Clarke N. Johnsen Junior High School

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Leadership Matters- Focus on Kindness

It’s great to see kindness in our schools every day. I enjoy being able to see students helping each other or their teachers, and hearing the compliments they give to one another.


Many Tooele County School District schools are focusing on promoting kindness and a positive school culture. Some elementary schools have Buddy Squads that organize school-wide activities. Others have Buddy Benches installed to help students who are feeling lonely. Buddy Benches are placed near the school playground and when a student sees someone sitting on the bench it cues them that person is looking for somebody to hang out with.


Secondary schools have HOPE Squads that organize kindness activities and provide support for students. HOPE Squad members are taught to be active listeners so they can respond to peers who are struggling with emotional issues.


District-wide, Second Step curriculum is being taught in all elementary schools. It provides instruction in social-emotional learning to provide schools and students supportive, successful learning environments. One segment of the curriculum specifically addresses empathy and showing compassion.


At home, families can keep the kindness flowing. A few examples include:

  • Creating a calendar with an act of kindness planned for each day of the month
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Donating to charity
  • Helping a neighbor
  • Reading books centered around kindness

Being king to someone else can also have a positive effect on you. When you are grateful and practicing random acts of kindness it can result in an inner calm, clarity of thinking and a heart full of love.


Lauren E. Miller, author and coach, states being kind can have physiological benefits:

  • Improved cognitive performance
  • An increase in energy
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Balanced cortisol levels, resulting in less internal stress
  • Laughter and inner joy resulting in decreased stress hormones, lowered blood pressure and diminished pain levels


In closing, I’d like to share a quote by R.J. Palacio that resonates with me.


“So, here’s the thing about glitter: once it’s out of the bottle, there’s just no way of putting it back. It’s the same with kindness. Once it pours out of your soul, there’s no way of containing it. It just continues to spread from person to person, a shining, sparkling, wonderful thing.”


Let’s all have a great year by spreading kindness every day.  “Be Kind, Pass It On.”



Principal Angie Gillette

Willow Elementary