Robert Zusy may be a freshman at Peninsula High School now, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about Harbor Ridge Middle School.
More specifically, Zusy, 14, hasn’t forgotten about the unused, empty patch of landscaping near the back door to the middle school.
“I just walked up the stairs every day and it was just an empty patch,” Zusy said. “It wasn’t being used for anything, it was just sitting there.”
Looking to complete his Eagle Scout project for Boy Scout Troop 27 out of Fox Island, Zusy decided to devote his project to beautifying the space.
Working Sept. 17 and 18 with the help of other Boy Scouts and their fathers, Zusy installed a gravel pathway and bench, which he built with the help of his grandfather.
“It makes the space usable,” Zusy said of his project. “Now people can walk in here and enjoy it.”
The teenager was responsible for every stage of his project, from planning to coordinating with the Peninsula School District’s director of facilities, Patrick Gillespie, to first proposing the project to Mike Benoit, principal of HRMS.
Zusy first approached him about the project last spring, before summer break, Benoit said.
“I thought it was a great idea. He was a great student and a great leader for us here at the school. I thought it was a great project,” Benoit said.
Zusy plans to dedicate the bench to a favorite teacher at HRMS, Paula Tweten, who retired from the district this year after a more than 30-year career.
“She’s probably the best teacher I’ve ever had,” Zusy said. “She’s really good.”
Tweten taught seventh grade science and was the ASB supervisor while Zusy was a member, Benoit said.
“She was pretty impactful for Robert here at HRMS,” Benoit said. “He wanted to do this to honor her.”
Benoit said that while service projects like Zusy’s aren’t common at HRMS, the school welcomes student projects that benefit the school community.
“We’re thankful for (Robert) in thinking about HRMS in developing his project,” Benoit said. “It turned out pretty nice.”