Olathe North High School senior Connor Hughes loves Valentine’s Day.
The 17-year-old thinks it’s a “happy” holiday, one where everyone, but especially girls, should have a “reason to smile.”
So three weeks ago, when Hughes got it into his head to plan a Valentine’s Day surprise for all the girls at school, he knew just who to turn to.
His best friend, Dillon Ponzer, and his buddies on the Olathe North baseball team.
“Dillon is my best friend,” Hughes said. “Everything we do together. We get in trouble together. We have fun together. And the baseball team has been a part of my life for four years. I wanted to share this with them.”
Hughes and Ponzer approached Olathe North Principal Jason Herman about purchasing a rose for every girl in school. Herman was “fully on-board,” Hughes said, though the students eventually opted to purchase carnations for a more budget-friendly surprise.
The pair put $200 toward the flowers, and the school helped with the rest. With the help of office manager Kathy Stanley, Hughes and Ponzer were able to ensure that 1,300 flowers were delivered to their high school early Wednesday morning.
That’s a flower each for the roughly 1,100 girls who attend the high school, and some extra for female staff.
On Wednesday, Ponzer walked into a classroom and announced he had Valentine’s Day surprise for the ladies in the room.
“Awws” echoed through the room as Ponzer handed a carnation to every girl in the class.
Hughes particularly enjoyed surprising the drill team, who were caught off-guard by the surprise.
“I'd see this idea over the years at different schools,” Hughes said. “And I thought, ‘Why can't I do this at my school?’”