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How Much Magic Is There In Hanover?

What began as a wish by Lincoln Elementary School Cafeteria Manager, Kathy Bolger has grown into something much more “magical.”  Last summer professional muralist Peter Cortese and 2018 Hanover graduate, and award winning artist Stephen Kane, completed a mural reinforcing the five critical values of Lincoln learners:  Honesty, Responsibility, Respect, Compassion and Fairness. 

young man painting children and flowers on wall

HCHS graduate, Stephen Kane worked on the first mural for Lincoln last summer.

The magical quality of the images went unmatched until Mrs. Bolger extended a request to Lincoln Art Teacher, Katie Chambers this year to add a second mural to the cafeteria.  Mrs. Chambers didn’t have to think twice before recommending one of her former students and another Hanover Central High School student, Angelina Burroughs.  “Angelina is so very talented and it shows in her high school art courses and her love of completing art at home as well,” said Mrs. Chambers. 

Angelina, a Junior at HCHS accepted the challenge, as she accepts all challenges, with an eager enthusiasm and a winning smile.  “I have never taken on a mural of that size,” said Angelina.  “I did a tiny 2 x 2 painting of Star Wars character Boba Fett on the wall of the art room at the High School, but a wall size mural is a completely different process and you use your entire body.  It really gets you going,” explained Angelina with a laugh.  The best part of the project for Angelina was the time she spent with children in the ‘Grand Tots’ program after school at Lincoln, while painting the mural.  “They had lots of questions and watching them get excited while I worked on the mural was just the best!” 

children by mural

Children who attend the Grand Tots program watch Angelina work on a mural at Lincoln Elementary School. 

The only parameters placed on Angelina’s work, was Mrs. Bolger’s wish that the mural reflect the belief that “Please and Thank You,” are magic words.  “I focused on the magic of the forest and fairies in Stephen’s mural so that both art pieces would be connected,” she explained.  They are indeed connected and entirely magical.

young woman with children in front of a giant mural

Angelina (center) with some of the children who watched the mural come to life.

 young woman in front of mural

Angelina made "Please and Thank You," truly magical.

Angelina considers her art talent, “100% natural,” and has found inspiration both at home and in Hanover Schools.  Angelina explained that her father, Matthew, is a computer programmer, but very artistic and has always had sketchbooks lying around the house.  “My Mom is definitely the inspiration for my work ethic,” she explained.  “When she starts a project, she becomes absolutely dedicated to it.”  The encouragement she has received from Hanover teachers is also a part of Angelina’s personality.  “In second grade there was a robot project we did with Mrs. Chambers and it was so cool.  That opportunity still sticks with me today.”  Angelina enjoys the freedom and 50 minutes in which she is allowed to pursue artistic endeavors in Mr. Cotey’s art class at HCHS.  She is equally enthralled with both the academic lessons and life lessons she has learned in Chris Cantoni’s class.  The very antithesis of art, Mr. Cantoni teaches economics and government, but Angelina’s praise is heartfelt and sincere.  “He’s the kind of teacher that really cares about his kids.  You just know that he genuinely wants his students to do well every single day. 

Angelina’s magic, and the dedication of Hanover staff didn’t end with the mural at Lincoln.  Shortly after it was completed, she was approached by Hanover Central High School Assistant Principal Lori Bathurst.  Mrs. Bathurst and Spanish teacher Steve Gustas re-painted the teacher’s lounge over Christmas break.  “It’s what we do,” said Mr. Gustas, of the space used by teachers to relax and regenerate during the day.  “It needed a little something more,” explained Mrs. Bathurst. 

Young Woman looking at sketch on wall

Angelina completes the sketch of her wildcat on the wall in the HCHS Teachers Lounge.

“She gave me free reign, but asked that the artwork be something simple and really represent our school,” stated Angelina.  That ‘something simple,’ quickly became a unique representation of a wildcat.

wildcat

The completed Wildcat mural is amazing!

Angelina sees art as a part of her future, but not as the focus.  She intends to pursue a career as a practicing counselor or therapist.  Both Indiana University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign both offer wide reaching programs that she believes will be able to help her meld her passion for art with her passion for helping people. 

We appreciate the magic generated in Hanover schools by students like Angelina, parents like the Burroughs, staff like Mrs. Bolger, Administrators like Mrs. Bathurst and teachers like Mrs. Chambers, Mr. Cotey, Mr. Cantoni and Mr. Gustas.  That is a lot of magic to celebrate in one small community.