SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

Miller Elementary School is remembering long-time teacher Elaine Barnard in a rather unique way.

According to the school, Barnard passed away earlier this month unexpectedly at the age of 54.  She taught at the school for about eight years.

More than 900 students showed up at the front lawn on Monday to remember the fourth grade teacher.  School leaders say she was known for her love of peace signs and recycling.

"We are planting this tree to remember her, to recognize her," said James Bissan, the principal of Miller Elementary School.  "Her class was in charge of all the recycling here and she was a friend of the Earth, so this is a good way to remember her."

The Los Osos woman leaves behind a husband and two sons.