Former Blendon student presents painting in memory of school counselor

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It’s been decades since Columbus-based artist Marianne Philip walked through Blendon Middle School but memories of her time in her former school with her school counselor, Jane Howland, have remained long after she graduated.

For months, Philip had been painting a tribute to Howland, who passed away in February. In June, she presented her finished work — a floral landscape reminiscent of those found at Inniswoods Metro Gardens — to Blendon administrators and Howland’s family members.

“She was very proud of her career here and to be remembered by this would make her day,” said Cindy Walsh, Howland’s step-daughter who is also a retired WCSD teacher. 

She said the gift from Philip, who was part of the Class of 1979, is especially meaningful as Howland had kept in touch students from that graduating class. 

“She made lifelong relationships with her students and to be honored here would thrill her. She would be so happy.” 

Walsh joined William Howland — her father and Howland’s husband — during Philip’s presentation of the painting to Principal Kendall Harris and Assistant Principal Fred Tombaugh

The painting resides in Blendon’s renovated secured entrance, which was previously Howland’s office. Behind the painting, Philip penned an inscription dedicated to Howland:

“There’s a certain person and educator that makes a difference on a path of ones (sic) life. Jane was once in a million, so generous of her time and talents.”