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Painting pays off for Tinley Park High School students

Updated: June 8, 2014 6:09AM



The hard work of some Tinley Park High School students has paid off for the school.

Last fall, under the guidance of two teachers, four advanced-placement art class students painted a mural on an exterior wall of Tinley Park Auto Repair, 17600 Duvan Drive.

Formally dedicated last week, the mural depicts a bit of the history of the business, which opened in Tinley Park in a different location in 1970.

Chris and Tammy Shoemaker, part owners of the business, donated $2,000 to the school, and auto parts company NAPA, which the shop is affiliated with, matched it.

Some of the money will go to the school’s art and auto shop departments, while a portion will be used for a scholarship next school year.

“It was a wonderful opportunity afforded to both us and the students,” said Tammy Shoemaker, a former special-education teacher who completed her student teaching at Tinley Park High School. “We wanted to show our appreciation to the high school.”

After the mural was completed, the couple had a new business sign installed, incorporating the NAPA logo, above it. Pictures of the mural caught the attention of “some of the higher-ups” at the company, which featured the effort in its national magazine that’s distributed to NAPA-affiliated shops, she said. The mural also received exposure at the company’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

“They (NAPA) loved the concept” and saw the matching donation to the school as a way of giving back to the community, Shoemaker said.

She and Tinley Park High School Principal Theresa Nolan are on the board of directors of the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce and had talked about the idea of a mural at the business. Nolan enlisted the help of Sandy Wilczynski, an art teacher at the high school, and Casey Fabianski, who works at the school part time as a special-education paraprofessional but also has a graphic design business.

Fabianski worked with the Shoemakers on ideas for the mural and sketched out a design, which the students started working on shortly after the school year started.

The mural — on a wall 28 feet long and 9 feet high — highlights the early history of the business, including the Enco gas station at the northeast corner of 183rd Street and Harlem Avenue that Chris Shoemaker’s father, John, managed. He did auto repairs in one of the station’s service bays and built the current business in 1978.



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