Lexus Thomas, 17, in front of the large construction wall decorated with multiple murals projects she spearheaded in Lake Stevens. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lexus Thomas, 17, in front of the large construction wall decorated with multiple murals projects she spearheaded in Lake Stevens. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

She turned Lake Stevens High School’s remodel into art

Lexus Thomas, 17, a lifelong resident of Lake Stevens, organized a mural for her high school.

LAKE STEVENS — An $87 million upgrade will soon transform Lake Stevens High School.

But for now the campus is part classroom and part construction zone, walled off by tall white panels.

Senior Lexus Thomas, 17, the school’s ASB treasurer, saw a canvas.

She organized an art project that hundreds of kids worked on at the start of the school year.

Question: Can you tell me about the mural?

Answer: I came to the admin with the idea to paint bathroom walls, because actually, someone here covered it (a project at Crossroads High School). They were like, ‘Well, we have this idea to paint construction walls,’ because we are under construction. There were all these white panels going around the school. I was like, ‘I’ll head that. That sounds cool to me.’ So we got a bunch of kids, for just a week after school, till 6 p.m. They came and painted any wall: a sophomore wall, a junior wall and a senior wall.

Q: What went into putting it all together?

A: Me and my adviser made a kind of list of things we wanted, like theme suggestions. We made it a competition: ‘One class will get money in their ASB account.’ It started to build on each other. I had to write out a supply list. I asked my mom at like 8 o’clock at night, “Mom, how much paint do you need for 300 square feet of wall?’ … We just kept adding on. We still had more blank wall. So we asked the staff to be part of it. We have all these different departments: SPED, which is special education; the English department did a wall; and the foreign language department did a wall.

Q: How big is it?

A: It’s 300 square feet for each of the class walls, and then probably another 300 square feet for every little section. We kept having to expand, because kids were like, ‘I want this and this.’ And I was like, ‘I can’t say no … ’ Basically it covers from one end of our school to another end.

Q: How long did it take?

A: It was a week of painting, but probably three weeks of planning.

Q: Did you personally paint any of it?

A: I only got a little section. I was mostly running around trying to find paint for people, or getting a ladder from the ASB office so someone could paint up high. So I didn’t have a lot of time to paint, but I painted a little section of sunflowers.

Q: What was the hardest part about it?

A: Probably the time it took. It was a lot of planning, and seeing if it’d actually be possible. You have to worry about kids writing inappropriate things. I want to have faith in people, but there was a lot of stress about that happening, and me getting the blame for that. Honestly, we didn’t have any problems with it. I was just stressing for no reason.

Q: About how many kids and staff were part of it?

A: I know over 300 students for the sophomore, junior and senior walls. For staff, probably over 30, I would say. For clubs, probably another 30, 50 kids?

Q: So it brought a lot of different kids together.

A: It was kids that you wouldn’t see at a football game, which was really my intent. Some kids I hadn’t met before.

Q: Are you involved in any school clubs?

A: I’m co-president of Harry Potter Club. I’m also an officer in Link Crew. We basically welcome sophomores on their first day. And ASB. And I play softball in the spring.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or author?

A: Probably Harry Potter. That sounds like a dopey answer, but it’s true.

Q: Which book in the series?

A: “The Goblet of Fire.” It’s the long one.

Q: Do have any teachers or mentors who have really helped you?

A: This year especially it’s been Mr. (Marcus) Merrifield. If I have a question, he can help me.

Q: How are your grades?

A: I have a cumulative GPA of 3.745. My grades have been good since I was young, but as I’ve gotten into high school, I’ve got this test anxiety thing going on. So I really struggle with hard tests. Since I’m in AP classes, the tests are super hard.

Q: Can you tell me more about your plans after high school?

A: I want to go to the UW, then study pre-medicine and chemistry, and then I’d like to go to medical school and be a pediatrician. I want to do Doctors Without Borders for a couple of years, before I get into practicing.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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