At a time when everyone is looking for uplifting and positive news, an opportunity recently arose thanks to a long-standing relationship between Fairhaven Schools in Niles and Hubbard High School. For years, Hubbard students have been able to facilitate two Art Days for the students of Fairhaven working with all students in the preschool and workshop programs. Retired principal Roseanne Morell opened the door for those opportunities to occur six years ago and Hubbard has been able to stay involved with Fairhaven and its students through new principal Sandra Kernan. This past winter, Sandra approached high school art teacher and girls soccer coach Josh MacMillan about creating a walkway for their students similar to the one created last summer at Hubbard Elementary.
With the pandemic leaving everyone uncertain of what’s next, members of the Hubbard girls soccer team worked together and came up with a game plan to make this happen. After talking with Hubbard’s administrators, reviewing social distancing recommendations and getting parent feedback on the opportunity, the group came up with a safe plan to have nine players under the supervision of MacMillan and administrators from Fairhaven to create the Bulldogs River Walk.
MacMillan took the first day to roll out the river, leaving space for where the stations would be added. Two days later, Liz, Katie, Madison, Makenzie, Taylor, Whitney, Daphne, Abby, and Marysa joined and created two rock jumps spelling out Fairhaven and Bulldogs, a Dr. Seuss inspired hop-scotch, two long tightrope walks and the message Choose Joy for the theme of the walkway.
"Anytime we can give our students a chance to experience these opportunities out of the classroom and off the field we know they will carry more weight in their life than any soccer drill or drawing exercise. The girls didn't hesitate to help and they did an amazing job. I know when the students show up in the fall they will be ecstatic. These are the life lessons and real-world opportunities our district prides itself on offering and I have been blessed being a part of it as a teacher and coach for the past 16 years,” said art teacher and girls soccer head coach Josh MacMillan.