COLLEGE PARK-WEST BOULEVARD
By ANN ELISE TAYLOR
Inside a closet in the front office of Russell Boulevard Elementary School, a wide-eyed, oversized raven perches atop a shelf filled with spare paper, pens and highlighters.
Mary Lamberson, Russell Boulevard’s secretary, pulled it off the shelf carefully. She ran her hand over the orange beak and patted the black feathers down a bit. She held up the head of the raven costume.
“So this is Rusty Raven,” Lamberson said. “It’s our new mascot costume.”
Lamberson looked at the bird and smiled. “We’re going to have a lot of fun with it here,” she said.
Until this year, Russell Boulevard had never had a costume for its raven mascot, which has represented Russell since 1985. However, when Lamberson’s father, Martin Mahula, a former principal and teacher, died at the end of December, she knew exactly how his memory should be honored.
“I had been looking at these mascot costumes for the school for quite a while,” Lamberson said. “But they were pretty expensive. Anyway, my sister and I decided that with his memorial money, this is what we would get.”
Lamberson said the purchase was fitting, as making children happy was a particular pleasure of Mahula’s.
“He was a big kidder and joker,” Lamberson said. “And Russell was just a big part of his life. My kids went here, and I work here, so my folks came to Russell activities with my children and me. …. He would like that the raven makes children laugh.” Continue reading