K to 12: Juanita Seniors Return to Sandburg Elementary to Donate Art

Jessa Morissey and Sierra Sherrell became best friends as first-graders at the recently modernized school on Kirkland's Finn Hill, and on Tuesday returned as Juanita High seniors to unveil paintings they created for their culminating project.


The nine learning pods created during the recent modernization of Kirkland’s Sandburg Elementary/Discovery Community School will each soon be graced with original artwork created by two Juanita High seniors -- who met and became best friends as first-graders at Sandburg.

The nine paintings, each inscribed with an inspirational quotation -- including one by Carl Sandburg -- were unveiled and dedicated Wednesday in the schools’ library. They were created by Jessa Morissey and Sierra Sherrell for their senior project at Juanita.

“We’re here to celebrate this wonderful vision and, we’re sure, be inspired,” Principal Heather Frazier said during the ceremony.

Jessa explained that while pondering what to do for her “culminating project” her mother, who is a first-grade teacher at Sandburg, suggested something for the new structure.

The two schools share the campus and a 55,300-square foot energy efficient building, built beginning in 2011 during an $18 million modernization project completed in late 2012.

The best friends put their heads together and came up with the art project, which Sandburg staff wholeheartedly approved.

“It’s fantastic,” Frazier said after the unveiling. “We took the idea to the staff and said, ‘This is an opportunity, what do you want to do as a staff?’ And they said “We want it.’ (Sierra and Jessa) did a nice job of letting the staff be involved.”

Sierra said the pair came up with two thumbnail sketches for each of the nine works, as well as a list of inspirational quotes. Staff selected their favorite designs and quotes. The girls spent about 60 hours creating the paintings.

“I am extremely proud of both of them,” said Jodi Sherrell, Sierra’s mother. “It was a bit of a challenge since most of the work was done in my kitchen!”

The nine paintings will be hung at the entrances to each of the schools’ nine pods: grades kindergarten through fifth, the Discovery School and the library and music rooms.

And the two seniors? This fall both are bound for Cheney, Wash., and Eastern Washington University.

Sheri Morissey March 29, 2013 at 02:43 PM
The staff and school principal, Mrs. Frazier are wonderful for supporting this project! It's a "Win-Win" for everyone involved! Thank you Sandburg Staff! Awesome job Girls! I'm beaming with pride!
Jodi Sherrell March 29, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Thanks to Sandburg and all involved for supporting the girls in this project. They are so proud to be leaving a little of themselves behind as they head off into their next adventure. I am so proud to have known these two amazing young women. Great job!!!!
Jeanne Gustafson March 29, 2013 at 03:50 PM
We are really proud of them, too, Jodi and Sheri. What a fantastic legacy. My thanks to Greg for going to memorialize the unveiling, too!
Connie Winter March 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM
So nice to see children of our community and respected LWSD staff give back to our Finn Hill community.
Ken Mortland March 29, 2013 at 04:58 PM
What a truly cool and inspirational thing to do! Way to go Jessa Morissey and Sierra Sherrell. You may well have started a movement toward giving back to those coming up behind you. Go Rebels!
Kimbee March 29, 2013 at 06:01 PM
It's wonderful for these talented students to share these gifts with their elementary school. It was a fantastic senior project and all involved should be so proud of these gifted young women.
Greg Johnston (Editor) March 29, 2013 at 09:40 PM
This is the kind of community building story Patch loves to feature, it was very cool to meet Jessa and Sierra and see their awesome work -- and see it left for future generations of Sandburg students!
Susan Worthen April 01, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Wow, this is so exciting! I remember last fall when Sheri told me about the idea the girls had. To see it through took a tremendous amount of effort on their part. It shows your determination and talent. I can't wait to hear what you both will do in the future!


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