Three Mohonasen students and one teacher were given the ultimate districtwide recognition Tuesday, Sept. 11, for their efforts in building a sculpture memorializing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
After nearly a year of work, including weekends, holidays and summer vacation, Mohonasen senior Devis Ceci and former Mohonasen students Joe Jasenski and Nick Tommasone along with former art teacher Lars Turin put the finishing touches on their large-scale sculpture Tuesday morning.
The sculpture, called Perpetual Rejuvenation, sits in the high school's courtyard. It consists of two large towers made of wood that sit in cement. The wood frame is covered in broken glass. The glass is meant to reflect everything around it, including the light.
On Tuesday, the school held a dedication ceremony to recognize the efforts of the four men and remember the Sept. 11 tragedy and its effects on everyone.
Because of the rain, the ceremony was broadcast to classrooms throughout the district, and students in classrooms surrounding the courtyard hung out the windows to watch.
Sept. 11 is an event that has affected the lives of every high school students, high school principal Patrick McGrath said. "This monument is a way to capture and remember Sept. 11 in a way that tries to highlight the positives that came out of such a catastrophic event."
In McGrath's view, the glass covering the sculpture represents how something broken can become stronger and beautiful again through hard work and determination.
Director of the Schenectady City Mission and former deputy mayor for the city Mike Saccocio was the ceremony's keynote speaker. He urged students to think about their choices as they look at the sculpture.
"You can't choose what happens to you, but you can't choose how you respond," he said.
Turin still has not felt the weight of retirement because he hasn't spent more than a few days away from the high school since he retired at the end of last year.