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An Apple Valley elementary school's students and staff surprise principal with a rainbow of appreciation

Communities that KARE celebrates Tami Staloch-Schultz and Westview Elementary for proving that each of us can put the "I" in kindness.

APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota — When it's easy to focus on the negative, Communities that KARE helps us find the good around us.

We're celebrating an Apple Valley Elementary School where students and staff prove that each of us can put the "I" in kindness.

Maya Angelou famously wrote, "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." 

That is what Tami Staloch-Schultz, or Mrs. S.S., is for the Westview Elementary Community. Now the principal has 575 reminders.

Mrs. S.S spent the last decade creating a culture of respect, compassion, and kindness at the school. Now she's on the receiving end.

Students and teachers covered her office with a colorful message board.

"I realized what it really was, and all of these individual notes and pictures with that, it was completely overwhelming," Staloch-Schultz said.

Each note symbolizes just how much she means to the close-knit community school and its students. "Many of them were like, 'Did you see my note?' 'Did you see what I said?' 'What did you think?'"

The educator reminisced, "Some of the positive things that were pointed out, it was like, 'Okay, I need to keep doing that.' It is important that I'm here because I think all of us have those self-doubts sometimes about, you know are we making a difference?"

The kids learn by example. 

"Gratitude brings happiness, and there's science in that; that kindness promotes kindness," Staloch-Schultz said. "Schools are so much more than just the learning, and we do like to show the kids that we love them and care about them, and I got it back." 

The Westview students promote kindness year-round.

There's a little mailbox at the front office where kids can write something positive to a classmate or teacher, and students deliver them as a service project.

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