The new Central Consolidated School District logo is simplistic yet also complex.
Its overlaying messages of educational partnerships with the Navajo Nation (the Shiprock), New Mexico (the Zia symbol), and the U.S. Department of Education (the blue ring)—combined with an eagle in flight and a report card symbolizing student success through hard work—add up to a complex design on a very small canvas. The district is a public school system under the state of New Mexico.
The new CCSD logo was designed and drawn by Shiprock High School senior Malachi Lee, who used colored pencils under tight guidelines: The design had to be recognizable when the logo appeared as small as an inch in diameter.
Art is a family affair for Malachi.
“It’s pretty much in my family. I grew up around my uncles, and my brothers, and my dad pretty much doing art …. The stuff I like to do is what reflects on to me. I let my hand do the drawing and see what comes out in the end.”
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A little boy showed up alone in the doorway of the new $20 million Judy Nelson Elementary School. He had tears in his eyes, was scared, and barely spoke. He was one of the last students to arrive. It was Jan. 3, 2017—the first day in the new school.
Judy Nelson—standing in the school’s doorway—had greeted students as they arrived. On the wall behind her was a bronze plaque with the name of the school—her name—on it. It was 8 a.m. and most of the school’s 595 students were now in their new classrooms.
Ms. Nelson was never a teacher, but she carries the same message of unconditional love, compassion, and caring for students. She began that message in 1967 when she was hired as secretary of Grace B. Wilson Elementary School in Kirtland—a position she kept for 50 school years before retiring in June 2016.
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