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Students honor longtime ag teacher

Students plant tree to honor Mr. Johnson. FFA and choir students gathered recently to honor the memory of beloved, longtime ag teacher Tim Johnson by planting a memorial tree near the greenhouse at PHS.

The idea was sparked last semester after the choir dedicated the winter concert to Mr. Johnson, who passed away in September after battling a liver disease.

Kendall Carpenter and Erica Hunt, who were both involved with choir and FFA, said they wanted to do something to keep Mr. Johnson’s memory alive at PHS.

“We wanted to do some type of memorial,” Kendall said. “And a tree symbolizes life, and we know Johnson will live on in our hearts and lives forever.”

They decided to plant the red maple tree in the grassy area across from the vocational ag building adjacent to the greenhouse where it could be seen by his ag students and where Mr. Johnson spent a lot of his time with the horticulture and plant and soil classes.

Earlier in the school year, the choir students sold baked goods to raise money for the red maple tree and commemorative plaque.

Once everything arrived, the ag students got busy digging the hole and welding a stake to display the plaque.

“It was nice to see the three departments work together to get this done,” choir director Rachel Lavender said.

Jaica Evans ties an orange ribbon on the tree. At this week’s ceremony, students tied colored ribbons around the tree, orange for Mr. Johnson’s beloved alma mater, Oklahoma State University, and blue and gold to represent the FFA organization that meant so much to Mr. Johnson.

“He just meant a lot to all of us,” said Jaica Evans as she tied the orange ribbon around the trunk. 

The students invited Mr. Johnson’s widow, Brynn Johnson, to be part of the ceremony.

“The outpouring really shows me how much Tim meant to these students and the school district,” said Brynn Johnson, Mr. Johnson’s widow. “And I just want to say thank you for everything they have done.”

Pictured at the tree ceremony were, from left, Korben Williams, Erica Hunt, Daniel Self, Shelby Purser, Victoria Morris, Jaica Evans, Ms. Brynn Johnson, Kendall Carpenter, Cooper Puckett, Calee Shipp, Olivia Saari and Allynn Terry.

Memorial plaque for Mr. Johnson.