Leonardo Herreda, a junior at Shoemaker High School, shovels dirt while helping fellow students plant Chinese Pistache trees as part of Earth Day activities Friday at the school. Students from various clubs throughout the school raised money to purchase and plant nine trees

By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald

Under the banner of the National Honor Society, a coalition of leadership groups at Shoemaker High School planted nine trees Friday, lining the south side of the campus.

Working in a stiff breeze under a bright spring sun on Earth Day, students representing seven campus groups placed the Chinese Pistache trees in pre-dug holes along Elms Road bordering the school building.

Shoemaker High School is at the intersection of Clear Creek and Elms roads in southwest Killeen. The trees occupy what was an empty grass border against a school parking lot.

Si Yi, a Shoemaker junior and president of the National Honor Society chapter, said it was gratifying to see so many peers from different groups taking part in the project.

“This is an Earth Day project,” he said. “We’re trying to help society by helping our campus and city.”

Yi said an NHS student proposed the project to beautify the school grounds and the chapter opened it up to other campus groups to purchase a tree for planting for $50.

In addition to NHS, the school’s Spanish Honor Society, Student Council, Junior ROTC, AVID, the STEM Academy Cyberwolves and an individual science class purchased trees.

Lonnie McKinney, a world history teacher and NHS sponsor, said the National Honor Society performs a campus project each year and this time the group went beyond the usual beautification efforts.

“I’m thrilled to have this many groups take part in this,” said McKinney, who said NHS would take on the responsibility of watering the newly planted trees.

“We wanted our big project for the year to get a lot of students involved,” said senior Taji Peters, a member of NHS, Student Council and an AVID student.

“We got a lot of positive feedback on this,” she said. “It’s amazing. I thought two or three organizations might join us, but we have a whole row of trees instead of a wide open field.”