Dr. V Visits Hillcrest Community Garden

13 Jul 2015 by Carlie Ranno, No Comments »
Pictured: Dr. Veitenheimer Photo from:http://www.dvusd.org/domain/104

Pictured: Dr. Veitenheimer
Photo from:

On Thursday, May 21, Superintendent Dr. James R. Veitenheimer made a special visit to tour Hillcrest’s community garden. Dr. Veitenheimer, otherwise known as Dr. V, is the Superintendent for the Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD). It was a pleasure to meet with and talk to Dr. V. He was very enthusiastic about our garden and super friendly when we met him in person.

Dr. V, Mrs. Hazleton, Mr. Herold, and myself assembled at the garden around 7:30am, which is located at the north gates of Hillcrest between buildings C and D. Daniel Wright, a 7th grade student who attends Hillcrest, also supported and accompanied our group and Mrs. Parrino was there to snap some photographs, and show moral support as well.

Dr. V had asked how the garden came to be, our inspiration for starting a garden, and how everything originated.  I shared with him that I enjoyed and found pleasure in watching TED Talk videos because they are are very inspirational. TED.com allows viewers of their website to watch videos regarding inspirational people who did something incredible in their lives. Each individual shares their story, and how they executed their dream or vision. TED.com is actually where I found my inspiration to start a garden.

A couple of the Ted Talk videos highlighted two inspiring individuals, Pam Warhurst and Stephen Ritz. Pam Warhurst grew up in New England, while Stephen Ritz grew up living in the Bronx, New York. Each of the two individuals started gardens where they lived. They wanted to bring the community together and make a positive difference. I was very inspired, so decided to write articles on these two individuals. I wanted to share their story.

My teacher, mentor, and advisor, Mr. Herold, read my articles and mentioned we may be able to start a garden at Hillcrest.  Mr. Herold helped me bring the garden idea to life. With his guidance, we sent emails, wrote letters, and communicated/corresponded with Home Depot for sponsorship, Mrs. Hazleton, Hillcrest’s Principal for approval, and Hillcrest’s maintenance crew for guidance. In the end, we were able to partner with Home Depot. They sponsored Hillcrest’s garden and were a HUGE help to us throughout the garden process. Home Depot was able to garner donations from Bonnie Plants for plants, Kelloggs soil for the soil, and DIGG Corporation for the watering system. Without Mr. Herold and the help of Home Depot, none of this would’ve been possible.


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I also shared with Dr. V that I believed communication was KEY throughout this whole garden process. There were a few times where I ran into some communication mishaps with Home Depot. I had been messaging to the wrong the email address, or let too much time lapse waiting for a response. In the end, we were able to resolve all issues, but this certainly did create some bumps in the road along the way.

After sharing my story, Mrs. Hazleton, Mr. Herold and myself all gave Dr. V a tour of the garden. He was delighted to see the variety of plants available and he picked a bunch of fruits, vegetables, and herbs to take with him for the road . Check out the photos below:

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Mrs. Hazleton, Dr. V, Mr. Herold and myself gathered to take a group photo, which you can view below:

Pictured (left to right): Mr. Herold, Carlie R, Dr. V and Mrs. Hazelton  Photo by: Mrs. Parrino

Pictured (left to right):
Mr. Herold, Carlie R, Dr. V and Mrs. Hazelton
Photo by: Mrs. Parrino


Afterwards, we bid farewell, and parted ways. It was great talking to the superintendent. I loved chatting with him, and showing him around the garden. It was super nice and I can’t wait for Dr. V to stop by the garden for future visits!  :)

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