Spreading messages of kindness


Molly Fast

Shawna Hugill holds up a sign in the hallway that reads, “What are 3 things you love? Can I help?”

By Molly Fast, Staff Writer

     Teacher Shawna Hugill’s goal at the beginning of the school year was to spread a movement of kindness and care all across the school. Hugill took a simple approach by creating a whiteboard with a positive message that changed on a consistent basis. 

      Nearly everyday, Hugill stands outside her classroom holding a whiteboard surrounded in colorful LED lights with a new positive message. The signs range from anything such as, ‘have a great day!’ to ‘is there anything I can do to support you today?’. 

     “I did a sign one day that said, ‘imagine or envision your favorite person and have you told them lately?’” Hugill shared. “It was great to watch kids walking down the hallway and stopping the person that they were walking [to tell them] they were their favorite person.”

     Students across the school have felt the impact from the kindness signs. One that read, ‘how can I help you today?’ stood out to freshman Eugene Powell.

     “In my experience, I’m not used to getting asked stuff like that by teachers,” said Powell. “You never know what someone else is going through and the signs she makes could make someone’s day and very possibly could save a life.”

     Sophomore Stella Knighton felt a similar enthusiasm for Hugill’s signs. 

      “I always love turning around the corner and seeing the bright sparkly rainbow lights with a sweet message written for the people of Tigard High School,” Knighton said. “[The signs] always leave me feeling a little better than before.”

     Freshman Nathan Bushey finds the questions interesting and motivating.

     “Hugill’s positive signs have motivated me to keep a positive attitude at all times,” Bushey said. “All of [the signs] stick out to me because they give me a question that I’m always interested in answering and get my day going fresh.”

      As the school year comes to a close, Hugill encourages everyone to be a part of the kindness movement. Kindness is a ripple effect; it starts with one simple act and then it spreads. By simply encouraging communication with one another is one way to ease the transitions of daily life and continue the ripple effect of positivity. 

      “Transitions can be difficult, whether it’s coming back from distance learning, or going from first block to second block… that transition can kind of have a snowball effect, “ Hugill said. “And so again, if someone’s in the hallway and you’re checking in with each other for a minute and having a positive moment, hopefully that ripple effect helps with that transition.”