After listening to a sermon at his church about the importance of not getting wrapped up in little details, assistant principal Jason Harris reached out to the school’s chapter of National Art Honor Society and asked them to make him a painting of the book cover of Leaf By Niggle by J.R.R Tolkien which is going to be hung in his office to represent the work he does.
“It all started because my pastor at Gribble Oaks was giving a sermon,” Harris said. “He used that painting of Tolkien and his whole point of the lesson was don’t get so wrapped up in the small details of things that you forget the overall picture.”
Harris approached NAHS because he thought the painting could be a reminder of the big purpose of his job, which is to stay connected to the students.
“Mr. Harris asked us to do the painting for him sometime last spring,” NAHS sponsor Pernie Fallon said. “Even though it took us a while, we got it done and I think it looks great.”
To Harris, the painting reminds him to not get caught up in the little details of his job.
“I thought that would be a great painting to have in my office because sometimes here on this end we get so involved in trying to make sure every small detail is correct,” he said. “I think sometimes it’s easy to forget the overall picture while were here which is to build relationships with you guys and to care for you even though those details usually include that but sometimes we get so wrapped up into it we forget the overall purpose.”
Club president Sunyoung Yun thinks that the painting is a beautiful way for Harris to show how much he cares about students.
“I think the meaning behind the reason Mr. Harris requested the painting is really beautiful,” Sun said. “It made me see how much the teachers and staff at Liberty cared about the students. I’m happy that I got to take part in painting such a meaningful piece.”
Having the painting in his office is a token for Harris to continue building relationships with students.
“I will hang it in my office to remind me each day when I’m working on policies and procedures or certain things that different aspect that goes into this job that I need to make sure I make time to continue to have conversations with you guys,” he said. “To build relationships and to know the overall purpose is to serve you and help you to be successful in life.”
This story was originally published on Wingspan on January 8, 2019.