By LCHS 7/8 Principal, Jarrett Gold
The other day I attended a meeting with a student, his parents, and the teachers from Small School 3. Like many middle school students, this student had many strengths but also had some areas for growth. This student was not unfamiliar to me, as I had seen him around campus over the last year and a half, and I have noticed his kind smile and a friendliness in the way he carries himself.
As the meeting progressed and teachers began to share their comments, the parents requested that while the student was present the team focus on the positive attributes of this young man, rather than the areas for growth. Knowing that the family had raised a great young man, along with the tenor of the meeting, I was in agreement with shifting the focus.
The teachers and counselor began to highlight some of the positive things he has done throughout the year. His work ethic, commitment to academics, and friendly nature in the classrooms are just a few of the compliments noted about the student. It was then that his counselor shared something so much greater, a story which exemplified the compassion this young man shows others on a daily basis.
The story was about more than a grade or a smile, it was much bigger than an A on a test, it was about a 13 year old boy who regularly shows empathy, kindness, and care to a child who has few friends. She recounted how this young man started to sit with another boy at lunch because he noticed the student was sitting alone, and he thought it would be nice to sit with him and strike up a conversation. I knew the student the counselor was referring to, as he frequently sits at one table, slouched over with his hood over his head, intently playing on his phone.
Since this young man started sitting with the student, a visible physical change is evident in the student. Through the kindness this young man has shown his peer, a new confidence is seen in the student, his posture has straightened, and his phone has disappeared. The student is now laughing and actively participating in conversations with his new found friend. The act of sitting with another student who was alone, something so simple and easy, has changed this a peer's level of confidence and outlook at school.
I told this young man in the meeting that his acts of kindness have not gone unnoticed and I am grateful to have a student like him. This was one of the most inspirational stories I have heard in years, and I could not be more proud to say that I am the Principal of LCHS 7/8. I later came to find our that he also has tried to start a club based on the nationally recognized app titled “Sit with Us”, so students do not sit alone at lunch.
The qualities this young man embodies far surpass an A in Math, or a championship in sports. Showing empathy, kindness, and compassion for others are what make him truly raise above all of the rest. Grades may fluctuate from year to year, but these qualities are those which define this young man, they live within him, and have a positive impact on those who have the good fortune to cross his path.
I am proud to be the principal of a school which celebrates students of character. It is my pleasure to highlight and recognize Haig Dakessian. Thank you Haig for being one of the coolest kids around!!!!