Springer student makes a difference through art

By Linda Taaffe

Town Crier Staff Writer

Photo by Monique Schoenfeld

It's not every day that a school gets a statue made for it. But Los Altos artist Hardy Jones and fourth grader Johnny Forell surprised students at Springer School in Mountain View last Wednesday with "On Your Mark, Get Set"--a sculpture of a long-distance runner getting ready for the start of a race.

The sculpture, designed specifically for the school, will be permanently placed in the front of the campus.

Johnny worked with Jones to bring the sculpture to the school after taking a five-week leadership class through the Los Altos Parks and Recreation Department two months ago. At the end of the class, organizers encouraged the students to "make a difference" in their community over the next six months, Johnny said. Johnny decided to do something sooner rather than later, he said. He called Jones within a month.

He had met Jones through the leadership program when Jones delivered a lecture about art.

"I thought it would look very nice here," Johnny said about having a piece of art on campus.

Johnny first tried to get a piece of art at the school through the city's arts-on-loan program. But since work is loaned every two years, Johnny would have had to wait until next year. He contacted Jones, who agreed to design a piece for Springer and donate it to the students.

"It's a pleasure to make a sculpture and share it with the community," said Jones, a retired orthopedic surgeon.

Made from recycled railroad crowbars, drill bits and a cobbler's anvil, the sculpture is meant to show the energy and motion of youth, Jones said. He said he completed the piece within two days.

"You don't realize how great you are," Jones told students at the dedication of the sculpture last week. "As an old guy, I can tell you, you're great."

Principal Bob Celeste said the statue will serve as an inspiration for students to push themselves at the district's Junior Olympics next year.

For Johnny, the piece will remind him of how he helped to make a difference at his school, he said.

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