NBC 29: Buford Middle School to Commemorate Retiring Art Teacher with Mural

A middle school in Charlottesville is working with a nonprofit to help the community honor and preserve a teacher’s years of work for the city.

On Wednesday, September 26, Buford Middle School and the Charlottesville Mural Project worked to ensure that a popular art teacher’s decades of service to the city won’t soon be forgotten.

“Yep, this is it, last year, I’ve been teaching 22 years here,” Desmond Cormier, who teaches art at Buford, said.

Cormier will be retiring from Buford Middle School at the end of this school year.

“Having an art teacher that’s been teaching here for decades be immortalized on a mural and a piece of art just seems so fitting and lovely,” Stephanie Carter, Buford’s principal, said.

The Charlottesville Mural Project teamed up with Buford to preserve the image of students and teachers who pass through the hallways.

“Being able to represent our community and being able to represent our kids and seeing all the different faces that represent our community on the wall is really important for our community to see,” Carter said.

Cormier says this mural is the best way he could think of to help students remember him and what he’s taught them.

“I’m kind of a stickler on how things should be done, but this has come out beautiful so I think it’s a great memorial,” Cormier said.

School employees say they hope the project will promote diversity throughout the Charlottesville community.

“I think the mural represents the diversity of school community with both students and with adults,” Carter said. “So many people give so much to the school and I think that this is a lovely representation and art and really tells the story of Buford.”

Students at Buford say more schools need to have projects that help students feel welcome.

“I feel like if someone was to come into this school for the first time, it would be sort of a welcoming thing for them seeing the children of the past,” Lily Carter, a Buford student, said. “It’s sort of a cool ordeal, it’s really cool to be one of the children that will always be here.”

Students and faculty members at Buford entered a raffle to be chosen for the project.

The artist expects to have the project done by the end of this year.