Beautification at Centennial: Parent paints school mural - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Beautification at Centennial: Parent paints school mural

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Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014 8:45 am

In an effort to add beautification to school grounds, Kyrene Centennial Middle School recently had a mural painted near its tennis courts.

The mural was painted by one of the school’s parents, John Manross, who was approached to paint the mural by the school’s administration.

“When I found out the school was looking for somebody I let everybody here know that I would be interested in doing it,” he said.

When Manross was given the green light to create the mural he measured the wall and put the lettering in a software program to be put to scale.

Manross painted the mural over spring break, where he repainted the wall and painted the school’s name and logo in giant lettering.

“It gets printed to a double-sided paper, which takes three people to actually put it up and take it down so the template doesn’t fall down. It takes three or four hours to do that, then you actually paint it and do touch ups,” Manross said. “Once you know the process and how to do it, you can hammer it out.”

Manross has done different art project across the Valley and California, from painting logos for businesses in Scottsdale to painting portraits of professional athletes, but wanted to give back to the school where his daughter attends.

“The fact that my kid goes here makes it sweeter,” he said. “It’s a perfect reason… they needed it done, and they’re doing a few different things to beautify to school.”

Manross currently owns his own full-service decorative finishing company, but says if he could paint pictures everyday he would do it in a heartbeat.

“If I could make enough money to paint a school mural everyday, I would do it in a heartbeat,” Manross said.

Principal Jocelyn Sims said the school was looking at adding some beautification to grounds and energize the perception of the school.

“Anytime that I can tap into my community, especially when it’s a parent, is a way of celebrating who we are as a community. That was really our big focus… and my whole mission for this school year was to energize Centennial,” Sims said. “One of the things we often get a bad rap for is perception of what people think our school is about, and our school is about greatness. It was an opportunity to rally around our community, which John Manross does.”

Sims believes the mural will add onto the school’s mission toward greatness.

“This is kind of an exclamation point… and we are going to do some great things.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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