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Calla High students paint first mural
pic calla-mural1
Calla High principal Kathy Crouse enjoys the first-ever mural produced by students of the Manteca Unified continuation site. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
The first-ever mural at Calla High was the product of team effort.

Cody Hawley Young, Samuel McQuinn and Brandon Valite worked on the design, drawing and painting of the piece entitled “Reach for the Stars…The future is ours!”

The slogan was suggested by none other than first-year principal Kathy Crouse.

The rest of the work was accomplished by her students.

“They bought into it,” she said. “From there, the project took on a life of its own.”

The mural is on the wall facing the Austin Road parking lot, featuring a yellow brick road, a stack of books, the lobo mascot, and the inscription, “Calla High.”

Kirt Giovannoni, the district’s art coordinator, took notice of the piece and was impressed.

About 15 years ago, he got the green light for his students to do a mural at Manteca High. That was the first of many as the campus now features over 200 murals – measuring about 7-by 8- feet – ranging from the works of the Masters to the more contemporary artists.

Crouse, meanwhile, has plans of another Calla High mural for next year. For the location, she pointed to a building not too far from the outdoor basketball court. She’s looking forward to having Hawley Young back at the school next year to do the project.

Crouse credits the Calla High junior for doing most of the work on the recently completed mural.
He along with McQuinn and Valite spent a few hours a week working on the project as part of Natalie Pyers’ art class, completing their labor of love in about four months.

McQuinn and Valite were among the 90-plus students at Calla receiving their diplomas last week.

Both have plans for after high school.

Valite was accepted to the Art Institute of California in San Francisco while McQuinn has plans of attending junior college in the fall, according to Crouse.