Westside Introduces New ‘Kindness…it’s personal’ Motto


Mary Nilius

Counselor Ted Dondlinger wears a ‘Kindness…it’s personal’ shirt during freshmen orientation.

For the 2019-2020 school year, Westside is taking a new approach to try and encourage kindness within the district with the motto ‘Kindness…it’s personal’. Westside Middle School World Religions Instructor, Zora Sahak, said that she believes kindness is an important aspect of the school environment.

“Kindness does make a difference in kids wanting to go to school,” Sahak said. “If kids feel like they are being treated well and being cared for it really helps [encourage them to go].”

Sahak said that she thinks that students may not realize that small acts of kindness can greatly affect their peers.

“Being kind is not [only] helping pick up someone’s books, it’s also asking, ‘hey, how are you?’” Sahak said. “[It’s also important to make] someone feel like they are part of a community because if you feel like you are part of the school community, you will want to come back. You have people that want you there.”

Sophomore Charlie Davis takes a similar stance to Sahak and said that he believes kindness is an important aspect of life and school. 

“Kindness is a big thing in life because if you are kind to people, people will then be kind to you,” Davis said. “It’s just one of those things that you need to do.”

Sahak said that the new motto is similar to the ‘Be Kind’ motto introduced last school year, because they both focus on treating others with respect. Sahak said that they both show that you need to be kind to everyone.

“[The theme] is very similar to ‘Be Kind’ to me because it focuses on treating everyone kindly,” Sahak said. “Be kind to students but also be kind to your teachers. Understand what they are going through.”

Sahak said that she feels it is important to be kind to everyone, not just a select few.

“Just show appreciation and kindness to everyone around you and try not to just focus on one group of our population,” Sahak said.