By Misty DUPLESSIS
The staff at Lincoln Elementary School, along with members of the school’s Student Council, welcomed the public and GUSD representatives to the unveiling of the school’s Abraham Lincoln bust on May 23.
Fifth grade student Brooke Bell and sixth grader Micaela Cacho-Negrete volunteered to give a brief history of the 16th president and how the school obtained the art piece.
A few years ago, artist Larry Lehman approached former Lincoln principal Bill Card and told him about the Abraham Lincoln bust he had come in contact with. Over time, Lehman restored the defaced sculpture and the local family, whose yard housed the bust, decided to donate it to Lincoln Elementary School.
After the generous donation was received, Card began to work on ideas of how to make a special home for the gift. Many community members shared Card’s enthusiasm for the project and soon the school had volunteers eager to help out.
“This [project] is proof of parents, students and staff working together. This is evidence of that,” said Card who worked closely with those involved.
Nathan Clark of La Crescenta Boy Scout troop 391 and his father created a garden design that would be suitable to hold the artwork.
Clark, along with other troop members, worked on pulling weeds, paving the walkway, assembling benches, planting and having a mural painted with a famous, inspirational Lincoln quote.
The planning of the garden took months, but during last year’s spring break the troop finished, taking the idea from concept to a finished product.
Current principal Stephen Williams, who credits parents for helping move the bust from its temporary home in his office to its permanent location where students and their family members can enjoy it, oversaw the completion of the project.
Although there is currently no history of who first created the masterpiece, it is certain that the bust has already begun to develop its own story – one of teamwork and unity at Lincoln Elementary.
Clarification: Mr. Lehman housed the bust while making repairs and, upon completion, donated the bust on behalf of the Tice family who originally entrusted the bust to him. The Tice family has since passed away.