Thornton Academy Postscripts Alumni Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 28

STORY & PHOTOS BY KATY NICKETAKIS Kindness Matters Thornton Academy Middle School is committed to compassion It’s palpable the minute you walk in the door at Thornton Academy Middle School: people are kind here. Students hold the door open for one another, treat a blind classmate no differently than anyone else, address each other using compliments rather than insults, and smile and laugh all day long. Shepherded by Principal Tiffany Robert ’00 and a devoted staff, TAMS led the way as the first branch of the school to adopt and embrace the Thornton Academy Pil lars: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, and Investment. While all four Pillars figure prominently in the school community, no one could enter TAMS and not notice the compassion exhibited by both students and staff at the school. Recently, the Honors Club initiated a Random Acts of Kindness week where students were encouraged to help those around them. When asked about their experiences during this week, students jumped at the chance to explain how Cameron Beaudoin (left) ’ 22 and Nicole Lacaillad ’ 21 created masterpieces on Anti- 28 SAD day. Laina Mekonis ’23 drops off her completed Random Acts of Kindness sheet. Studios, leadership and martial arts from Kuma Fitness, outdoor adventure on the Eastern Trail, cooking and baking at school, and many other activities. There was truly something for everyone. Hamilton said about the event: “Before the 17 th , I would walk through the halls and hear 8 th graders talking up the day to 6 th graders, and it made me anticipate the day’s arrival that much more knowing how enthusiastic they were about it. With our school being a small, close- knit community, the positivity was contagious! With the only feedback I received being that the students wanted to spend more time at each activity, I would consider the day a great success!” Arundel Student Julien Holmes Receives Courage Award from Olympian Julia Clukey they took the trash out for elderly neighbors, sat with new students at lunch, and helped their parents with household tasks. While these may seem like small steps, purposely and consistently engaging students at this age in kindness creates a community of compassionate individuals who will go on and spread goodwill after they leave Thornton Academy. Annually, the day before February vacation, TAMS fights winter blues by hosting an Anti-S.A.D. Day. On this day, students are able to participate in various activities to fight the “winter blues” and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Organized by Curriculum Extension Director Jessica Hamilton ’05, students this year were able to choose from skating at the Rink at Thompson’s Point, competitions at XL Sports, arts at Color Me Mine Luge Olympian and Maine resident Julia Clukey shared her “Live Inspired” presentation with TAMS in March 2017. As part of the assembly, Clukey presented the Julia Clukey Courage Award to Julien Holmes ’21 because he is a role model for other students and stands up for his beliefs. “Julien is one of the most caring, thoughtful students I have worked with at TAMS. Not only does he demonstrate a strong sense of what is right and wrong, he holds true to who he is and what he believes in even when outside influences encourage other options. He is always putting a smile on the faces of his peers and teachers! He exudes positive energy and works hard to make others feel good about themselves. He has the courage to be who he is and strives every day to do the right thing. I could not be more proud of this young man and I commend him for having the courage to be true to himself every day,” said Thornton Academy Middle School Principal Tiffany Robert ’00. From left to right: Principal Tiffany Robert; Noel and Judi Holmes, parents of Julien Holmes; Julien Holmes ’21; Julia Clukey, 2010 Olympian; Maine legislators Justin M. Chenette ’09 (D-York), Senate District 31; Margaret M. O’Neil (D-Saco), House District 15; and Donna Bailey (D-Saco), House District 14. PHOTO BY NANCY MARSHALL COMMUNICATIONS 29