The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Forging memories: school looks to build jaguar monument

Forging memories: school looks to build jaguar monument

by Emily Moore | Photo Editor

Beginning to describe the project, principal John Melhbrech’s eyes light up. His hands keep moving, keeping pace with the excitement in his voice. He talks for five minutes straight, pulling out numerous sketches and drawings that further describe the project.

All this excitement for a bronze statue of a jaguar.

“To me, I think it’s a great opportunity to show who we are, and this thing is one of those great deals where it’s an attention grabber. They’re going to see it, and go ‘This is what is great about being here.’” Melhbrech said.

Yet, pride isn’t all it takes to make a project happen. There are many other obstacles that get in the way.

“Yeah, obviously, the finances are the biggest trick. We’re still figuring out how to raise money for this. We have an artist, we have a design, we have everything in place. It’s just a matter of how we get the money.” Melhbrech said.

At this point in the project, funding is expected to come from the community in the form of donations.

“The idea is that we will offer if you donate two thousand dollars, we will engrave your name onto the base of the statue. So when you’re looking at it, and you come in, you will see the statue, and the Johnson emblem. There’s the Johnson crest in the front row, and on the sides we’ll put the sponsors who donate two thousand dollars. That’s the clubs, businesses, organizations. We are also asking our parent boosters to donate, and whatever they provide, we can put them on there. Some of the boosters obviously can’t afford two thousand dollars, but that’s okay, we will take what they can and still put their name on the side. Local businesses or private donations if you donate two thousand dollars, your name gets put on the side. Those that donate 500 dollars, the idea is that we will give them a plaque that looks like the jaguar with their appreciation and their name. It’s like a clay model, should be pretty cool. We’ll give them one of those if they donate 500 dollars. Overall,  the idea is that somehow we have to raise 45,000 dollars.” Melhbrech said.

This idea of a school symbol is something he also hopes can be translated into a moveable mascot and motivator.

“Not only for that statue, but also for a portable statue that will go around for each of the clubs and organizations that want to use it. You know like you see madison high with their horse? It’s like that, but for more than just football.” Melhbrech said.

What seems like a large investment in a small thing is seen as a thing of immense worth in Melhbrech’s eyes.

“It will indicate the pride that we have as a jaguar, when people look at this they will say this is pretty cool. It’s going to look like it belongs, like this is who we are, what we do, no one is like us. It’s a symbolic representation of our pride as a school. This is where the community comes together, this is a symbol, not only for our pride, but also for the community because none of the money donated is coming from the school. It’s from the community. The community is what made this possible. That’s really kind of cool,” Melhbrech said.

With the statue emanating all of this pride, Melhbrech decides to show it off.

“[We’re putting it] right out here. Right in the middle of the foyer.” Melhbrech said.

In addition to the bronze statue, several other projects are under way.

“At this time, I know they’re looking at putting up murals in the gym to make it more gym like…with a jaguar with writing of the different sports and adding color to say this is what we’re here for. Again it’s a branch off of the pride thing.” Melhbrech said.



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Forging memories: school looks to build jaguar monument