If Walls Could Speak
October 23, 2019
Before Miami Palmetto Senior High students know it, they will walk the halls of a brand-new, three-story building. Everyone agrees the time has come for some updates to our school — Palmetto’s oldest buildings date as far back as 40 years. As soon as the new building is complete, the destruction of the two front buildings holding more than half of the school’s classes will begin. However exciting this new change to the campus, it also means a loss of Palmetto’s history.
These buildings might just seem like tall, worn-down concrete boxes, but to Palmetto students, the hallways and classrooms in these buildings hold some of their favorite memories of high school, from beautifying the hallways during homecoming week, or sharing a poem in Ms. Seupersad’s class.
While those memories will still exist once the buildings are gone, we will lose one huge piece of Palmetto — our own art museum decorating the drab walls, filled with murals that every Panther recognizes, the most famous one being the emblem of the panther surrounded by bold, blue letters, painted on multiple walls throughout the school.
Mr. Migli, who has taught at Palmetto for many years, has witnessed the creation of the artwork firsthand.
“We were trying to come up with all these words to sort of incorporate into the school philosophy,” Mr. Migli said.
While this design, which features words such as “cooperation”, “integrity”, and “excellence”, lives on through decades-old t-shirts of teachers who were around for the creation of the murals, most artwork in these soon-to-be-demolished buildings is irreplaceable.
The life-sized skeleton mural that sits in one of the oldest buildings immediately catches the attention of anyone walking through the halls. The mural pays tribute to the Anatomy class at Palmetto, and brings the otherwise dull hallway to life.
Another tribute to Palmetto’s academics, the mural of the Greek philosophers sits right above the skeleton mural in the building’s second floor.
Both the skeleton and the Greek philosopher murals look as if they were painted by professional artists. The two students that worked on these pieces spent many days probably weeks perfecting their work and creating art not only for all the students, but for themselves too.
“Artists are introverts and they have abilities when displayed on a mural people can appreciate who they really are,” Mr. Solomon said. “When they display their work, they’re displaying their personality.”
Even though Palmetto will start its new chapter, our students should continue this tradition of bringing life to our school through art. “I think it gives students the opportunity to sort of participate in the school in ways that are not just sitting in the classroom,” said Migli. “[They will] have something that they leave behind at the school for other students to enjoy and appreciate.”