The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Ceiling Tiles Bring Color to EHS, Brighten Teachers’ Days

Ceiling tile art by senior Julia Melosci, senior Seleste Mujica and senior Taryn Lentz.
Georgia Gaughan
Ceiling tile art by senior Julia Melosci, senior Seleste Mujica and senior Taryn Lentz.

Stepping into Jamie Kupferer’s nearly windowless office in late September, senior Cami Reaka was hoping to bring a little light to the tech coach and social studies teacher’s day-to-day life. 

Just a few days prior, Reaka was tasked with painting a single ceiling tile in Mrs. Kupferer’s shared office, given that she doesn’t have a permanent classroom. 

Other members of the National Art Honor Society did the same – they were to discuss ideas with teachers throughout the building and transform one of their bland ceiling panels into a colorful representation of either their classroom or the school as a whole. 

With members ranging from sophomores to seniors, the entirety of NAHS worked on the project for almost four months, taking time to both interview teachers and finish the artwork itself. 

“I remember asking Mr. Pretto what he wanted me to paint,” senior Julia Melosci said. “He was pretty straightforward and sent me a photo of the wrestling team symbol. From there, all I had to do was paint. It’s interesting to see what each teacher thought would fit their classroom well.”

Not all took the “representation” route, however. According to Reaka, Mrs. Kupferer asked for a painting of the sky, so she could feel like she had a skylight in her office – despite it being buried in the center of the first floor.

“She told me that she only has one small window in her office,” Reaka said. “I felt horrible, thinking of how she’d have to spend so many hours in her dark office, so I was very excited to help brighten up her space.”

While mentioning that the art can show the teachers’ personalities and bring color to their spaces, Mrs. Kupferer also brought up these tiles’ ability to spark conversation about the student artists or the art program as a whole. 

“I’m glad that NAHS is gaining some recognition from [this project],” Melosci said. “After working on something like that for months, it’s so rewarding to see people asking questions and finding interest in the tiles.”

But Melosci isn’t the only one who appreciates the attention. Reaka not only pointed out the importance of recognizing lesser-known activities, but art’s significance to education as well.

“It’s important to encourage creativity in education, which art helps to develop and flourish,” Reaka said. “I like to think we’re making it easy for [students]; all they have to do is look up at the ceiling to find inspiration.”

About the Contributor
Georgia Gaughan, Student Life Editor
Georgia Gaughan is a second-year journalism student at EHS. She is the student life editor for The Claw and Tiger Times Online. Outside of journalism, Georgia is the vice president of National Honor Society and enjoys planning homecoming with student council. Her favorite month is October and she will never pass up the opportunity to eat at a new Mexican restaurant. After high school, she hopes to major in finance at Purdue University but will continue to write for student publications in college.