Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo by:Christine Wesley SWMS

As one of Kirk’s StuCo advisors, I have seen Kirk’s citizenship and responsibility demonstrated continuously for the past three years. Kirk is always the first to present unique and interesting ideas for any StuCo event, and he is also always the first to volunteer for any duty. Our assistant principal and the StuCo leaders have a running joke that Kirk is our “popcorn guy” because he volunteers so often to help at the concession stand during sporting events that he seems to have become the expert on making popcorn. I have had to look for Kirk after dances countless times while his mom waits for him outside in her car because he is often also the last to leave, taking on clean-up jobs that no one else wants to do.

In my role as social studies teacher last year, I have also overheard Kirk stand up vocally in numerous conversations for the rights of marginalized groups in our community, drawing from both personal and observed experiences.

Kirk is also a Boy Scout and an active member of his church. In both roles, he takes on additional community service projects.

I could not pick a more positive influence on the school community than Kirk Johnson. It is no exaggeration Kirk comes to school with a smile and a joke every day, and his boundless energy is contagious. He makes school a better place by being true to himself and compassionate to those around him.

"I know Kirk through his involvement in Literary Luncheons, Book Club, Model UN, and Music Theatre Mondays. Kirk is always a breath of fresh air! He brings positive energy to each activity he takes on. Kirk is one of those kids who loves and accepts everyone. His big heart is evident in the way that he always shows empathy for others, whether it be the kid in the room with him or the people a world away whose lives he is trying to understand for Model UN. Kirk brings his bubbly energy to my classroom when he busts out in song for Music Theatre Mondays Club, or vocally debates about the most important characters in a book for Book Club. Kirk can always be counted on to cheer up his peers and to advocate for those who need it. He is a character with character!"

- Danny Lotten Barker

"Recently I was feeling a little down about life in general. I went ahead with business as usual and put on my happy face. Students were working around the room in various groups and I went over to check on Kirk’s group. He said, “Mrs. Rood I just want you to know you are doing a great job. When I see you smiling and being positive, it makes me feel better too.” I think he has an exceptional ability to sense what people need and reach out with comfort and kindness. Thank you, Kirk!"

-Cindy Rood

K is for kind. Kirk is probably the kindest middle school student I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

I is for integrity. I have never once questioned Kirk’s morals and honesty and I am fairly confident no one else has either.

R is for responsibility. Kirk sets a wonderful example to his classmates for what responsibility should look like in a student.

K is for known. Kirk is known by both his peers and the staff at Southwest and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t smile when they hear his name.

J is for joyful. Kirk has a smile that lights up the room and his joyfulness is often contagious.

O is for optimistic. Kirk brings his positivity to everything he does.

H is for humility. Kirk has a way of being a leader while still putting others before himself, which is quite impressive for someone his age.

N is for nice. I don’t think there is a nicer kid out there. Kirk is the type of kid I want my own children to act like.

S is for social responsibility. I think Kirk would do anything to make his school and his community the best it can be.

O is for original. Kirk is one of a kind in the best possible way.

N is for neighborly. Kirk treats everyone like a neighbor and friend.

-Mrs. Jamie Shaw

"Kirk Johnson was my Advisory's Student Council representative for 2015-2016. He delivered Monday morning announcements and served as a liaison between my 6th grade advisory students and STUCO. He demonstrated respect and acceptance in how he interacted with my advisory students. He made an effort to know their names and befriend them. He was always happy to answer any questions. If he didn't know the answer, he would seek it out for the class. We could always count on Kirk to be present and deliver accurate information. Kirk constantly demonstrated positive influence. He would talk up all school events and activities. He could persuade students to attend basketball games and dances or to donate to the canned food drive. "Kirk is kind-hearted, warm, inclusive, and always positive. He makes others feel welcome and important because he is friendly, not at all for recognition. I would love to see Kirk recognized for the outstanding character he always displays. I believe it would inspire Kirk to continue his positive behavior." - Ms. Catherine Dillon

"Kirk is one of the most respectful, humble, and kind students Mrs. Walzel and I have had the privilege to teach. He works so hard in class and is a true inspiration. Outside of the classroom, he is kind to all the kids (not just the popular ones). He is always smiling, helping, thanking, giving, sharing, and never gives up. It is without any reservation that we give Kirk our highest recommendation."

- Deborah Woodall Routledge and Mary Wazel

"Kindest kid I know. "- B. Nitz

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