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Wagner Art unveils mural dedicated to school's namesake, Karen Wagner

“Happy birthday, Karen!” is how the Thunderbird Pride mural was unveiled at Karen Wagner High School on February 22, 2024, the day that would have been the 63rd birthday of the school’s namesake. As the mural was revealed, there were gasps from the crowd as they saw Wagner’s likeness on the wall. 

The mural project began because of a $3500 Judson Education Foundation Grant written by Irma Carolina Rubio and supported by her fellow Wagner Art teachers Romero Garcia and Bill Delahay. The student-led project included approximately 60 Wagner Art students. 

“The skill of our student artists is extraordinary. We have so much talent at this campus and today is about celebrating them and honoring the legacy and life of LTC. Karen J. Wagner,” Rubio said.

Kim Wagner, Karen’s sister, and many family friends were there to celebrate the tribute to Karen.

“I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done. I’m humbled by the school and its staff and students. We want you to know that we love you, and thank you for this mural. It is marvelous,” Wagner said.

The students were able to design and create two 82-foot murals. One that honors Lt. Wagner and another that is a representation of life on the campus of Wagner High School. 

Neither of the murals would have been possible without the support of the Judson Education Foundation. 

“It shows that the Judson Education Foundation recognizes the value of the visual arts. That they have a reverence for our culture and our students’ voices and for what community means,” Rubio said.

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