They Do Grow Up

In May of 1999, 23 little boys and girls were part of Mrs.  Wahnquist’s kindergarten class at Long Lots.

Someone painted a mural of them, on the wall outside the gym.

Thirteen years later, those boys and girls are much bigger.  Most of them probably tower over Mrs. Wahnquist.

They’ve traveled from elementary school into middle school, then all the way through high school.

Many of those former kindergarteners are still in town.

In less than 2 weeks they graduate from Staples.  Then off they go, into the wide world beyond Westport.

Next fall — right on schedule — a new crop of 5-year-olds will enter Long Lots.

They’ll begin their long, exciting, wondrous journey to the Class of 2025.

And every day they’ll pass the mural of Mrs. Wahnquist’s kindergarten class of 1999 — folks so old they were born when Bill Clinton was president.

You know — way back in the last century.

13 responses to “They Do Grow Up

  1. Pretty sure that the boy in the red shirt is steven. Feels like just yesterday. How fast they grow. Good luck to the class of 2011, it has been a great ride!

  2. Jill, always wondered when the boys first met, now I know. Ryan is the second boy at the front of the line. It has been a pleasure watching the ride !!! I hope Mrs Wahnquist sees this article, kudos to her for planting the seeds !!!
    Thanks Dan

  3. Kimberly Andrews and I were the Art Smart Moms who engineered this mural at the request of Mrs. Wahnquist! My daughter Grace is the second one in the line behind the teacher. The kids themselves did the work. We outlined them on the wall by casting a shadow using a strong light. We got donated paint from Brandman’s which was really rejected samples stowed in a closet. We had a big argument over whether or not they would have faces. You can see that they don’t, but somehow they are recognizable anyway. It is a momentous time that they are graduating now, a lot of emotions are stirring.

    Cornelia Olsen

  4. My daughter had Mrs. Wahnquist two years later and she is a gem! I wish she could be cloned so everyone could have her for kindergarten.

  5. The initials of all the students can be found, painted, at the bottom of each child.

  6. The Dude Abides

    Love to see the kids in the mural as they are now. All lined up and grown up. Can you make that happen, Professor????

  7. Janet Wahnquist

    I’ve been told that there are NO coincidences, but today I was substitute teaching at Long Lots, and as your blog appeared, I was once more the infamous “Mrs. Wahnquist on the Wall,” and spoken to by staff members who read the blog. What fun!! I have VERY happy, special memories of the class of 2011, and would LOVE to see us all lined up on the wall again! Cornelia and Kim, Thanks again, 12 years later for the 76 hours of work that you put into that Art Smart Project. My VERY best wishes to all of the 2011 graduates. I enjoy reading and hearing about your accomplishments!

    • I don’t know who all of those 23 kids are, but I sure know two of them. I coached Ryan Armour and Steven Denowitz on the Staples boys soccer team. Ryan was honored as our Scholar-Athlete last Sunday, while Steven is captain of the volleyball team that vies for the state championship tomorrow (Friday) night.

      THANKS, Janet, for setting these guys on the path of success 13 years ago!

  8. I am the sister of Mrs. Wahnquist and we have always been proud of her
    accomplishments especially when dealing with children. . She is the happiest when dealing with little children.

  9. I am the sister of Mrs. Wahnquist and we have always been proud of her
    accomplishments, especially her teaching of children. She is the happiest when
    she is with children (especially her grandchildren). She is a model for all
    to follow. Love Harriett

  10. As a former Westport student, we all have teachers we want to clone and take with us forever.

  11. The Dude Abides

    Interesting comment from Purell as researchers have blamed much of the national drop out rate of 30% to the fact that many students can not asssimilate or relate to their teachers. Very good perspective.

  12. Mrs. Wahnquist, any chance you can share your original class list with Dan and he can check to see how many are still in Staples and graduating soon? Maybe if someone called them, they would love to be in a “class picture” and lined up again. Like the Dude, I’d love to see them “grown up” in a picture.