In memory of Coach Burrell
August 27, 2015 Share

In memory of Coach Burrell

By Karah Wilson

karah@southerntorch.com

COLLINSVILLE, Ala.—

Collinsville teacher, Coach Josh Burrell, was driving on the morning of Apr. 16 when his car hit a metal pole. Burrell was pronounced dead at the scene, but his memory will live on forever. Teresa McClain had the idea to memorialize Burrell through a bench that would be placed at the school. McClain contacted Collinsville librarian Jennifer Wilkins about this idea. Wilkins contacted Linda Munoz, who has been involved in several projects with Collinsville.

Munoz never knew Burrell personally, but as she worked with the students she knew he was “beloved”. “Students would tell me that he would stand in front of the school in the afternoon,” Munoz said. “He would help the students get on the bus.” Munoz said she hopes to have the bench placed where Burrell used to stand so students would see it when entering the bus. On the bench, there are different symbols to show what kind of person Burrell was. “There is a Georgia Bulldogs logo on there because he was a fan and there is a cross to show that he was a Christian. He was a World History teacher and volleyball coach at school so we put those on there as well.”

Munoz lives in Cuba, Alabama as a retired nurse. She began working with class in 1980 when her Antebellum home needed new windows. For the past 15 to 20 years she has been working with mosaic glass. The past 12 years she has been teaching students and adults how to work with glass. Munoz is also involved with the Blackbelt of Alabama. “It’s probably the poorest area we have in our country,” Munoz said. The project she is apart of is the Children Patchwork History Project. With this project, she teaches children how to make mosaic quilts. “I feel like the arts are being left out of schools. Every child has a spark of creativity in them.”

Collinsville Public Library provided the workspace and McClain provided the supplies used to create the mosaic bench in memory of Coach Burrell. The library was also able to write a grant for Munoz to use for whatever she needed. Wilkins knew Munoz through projects she has worked on with the library. Munoz has created benches for the town’s quilt walk and turkey day. Munoz has work with students from the school to create 6 benches and a panther mural that can be found at the school. Wilkins hopes that there will be more art projects like these that will use the library workspace. “I love to work with any group involved with the arts,” Wilkins said.

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