This year's version of a St. Johnsbury Academy senior class tradition has a new, conceptual look, thanks to a collaboration of students, teachers and a staff volunteer.
Academy seniors have designed and worn a class t-shirt for several years, but this year's version represents a new level with the back featuring an image of the school's iconic Colby Hall bell tower incorporating the names of every member of the class.
Printed in white on a green background, the design was "truly a collaborative effort," Senior Class dean Christopher Dussault said.
Members of the class's Senior Council, which plans and organizes senior class activities and events, "helped shape the concept," he explained, while Academy teacher and Website administrator Merle Haskins suggested including names in the design, and Diego Melendez, the school's graphic design coordinator, volunteered his time to create it.
"I spent about 20 minutes on my computer trying to do it myself, then realized I was hopelessly 'over my head' with the program," Dussault added. "That's when I put out an SOS to Diego, asking him if he could help.
"This design never would have been possible if the Academy didn't have a professional graphic design person on board," Dussault stressed. "Senior t-shirt designs usually get mixed reviews, with a fair amount of grumbling; but the response to this one has been overwhelmingly thumbs-up from students and their faculty advisors alike. Diego did an amazing job turning the concept into reality."
Melendez said, "I've seen many designs which involve an image and text, but I wanted to create something special by creating an image using text."
The Academy senior t-shirt tradition is seen as a tool for helping build class unity and fellowship, he added. Every member of the class will receive one free of charge, with delivery expected Oct. 19, just before the Academy's annual football clash with archrival Lyndon Institute.
In addition to sporting the creation at The Game, the seniors will also be able to wear it to school on Fridays, despite the Academy's dress code, as part of their senior privileges.