Former teacher Leon Joiner was recognized last Friday in a ceremony at Grayson County Middle School for his contribution of numerous trees to beautify the campus over 50 years ago.

Then-Superintendent H.W. Wilkey asked Joiner to transplant more than a dozen varieties of trees to beautify what was then the Leitchfield High School campus.

Those trees came from Honey Bee Acres, where Joiner and his wife made their home.

Leon Joiner was a math teacher at Leitchfield High School at the time — the campus of which would later become today’s GCMS — and his wife, Elwanda, taught first grade briefly before moving to teach second grade at Wilkey Elementary School.

“Both their careers spanned from the one-room schoolhouses dotted throughout the county to the Leitchfield Independent District to the current day Grayson County Schools,” officials said.

Today, one sugar maple tree remains of the trees planted by Leon Joiner over 50 years ago, and, to recognize the Joiners’ service to their community, Grayson County Schools placed a plaque at its base in their honor.

The plaque reads: “This sugar maple tree is the last remaining of more than a dozen varieties transplanted over 50 years ago from Leon and Elwanda Joiner’s Honey Bee Acres.

“As the tree has grown, sharing its beauty across the the landscape of the school, so the seeds that Leon and Elwanda planted through their dedication to education have grown throughout the landscape of our community.

“Dedicated, April 2022”

Family, friends, and former students attended to honor the Joiners, with a special poetry reading by 7th-grader Kalie Cheatham and a performance by the GCMS choir. Grayson County High School Agriculture/FFA was also recognized for planting the colorful floral display from this year’s Greenhouse.

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