Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Spartan Star Mosaic Dedication

By Ellie Herrmann of Stratford High School’s Oracle student newspaper

Stratford HS Principal Danny Gex (left) and former Principal Christopher Juntti
Former Principal Christopher Juntti dedicated eight years of his career to improving the quality of life and learning for the students of Stratford High School. This service was commemorated
on May 29 with a large, star-shaped mosaic outside of the school’s front doors, depicting a red, white, and blue Spartan head at its center.

This piece of art is a product of the collaboration between the current Principal Danny Gex, the campus Parent Teacher Student Association President Debby Slack, and artist Rose Toro.

Toro has worked on many mosaic art projects at several different Spring Branch ISD schools. Through her expertise and Gex’s creativity, Stratford’s campus has been brightened by a beautiful and intricate work of art.

“We wanted to send the message that we are a great community, that we are America, and that we are proud and honored to be Spartans,” Toro said.

The green star and red, white and blue mosaic Spartan head at the center all scream, ‘Stratford America,’ the phrase written in colorfully oxidized metal above the masterpiece—a phrase
coined during Juntti’s years as principal.

The dedication to Juntti was a small, yet memorable event, complete with short performances from Stratford’s drum line and cheerleaders. Speeches were given honoring Mr. Juntti’s service
from Principal Gex, the artist Rose Toro, Student Body President Abigail Jackson, and PTSA’s Debby Slack.

After the presentation of the official plaque, Juntti gave a humble speech of thanks. “No one worked for me,” Juntti said, “they worked with me. We were a team.”

The plaque, soon to be adorned below the star, reads, “In honor of Christopher Juntti for his eight years of service as Principal of Stratford High School. Once a Spartan, always a Spartan.”

This small dedication panel took months of behind-the-scenes work. The process, beginning in February, was lengthy, but unsurprisingly went unchallenged. Principal Gex proposed the idea of commemorating Juntti’s years at Stratford High to the SBISD Board of Trustees, and not a single person disagreed.

At the end of it all, Juntti was touched by the effort given on his behalf. “It’s nice to see that how hard you worked and how dedicated you were to making something special is being acknowledged. It means a lot,” he said.


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