Westosha Central graduate Shane Lee, who held careers in reporting and teaching, delivers an inspirational and fun-filled message about being nice to others during the school’s “Dude. Be Nice.” assembly on March 23 (Photo Courtesy of Nancy Switalla/The Report).

Westosha Central students campaigned for kindness

By Jason Arndt

When students come together to promote kindness, the collective effort can make a huge difference within the community, which happened last week at Westosha Central High School.

Known as Dude, Be Nice Week, it was created by the Dude Be Nice clothing company and looks to create an inclusive and caring environment.

The weeklong campaign, sponsored by the student council, ended with an assembly Friday when former student Shane Lee served as motivational speaker.

Lee, a 2006 graduate who worked in the broadcast journalism field before entering education, touted unity during his presentation.

“We are stronger together,” Lee said. “A small gesture can make a huge difference.”

The assembly featured a tug-o-war, 3-point contest and a toothpaste exercise.

The toothpaste exercise consisted of two randomly selected students who had to empty an entire tube and refill the tube.

The exercise, according to Lee, symbolizes the challenge of taking back hurtful actions.

Lee also touted the health benefits of spreading kindness, adding that kindness to one’s self is equally important.

Small gestures
During the week, small gestures happened daily, said junior student council member Laura Shoopman, who organized the clothing drive that benefited The Sharing Center in Trevor.

With assistance from the freshmen mentoring program, students were given an opportunity to show gratitude to one another, courtesy of a simple note.

“Each student had an opportunity to write a nice note or letter to someone else in the school,” she said. “We actually had a good turnout for that. It was really encouraging to see other kids brighten their day by just getting a simple note.”

Shoopman said every student received “at least one note.”

While the campaign had daily themes, like “block out the haters,” the clothing donations rolled in.

Overall, the student council collected 861 clothing items, Shoopman said.

“It was really nice to see that going to our own community, and that was something we wanted to make sure happened,” she said.

Due recognition
At the end of the assembly, students in each class received awards for their community contributions. Area business leaders were also recognized for supporting students.

2018: Most positive attitude, Ashley Wells; stands up for others, Michele Rovella; best smile, Brianna Reid; best shoulder to cry on, Siera Sieberth; gives the best hugs, Katie Keller.

2019: Most positive attitude, Kaitlyn Hill; stands up for others, Adam Simmons; best smile, Jake Mueller; best shoulder to cry on, Lina Mack; gives the best hugs, Ella Kaebisch.

2020: Most positive attitude, Paul Lynch; stands up for others, Grace Anderson; best smile, Seth Bayles; best shoulder to cry on, Kevin Keating; gives the best hugs, Frank Bain.

2021: Most positive attitude, Faith Grams; stands up for others, Collette Jolly; best smile, Emily Wermeling; best shoulder to cry on, Joey Sullivan; gives the best hugs, Kenzie Ruth.


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