The school officially dedicates the new Kevin Pearson Conference Room at special family event.

Starting something new can be scary. Surrounded by uncertainty, we search for something familiar, something comfortable. We search for a friendly face.

We search for someone like Kevin Pearson.

When Vicki Schmitz, Art Department Chair, started at Prairie in 2016, she did so having traveled some 2,000 miles from her home in Orange County, California. Although she was a Midwest native, Prairie was a new, unfamiliar place. It didn’t take very long, however, until she found someone capable of making her feel at home.

“When I joined the Prairie community I was lucky to find Kevin as an influential mentor,” says Schmitz. “I’m certain many who worked and studied with him have the good fortune of saying the same. His creative, unique, non-judgmental personality made him a magnet for kids and adults alike, and he infused the spaces he occupied with a welcoming nature that encouraged everyone to come as they were.”

On December 6th, Prairie officially dedicated the new Kevin Pearson Conference Room during a private Open House for his friends and family. Upon his passing in 2021, Pearson’s family hoped to use the memorial gifts made to Prairie in a way that both supported the school’s mission and honored Pearson’s tremendous impact.

That hope and ambition resulted in the Kevin Pearson Conference Room, a place where small groups of students or faculty can now gather to nurture relationships with one another, something, Schmitz says, “that Kevin deeply valued and did incredibly well.”

The walls of the room offer a gallery-like space for the school to highlight the accomplishments of its artists. Fittingly, at the Open House on the December 6th those shelves were filled with creations from Pearson’s personal collection.

“The room is located at the intersection of the Middle and Upper School hallways, and this commemorates the two divisions where he spent the vast majority of his career,” says Schmitz. “The space is intended to be one of reflection, collaboration, creativity, learning, and hopefully a bad joke or two – Kevin’s favorite.”

As we look forward to welcoming alumni back in June 2024, we’re excited for everyone to see the new Kevin Pearson Conference Room, a comfortable space and sought after place that is already well-used, well-loved, and well-laughed.

Additional Reading: “Bulletin Board Material: Inktober Serves as Another Reminder of the Artistic Talent and Passion Permeating Prairie“, Prairie Magazine, Spring 2018

Additional Reading: “Cheers, Mr. P: Remembering Kevin Pearson”, Prairie Magazine, Fall 2021