Mural singles out THS academics

'How dare they deny our success?'
May. 06, 2014 @ 11:18 AM

A Thomasville High School mural, 8 feet by 20 feet, conveys a message — “How dare they deny our success?”

While THS is well known for its athletic achievements, academic achievements often are overlooked, but not now.

Bulldog athletes have reached the pinnacle in just about every sport, winning state championships in football, basketball, wrestling and soccer. A group of THS students earlier this year set out to bring long overdue recognition to the achievements of Bulldogs who went on to succeed in medicine, law and public service.

The THS Design Club on May 1 unveiled its “How Dare They Deny Our Success” mural as a tribute to the off-field accomplishments of former Bulldogs who serve the community outside the sports arena.

“We had an assembly referring to how THS is recognized for our sports and not our academic achievements,” said Noemi Montelongo, a senior and president of the design club. “We tried to prove to them that our academics can achieve as well as our sports on the mural.”

Located in the science building, the mural, about 8 feet high and 20 feet wide, depicts all the different departments of the school. All 12 members of the design club had input on the mural design and interpretation. The club spent more than two months transferring a sketch of the mural onto the wall, where it will remain as an inspiration for future Bulldogs to strive for academic success.

“We're basically known for sports and not academics,” said Montelongo. “THS does help shape successful citizens here in Thomasville. We have law enforcement, doctors, firemen. The mural basically covers our academics at the high school.”

Lyva Royal, an art teacher, helped students design the mural, but credits the students for making the concept become reality.

“I'm really proud of them because they wanted to do the mural,” Royal said. “ They worked hard. The kids were dedicated and they were here every day, every week. They came up with the concept and they worked together to get it done. No one person did more than the other. It was a true group effort.”

Montelongo, the design club's lone senior, presented the mural following a brief reception in the school's media room. What initially started out as a three week project turned into several months, Montelongo said, but the end result proved to be worth all the hard work.

“We stayed after school, sometimes until 6:30 or 7 p.m.,” said Montelongo. “I think it was great. I had fun doing it. We're going to leave our mark here. This is my last year and it's nice knowing I did something to change our school. A positive change.”

Once the initial design was finished, students projected the image onto the wall and started drawing. Images depicted in the mural include a stethoscope wearing Bulldog, a microscope, a microphone, a chef's hat, a hammer and nail, an American flag and a ship navigating the globe. The goal, Montelongo said, was to represent all the different classes and departments at THS.

Other members of the design club are Tabitha Pullin, Luis Escalante, Miracle Johnson, Nayari Grugan, Rosa Fortune, Karime Hernandez, Andrea Membreno, Derek Solis and Christian Monreal-Valdez.


Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or