When you walk into CJ at 8:05 Monday morning, you hear the Student of the Week being announced throughout the entire building. This “JBN Student of the Week” program takes time to show appreciation for small or large acts of kindness reflected by a student in the building.
“The JBN student of the week is a student nominated by a teacher or staff member who lives out the philosophy of ‘just being nice’ every day,” senior student council class officer and JBN Student of the Week committee member Megan Foley ’15 said. “These students are typically ones who live out Christ's message of love, and have the ability to incorporate it into the random acts of kindness he or she does daily.”
Members of the JBN committee see the JBN Student of the Weeks as a way to initiate a ripple effect within the student body.
“I hope that the JBN Student of the Week program inspires students to be nicer, and I hope that the kids who already do so much for our school can feel happy and know that their kindness is appreciated,” JBN Student of the Week committee member Caroline Chick said. “At CJ there are so many JBN students that it will be hard to recognize all of them over the course of the year, but we try to make sure that we do appreciate those students who are genuinely nice and give them their moment.”
JBN stands for “Just Be Nice,” a campaign FLIGHT enacted last year. During the opening faculty and staff retreat of the 2013-2014 school year, members read two articles, including In My Mind’s Eye by Walter Wangerin, Jr. and Just Be Nice by George Wood, a former principal. Both articles stressed the significance little acts of kindness have on others.
In his article, Wood wrote, “There is not a lot (at my advanced age) that I remember about my own time as a student, but what I do remember are the acts of kindness by teachers... I know I learned a lot of academic stuff too, but what stuck with me were the kindesses shown when, more often than not, I did nothing to deserve them.”
The message of students picking up on small acts of kindness inspired faculty and staff, who then decided to bring the concept to student body. FLIGHT embraced the message and made it a goal to implement JBN in the 2013-2014 school year.
Activities included an inspirational talk by Mr. Colvin, hanging motivational signs in bathrooms and on lockers, signing pledge cards to JBN, and challenging students through the morning announcements to JBN.
“It started catching on,” Kelli Kinnear, head of Ministry and Service, said. “Teachers would hear students in the classroom say JBN, there were visual and verbal reminders everywhere. It became a theme on retreats and other activities throughout the school year.”
During summer Student Council leadership training before the 2014-2015, Student Council decided to build on the JBN campaign through the Student of the Week program.
Students are selected by secret faculty and staff nominations, and thus far students from all grade levels have been nominated. Each week, the announcement contains a short bio of the student and a post is sent to faculty and student sites. The student’s picture is put up on the Student Council board and they also receive a certificate.
Students who have been named student of the week include:
- Noah Walusis ’17 : “Noah goes out of his way to help others feel included, feel part of a group, and feel at ease. Whether it is on Sophomore Retreat, in the lunch room, or in the classroom, Noah encourages and supports others who may be struggling.”
- Dallas Danneker ’15: “Dallas always has a smile on his face, and he always is willing to lend a helping hand to other students and to faculty. He has taken several shadows under his wings to be a good example for them.”
- Reed Allen ’18: “He is someone who walks into a room and treats you like you are his best friend. He makes a point of saying HI to people as he walks to class or stops in an office or in the clinic. He is kind, polite and just a pleasure to be around.”
- Catherine Grady ‘15: “She radiates joy whenever she is in the room. she walks down the hall, she is friendly and outgoing to all. In class, she is willing and happy to work with anyone, not just her friends. She is an all-around nice person with a truly kind and generous heart!”
- Antonio Mobley ‘16: “He is kind, respectful to adults, and friendly to all. He has great manners. He stops in to visit people in the Guidance Office and makes everyone feel welcomed and appreciated.”
- Rachel Coughlin ’17: “She spreads joy and happiness wherever she goes, and she has a very positive outlook on life. She is a hard working student who is dedicated in her studies and is extremely talented in her writing skills.”
- Erin Staley ‘15: “She acts like a cheerleader to get others pumped up & motivated. She volunteers in the Guidance Office as an aide, and she goes out of her way to do that extra thing to make others happy.”
- Joshua Hughes '17: "He's quiet and unassuming among students but at the same time very friendly and welcoming with everyone. He's also working as a peer tutor - tutoring students who need help especially in science."
- Michaela Linehan '16: "She is unfailingly cheerful, as nice as she can be to everyone around her, always says the right thing, helps her classmates constantly, and tutors others in the ELC. She has a big heart and a kind spirit."
- Carlos Estrada-Sanchez '16: "When faced with hardships or difficulties, he never gives up on trying and on doing his best. And, he goes out of his way to help others and work with others when he sees them struggling."
- Kyle McKinney, '15: "He truly shows compassion and concern for all those around him. He always is willing to lend a helping hand to others, he is welcoming to all, and he extends friendship to everyone. Whether it is the hallway, the classroom, the lunch room, or outside of school, you can count on Kyle for a smile and a kind word."
- Tucker Helms, '17: "Tucker is truly a very nice young man, who stands up for his friends, even when it is not an easy thing to do. He always says hi and greets people with respect and dignity, no matter what issues they may be having. He is kind and friendly to all."
“We want to recognize students who really do nice kind acts without expecting applause or for their resume,” Student Council moderator Angela Ruffolo said. “I think everyone always appreciates when people say ‘thanks’ or say ‘hey...your kindness and nice acts do not go unnoticed!’ Really, JBN Student of the Week is just a way to show appreciation for people's kindness… to encourage the JBN philosophy throughout our building all the time.”