An early-morning assignment featuring the entire student body, the number 100 and a fire truck will go down in the record books at Everett Elementary School.
The Lake Forest school’s nearly 329 students, most sporting Everett Eagles red, walked single-file by classroom to the leaf-blown front lawn, talking excitedly and pointing at a Lake Forest fire truck as teachers ushered them to a pre-designated spot in a giant 100 marked on the green in front of school.
A photographer in the basket of the fully-extended ladder used a megaphone to shout instructions to the assemblage below.
The resulting photograph may grace the cover of the school’s 2013-24 yearbook to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the school at 1111 Everett School Road.
“We wanted to recognize our 100th anniversary in our yearbook this year and we wanted the students to take part in that,” Principal Ingrid Wiemer said.
Organizers first considered assembling the students standing or sitting in a group for the commemorative photo, but wanted “to really ramp up the emphasis on the 100-year anniversary” and opted to form the actual numbers, instead, Wiemer said.
Pulling off the photo shoot, including encouraging students to wear red, spray painting the outline of the numbers and even clearing the leaves from the front lawn, took a coordinated effort of parents, city workers and school staff.
Moms Sushama Krishnaswamy and Lisa Lamb, yearbook co-chairs for the Everett Association of Parents and Teachers, lead the charge, even coordinating a practice run on Friday “to make sure we had the sizing correct and everything,” Krishnaswamy said.
Dads Srithar Krishnaswamy and Corby Lamb plotted the outlines the numbers, operating by the glow of their iPhones Thursday night to set up stakes, strings and flags to get the lines and curves just right.
“It went a lot more smoothly than I ever expected,” Lisa Lamb said. “It was amazing how everyone knew what they were doing. All the teachers knew what number they would be in and approximately where.”
Once assembled, the photographer asked for silence, arms down and big smiles. The students readily complied.
Afterward, a big cheer rose from the crowd and the entire student body assembled back into school for another day.
Before leaving, Lisa Burton Radzely snuck a package of homemade cookies in the cab of the fire truck “to thank the firefighters for helping us today,” she said.
The historic occasion left a big impression on 8-year-old Timothy Rukavina, a second-grader, on his first day at his new school.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said.
•To see video of the photo shoot, visitlakeforest.suntimes.com.