Examples of kindness

My name is Alicia McIntire and I am the principal at Washington Elementary. Last year I asked our district employees for some examples of kindness they had experienced being part of Marietta City Schools. I had so many that I couldn’t share them all. December seems like the perfect time to share some more.

This story is from a parent who also happens to be a Marietta City Schools employee.

Okay Alicia — here goes the story:

In 2014 my son Jack had become very interested in Marietta Tigers football and wanted to meet Coach Jason Schob and the team. It was all he talked about. He DVR’d and watched (repeatedly) every WTAP Football Frenzy episode during the season to see the game highlights and learn about the team. Meeting Coach Schob and the team was something he talked about so much that eventually my husband Mark, contacted Jason, explaining that Jack had been asking all season for a chance to meet Coach Schob and the team. He asked if there might be a time, possibly at the end of a team practice, for Jack to quickly meet the team and their coach.

Jason was so kind and responded immediately, saying that my husband could take Jack to the high school that Thursday night for the team dinner, introduce him to the team, and have him join the team in the locker room before and after the home game that Friday night. Suffice it to say, my son was thrilled! Jason’s kindness was completely unexpected, more than we could have ever asked for, and has led to one of the most special relationships our autistic child has. That one meeting and act of kindness on Jason’s part has led to Jack becoming part of the Marietta football team family, and he now has “big brothers” and a coach whom he dearly loves and respects. We will be forever grateful to Jason, his coaching staff and the team for giving Jack the opportunity to be included in and counted as part of their football family. I believe this one story, and all the others like it, is a perfect example of how the effect of one small act of kindness can positively impact our students and their families.

Sally Weihl

This story was shared by Steve Hill, a parent and coach.

I have been coaching MMS basketball in some capacity for the past eight years. I have witnessed the importance of leading by example. What’s the old saying? “Kids don’t always listen to adults, but they never fail to imitate them.”

Jack Conant is a custodian at the middle school. If he would chose, he could easily just do his job with zero interactions with the middle school athletes and the coaching staff. Jack is in fact quite the opposite. He is not only an outstanding worker, but his compassion and love for the students is delightful. It is very rare to have to ask Jack to do something that needs done for our student athletes because he usually has the needed task complete. Jack has never gone to the coaches or players to state the work that he did for us, he just goes on about his job with a smile. It has taken me a couple years to understand his approach. He never wants credit for going above and beyond. I have asked him on several occasions if he was the one responsible for repairing something, preparing something, or cleaning an unsafe floor. Jack would always smile and say “yes.” When asked if someone requested the extra work to be completed, he would simply smile and say, “The kids need it done.” Often times after a home game you can see Jack in the crowd giving the coaches and players a thumbs up. He often walks by and congratulates players and coaches.

The girls that I am coaching truly understand Jack’s kindness. His kind heart hasn’t been seen on just one special event that makes for a conversation, but instead he displays his kindness to the MMS students everyday. Here is one quick story to illustrate this. During the 2016 Christmas break a student-athlete lost a ring. The ring was valuable and it held much sentimental value to the young lady. She was in a complete panic. She and her mother called me and asked if I could let them into the gym and locker room to look for it. After looking and realizing the gym had been used by the youth league after she lost the ring and before we looked, the young lady was in tears. She realized that an important item to her was gone forever. I looked at her and her mother and said, “Don’t panic yet, Jack worked yesterday.” They just knew it was gone. I sent out a text message to Mrs. Schob and asked if a ring had been turned in. Mrs. Schob replied to me that it had been turned in, Jack found it and put it in her office.

Steve Hill

As we finish one year and prepare to make resolutions for another, please consider the gift that kindness can bring. It doesn’t require money and asks for nothing in return, it simply is given with the intent of helping another.

If you have experienced kindness as a part of Marietta City Schools and would like to share with me, please email me at amcintire@mariettacsdoh.org. I would love to hear your story.

Alicia McIntire is principal at Washington Elementary