Ashly Oliver Memorial Sundial
Latitude 28.37N and Longitude -81.17W
at Eastbrook Elementary School in Winter Park, Florida
by Jimi Oliver
The story of the Ashly Oliver Memorial Sundial:
November of 2001,
Eastbrook Elementary and I were
presented with a
from the students of Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Fl.
The students had heard about 9 year old Ashly's passing from a brain tumor in August of 2001
and through their fundraising efforts, generously donated in her memory.
I matched with an equal amount. We then had the means to start a lasting memorial.
Different ideas were bantered about, a plaque, some books...etc.
A plaque is easily ignored and books are discarded over time.
I wanted something more permanent and lasting.
Something to make the students think, reflect and to spark the imagination.
A few months passed when the idea of a sundial occured to me while I was showering.
Maybe it was the morning shadows moving across the tile or maybe Ashly planted that one;
I do believe her spirit is still here with me. ;>)
Anyway, I soon found the perfect sundial,
a horizontal, cast bronze, precision dial with inscribed dedication plate.
The principal of Eastbrook , Martin Kirsch contacted a vendor to purchase it.
The vendor, touched by Ashly's story, graciously donated the dial with inscription included!
The inscription reads:
Ashly Nicole Oliver
Eastbrook Class of 2003
Click on pictures to enlarge
been 2 years in the making and the sundial was finally installed
on October 22, 2003.
It's situated between the old and new building in a small garden area with sidewalks on three sides.
On November 29, 2003, I installed a beautiful Flagstone bench cut from the Rocky Mountains.
What better to put next to a 4500 year old piece of technology than a 4 billion year old bench!
A nice focal point indeed.
*UPDATE* As an ongoing project initiated in 2004, graduating class bricks are installed each spring with the names of all the 5th graders who graduated Eastbrook and their teachers.
Now, we still had the funds in the school account.
A two story classroom / media center had recently been built and renovations on the school were underway.
The original renovation plans called for a 20 ft. bell tower with bell, standing over the front entrance.
The sundial funds were still available and soon the bell idea gave way to an illuminated clock.
The tower was built and the clock was purchased and installed in the tower.
It became operational on Oct. 21, 2003, one day before the sundial was installed.
In an ideal twist, the sundial points towards the clock tower.
Now we have two timepieces in Ashly's memory.
A sundial has great educational value involving
math, science, astronomy, geography, language, history, time and space.
It has caused quite a buzz from students and faculty alike, more than I ever expected.
The geographical coordinates are Latitude 28.37�N and Longitude -81.17�W
The 30deg. gnomon actually points 2deg. west off magnetic North
and is adjusted for Standard Time reading and so far has been quite accurate.
I will be keeping a calendar throughout the year to record any variances for future reference.
Variations are bound to occur. That's the nature of....nature!
Here's a shot from space (click for large picture)
was my only
child, my best friend and I miss her dearly.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to honor her memory and share this memorial with you.
I do wish to thank all those whom have helped in this process (you know who you are).
*IMPORTANT* Since this sundial is located on public school grounds, a visitors pass is required from the administration office before viewing.
Learn about sundials with these links:
The North American Sundial Society
Sundials on the Internet (from the U.K.)
Eastbrook Elementary School / Trinity Preparatory School / Sundial event calendar / Jimirayo.com