Character: The Overlooked Achievement


Eva Ashcraft, 7th grade Editor

Imagine a little sixth-grader, feeling scared and slightly nauseous at the idea of starting a new grade at a new school surrounded by new people, walking in on the first day. He peers around, standing on his tiptoes to see over everyone else’s shoulders. He spots his best friend from fifth grade standing a few yards away. As he debates whether to journey through the sea of kids pushing him further and further away from his friend, a big, tall eighth-grader at least twice his size overlooks the boy and smashes right into him.

All of the students standing around the sudden commotion just watch as the little boy flies through the air and lands on the ground. All of the students watch the kid as he sits against the wall and cries. All except one. An eighth-grade girl sees the whole thing and feels horrible for the little boy. She pushes through the crowd of students who were getting a laugh out of the whole ordeal and helps the little boy to his feet. He slowly looks up and meets her eyes. She asks if he is okay and he nods. She then walks the boy to his class.

Imagine how that little boy felt when he was suddenly flying through the air. Imagine how he felt when everyone started laughing at him. It was probably the most humiliating experience he had ever been through. But imagine how he felt when that one girl picked him back up and walked him to class. That probably turned his perspective around.

Time after time, students are awarded for academic success. But it is just as important to recognize true good deeds. Students that display good character toward others deserve to be recognized.

DMS Assistant Principal, Brandon Headrick, states, “There are some things that we, as administrators, don’t recognize that we should. One of these things he is character. We don’t really give awards for that, but sometimes having good character is something that really matters in our society.”  As Headrick considers his position, now in charge of the 7th grade, he concludes, “Having good character doesn’t show that you’re weak. That’s what a lot of people assume – that someone who always does the right thing is weak, but the opposite is true. It shows that you’re in control.”

In our community and across the country, it is becoming increasingly more obvious that even a simple act of kindness such as holding the door for someone or saying “good morning” to them is enough to make his or her entire day.

Mr. Phillips, the 8th grade Assistant Principal, also says that “the most important thing is to be a good human being.” Being kind, being thoughtful, and being an overall good person is something everyone should strive to do.

Ms. Lawson, the 6th grade Assistant Principal, adds, “I think it is so important that students try and that they persist.” This is important not only in academics but also outside of the classroom. It is crucial for students to develop social skills in school as well as expand their knowledge.

Maybe that little boy never saw that girl again after his encounter with her on the first day of middle school. Maybe he was never run into again. But he definitely never forgot the girl who saved him on his first day of middle school. Maybe that girl was never recognized for her good deed. But she should have been.