Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Community News Network

February 8, 2013

Retired teachers hope bulldog statue will inspire school spirit

OTTUMWA — Students and parents at Evans Middle School will get a reminder every day: We’re proud to be Bulldogs.

“The statue is bigger than life-size,” said Larry Northup, who retired from Evans Middle School. “I had it sculpted by a sculptor out in South Carolina.”

The big bulldog itself is 3 feet tall — but his tough face stares down from a 6-foot-tall pedestal.

“It’s a great way to promote school spirit,” said Gary Gullion, an associate principal at Evans, standing in the entryway near the statue as he supervised students going home Thursday.

Northup and colleague John Sodey worked together on many of those famous out-of-state science trips Evans students took each year. Both retired with each having 40 years or more in the classroom. When there was a balance left over in their travel funds, they decided they’d use that money to make some improvements at the school.

The men installed a new flag pole and are working on designs for  a three-column “Evans Middle School” sign near the new main entrance.

But this week’s addition of the Ottumwa mascot has students talking. Not everyone knew the gift was on its way.

“I just noticed this [for the first time] yesterday,” a girl told a friend as they passed the column after school Thursday.

“They just put it in yesterday!” the other girl responded.

It did go in fast, acknowledged Gullion. He knew Sodey and Northup were working on the project.

“I was glad to see the idea bubbling around,” Gullion said. “It’s a great addition to the entryway of our school.”

But why would former employees continue to put in so much effort?

“John and I worked for the school district forever. We just appreciate what the school district has done for us, we’ve been blessed ...”

 He said they decided on improvements that will last  — and leave a lasting impression.

Hopefully, Northup said, the big bulldog will permanently inspire school spirit among students, parents and staff.

“We thought that this would give us a place to take different pictures of athletes and other groups.”

The statue is not just meant to inspire middle school kids, Northup said.

“A lot of high school games get played there, and that’s our main [sporting event] entrance to the building, so it’ll fit in really well. Everyone will get to enjoy it,” he said.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo