• Special to The Sun

Northside project brings home familiar faces

KELLY AND KIM SWINDELL pose with their completed tiles for the mural project at Northside  Elementary. In the background is a photo collage of former principal Tim Crook, who also participated in the mural project on March 25. (Photo by Sarah Wilson)

Kim and Kelly Swindell woke up early on Saturday, March 25, with one goal in mind. They were going straight to Midway to participate in the Northside Pride Tile Mural project. Kim Swindell taught at Northside Elementary in Midway from 1992 to 2006, and her daughter, Kelly, spent her elementary school years in Midway. Then they moved to Hurricane, W.Va., and it is from Hurricane that they returned to Midway on Saturday. Kim, now a sixth-grade math teacher at Poca Middle School in West Virginia, said she heard about the project from a former colleague, Shelby Ison, on Facebook. "I knew I wanted to be a part of that," she said as she decorated her 4-inch-by-4-inch tile for the mural. Kim and Kelly reminisced about their years at Northside with teacher Tonya Steele, and PTO members Kimberly Sherrard and Sarah Wilson, and later, first-grader Emily Wilson took the Swindells on a tour of the building so they could see all that had, and had not, changed since they left 12 years ago. The project that brought the Swindells from West Virginia to Kentucky is the spring fundraiser for Northside. As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, the PTO decided to create a mural wall hanging that will be installed in the school later this spring. For $25, anyone can purchase a tile to decorate with permanent ink that will be added to the mural. "So many of our alumni want to leave their mark at Northside, and a lot of our current students want to add their story to Northside's legacy," said Sarah Wilson. "As a small community school, Northside evokes a lot of loyalty and passion in those who have attended. It's our pleasure to help bring back those memories for those who have been here, and provide a great story for those who will come," Wilson said. Kelly Swindell could barely contain her excitement at seeing her old school, and as a teacher education major at Marshall University, she would love to come back and be a part of the Northside family again. There will be more opportunities for anyone interested in adding to the mural. Decorating dates coming up include today, Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Tuesday, April 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. Anyone interested in those dates, or who might need to ask about the possibility of a different time to participate, may email the Northside PTO at NorthsideMidwayPTO@gmail.com.

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