Chaney High School grad uses topiary talent to beautify alma mater

Local News

To get students excited about the new program he's teaching at Chaney, Michael Gibson shaped some trees out front

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Chaney High in Youngstown has something to look forward to for the first day of school.

“I am designing a topiary for Chaney High School,” Michael Gibson said.

The topiary artist graduated from Chaney in 2005. He owns his own business — Gibson Work Property, LLC — where he designs and shapes trees throughout the community.

Now he wants to share his topiary talent with others.

“We were talking over the last year about Mike’s talents and what he can bring to our students, and he wanted to beautify our school,” Principal Robert Kearns said. “Mike had this idea and we helped him run with it.”

Gibson’s idea is to start a program at Chaney where he is able to teach students about the art of topiary.

“Growing up and coming to Chaney, I never had the opportunity to learn anything like this,” he said. “Why not offer my expertise and teach some of the next generation about topiary?”

Gibson said to get students excited about the program, he wanted to design two trees in the front of the school building.

Five of his friends — also Chaney grads — donated rocks and mulch for the finishing touches.

“I hope that the children walking up the steps tomorrow are inspired and they are ready to learn,” Gibson said.

Kearns said Gibson donating his time to make the grounds look nice is one thing.

“But even more importantly is him being able to share that with our students, so if he can teach our students how to do that. The sky is the limit. They can beautify our school, their home, their neighborhood and maybe just like mine, take that skill to the workforce, which is amazing.”

Gibson said the work should be completed Monday, just in time for back-to-school.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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