Philly Horticulture Teacher Hangs Up Garden Gloves After 37 Years Of Service

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Northeast Philadelphia teacher whose green thumb impacted the lives of thousands is hanging up her garden gloves this week. Her retirement comes after nearly four decades of service.

“The memories in this place are just monumental.”

Karen Hardon Weber runs the Horticulture Science Program at Abraham Lincoln High School,  and for years she’s kept her students and the faculty extremely busy.

“The kids do plants, they do the courtyard,” Hardon Weber said. “What else do they do? The courtyards, the greenhouse.”

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Hardon Weber has led her students to jobs in landscaping and flower shops and to top honors, snagging ‘Best in Show’ at the Philadelphia Flower Show for their creative green feats year…after year…after year.

We’ve received many accolades for what we do,” she said.

But alas, after 37 years, the Penn State grad is saying goodbye.

“It’s extremely difficult, Hardon Weber admitted. “The combination of leaving the faculty, my friends.”

And the students, the thousands…and thousands she’s helped.

“I’m really just going to miss her talks with me,” said junior Chiara Garcia.

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Garcia wants to work in herbal medicine, thanks to Hardon Weber.

“I just started crying,” Garcia said. “She just really changed my life since I’ve been here.”

And the impact of Hardon Weber is visible all over the walls and in the halls of Lincoln, and in the hearts of nearly everyone you meet.

And on Friday, she’ll plant her final seed when she dons a robe to give remarks on graduation day.

“I’m going to start to cry,” Hardon Weber said.

At 60, she’s starting a new life of family and travel, but this place, this legacy, is one she’ll never forget.

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