Mural Brings Positive Message To Washington Drive

The hallways of Washington Drive Primary School are usually full of student artwork and achievements, but there’s something new coming to the school and it’s kicking off an exciting new initiative.  

Thanks to the help of several talented and dedicated parent volunteers, a new mural is quickly taking shape that depicts 14 different books, chosen by our teachers, that will serve as a gateway for greater in-class discussions on topics such as empathy, compassion, kindness and diversity. 


Pictured left to right, Laura Guadagno, Principal Kathryn McNally, Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni,

Koren Harris, Erica Tiso, Janese Pfeiffer, Lisa Najarian, Thayer Orelli,

Jeremy Quinn, Erin Scagliola and Assistant Principal Kerry Neira.

Beginning in kindergarten, teachers will read at least one book throughout the year to their class and design specific activities around the topics to help foster an understanding that “you are not alone,” Principal Kathryn McNally said.   

Additionally, the books will be added to the school library’s “Empathy Book Nook,” which is available to both students and teachers throughout the day.



Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni was invited to

Washington Drive to participate in painting a section of the mural. 


While the program will be piloted in several classes this year, the school’s administration anticipates that by next school year, all classes will be engaged. “Our goal is that by the time students leave Washington Drive, they will be familiar with at least several, if not more, of the books and the lessons associated with each,” Principal McNally said. 

Those who have dedicated their time to this initiative include: Mariana Becker, Emilie D’Andrilli, Brooke Drew, Koren Harris, Diane Harvey, Laura Guadagno, Monique Webb McKelvey, Freda Manual, Thayer Behmke-Orelli, Janese Pfeiffer, Courtney and Jeremy Quinn, Lisa Rodriguez, Lisa Collet Rodriguez, Erin Scagliola, Laurie Schiraldi, Erica Tiso, Rebecca Waldren and Tracy Woods.

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