Monday, Oct 23, 2017

Class of 2010 speaks for the trees

The Harvard High School Class of 2010 will present trees as its graduation gift to beautify the school campus. At graduation time, the class was not able to fully fund the electronic sign at the school, which was its original intent. The monies sat in a fund until the class could decide what gift they would be able to give to the school.

Class advisers Caren MacKenzie, English teacher, and Lisa Eisele, business teacher, realized that time was passing quickly, and they were anxious to leave a lasting memorial. When Eisele visited Harvard Nursery Inc., 5801 Island Road, she recalled that the high school lost several oak trees. Eisele saw an opportunity for the class to purchase trees to replace the lost oaks. She spoke with nursery owner and Harvard High School graduate Kevin Reckamp and began making plans to present this idea to MacKenzie, the class officers and the administration.

After looking at the options available and discussions with the superintendent and principal, Eisele and MacKenzie presented the idea to the members of the class.

“The wonder of the internet made it easy to throw out a Facebook post and see what the class had to say,” MacKenzie said.

“The class of 2010 was a great class. I was the adviser for the class of 2010 for all four years. It was a close-knit class with many groups within the class, but they functioned very well together as a unit,” MacKenzie recalled. “The members who reached out to us on Facebook were excited about getting to give back finally.”

Victoria Goad, class of 2010, who currently is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education non-teaching, said, “Trees are iconic. For us to be able to plant these and have them continue to grow for years is really special.”

She recalled the closeness of the class members during their four years at the high school. “Most of us went to school together from kindergarten on – some of us even went to preschool together. We were a very close class.”

But that closeness was strained when the class lost two members during high school and the American history teacher lost a son during the class’s junior year.

“We ended up being hit with tough times in high school, but we held each other together and made sure to look out for each other. We were stronger together,” Goad said.

Therefore, she said the oak trees were a perfect gift – oak trees are steadfast and hearty; and so was the class of 2010. Approximately nine oak trees will be planted on the west and south sides of the high school. They also hope to be able to include an evergreen or two, but those plans have yet to be finalized.

Harvard Nursery Inc. hopes to have the trees planted this fall.

MacKenzie and Eisele said they also plan to include a plaque with the class motto, a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind; so we will walk on our own feet, we will work with our own hands, and we will speak with our own minds.”