New HEIGHTS Mural Holds Decades of History


A beautiful new mural has been installed at Heights High across from the media center on the first floor at Heights. The letters H-E-I-G-H-T-S are 4 feet tall and together the word is 22 feet long. Each letter is filled with historic images in a collage of our history.

Created by Heights Schools Foundation (HSF) via a special gift from the Class of June 1952, the mural contains more than 200 scanned photos. The photos were found in Caldron yearbooks from Heights High history, beginning in 1924 and continuing up to 2020. Historical Archives volunteers Sherrie Duerr ’64 and Art Goldstein ’66, along with staff Betsy Friedlander ’90 and Jillian White, helped select and scan photos and the digital design work was done by Drew Dallet of Boom Creative.

A few years ago, former Heights High principal Byron Hopkins asked HSF to think of a way to add more historical photos to the building. “I loved the idea, but also wanted to be sure that the photos would mean something to today’s students as well as visiting alumni. I started to imagine that photos from across the many years of Heights High would blend together, acknowledging some of the shared experiences that we’ve had as Heights students over time. There’s a photo of a student dance from 1935, and 1978 then a dance from 2015. Those decades might divide us by time, but a dance is still a dance,” said Julianna Johnston Senturia ‘87, HSF executive director.

Then, a reach out from the Class of June 1952 led to the right match. The class wanted to make a contribution to Heights as they were closing out an old reunion account. The timing was perfect and the project started to take shape. Each person who added to the project helped make it even more special. Hours and hours of scanning yearbooks led to an amazing collection of photos that make the final mural so meaningful. Dallet’s approach to colorizing some of the photos added a cohesiveness to the design. In the end, decades of experiences are merged and feel timeless as a whole. The final mural represents how our history is woven into who we are today. The past is ever present, even as we are poised for the future.

Kurt Cummings ’90, Heights staff person, was at the school during the installation of the mural. His first impression was that the mural was “classic.” After looking over the photos, and recognizing some old classmates, he summed up the new piece and all it represents: “There’s a lot of history in those seven letters.”