By Mike Linn
All-district basketball player Nathan Goyne picked up another assist recently when he spearheaded the completion of an art project started by a Portales High graduate.
Goyne, along with several other students, put the finishing touches on a 20-by-8 foot windbreak in the front of the school decorated with the Portales Ram mascot.
Former PHS student Dustin Craig, a U.S. Marine taking part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, designed the image of the ram before he graduated in 2002.
But Craig didn’t complete the two-year project, which was finished three weeks ago after one of Craig’s friends saw it in an art room.
“Dustin graduated last year and didn’t quite get it done, so I thought it was a good idea to finish it for him; it was just kind of something I wanted to do,” said Goyne, a senior, who received assistance from junior Josh Willbanks and many other students who helped paint the design.
Before his deployment to Iraq earlier this year, Craig showed Goyne how to finish the project, which was funded by grants and donations from various clubs at PHS.
Lou Sikes, the school’s art teacher, said Craig was one of about 150 students who submitted a design for the wind breaker.
Craig’s artistic talent helped him land the job from a committee of teachers who chose his design.
“He is a very talented artist,” Sikes said. “He could have gotten an art scholarship if he wanted to, but he chose to join the military.”
Sikes also recalls Craig being a good student and well-mannered, among other things.
“He always had his work done perfectly, and he couldn’t stand for someone to be disrespectful, out of place,” Sikes said. “He was straight, this is the way it was, it was black and white with Dustin.”