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We Have Much to be Thankful for

Message on Kindness from Our Superintendent

Article Date: Nov 22, 2016

This year, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I find myself reflecting upon some of the things for which I am most thankful.

Most specifically, I am in awe of the tiny, mostly unseen gestures of goodwill and compassion that I see as I walk among our more than 18,000 students each and every day. From holding a door open for a peer to helping a friend with a tough math problem to simply showing compassion to strangers … our students are inspiring.

Acts of Kindness

I am very thankful for the kindness of our students. In the last week alone I have watched as students expressed gratitude for one another in simple, but incredible ways. I share a few of their stories here today in hopes that they will inspire you to pay kindness forward this holiday season:

  • At Mountain View High School, all freshmen are engaged in a community service project around gratitude — during one recent effort students baked cupcakes for every staff member and delivered them along with a hand-written note of thanks.
  • At Pine Ridge Elementary School, 80 students serve as Peacekeepers during recess. They help solve problems that arise and keep students company who are looking for a friend.
  • At Marshall High School, students created handmade gratitude stones and notes to give to staff and friends.
  • At Bear Creek Elementary School students can earn Kindness Revolution Bracelets for doing kind things for others. The school also hosts a weekly recognition event called Bear Hugs at Lunch for students who are being Safe, Kind and Responsible.
  • At High Desert Middle School students wrote messages of acceptance and tolerance on sticky notes which were placed on lockers throughout the building (pictured).

Culture of Acceptance

I am proud of these efforts and believe in developing a culture of kindness and acceptance at all of our schools. We believe our students are making our community — and ultimately the world — a better place.

It is my hope that during the upcoming holiday seasons, we can take a cue from our community’s students and pay kindness forward with simple gestures like holding a door, writing a handwritten note or just being a friend to someone in need.

As Superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools, I know we have a great deal to be thankful for in our local schools. I am thankful for our more than 18,000 students, every one of whom possesses his or her own unique perspective and background. Our students come to us from around the globe (speaking more than 16 languages) and we are a richer district thanks to their diverse experiences.

Welcoming All Students

I am grateful for the dedication of our educators, who are committed to teaching our students about the power of kindness and gratitude. We welcome all students and work to create safe, kind environments for every child.

Thank you to our community for your support of all of our schools and students. I am thankful for you!

— Shay Mikalson, Superintendent