Seniors gift orchard in memory of Jason Berry


The Harker School

SEEDS OF LOVE: Seniors Apurva Gorti and Dora Tzeng plant one of the orchard’s new saplings together. The contruction for the Class of 2014’s senior gift, an orchrd in memory of former English teacher Jason Berry, began during the week of April 21.

During the week of April 21, Construction began on the Class of 2014’s senior gift: an orchard in mem- ory of former English teacher, Jason Berry.

The orchard will include fruit trees, berry bushes, trellises, benches, and a bronze statue of a bear. The gift also includes pavement of the area be- tween Shah and Davis Field. The first trees in the orchard were planted on Earth Day, April 22.

The roots of the senior gift extend farther than those of the apples, oranges, and apricots contained in the orchard.

Senior class Co-Dean Victor Adler found the gift to be a meaningful mark on the school.

“Whereas previous gifts, such as the waterfall, were set aside, this gift will be central to the campus so that students can see it and be in it,” Adler said.

Alternative senior gifts up for vote included other tributes to Berry and sofas in Main, an option rejected due to the potential fire hazards.

Previous gifts have ranged from the flagpoles on Davis Field from the Class of ‘11 to the water coolers from the Class of ‘13.

“I think our senior gift is different because it’s dedicated to someone we know and who was part of our community.” Renu Singh (12) said. “It’s something that will beautify the school as well as carry on the memory.”

Senior Class Co-Dean Mary-Ellis Deacon reflected on the seniors’ decision process.

As the Class of ‘14 gives way to the rising seniors, members of the new senior class expressed satisfaction with the gift.

“[The gift] will give us the opportunity to remember Mr. Berry, who was a really valuable member of the school community,” Felix Wu (11) said. “It will help us celebrate his life and his commitments to the students at Harker.”

The project is projected to complete by the summer.

 This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on May 16, 2014.