Seniors donate pine tree to school as legacy

In the hopes of leaving a legacy, the senior council purchased a pine tree last month to bestow upon the school on behalf of the graduating Class of 2015. The planting ceremony took place on April 22, as seniors gathered around the newly planted tree and celebrated the gift while listening to short speeches presented by Bason Park (12), HSSC executive president, and Sophia Chi (12), senior class president.

“People who do not know much about pine trees do not appreciate how expensive and valuable the tree that was donated is,” Andrew Kim (12) said. “I sincerely believe that this project has great intentions; having a long-lasting gift that we can be remembered by, one that we can come to find if we visit the school many years later, is certainly a heartwarming way to wrap up our high school careers.”

The administration was openly supportive of the idea when it was first proposed by HSSC three months ago, and since then had cooperated with the senior council to bring the idea to life. In fact, after the senior council suggested to the administration the type of tree and where to plant it, it was Hyung Shik Kim, headmaster, who made the final decisions. The administration also chose the day of the planting ceremony, which was chosen to coincide with Earth Day.

“The process of working with the senior council on the senior gift tree was productive and professional,” said Dong Eun Lee, high school secretary. “I was especially impressed with the senior council’s ability to communicate with the administration and related departments and come up with a suitable commemorative plaque [on the tree].”

Although the tree donation has been met with the general support from the student body, some seniors have responded to the gift negatively. According to Sophia, many students have complained that the money used to purchase the senior tree could have been better used by funding the senior school trip, which was recently rejected by the administration. In response, the senior council emphasized that the rejection of the senior trip proposal was not due to financial reasons, and that the purchase of the tree has no relation to the trip, as the two are considered entirely separate activities.

“I understand why some of the seniors may be upset, as people are often resistant to new traditions,” Sophia said. “The issue will most likely be alleviated over time, which is why I hope the succeeding senior class councils will carry on the tradition that we have started. I also wish that the tree that we have donated will not only remind our class of all the memories we made, but also serve as something the underclassmen can remember us by.”