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Nashoba Publishing/Mary Arata Kindergartner Nadia Little helps plant the memorial tree for her teacher.
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HARVARD — A pink Rose of Sharon tree was planted on Friday in the courtyard at Hildreth Elementary School in memory of late kindergarten teacher BarbaraAnn Gould.

The families of Gould’s 2012-2013 kindergarten class contributed toward the tree.

Acorn Tree & Landscaping of Boxborough contributed toward the balance of the tree’s cost., searching to find the 10-foot tall tree and placing it in position for Friday’s ceremony.

Students, parents, teachers and staff circled the tree for Friday’s ceremony led by Principal and parent Linda Dwight and Guidance Counselor Christine Reale. Most participants wore clothing in varying shades of pink in tribute to Gould.

Pink was Gould’s favorite color.

Gould accidentally drowned in her family’s hot tub on March 16. She was 50 years old.

Friday, May 3, would have been Gould’s 51st birthday. Her husband, Jeff Gould, and daughter, Darby, each ceremoniously manned shovels to help cover the roots with soil. Then an army of little helpers finished the job.

One by one, each of Mrs. Gould’s kindergarten students were given a blue beach shovel. Each tossed a shovelful of soil to help plant the tree.

Then each student received a hot pink-colored beach pail filled with water. Each emptied the pail at the base of the tree, giving the living monument its first drink of water in its new home.

In the immediate aftermath of Gould’s death, students throughout the school each wrote a thought about Mrs. Gould on pink “leaves” assembled into a massive “tree” on the walls in the school. Reale read aloud from some of the leaves.

One student wrote that Gould had instilled in her a love of “reading, writing and doing my numbers.” Another student remarked that Gould knew “how to love and give big hugs.” Another student wrote simply “you made me shine.”

During the ceremony, Dwight read aloud the poem “Unity.” The poem was one that Mrs. Gould would read aloud to the parents of her incoming kindergarten classes each fall.

“I dreamed I stood in a studio

and watched the sculptors there.

The clay they used was a young child’s mind,

and they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher;

the tools he used were books, and music, and art.

One, a parent with a guiding hand,

and a gentle, loving heart.

Day after day the teacher toiled,

with touch that was deft and sure,

While the parents labored by his side

and polished and smoothed it o’er.

And when at last their task was done,

they were proud of what they had wrought.

For this thing they had molded in the child

could neither be sold nor bought.

And each agreed he would have failed

if he had worked alone,

For behind the parent stood the school

and behind the teacher, the home.”

— Author Unknown

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