Community Partnerships

A Sense of Place

Ceramic Mural Project at Keene Central School

For this school-wide project titled A Sense of Place, students worked with ceramic artist Sue Burdick Young, KCS art teacher Cheryl MacFadden, 4th grade teacher Chad Filipski, and high school science teacher Mary Werner to create a mosaic on the outside main entry wall of our K-12 school. The elements of the mural tie into the curricula of multiple classrooms and explore a sense of place not only through the representation of the living environment of the Adirondack High Peaks region of New York State, but also through visual references to our local history and symbols of the local culture. The project culminated in an unveiling and presentation by students on June 23, 2011.


The broad theme of this project brings into focus the gifts of the natural environment of the Adirondack High Peaks region and the role of humans within it. Students explored the importance of wilderness preservation and the impact this has had on human activities. They discovered how the natural environment has functioned as a living partner in the development and history of recreation and industry, and the value of preserving this partnership for the enjoyment of future generations. The project promotes a sense of awareness and pride in the unique qualities of life in the Adirondacks.

Every member of the school community, including custodians, bus drivers, and cafeteria personnel, all students, faculty, administration, staff and the Board of Education made tiles for the 7’ by 13’ mural.

A Sense of Place was funded by the Adirondack Arts in Education Partnership that is administrated by the Depot Theatre in Westport. Additional funding came from High Peaks Education Foundation, Keene Central School Parent/Teacher Committee, East Branch Friends of the Arts, and generous private donors.

We like to think of the mosaic as a metaphor for Keene Central School. All the pieces are quite wonderful by themselves, but together they create something that’s pretty magnificent.

“Let each become all he or she is capable of becoming.”