Principal Chuck Bumbales and senior class leaders reveal the mural. Photo courtesy of School District 300.
Updated: March 20, 2013 6:26AM
HAMPSHIRE — It’s a tribute to the past, a celebration of the present and a bellwether of the future, according to Community Unit School District 300. And it looks like a dark purple panther-like creature, set to pounce on students in a stairwell at Hampshire High School.
It’s the Whip-Pur, the school mascot, and it’s part of the mural unveiled recently at Hampshire High School, 1600 Big Timber Road.
The mural is a gift to the school from the Class of 2013, according to a written release from District 300.
“We have come to realize that our class is special,” said Nick DeNardo, senior class president.
“While other grades have shunned or ignored the traditions of the past, we embraced them. … With that passion, we decided that our senior class gift would have to match in magnitude the presence that we have had in this high school. So we sought to leave a mural behind for the generations to come.”
The canvas mural is based on a winning concept by senior Sarah Bremd, brought to life by professional artist Joe Ortega, the district said.
It features three Whip-Purs, creatures named for the school colors, white and purple. Two hold in their teeth a purple banner with white letters: “Whips.” The third crouches at the center of the mural, glowering down through bright green eyes.
DeNardo revealed the mural first to his fellow seniors, class sponsors Amy Lutes and Jenny Steljes, Principal Chuck Bumbales, District 300 Board of Education Member Chris Stanton, Superintendent Michael Bregy, Assistant Superintendent Ben Churchill and Communications Director Allison Strupeck, according to the district.
“Nothing worth having comes easily,” he said. “We set out on a course of hard work to accomplish this goal.”