Signs and banners on walls throughout Denison ISD remind everyone that kindness is important. Teacher Amy Goggan’s framed picture at Houston Elementary appears alongside Mark Train’s words, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mother Teresa’s words grace a hallway at Houston: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless.” At Lamar Elementary, a hallway banner challenges students to be the kid who “can get along, who is generous and happy for other people, who does the right thing…the NICE kid!”
School officials say kindness, compassion, tolerance and civility have become a way of life on all nine Denison ISD campuses, thanks to district-wide immersion in such positive behavior programs as POPS (Power of Positive Students), Rachel’s Challenge, PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies}, and Denison ISD’s signature 5K for Kindness.
“All of these programs are strongly rooted in concepts that foster lifelong cultural changes…changes in not only how we act, but also how we feel about each other as human beings,” said DISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott. “Our original goal was to stop bullying by holding each other accountable for negative actions while praising and rewarding positive behavior. Little did we know that we would change an entire culture along the way -- and during an era when we’ve needed it so much. When I visit our campuses today, I am so proud of how our students and staff treat each other, how helpful, respectful and kind they are. There’s no place I’d rather be. Academically and personally, Denison ISD is tops.”