Kindness and consideration are the coin of the realm at Boothbay Region High School. For the past month, students, staff and community members have recognized acts of kindness by nominating students for a “Seahawk Proud” coin. In a reception during a study hall Jan. 31, 18 students received wooden coins in recognition of their good behavior. Educational technician IIIs Christina Morley and Caitlin Shepherd devised the initiative.
“We were looking to change the school’s culture by putting more emphasis on positive student behavior. Too often, only negative behavior is talked about and we wanted to do something which recognizes students for doing the right thing,” Morley said. So the two devised “Seahawk Proud” which recognizes students for good deeds through a nomination process. Each month, all nomination letters are posted on the student bulletin board. At the end of the month, coin recipients receive recognition at a special event during the study hall or CORE (Continued Opportunities Related to Education) period.
Among the acts of kindness receiving recognition was Rowan Kristan's participation in the Penguin Plunge which raised money for second graders’ swimming lessons at the Boothbay Region YMCA. Jake Kelley received recognition for his volunteerism in several community projects such as providing tables for the community center and picnic tables for the elementary school playground. Isaac Bradstreet-Doughty received a Seahawk Proud coin for becoming a junior member of the Boothbay Fire Department.
Other slightly less obvious acts were also recognized. Morley nominated Ally Nein for sending her a message checking up on her during an illness. Owen Barter received recognition for assisting in gym clean-up following basketball. And Colby Babcock received a coin for assisting in cleaning up in the shop.
Senior Faith Blethen received recognition for her work in “Project Kindness” and for assisting a student during a medical incident. She believes the new program will motivate students to seek more opportunities to perform good deeds. “This is a great way to emphasize the positives in our school,” she said. “The nominations are on the bulletin board, and you can see you can do something simple for recognition. I think this will motivate a lot of students to do the right thing.”
Seniors Riley Sullivan and Reagan Cola also received Seahawk Proud coins. Sullivan was nominated for assisting a fellow student dealing with a medical event in the library. Cola vacated her library seat so students from a different class could use the computers. Neither one has nominated a student for an act of kindness, but they will likely in the coming weeks.
“This is a great way to recognize students other than for academics and athletics,” Sullivan said. “This will help build character and encourage everyone to do good things within the community.” Cola didn’t know about the program until she was nominated. “It think it’s really cool, and now I’m looking to nominate someone for a good deed, and I think that’s really cool, too,” she said.
The nomination process is open to everyone in the community. Anyone who would like to nominate a BRHS student should email Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org