Joliet artist and Thomas Jefferson School parent Topher Gleason recently joined District 86 art teacher Angela Klunder at the elementary school to talk to the fourth grade students about his career as an artist. They jointly planned a mural project for the students to complete. A oversized mural was created and divided up for each student to create one of the squares. Students used markers, crayons and pencils to create their art. The squares were then joined together to create the completed mural. The mural is displayed in the school’s gymnasium for all students to see.

The students who participated in the art project were from William Klebenow and Beverly Sklar’s fourth grade classrooms. Students included Michael Ardaugh, Stephanie Arias, Ielijah Burbridge, Christopher Cali, Uriel Cano-Hurtado, Julie Castilllo, Benjamin Cole, Marco Cruz, Isaac Flores, Presleigh Gleason, Ariyah Golden, Justopablo Gonzales, Jayden Gonzalez, Louis Grasso, Allan Gutierrez Guzman, Tristan Jackson, Marcus Jones, Omar Juarez, Nicolas Marjanovich, Damien Mead, Richard Mendoza, Carter Minski, Gehrig Moore, Lailani Moreno, Heaven Munoz, Anthony Newman, Bryan Orozco, Jovany Ovaile, Dev Patel, Giselle Perez, Nicholas Ramos, Lydiana Rodriguez, Allan Romo, Miguel Santos, Aaron Smith, Barrett Sterling, and Aaliyah Ugalde.

Over the past three years, Joliet Public Schools District 86 have added five new elementary art teachers to serve students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Students in these grades now receive art instruction from a certified art teacher every seventh school day.