Selma Bears are Better Together

Victoria Quintana, Feature Editor

On August 17th, SHS art teachers Mrs. Rodela and Mr. Barba, and Activities Director Mr. Pallesi finished what is, according to staff and alumni interviewed, the first outdoor mural on Selma High’s campus. It is located on the old concession stand and depicts a fist bump with the words “Better Together” in all caps and on a small banner at the bottom, “Selma Proud.”

The mural is not only intriguing to look at, but it also spreads an important message.

“Personally, to me, the message is to show our students and staff that through interaction,

connection and relationships, we are better together, especially during a time in our lives when it

may be difficult for interaction, connection and building new relationships,” Rodela explains.

She was inspired by the universal way students and staff greet each other on campus every single day, with a fist bump. The “Selma Proud” banner on the bottom also shares the special message to be proud of our town, community, and school.

“It is important for them [students] to feel welcomed, safe, and a sense of belonging when they step foot on Selma High’s campus,” Rodela shares.

The idea for the mural first came to Mrs. Rodela at the end of last year when finishing off the second semester online. She greatly missed her students and fellow staff members, and wanted to gift them a work of art that she could hang up on campus. When she ran her idea by Mr. Lopez, the Selma High principal, of painting a small mural on wood and hanging it up on campus, he suggested she should do a permanent one that was bigger. Shocked and excited, Mrs. Rodela gladly accepted the offer.

When painting the mural, she acquired the help of Mr. Pallesi and Mr. Barba. They first pressure washed the wall, painted the base, projected and traced the image on the wall at night, and lastly painted the design. They used stucco and outdoor latex paint along with many brushes and rollers to apply it. The entire process took a total of five days with about 23 hours of painting time! During that time, Mrs. Rodela enjoyed working with and getting to know both Mr. Pallesi and Mr. Barba better.

“We had a great time talking about art, our high school years and life experiences,” Mrs. Rodela recalls. “We listened to music as we painted and just had a great time. We made a good team!”

Together and with hard work, Mrs. Rodela, Mr. Pallesi, and Mr. Barba completed this timely mural for Selma High’s Campus. However, it won’t be the last.

“This is the first of many!” Mr. Lopez stated.

A second mural for the main hallway is being planned, and in the future, students and staff will be invited to get involved in the process of creating other murals for Selma High’s campus. 

This mural will be a constant reminder as future students and staff pass the artwork that in difficult times, Selma High students are stronger and better together.