A student's inspirational artwork, created after superstorm Sandy ravaged Island Park, now has pride of place in Lincoln Orens Middle School as a mural that all the pupils helped to paint.
Argyro Papathanasiou, a freshman this year at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, created the pencil drawing that shows children lifting the school above floodwaters as part of a T-shirt design contest last year at Lincoln Orens, when she was an eighth-grader there.
Lincoln Orens took in all of the small district's grammar-school students for much of the 2012-13 school year after floodwaters severely damaged Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School.
Papathanasiou's design won the contest. This fall, the school asked students to band together to paint it on a wall in the Lincoln Orens cafeteria.
"I wished I could just raise everything up and save it from the water," Papathanasiou, 14, said of her idea for the piece. Of the mural, she said: "It's even better than I expected. There's so many bright colors."
Lincoln Orens Principal Vincent Randazzo said each student applied at least one brush stroke to the mural. "It was our desire to have each brush stroke represent our community -- the small parts contributing to the greater whole," Randazzo said.
Papathanasiou's love of art continues at Holy Trinity, where she is a member of the Portfolio Club.