ELLENBURG — It took 300 pounds of clay and six months' work by fifth-graders to craft the ceramic map that now hangs in the lobby at Northern Adirondack Elementary School.
“The inspiration from this project came from my mother bringing me here 32 years ago, kicking and screaming along the way,” teacher Colleen Anstett said.
A junior at the time, she moved from New York City to Ellenburg just as the area schools merged together to form Northern Adirondack Central.
“That was the best gift I could have gotten, it changed my life for the better,” Anstett said. “I wanted to give something back to the school in return.
“There were some teachers here who inspired me and changed my way of thinking about the area.”
The fifth-grade class revealed its 6-by-4-foot map of the School District recently to a group of parents and students.
The name of their masterpiece, “Together as One,” was inspired by the 1969 merging of the Lyon Mountain, Altona and Ellenburg schools into the Northern Adirondack Central School District.
The project was overseen by retired educator and artist Bucky Seiden, who has worked on several murals with different schools.
“Once I retired, I wrote a grant every year with a different school, and it kept me in touch with kids, which I absolutely love,” she said.
Seiden assisted the class in creating the 191 pieces required to form the entire map.
Elementary School Principal Lisa Silver was thrilled about the finished product.
“I think people from different communities will be interested in seeing it," she said. “The best part was that it was created by some of our students.”
The ceramic map will be on permanent display in the school lobby.