Kennedy High special ed students finish another beautification phase


Kennedy High special education students have completed their second phase of a project beautifying the campus entrance.

We have told you in the past about all the work special education teacher Sal Morabito’s students have done to beautify the campus at 4300 Cutting Blvd.

That work has only expanded.

With help from students of woodshop teacher James Henderson, art teacher Steve Mainini and photography teacher Steven Pinto, the second phase started in January and took five months to complete, said special education teacher Sal Morabito.

“What was previously bare land with two bushes has now a second wall of fame recognizing successful Kennedy alumni such as Felicia Phillips, a stem champion now serving as Kennedy first alumna Principal, and Julio Franco, executive director of the West Contra Costa Unified School District and Kennedy principal from 2001 to 2007,” Morabito said.

The wall of fame, built with help from Mainini, Henderson and Pinto, is situated between two raised beds with helleborus flowers. The second phase also includes two murals representing Eagles surrounded by a redwood fence.

“We have already started our third and final phase of Kennedy entrance beautification that we are planning to completed next school year by hanging a colorful 4’ x 8’ Eagle mural that was painted by Mainini’s students” Morabito said.

The project was made possible with grants from the WCCUSD Ed Fund and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation.

“I want to give a special shout out to James who for the last eight years has spent countless hours of his prep time to teach my students vocational skills such as how to make and paint or stain fences, raised beds, mural frames, tool sheds, picnic tables, and benches,” Morabito said. “He never turns down any project, on the contrary he always expands them and make them better with his numerous suggestions. I just cannot thank him enough for teaching my students who quite often say: ‘When are we going to see Mr. Henderson.’ Needless to say: James is my hero-bar none.”