“The Past, Present and Future of Cardington” is on display for many generations of students at Cardington Elementary School, thanks to a donation from the Cardington Class of 1969.
Elementary School art teacher Jenny Etgen was approached by building principal Scott Hardwick in mid-February after the school received a gift from the Class of 1969. The majority of the gift was utilized to purchase much needed equipment for classrooms and student learning.
“Mr. Hardwick was contemplating the idea of a mural and approached me with his thoughts,” Etgen said. “I immediately started thinking of ideas that would reflect the interests of the Class of 1969 and the students and staff of Cardington-Lincoln Elementary.”
Etgen came up with the theme and title, “The Past, Present and Future of Cardington,” to reflect the work she had previously done at the fairgrounds. She conducted online research and spoke to colleagues and community members about the people and places from the past that comprised their memories of Cardington.
“The mural is structured to include a connected scene of the town along the top with several inspirational figures like Abraham Lincoln,” Etgen said. “Some of the town also flows along the bottom and includes geographic features of Cardington like the river, dam and the railroad.”
Etgen included indigenous animals throughout the mural as a method of reaffirming the specialness of Cardington, as well as planting the seeds of respect for the area. The painting also shows current students learning and dreaming about their future.
“I hope the mural adds to the positive and proactive teaching we believe in at Cardington-Lincoln Elementary,” she said. “I hope that students, staff and alumni enjoy it for years to come.”
The mural was completed by May 23 and unveiled for alumni and their families to view during the annual Alumni Weekend events May 24-26.
“I cannot thank the class of 1969 enough for their generous donation,” Hardwick said. “I would also like to thank Mrs. Etgen for her vision and for her amazing skills to bring this mural to life at Cardington Elementary School!”
“I am beyond impressed with the work that Mrs. Etgen put in to this mural,” Cardington Superintendent Brian Petrie said. “She has gone above and beyond the call of duty and I hope our students, staff, alumni and Cardington community enjoy the mural and the positive qualities it represents for the school district.”