of Nelson-House Funeral Homes and Clark Construction.