Ukrainian American school custodian in GA stunned by student artwork honoring Ukraine

Ukrainian American school custodian in GA stunned by student artwork honoring Ukraine

Custodian moved to tears as students fill hallways with Ukraine-inspired artwork

Lana Gazhenko, a Ukraine native and head custodian at Oak Hill Elementary in Covington, Georgia, was surprised by students who decorated classrooms in artwork to honor Ukraine.

Ukraine native Lana Gazhenko, the head custodian at Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington, Georgia, has been with the school since it first opened its door 21 years ago. 

In that period of time, she’s come to view her workplace as a second home.

Known affectionately around the school as “Miss Lana,” the Ukrainian American was reminded this month of just how much family she has at Oak Hill when teachers and students decorated the halls in honor of Ukraine amid the attacks on that country by Russia.

“The idea of a couple of classrooms [of kids] coloring sunflowers to show support to Miss Lana sparked on a Tuesday morning — and by the end of the school day, all students from pre-K to fifth grade and even teachers had created a piece of art to show support to Miss Lana,” third-grade teacher Jesse Daniel told Fox News Digital. 

Lana Gazhenko, head custodian at Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington, Georgia, stands in front of artwork created by one of her colleagues in support of Gazhenko’s native country.
(Jennifer McDonald)

“Miss Lana is right when she said that Oak Hill is a family, so it was no surprise when the entire school united to help complete the ‘Sunflower Garden of Hope,'” Daniel said.

Gazhenko has many family members still living in Ukraine. 

"Peace for Ukraine," reads this note — surrounded by sunflowers — on one of the hallways of the school where Miss Lana works as head custodian.
(Jennifer McDonald)

Overall, more than 4 million people have fled Ukraine so far during the war with Russia, according to the United Nations, as Fox News Digital reported on March 30.

UKRAINIAN-BORN WOMAN SAYS HER IDENTITY WAS STOLEN ONLINE 

Since Gazhenko is a special individual to everyone at the school, staff and students felt it was important to demonstrate support and love, Daniel added.

“I was first speechless and just started crying.”

Gazhenko told Fox News Digital, “My school, kids, teachers made me a really big surprise,” she said of the art display.

Gazhenko discovered her surprise when she walked into the school building and was welcomed with colorful “Hope for Ukraine” artwork. 

The hallways of Oak Hill Elementary School in Georgia are covered with artwork; the students wanted to show support for Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine war.
(Jennifer McDonald)

Gorgeous sunflower artwork lines this corridor of the school. 
(Jennifer McDonald)

She deeply appreciated everything the community did for her. 

“I was first speechless and just started crying,” she said. 

Lana Gazhenko appeared overwhelmed by the outpouring of support shown to her through works of art in honor of Ukraine.
(Jennifer McDonald)

Third-grade students at Oak Hill Elementary School are pictured creating Ukraine-inspired art to express support for the war-ravaged country.
(Jennifer McDonald)

“I was not expecting all this to be for me and for my support,” Gazhenko added. 

“Oak Hill family is family, you know — not just school, not just work. This is family.” 

The halls of Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington are adorned in beautiful artwork created by students and teachers as a gesture of support for Ukraine and for their beloved custodian, Lana Gazhenko.
(Jennifer McDonald)

In an emotional video shared with Fox News Digital, Gazhenko appeared overwhelmed by the sweet gesture.

“We support you, Lana,” a colleague of Gazhenko’s can be heard saying to her in the clip. “We love you.” 

In the video, a teacher revealed that students and staff incorporated the names of some of Gazhenko’s own family members from Ukraine into the art.

A Ukrainian flag — overlaid with a personal message — graces a hallway of Oak Hill Elementary School.
(Jennifer McDonald)

The third-grade students of Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington, Georgia, are shown here — they surprised their head custodian with gifts and decorations of Ukraine-focused artwork. 
(Jennifer McDonald)

Gazhenko said she’s asking the world to pray for the people of Ukraine during this time of extreme hardship and suffering.

A teacher is shown creating rainbow art to express support for Ukraine native Lana Gazhenko, head custodian at Oak Hill Elementary School.
(Jennifer McDonald)

Lana Gazhenko (center) is surrounded by her colleagues from Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington, Georgia.
(Jennifer McDonald)

The school launched a GoFundMe titled, “Direct Help for Ukrainian Families in Need” on behalf of Gazhenko. She’s been flooded with requests from locals and strangers asking her how they can help the Ukrainian people. 

The funds will go to Gazhenko’s family as well as to other Ukrainians seeking refuge.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. 

Source: Read Full Article