Jaia

Jaia Caron (77) celebrates a field hockey victory with teammates Taylor Goodell (9) and Halle Dickerson (12).

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WESTMINSTER — Jaia Caron, who recorded nine shutouts while wielding a field hockey stick in the fall, has shown that she is just as talented when gripping a paint brush.

Her wall creation just inside Bellows Falls Union High School’s main entrance is amazing.

“My mural is a tribute to Jada Spaulding and Vincenzo Ruggiero. They were both good friends of mine growing up,” said the BF senior. “I painted that mural to memorialize them the way people should remember them, as beautiful, innocent, and youthful.”

Spaulding and Ruggiero were both Bellows Falls students when they died in separate car crashes — the former as a sophomore last spring and the latter as a freshman in 2019. Ruggiero’s father once ordered him a jersey that was mistakenly made with a backwards “4” on it, which is shown perfectly in the mural.

“The purple growing throughout the tree and in the leaves was done to represent the idea that Terrier pride is ever growing in the community, while the leaves of gold were to showcase the beauty of everything and that their souls were/are gold,” the artist explained. “The leaves falling are to symbolize the idea of rebirth and that they are still with us.”

The senior added that she got “Those we love never truly leave us” from the popular Harry Potter series.

Caron, who helped the BF Stickers win the Division 1 state championship in 2020 and will play field hockey for Russell Sage College, started on the mural at the beginning of March and finished it at the end of April.

“I would work on it after school when I could and during my fourth block since I have a free block, but also anytime there was a board meeting I would come in at 5:30 p.m. and stay to around 11 p.m.,” the exceptional painter added.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or 802-254-2311 X163. On Twitter: @ShaneCovey.