The Hawkeye

Hawk statue dedicated by junior unveiled

By Semira Beraki, Hawkeye staff

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MTHS celebrated the unveiling of the hawk statue in the Hub during the “Raise the Hawk” ceremony on Monday, Oct. 2. The brief ceremony revealed the sculpture of the hawk, decorated in school colors, while also honoring junior Thaddeus Merten for his hard work on the statue.  

The hawk statue was a project started by Merten a year and a half ago as part of his candidacy to be an Eagle Scout in Troop 49, a boy scout organization well known throughout the nation. He  proposed the project to the “community of [his] boy scout troop,” with the members agreeing to help out on the project after he made the proposal.

Merten needed to get approval from the former principal of MTHS, Greg Schwab, and eventual approval from the school district before diving into the project. After getting approval, he then collected funds from various donors ranging from local businesses to individuals in the community, having their names engraved in tiles that were to go on the pedestal of the statue made by MTHS Technology Student Association (TSA) treasurer Reiden Chea.

Accumulating the $30,000 needed for the statue from the donors, Merten had then proceeded to search for a hawk statue. He eventually purchased a hawk statue in Spokane, completing his search.

Chea had started his work on the tiles over the summer. Sandy Merten, Thaddeus’s mother and MTHS Fines Manager,  contacted engineering teacher James Wilson, the advisor of TSA, about the project. Sandy Merten thought it was best to utilize the school’s resources for making the tiles rather than hiring outside of the terrace community, and trusted TSA to accomplish the task.

“Having previous experiences in computer design, [Wilson] asked me to take over the project,” Chea said.

In mid-August, Chea had come up with designs for the tile and talked it over with Sandy Merten and Wilson, who together decided on using a microservice plastic material for the tiles. The material consists of a thin layer of a black plastic above a “white based plastic.” The black plastic is lasered away to reveal white lettering. Chea is proud of the finished tiles and believes they “ended up looking really nice” during the unveiling.

The Merten family compensated Chea for his hard work on the tiles, and ended up donating approximately $700 (running the money through PTSA) into TSA’s funds, according to Chea.  

With the tiles decorating the base pedestal of the 11 foot wingspan hawk sculpture, Merten believes his Eagle Scout project helps honor the school and promote “school spirit and community pride.”

Numerous safety precautions were taken to ensure the statue was stable and fit school district safety regulations. One of these precautions included having the base pedestal made by the school district to ensure it followed the code of school district safety standards.

In addition, the sculpture had to be placed in a way so as to prevent any forms of vandalism or damage to it, ruling out the option of placing the monument directly outside of the school. It was ultimately decided its current location above the Hub was the best location to ensure maximum visibility and prevent vandalism.   

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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.
Hawk statue dedicated by junior unveiled