Throughout the past month, Loy Norrix has experienced multiple hardships involving student violence and legal accusations against the principal. In an effort to shed light upon the positive aspects of Loy Norrix that recently may have been overlooked, senior Mariah Sarelis started the “We Are Loy Norrix” project. This is a project that allows students to share things that they’ve experienced in a positive way in the school.
Sarelis was granted permission from the administration to present this project idea at a staff meeting on October 30th, 2017, and then implement her idea in the school.
She cut out 40 slips of papers, wrote directions and placed them in bags for teachers to pass out to their classes. Sarelis also placed multiple questions on the cards in attempts to get students to share their positive experiences. Some of these questions were “What is something positive you have experienced at Loy Norrix?” or “What is something positive you would like the community to know about Loy Norrix?”
Bags were given to teachers with papers, and then passed out to students so they’d write down their positive experiences with the school. Then, Sarelis displayed all of the students responses in the main hallway display case in front of the cafeteria.
The display is covered with blue sticky notes as a background and white sticky notes that spells out “We Are Loy Norrix.”
Here are some examples of these writings:
- “I love the support I’ve received and the family I’ve made.”
- “I love [Loy] Norrix because it’s so diverse and interesting.”
- “I like the openness from our teachers.”
- “I love LN sports.”
- “Loy Norrix is a well diverse group of students who I think genuinely care about other people. Norrix students have a lot to be proud of.”
- “I love how amazing Loy Norrix teachers are and how much school spirit we possess.”
- “That we have Peace Jam and we help the school and their kids in school and out of school.”
“I would say I started this project solo, and executed the final piece solo, but this has been a whole school effort. We are each a part of this school that contributes to the success of Norrix. Teachers and peers helped me showcase the positive things and continued into the project by writing something or contributing,” said Sarelis.
Sarelis said that her motivation for doing the project was to bring light to Loy Norrix.
“After the unfortunate events that happened two weeks ago and over the course of my four years here,” Sarelis continued, “Loy Norrix had this negative energy going around the community and our school. I heard students focusing on negative aspects of our schools and community members only knowing what has been said in the media. I wanted to start this project to show the staggering amount of good and positive things our school has to offer.”
Sarelis is on the right path in igniting the fire that will start the change of the way our school is viewed by the current students and people in the community.