KEYSER - When Keyser Middle School students walk back into their school to start the new year next week, they will be greeted by a little brighter and more colorful hallways.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - When Keyser Middle School students walk back into their school to start the new year next week, they will be greeted by a little brighter and more colorful hallways.
A group of rising eighth graders took time out from their summer vacations this year to launch a stenciling project which resulted in black and gold Tornadoes and “KMS” lettering on the walls in the commons area and in the hallways to most of the classrooms.
According to principal Dr. Edward Holler, he had set a goal of   using the summer to decorate the walls in the cafeteria, and maybe using the guidance hallway for “practice.”
Student Brooke Kesner, however, had other ideas.
“She said, ‘Dr. Holler, we’re going to do a lot more than that,” Holler told the News Tribune recently. “She completely blew past it; she knocked it out of the park,” he added.
Stenciling the walls was not just a matter of taking paint brush to the surface of the wall, however.
First, the students created their own stencils.
“It took quite a lot of planning,” Holler said, adding that the stencil for the Tornado itself is a four-step process - one stencil for the gold, one for the black highlights, one for the face, and the students then finish the eyes themselves.
Holler said the project became a popular summer event, and over time there were as many as 15-18 kids who took part in applying the stencils to the walls.
“There was a core of seven or eight students, though, who kept it going,” he said, naming Trever Burns, Emily Loy, Jada Sanders, Jace Courrier, Angel Harris, Cara Redman, Connie Strother and Sara Douglass, in addition to Brooke Kesner.
But stenciling isn’t these students’ only talent.
“All of them are members of the Keyser Middle School Honor society. As a part of that, they agreed to do a school project, a community project, and a world service project,” Holler said.
Have the students enjoyed their summertime project?
“It’s been fun, and a little stressful sometimes,” Brooke said, laughing.
Holler says the students have also used the experience to learn skills such as leadership, and working together as a team.
“These kids are alright,” he said, smiling.