Class council applauds staff with paper rose Valentines


Courtesy of Molly Granger

Molly Granger folds origami roses for teacher appreciation Valentine’s.

by Molly Granger, Guest Reporter

A bouquet of red roses for Valentine’s Day can cost up to $80.  The Class Council would have paid $528 to buy one for each staff member. Instead, they created a shower of origami paper roses.

Using scrapbooking materials and paper found at home, approximately a dozen sophomore Class Council members folded 80 assorted roses and delivered them to teacher mailboxes the week of Valentine’s Day. The surprise was appreciated as this was the first full week for teachers in the building.

Class Council of 2023 member Molly Granger got the idea from a service project that her middle school Student Government Association had planned, but never followed through with.

“The middle school project was going to be giving paper flowers to veterans and hospital patients for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t really expect this to work for us because of restrictions on donations that hospitals might have right now due to Covid-19,” said Granger.

The four sophomore class officers loved the proposal. Class Council of 2023 President, Hannah Morin suggested altering the project in favor of staff appreciation. 

“I thought Hannah’s take on my idea was perfect because our staff have been doing so much in preparation for hybrid learning, plus Valentine’s Day tends to be neglected in high school,” Granger said.  “I knew that this could work thanks to my close friend and class treasurer, Madelyn Beckman, because Key Club had applied the same concept to a project of theirs: everyone has their own materials, joins a Google Meet, and creates the product synchronously.”

It was Granger’s job to find an origami rose tutorial on YouTube that created a nice result while still being a beginner level of crafting. She broke down the tutorial by inserting a screenshot of each step into a shared Google Slides presentation. View the tutorial to make your own origami rose here!

Class Council of 2023 members Sarah Webb and Lauren Hackett smile as they show off their paper roses. (Courtesy of Molly Granger)

Granger said, “I thought it’d be nice to give everyone the option to click through the process step-by-step in case the video went too quickly. Instructing through a Google Meet was admittedly harder than I expected, which just goes to show why appreciating our staff is extra important right now. ”

Class council had to determine how many roses needed to be made in order to have a sufficient amount of Valentines. The council’s goal was to involve all staff members that have sophomores in any of their classes, as well as any other support staff and specialists that could be included. Granger used the staff directory from the school website to compile a list of recipients.

“The list consisted of around 80 names, which I originally thought was too ambitious, especially since the holiday presented us with a pretty hard deadline,” mentioned Granger.  “Luckily each rose only takes about two minutes once you know the steps. It’s a lot of repetition.”

Despite being uncertain of reaching their goal, the Class Council moved forward with their idea. Granger designed and printed off the attachments that would make everyone’s roses into Valentines. Each Valentine addressed the staff member with a Valentine’s appreciation message. Granger handed off the papers to Morin by setting up a cardboard collection box in Linganore’s vestibule.

Morin said, “We got lucky with the timing of it all because everyone was going to school anyway to pick up their second-semester materials, which made it easy.”

Origami roses fill drop-off bins in preparation for delivery to teachers. (Courtesy of Molly Granger)

The box was filled with roses after the two-day drop off period, evidence that the group had managed to accomplish their goal amount. Morin took home the box to complete the Valentines, securing 1-2 roses to each attachment paper with tape. She returned the finished products to Linganore, handing them over to history teacher and Class of 2023 advisor, Mr. Joseph Hawkins.

The sophomores came up with the idea all on their own, and then it was all about having enough volunteers to actually make them. I thought the whole project came together rather nicely,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins was in charge of handling the distribution of the sophomore project by issuing the Valentines to staff mailboxes on the first day of hybrid learning. Unsurprisingly, the gesture was well-received among staff. 

Social studies teacher and Mock Trial advisor, Ms. Jamie Hendi, said, “I am always happy when students take time out of their days to show their appreciation for what teachers do. That kind of stuff is why I love to teach, it really made me feel connected with students.”

Being Covid compliant took a lot of extra coordination throughout this project. Granger was more than satisfied with the outcome, but still has bigger ambitions for the future.

“I’m proud that I was able to push those who contributed to attempt a new skill. Our class council hadn’t done much collectively before this, so I was glad to bring us together. I hope that turning my idea into a project inspires someone else to carry out their idea. That would help to make Class Council worthwhile and have a greater impact on our school and community,” said Granger.