A Dazzling New Addition

Amelia Dellaripa

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It’s a normal day, you wake up, late again, and grab your shoes and a jacket as you run out the door. You walk onto campus from the student parking lot and everything seems the same, but then, all of a sudden you see countless extremely bright rays of sun, radiating around the front of the Auditorium! “What?” you ask yourself as you rub your eyes trying to wipe away all the little white dots that are sprinkled over your sight. And then you see it. The cause of the ridiculously bright reflection of the rising sun: giant red block letters that shout, “PVHS.”

I don’t know about any of the other students here at PV, but I had no idea why “PVHS” was written in red, block letters and installed in the plant pots. But I did want to find out and like the superhero I am, I wanted to get to the bottom of this story for you! So, I scheduled a meeting with Mr. Deonise, Mr. Keutzer, and some of the welding students.

Right off the bat I asked Mr. Deonise, “What are they for?” He laughed. I guess it was a bit aggressive, but what else was I going to do? Ask him about the weather? It’s cold outside, but everyone knows that… While I’m talking to myself, Mr. Deonise says, “If you came onto the campus from the West Lot then you saw four giant empty plant pots. Mr. Havlovic and I have been working on how to improve the aesthetic of the campus, and we’ve tried planting trees and flowers, but they never make it very long in those pots. So we knew something more permanent needed to be implemented. But what?” I learned Mr. Deonise and Mr. Havlovic had been brainstorming for a few years on this project. They finally decided on the letters two years ago. To make the project even more special, Mr. Deonise and Mr. Havlovic decided that the letters should be student made. This allowed the welding students in all skill levels to participate in making the campus brighter and get some hands on experience.

There was a little bit of an issue in the beginning of this project because of Mr. Kartler’s other commitments. Currently, Mr. Kartler is serving our country in Afghanistan. He is a part of the Army Reserves and is on active duty.

Now that I knew there were other people involved in this project, I had to get their opinions. The next person I interviewed was Mr. Keutzer. He is the long term substitute teacher for all levels of Welding while Mr. Kartler is serving. According to Mr. Keutzer, this project was in the works for a long time, but he wanted to see real progress and maybe even finish the project. “[Mr. Keutzer and] This year’s class finished designing, cutting, and painting rather quickly. So the letters were able to be installed right before Winter Break,” Mr. Deonise said. Cleary, Mr. Keutzer achieved his goal. Now that I got the adults opinions, it was time to see what the students, who worked on the pieces, thought about the process and the final project.

I guess the project was pretty stressful because I asked a few of the students what their favorite part was, and they just laughed. But, there is always a stage of pure stress in any project that huge. After the students collected themselves, they gave honest and enlightening answers. For example, Mauricio Navarette (11) said “The amount of work I put into the project. I am very accomplished. And feels like I’ve made a real difference.” David Peterson (11), is excited for all the new opportunities that are opening up because of his contribution and experience in the technical field. Simon Bridger (11) and Shane Evans (11) were surprised with how great the final project looked. All of the students interviewed had been working on the project together since the beginning.

The welding students worked countless hours for many semesters on the letters. There were two parts of this project that incorporated adults: the idea (courtesy of Mr. Deonise and Mr. Havlovic) and the cement blocks in which the letters are being held (courtesy of Stone Cold Masonry). The masonry company donated all the cement, equipment, and workers to help finalize this project.

“In the future,” Mr. Deonise said smiling, “I know there’s two planters in front of the Administration Building, and one of them has a nice tree, but the other one doesn’t actually sustain any plants. So we are trying to think of something to put in there.” So everyone look out for new masterpieces down the road!