Hambright rock path celebrates creativity, collaboration

There’s a colorful new walkway winding across the front of Hambright Elementary School, and every Hambright student and staff member had a hand in its creation.

The Hambright Path of Leadership is comprised of more than 900 rocks that were hand-painted over the past several weeks by every student (all 26 classes, including kindergarten) and staff member at the school – and not one of them is alike.

“All the rocks are different in shape and design on purpose,” said Hambright art teacher Heather Wigerman. “The emphasis was that we are all important and valued for our individual ideas, opinions, strengths and personalities, and we should appreciate our differences.”

The project was inspired by the children’s book “Only One You,” by Linda Kranz, which Wigerman read and discussed with students as part of the project. The book encourages people to be a positive influence in each other’s lives and embrace their unique traits and abilities.

The “rock artists” could include messages and symbols on their creations and paint them in whatever array of colors they felt best reflected who they are.

The rocks were donated to the school by Legacy Landscape Materials in Willow Street. Members of Boy Scout Troop 91 helped Wigerman wash and organize them by grade and dig and lay landscaping materials for the path. The effort was an Eagle Scout project led by Hunter Heisler, the son of Hambright’s school nurse, Lisa Heisler.

The Leadership Path is designed to be permanent and eventually will include a sign reading “Hambright is on a path to leadership – join us on our journey!”

The path “is a visual metaphor for the journey we are all on, as we learn and grow as leaders in our school, personal life, family and community,” Wigerman said. “The path is curved to symbolize the challenges we face every day and how we learn from them and each other. Everyone we meet on our path enriches our journey.”

Hambright principal Eric Howe said the project brought the school community together with its unique blend of creativity and collaboration.

“We are extremely fortunate to have educators, like Heather, who bring projects like this to life for our students,” he said. “Our Hambright community is very grateful that she put forth the time and effort on this beautiful path.“