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Gifting artwork

Hubbard students create murals for Fairhaven School

Staff photo / Bob Coupland Cassie Herberger, left, and Kyleigh Johnson, both college sophomores, and Kamryn Johnson, a Hubbard sixth-grader, place art murals created by Hubbard High School art students in the Future Educators of America in a pile at Fairhaven School in Niles, with plans to decorate the walls of the school. The murals were made in memory of Cinthia Modzelewski, a former student at Fairhaven who died in February. The project was coordinated by Hubbard High School art teacher Josh MacMillan, who spoke with Ereka Johnson, sister of Modzelewski. Johnson said the murals “far exceeded what we ever expected.”

HUBBARD — Hubbard High School Future Educators of America have created special art murals for the Fairhaven School in Niles in memory of a woman who attended programs at the school and workshop.

Josh MacMillan, art teacher and girls varsity soccer coach at Hubbard High School, said FEA has been working the past couple of weeks on the project.

“Usually we take our two-day trip and put on the Hubbard art days for the preschool and workshop kids at Fairhaven, but with COVID-19, we obviously were not able,” he said.

MacMillan spoke to Ereka Johnson, the mother of one of his former soccer players, and she told him her sister, Cinthia Modzelewski, a former student at Fairhaven, died in February.

The paintings the FEA has been working on are sponsored by the Johnson family of Hubbard and the Modzelewski family of Erie, Pa., in honor of Cinthia.

MacMillan said FEA has been able to create 10 3-by-3 paintings to be placed throughout the hallway and a 5-by-5 painting that will be displayed at the main entrance at Fairhaven.

He said the paintings show scenes from the movie “Inside Out” and additional themes. On each painting, FEA has stenciled the name of Cinthia Modzelewski.

“The students did paintings of things Cinthia liked to do. She liked music, she liked to swim, liked sports, liked cats,” he said.

Helping with the project was industrial arts teacher Dan Scarmack, who did the wooden frames for the mural.

Fairhaven Principal Sandy Kernan said the murals will decorate the walls at the schools and be enjoyed by anyone who sees them.

“This far exceeded what we ever expected. My daughters had Josh as a coach and art teacher. They showed how much Fairhaven meant to Cinthia. This came together perfectly,” Johnson said.

She said her sister had a fun personality and would have loved the artwork.

“She was so colorful that this reflects perfectly,” Johnson said.

Johnson said her sister spent many years of her life coming to Fairhaven.

MacMillan said Gasser Chair donated the wood, and Scarmack and art teacher Rachel Tricomi helped make the frames.

MacMillan said he always tells his art students two of the best days they will have will be coming in the fall and spring to Fairhaven School to work with the students.

“They get so much out of coming here and spending time with the students,” he said.

Johnson said MacMillan was the glue that brought the project together.

Family said Cinthia had always excelled at everything she did. She played basketball, volleyball and was especially good in swimming, as she earned many gold and silver medals. She was also a cheerleader for the Fairhaven boys basketball team, loved to bowl and was a dancer.

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