When wandering the halls of Tomken Road Middle School, many often stop to admire the school's Fall Classic Champions and Athletes of the Year display which represents almost 30 years of history. The display showcases photos of students in picture frames which are made of wooden hockey sticks and created by Phys-ed teacher, Murray Speers.
The Fall Classic Champions showcases successes of students who participated in the annual cross country run every October. The Athletes of the Year wall features students who demonstrated great sportsmanship and athletic ability from all grade levels.
"When I first started working at the school in 1989, I wanted to build some traditions and one of them was the Fall Classic. It's a way for students to see Tomken Road's history and to remember some of the amazing achievements and successes that went on in their school. Maybe they might find their friends or neighbours who did something amazing on the wall from many years ago," says Speers.
The idea originated from when Speers' children played hockey growing up. He would collect wooden hockey sticks from local arenas to create frames for members of his son's hockey teams as gifts.
These frames help showcase the school's extensive intramural program which features daily club meets, intramural leagues during lunch and special events once a month, including the Fall Classic Champions, and its school's sports teams.
"In the gym, there's a picture of every single Phys-ed class so everyone's pictures are included on our walls. It's our way of not only being inclusive but it makes everyone feel special," says Speers.
The artwork created within the school extends beyond its Fall Classic Champions and Athletes of the Year displays. Tomken Road's Art Council has painted almost everything at the school from murals, to stairs and even its concrete pylons on school grounds.
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