Compass mural makes a mark on Northgate Campus
While students were enjoying their last days of summer, Northgate alumni Joanna Sibley and Lisa Bien-Smario were painting a cardinal and gold colored compass on Northgate’s doorstep.
Sibley and Bien-Smario, graduates of the class of 1986 and 1985 respectively, spent over 20 hours working on the mural. The compass mural features a symbolic “N” which serves the dual purpose of pointing north and representing Northgate. Additionally, it includes the words: Happy, healthy, innovative, and Broncos.
Earlier this week, a group of sophomores eating lunch near the compass gave it their vote of approval.“It’s a good center-piece and it’s colorful,” Stuti Pradhan said.
Sibley, a parent of a freshman and junior, is in her second year of a two-year term as PFC president. She recalled recently that she didn’t have any PFC experience when she became president last year, but she is passionate about Northgate.
Sibley’s role in the PFC is not the first Northgate leadership position she has taken on. While attending Northgate in the mid-1980’s, Sibley was a rally commissioner. Additionally, David Wood, a current staff member, was her English teacher. Her Northgate experience also opened other life paths. Several years after graduation, she married the guy she had sat next to in her government class. After living
in San Francisco for many years, Sibley and her husband decided to move back to Walnut Creek to raise a family, and she is thrilled to be in the community where she grew up.
“It really says something about the school and the area that so many people would come back,” Sibley added, referring to many alumni who live in the area.
When Principal Michael McAlister and Sibley discussed ideas for the ground mural design, they wanted a mural that could be a point of reference for safety reasons, but at the same time, they wanted to soften the concrete visual in front of the school. They decided on a compass. To achieve a professional design, Sibley enlisted the help of Bien-Smario, an artist she has known since the two became friends at Foothill Middle School. Bien-Smario prepared the compass drawing and Sibley presented the design to the Parent Faculty Club, McAlister, and Vice Principal Ben Campopiano.
Once approved, Sibley’s husband, Paul, power washed the concrete. Paint primer was added to the cement, lines were set, geometry was used, and paint was applied the weekend before school started.
“I like it,” sophomore Maggie Levy said on Monday. “Sometimes I send pic-
tures of it to my friends on Snapchat.”