Jaden Connolly walked through the front doors of EagleRidge High School Thursday morning to find a special heart-shaped note with her name on it posted to the wall of the school lobby.
The valentine was made just for her.
Connolly pointed out the pink Post-it, one of more than 180 notes that also filled the walls of the school’s entrance. Each note greeted students with positive messages from many of their teachers and school staff – one for each of the 183 students on campus.
Some messages celebrated student’s grades while others cheered on aspects of their personality that have been noticed and appreciated by staff.
Connolly said the simple gesture can make a big difference in boosting self-esteem for students, especially making them feel loved and that they’re in a safe place.
“It definitely made me smile when I walked in and saw this,” Connolly said.
“I walked in and I was like, ‘Wow!’” she added.
Heather Baldock and Vanessa Herrera, both paraprofessionals on staff at the Klamath Falls charter school, came up with the idea to create valentines and post them in the lobby for students to find.
Kim Cappel, executive director at EagleRidge, said the staff jumped on board to help with the idea.
“At our staff meeting, we just started writing hearts for our students, just things that we notice about them that makes them a unique, individual person,” Cappel said. “It was electric because it just really brought out how we truly appreciate the individuality of our students.”
Shannon Santillie, who manages the front office, agrees.
“A lot of them don’t get that at home so this is a safe place for a lot of them,” Santillie said.