Orcas students paint stairwell

by Marin Andersson

Incoming OIES fifth-grader

From June 27-29, eight Orcas Island Elementary Students from Jennifer Johnston’s fourth-grade class and a student from middle school arrived at the Orcas Island Elementary School to paint the walls in the stairwells with more Pacific Northwest creatures.

One stairwell is ocean-themed with animals such as otters, seals, sea stars, seagulls, fish and much more. The other stairwell has a forest theme with animals like eagles, deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds, raccoons and many others.

All the students had quite a lot of fun joining this special program with each other and their teacher, Mrs. Johnston.

“My favorite part about coming back to school is hanging out with you guys again,” said Gabby Wigfeild, age 10.

The students agreed that the experience of painting the walls was quite fun because not many people get to do that. Everyone also loved how fun it was to draw and paint animals from their own home because they know which ones belong there.

“I loved doing my eagle, it was really fun and easy to draw,” said Sidney Andersson, age 8, as she drew the eagle, which she named Merlin, and was getting ready to paint it.

The goal of this program was to complete the artwork in the stairwell. When the students started there were only a couple of uncolored birds and one lonely jellyfish. Now the stairwell is flourishing with animals of all kinds.

“The stairs look so much more welcoming, beautiful and interesting now that we have painted them,” said Sidney.

On the very last day of the program, Mrs. Johnston surprised them with donuts because it just happened to be her birthday. And all students were very excited to see their finished masterpieces.

Next time you visit the school, take an adventure through the new and exciting stairwell.

The students.