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November 12, 2013 > Mural dedication reveals ÔHayward High Past and PresentÕ

Mural dedication reveals ÔHayward High Past and PresentÕ

By Julie Grabowski

Sharing history can be done in several ways. Some write their stories in books while others act out the various dramas and comedies of time on the stage; musicians play instruments, singers use their voices, and painters carry us through the decades with hues and images that speak volumes. Hayward has become a city that adds another dimension to its history via murals. An addition to the story will be revealed on Thursday, November 14 at Hayward High School.

A librarian at Hayward High for 24 years, Sheryle Gray has observed and gathered materials that reflect the schoolÕs history, dating all the way back to the earliest days of what was once known as Hayward Union High School. She has seen the school celebrate its 100 year anniversary, former students return for landmark reunions, and witnessed its wonderful rich history through yearbooks dating back to 1922. Noting the wonderful legacy of the school, Gray thought that a mural would be an appropriate honor for the school and its alumni.

She approached alumni parent Lisa Brunner with the project about two years ago, Brunner, very active in the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and currently sitting on the Hayward School Board, agreed. The goal was to modify the entryway of the library, making it more appealing. Gray wanted a mural with a theme and story depicting the history of Hayward High School. Brunner talked to a local muralist friend Suzanne Gayle, who has completed several murals throughout the city as well as on school grounds.

ÒWe used photos from both old yearbooks and from the Hayward Area Historical Society. We than selected our favorites and I created a couple alternative draft versions of the mural and then invited students, alumni, and staff to provide feedback,Ó says Gayle. ÒWe also chose to have a memorial walkway and garden, selling custom bricks to raise funds for both projects. I had several volunteer assistants including students. The City of Hayward matched funds raised, helping to achieve our goal more quickly.Ó

With a specific plan in place, fundraising for the project began last March, sponsored by Hayward High alumni and PTSA families with support from the City of Hayward Mural Art Project. No school district funds were used. From concept to completion the mural took about a year, and now the ÒHayward High Past and PresentÓ commemorative mural will receive its dedication. The central image is based on an old yearbook photo and shows a boy stepping out of the past into the present.

ÒWe wanted to honor the old school while respecting the new. We hope that this mural will serve as a reminder and education to new students on the beauty of the old campus,Ó says Gayle.

Brunner reports the mural has received positive feedback from students and given them pride in the school. ÒItÕs been a fun project and everyone was very supportive,Ó she says. ÒWe were just thrilled when the City said ÔyesÕ, they could help support it too.Ó Memorial bricks will continue to be sold and organizers are even thinking about an onsite museum to house and share school memorabilia.

The dedication ceremony will include Superintendent of Hayward schools Dr. Stanley Dobbs as a speaker, as well as Brunner. Attendees will hear a bit of history about the school, a little about the mural, possible future projects and then adjourn to a reception in the library. There, alumni and current students share their experiences and memories; older pictures will available for viewing.

Community members and Farmers - past and present - are invited to attend; relive the glory days, breathe in the present, and take a glimpse into a future of possibility.

Memorial Mural Dedication
Thursday, Nov 14
1 p.m. Ð 3 p.m.
Hayward High School Library
1633 East Ave., Hayward
(510) 723-3170 ext. 61401

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