South Orangetown Central School District

Visitors to Tappan Zee High School will notice new planters filled with bright flowers flanking the main entrance, a gift from a small group of students. This “community beautification project” was spearheaded by junior Hannah Anh, who was inspired by something she noticed on a walk. “I saw decorated planter boxes filled with flowers on the street once and it made me smile,” she recalls. “I realized that simple things could provide simple happiness to many people!”

With the support of Assistant Principal Juliet Gevargis-Mizimakoski, Hannah reached out to a group of friends–Kavitha Sriskanda, Colette Guy, Aswathi Nair, Reilly Stiefel, Nick Byrne, Ben Felter, Shay Roth and Lawrence Choi–and together, they built and filled the planters, which she painted, with flowers. The goal? To make the entry to their school a little more beautiful.

“We have been working in an intentional way as a school community to support one another,” noted Ms. Gevargis-Mizimakoski. “This is one example of a student with drive who had an idea about how to give back and I was glad to help her figure out how to make it happen!”

The TZHS custodians will take care of watering and, in the fall, the students plan to prepare the planters for next year.

Group of students standing around painted planter they'd donated outside TZHS