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USD Supports Montgomery School's Student-Produced Linda Vista Banners

USD Supports Montgomery School's Student-Produced Linda Vista Banners

Four colorful banners hung high from the Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet School Auditorium last Friday morning for everyone — school officials, a city councilman, teachers, students, parents, other family members and community partners, including the University of San Diego — to see.

Montgomery LV Banners

The inviting, colorful banners spotlight Linda Vista’s love of summertime baseball, roller skating, a new skateboard park and bicycle riding alongside trees and other nice scenery.

This is how four Montgomery eighth-graders envisioned as their answer to the design theme of “We are Linda Vista,” for a special project they were assigned to this past fall under the direction of Montgomery teacher Aimee Welshans and community partners, the University of San Diego and the Linda Vista Town Council.

“We met with our partners, came up with this idea and the end result is these wonderful banners along Linda Vista Road that were student-driven,” said Malia Pfister, USD’s senior adviser in the Office of Community and Government Relations and point person for USD’s role. Staff members from USD as well as Montgomery employees attended a banner exhibition in December to meet with the students, see the 40 or so banner designs and to vote.

On Friday, the winning team of Owen Yarnold, Meive Barud, Anthony Contreras and Jordan Andrews were honored and Yarnold and Barud briefly spoke on the school’s auditorium stage. Other banners were also on display in the auditorium lobby.

"It's a really great chance to represent my community," said Yarnold. “Everyone should have a chance to do something like this.”

Barud agreed: “It makes you feel proud that you’ve done something like this.”

The banners, which will hang on light poles along Linda Vista Road and Ulric Street, are more than just images depicting fun activities in town. They mean something tangible to the Montgomery school community.

"For me, when our students engage in a project like this, it's about pride, it's about community and it's about what is beautiful. They get to see their community differently," said Stephanie Brown, Montgomery Middle School principal and a USD alumna. "That's important."

After seeing their banners for the first time along Linda Vista Road and around the corner from his school, Yarnold’s reaction was priceless.

“Seeing them on the street was like, ‘whoa!’ All the work we put into them was just right there for everyone to see.”

Brown, who lives in Linda Vista, said she will enjoy seeing her students’ work every day on her way to work and while spending time in the community on the weekends. She feels the project helped students develop their skill-set, everything from the design aspects to the teamwork opportunity and having to communicate their ideas to others.

“I think they’re a visual reminder of who we are and what we’re all about in our pursuit of giving our kids the best education possible,” she said.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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