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Sinking Springs introduces vertical teams, acts of kindness

May 6, 2019

          Walking into Sinking Springs, I was flooded with memories of my time there. The mural right by the gym, the specials hallway, the different colored hallways that used to correspond with grade level.

         Overall, the look of the school hasn’t changed much since I was there about eight years ago, besides looking much smaller to me now than it did previously.

         When I attended Sinking Springs Ele-mentary, there was a hallway for each grade level, fourth, fifth and sixth; as well as one mixed hallway. Now, there are “vertical teams,” in each hallway, meaning that kids across all grade levels get to work together during their three years there.

         Many of the teachers that I had are no longer there, but a few of them, such as Mr. Matthew Houseknecht, Mrs. Jill Beck and Mr. Brian Wisler were still there.

         I got to chat with my past teachers, which completely put into perspective how quick-

         “Sinking Springs is a special place, filled with special people,” said Sinking Springs Elementary school principal Mrs. Heather Dick.

ly the time has passed by since my years there. Even just observ-ing the school and walking around a lit-tle bit, I understood why Sinking Springs is so special. Everyone, whether I knew them or not, was smiling and saying hi to me -- and I definitely looked out of place there, as nei-ther an adult nor a kid. Furthering this, the principal of the school, Mrs. Heather Dick, told me that as a school, they were working towards completing 1,000 acts of kindness this year. Each teacher would do a few things with their class for an act of kindness. So far, they have completed many acts of kindness this year, which is astonishing. Each classroom wasn’t doing a lot, but the com-bined effort of everyone being a little more kind resulted in 1,000 moments that were kind.

          This is continued as Mrs. Dick told me how much she loves Sinking Springs. She has been a teacher and an admin-istrator at many of our schools, and has ended up at Sinking Springs, with only the high school left to conquer.

         “Sinking Springs is a special place, filled with special peo-ple,” says Mrs. Dick.

         In our last hallway, we stopped in my past

social studies teachers room, Mr. Houseknecht. I remembered my time in his classroom well, doing a project with my best friend on Tanzania where we brought in ice cream that melted long before our perfor-mance, learning about the civil rights move-ment and much more.

         While I remem-bered him and my time in his class, I never ex-pected him to remem-ber me -- teachers meet so many kids a year and it had been quite some time since I was there.

         Walking in, he im-mediately recognized me and just had to think for a moment about my name, it

isn’t the easiest name. He said that he had been keeping up with my Prowler arti-cles from the past few years (if you’re reading this what’s up Mr. H) and I once again under-stood how special this school is. The Prowl-er and On The Prowl staff sends ten copies of each edition to ev-ery elementary school in our district, but rarely did I think about who would be reading them besides my peers. I was overjoyed that at least one person was reading the paper and this reminded me that writing is one of the best ways to connect people. Nearing the end of my tour, I took one last look at the build-ing where I made many of my friends, learned a whole bunch and had tons of fun.

         Elementary school doesn’t ever seem like a very big part of your life, but reminiscing on it shows you influ-ential it really is. The teachers we have, the friends we meet along the way and the time we spend at school as a child makes up more of us than we think.

         None of us would bethewayweareif we lived somewhere else, went to a different elementary school or even were in a different fifth grade class.

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