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Elena Grubova, Reporter

Ladies and Gents, please welcome our brand new mural wall at FDR High School! The ACE’s students, here at FDR, designed a wall mural for our beautiful FDR campus. This great opportunity was made possible by the efforts of Ms. Nicole Stuart and Ms. Amanda Nudelman, who received a grant to partner with the Creative Art Works organization. The New Dealer was lucky enough to sit down with Ms. McNeil of the ISS Department to discuss the mural.

How did the project get started?

“I cannot take credit, Ms. Nudelman and Ms Stuart worked together on the grant to have an organization called Creative Art Works to come in and work with the group of students. So, they are actually the reason that the program came to our school to work with a group of seniors. They are the reason why we have that mural. The students that created the mural are proud FDR seniors.”

How did the students react to their involvement?

“They were actually very enthusiastic about being able to create something beautiful to leave here at FDR. Their friends at FDR will continue to enjoy the mural after they are gone. They had a lot of questions of course, because they weren’t sure about what the product would look like. But once they started working with the teacher / artist, and they started to see their ideas come alive, they were just really proud of their work.”

Why is the mural so important to the FDR family?

“I think that it just brings color to the community. I mean we are a very diverse community, and it’s reflected how we have people from all over the world coming to this one place. We are like a family, and I think that you can see that in the mural. It has all of these colors come together to create one beautiful piece. I think it’s reflective of what our community looks like.”

How did students react to seeing the mural completed?

“Oh my Gosh! They were so surprised. We tried to keep them away from it, so that later we would have a little celebration, but I know some of them peeked! If you actually go by Gym C and D, you can see it from that breezeway.  They actually ran to the wall and touched it, smiling and clapping. I could just see the joy on their faces and could see how proud they were that they’ve created something. Students and teachers just came together. The actual design is a piece of all of the students’ ideas into one. The artist was able to take all of the ideas and make it one thing.” 

Do you think FDR will do projects like this again? If so, any ideas?

“I hope so! I hope, because I think that it’s something for the community to enjoy. You can take some nice photos in front of the mural! People in our larger community, on the weekends, when they are walking through campus, they can look at it and enjoy with their children. I think it’s nice to have something that everyone could enjoy. I’m hoping that Creative Art Works will partnership with us in the future, Actually, directly across from the mural there is another empty space, and Mr Abdelaziz was saying, “We should have a cougar all stars there!” I think that everyone is so exited to see something beautiful as a part of our campus.”

Any special thanks or shout outs?

“Yes! I would like to shout out Ms. Nudelman and Ms. Stuart! And actually I would like to shout out for our two ACE’s teachers, who were working with the artist, Ms. Okeefe and Ms. Chiofalo. I would love to shout out our staff that came up to help us to paint Mr. Akram Abdelaziz, Mr. Gregory Bernardi, Ms. Loretta Bravata, Mr. Jessica DeSanto, Ms. Bridget Gaitor, Ms. Emily Gargiulo, Ms. Alisha Marcano, Mr. Stanco, and also Ms. Melanie Katz who supported us with this project!”

Do you have anything else to say to the Cougar Family?

“I’m really proud to be a part of this school community. I think that we have amazing people who work here with our students, and it’s just a positive place to be. I’m just happy, and proud, to be a part of this community!”