Story Behind the Mural: An ongoing series commemorating Westfield’s 20-year anniversary. Each article will reflect on a bygone schoolyear by spotlighting one of the class murals that grace our hallways.
As you approach Hollywood Boulevard, the mural of year 2005 graces the wall right next to the mural of year 2004. It is more than just a wall painting; it holds precious memories of students who have long departed and found their place in the world
Warm colors, including brown, yellow, and green capture the sweetness of that year’s football season. The image of cheerleaders tumbling and chanting slogans lend the mural energy. Westfield’s mascot adds charm and strength.
The school year 2004-2005 was an eventful one for a school that was still in its infancy– only a few years young. As Westfield’s student body continued growing, the need to build a new wing also grew. The R wing’s construction started in 2005. This was also a presidential election year. Westfield received multiple awards in academics as well as in co-curricular activities. The creation of the social networking site “Facebook” became a great attraction for Westfield kids and youth everywhere.
It was an award-winning year for Westfield students across many corners of the school. Bulldogs won an exciting football state championship title on the dawn of 2004. The Watchdog newspaper staff, with only four years of experience, brought two nationally recognized awards in high school journalism. One of them was the Gold Medalist Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Also, the newspaper received an award from Quill & Scroll, the International Honor Society for high school journalism.
After only four years of competitive dancing, students Rachel Kane and her partner Patrick Mays won a gold medal at the 2004 Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships in New York. Bulldogs also excelled in the field of arts. Heiny Kim, 12, earned silver in the National Scholastic Art Awards at the 2005 competition. Out of 1350 students who applied for the competition, Kim’s distinguished portfolio brought in a silver award.
Against a backdrop of community anger that the school had been built too small, Westfield’s population was steadily increasing. With space suitable only for 2500 students, Westfield was feeding the minds of 3000. The construction of the new wing brought shiney, colorful spaces. There was also an expansion in the number of trailers.
In 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in the presidential election, presenting many Westfield upperclassmen the first opportunity to vote in a national contest. Government and political science classes had daily discussions about the political landscape, and the entire school voted in a mock election. The majority of seniors supported George Bush; in contrast, juniors were more likely to favor John Kerry.
With the advent of Facebook in 2004 came a mixed blessing: Students were finding new connections online, but they were also wasting time and experiencing new phenomena like “Facebook envy.”
The year 2004-2005 was indeed a lively time. Change and growth were in the air. Bulldogs chalked up lots of accolades and made sweet memories, like those memorialized in the 2005 class mural.
Then-Principal Tim Thomas expressed his pride in an interview with the Watchdog: “I can’t think of a better place to be a high school principal.”