Thursday, May 27, 2004

Teacher's memorial her own design

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

NORWOOD - A beloved Norwood High School art teacher will be remembered through a project she helped design before her death.

A committee has taken Jill Eagle's rough design to enhance the lobby of Norwood High School, and refined it as a memorial to the art teacher who died last November.

"She wanted to see a marriage between the science and art departments," said Constance Brandon, a science teacher who is on the committee. "She always said the large foyer screamed for plants, for a sitting area or something."

Brandon said the committee took Eagle's sketch of a planter that would hold a 17- to 20-foot-high tree - similar to those in Kenwood Towne Centre - and used it as the basis for the memorial. It would be placed beneath the skylight in the foyer.

The 4-foot-high planter would be 8 feet square. The front and back panels would contain ceramic tiles made by students and staff in remembrance of Eagle.

Words won't be allowed on the tiles, which will be alternated with blank tiles so each decorated one would stand out.

The side panels will have blank tiles because the committee plans to put benches against those sides. A metal plaque dedicating the piece will be mounted on the planter, Brandon said.

"We also have a place for the botany class to put seasonal flowers in the base," Brandon said. "I know Jill would love this."

The committee has estimated the cost of the project at about $3,000. Already, $1,500 has been raised and about 90 tiles completed.

Norwood Board of Education member Debi Gay said it was a fitting memorial. Her son, Jason, had classes taught by Eagle all four years he was at the high school.

"She's touched so many kids' hearts. Her love didn't stop when they graduated," said Gay. "Her memory will not end."

Brandon said the committee would like to hold a dedication program next fall after the memorial is built and installed.

Anyone who would like to make a donation toward the project should make checks payable to Norwood Schools and mail to the high school, 2020 Sherman Ave., Norwood, OH 45212.

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