2/4/2014 4:52:00 PM Students make crosses for thanks
St. Mary School photo
Students from St. Mary School in Medford show crosses they made for alumni and benefactors.
MEDFORD — Tia McKenzie, an art teacher at St. Mary's School here, has Catholic education experience from both sides of the teacher’s desk.
A transplant from Portland, McKenzie started teaching in southern Oregon’s Catholic schools just a few years ago. But she's a product of Portland’s St. Agatha’s School and La Salle Prep. She notes that though she’s far from her family who still live in the Portland area, the familiarity of a Catholic community and its traditions have made her transition easier.
This winter, McKenzie decided to incorporate a lesson on gratitude for a Catholic education into her middle-school class. Her students created more than 140 fused glass crosses to give to St. Mary’s alumni, friends, and donors — the people who have made the school possible for almost 150 years.
Glass fusion is a process in which glass is assembled into a design and then fired in a kiln. Each St. Mary's art student has made a fused glass cross to show their thanks to those who helped with such things as construction of the Italianate St. Mary’s Chapel and a new fine arts and athletics facility, the Naumes Center.
"The crosses serve to link the students, placing them and the recipients in a cycle of generosity and gratitude nurtured by their Catholic faith," says Linnea Schulenburg, marketing director at the school.