Journalism staff Creates Customized Gifts for Teachers

Boards will be posted outside their doors


Painting the base layer for each board, seniors Gurleen Swaich and Juliana Borruso prepare for the design portion of the project. The journalism staff stayed after school to decorate each teacher’s boards to their own specifications. “I really hope that teachers appreciate this small gesture because as journalism kids we definitely annoy them and I think this will show that we are thankful for them putting up with us,” Editor-in-Chief Gurleen Swaich said. Photo Credit: Crystalyn Estabillo

To express their gratitude for their assistance throughout the year, Journalism II students are painting and decorating customized boards to fit the interests and personalities of each teacher.

“We wanted to do something a little more personal to thank the staff and administration, since it’s pretty common for us to nag at them with interviews or pulling kids out of class,” staff member Ashley Harris said. “As much as we expect patience and understanding from them, we very much are imposing on their classes and schedules to an extent. The sign might be a relatively small gift, but we hope it brings a warm smile and a reminder that they’re appreciated.”

Harris worked with adviser Matthew LaPorte to put together this unique activity. Staff members were allowed creative control and could decorate the boards according to the questionnaire teachers filled out.

“Not all of us know how to paint,” Harris said. “Sure some of us learn these skills in our classes or pursue painting as a hobby, but others know close to nothing. I tried to pick out supplies that are pretty beginner friendly, and obviously we can make a design that’s up to our own speeds. Another thing is that not all of the staff filled out the forms we sent out, leaving a lot of designs to be completely up to the student and not very personalized. On the flip side, I was hoping students would be excited or motivated to create these. We’re leaving our creations or ‘mark’ behind, which is meaningful to the upperclassmen.”

To ensure efficiency and quality, students will be able to work on the project at home.

“I honestly didn’t finish any of the boards I was painting while we were working on them after school because you have to wait for the base layer to completely dry before you add the smaller details, ” staff member Kia Nicdao said. “Instead of me only taking the two boards I picked up originally when it was time to clean up, I grabbed an extra eight boards and eight more of the teacher’s interest slips, so I could work on them at home.”

After the boards are completed, they will be posted outside the teacher’s classrooms. 

“Once you start painting, it isn’t that difficult,” sophomore Ayma Malik said. “It gets difficult trying to make space for everything, but once you figure out the layout, just go with the flow and it works out.”

The staff hopes they enjoy the handmade gifts, since this is the first time they’ve tried to create something for teachers, given their busy schedules.

“So many of us are putting our creative minds into these projects, and trying to incorporate almost all of the components that each teacher likes into one small piece,” Nicdao said. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into this project.”