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A legacy of art: Merrill teacher guides last mural project before retirementSubmitted: 06/20/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

A legacy of art:  Merrill teacher guides last mural project before retirement
MERRILL - As Linda DeBroux walks through Merrill High School, she can see the halls she helped create.

What started as plain, whitewashed walls now look like an art gallery. For each of the last 13 summers, DeBroux has guided a select group of her art students to create murals to fill the walls.

"When I walk down, I don't just see the painting, I see the student, right there, painting on that wall," she said Wednesday. "I think of all the struggles, the struggle points they had, and parts where they celebrated."

Murals by ten students this week will bring the total to 157 on school walls. Like it does every summer, it will take long days to accomplish the project.


"We get here at eight in the morning. We don't leave until at least eight at night. We get to work right away," said Bailey Iwen, who will be a senior in the fall.

Iwen and these students are a special group. It's the last DeBroux will lead after 34 years of teaching.

"The part I'm going to miss the most is the kids and the relationships," she said.

Students agree DeBroux has become a local legend for her work.

"She cares about you very much, each individual. She can see you can grow and she helps you," Iwen said. "We definitely are who we are today because of her."

Each of this year's murals depicts a decade of the 1900s.

In retirement, DeBroux plans to spend more time on her own art.

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