Return to Headlines

The High School Kindness Counts Initiative

Article contributed by Lee Ann Reigel, Deb Parkinson and Lauren Weltmer

In response to last school year's Student Climate Survey, High School staff, along with the Student Leadership Team, developed a small committee dedicated to kindness. The goal was to create a grassroots plan to help improve the climate and culture of Vanguard's High School.

The committee set out to engage HS staff and students in various activities and programs that recognize kind acts and improve morale within our school walls. This is "Year 2" of the initiative and we already have over 200 nominations for students showing kind acts!

Student Programs/Activities:

Student Recognition – When a student is “caught being kind” they receive a goodie bag from the staff member who observed the action. Every student “caught being kind” has their name written on a leaf and added to "The Giving Tree" bulletin board in the main hallway of the Mierley Building.


The Giving Tree


Student Leader Team Presentation  Every other Friday, the Student Leadership Team, with Mrs. Parkinson’s support, facilitate a live Teams presentation for all staff and students. The presentation recognizes student and 

staff birthdays, Vanguard Values winners, and students “caught being kind.” These students get to spin the digital prize wheel for a chance to win.


Thank You Notes – Students are given “Thank You” cards to write personal notes of thanks to their classmates and teachers.


Student Activities  Staff and students are encouraged to exercise creativity when celebrating kindness. They've made kindness rocks, created kindness posters, and have decorated doors with kindness themes. Teachers and Specialists also teach lessons about respecting others and self, along with lessons that encourage acceptance and kind actions to all.


Staff Activities:


Staff Assembly – Each fall, there is a kick-off assembly for staff, including a Kindness Counts presentation, along with breakfast and wheel prizes. All staff walk out with something for themselves or their classroom.


Spirit Days – Every Friday, all staff are asked to wear their Vanguard gear or clothing that celebrates being kind.


Thank You Notes – Staff are given “Thank You” cards for writing personal notes of thanks to their co-workers.


High School staff group photo


This group of High School staff regularly participates in "Friday Spirit Days" by wearing Vanguard Spirit clothing, or clothing that encourages the act of spreading kindness.