Arrowhead Staff Share the Love to Students

Lisa Jorgensen, Reporter

Throughout the month of February, Arrowhead staff members shared the love to students who haven’t received a postcard from Arrowhead this year. 


“Share the Love” is sponsored by The Arrowhead Way and is a positive postcard motivation program. It is an effort to increase the student’s sense of belonging at Arrowhead and being a Warhawk as part of the “ONE TEAM”. 


Kathy Birkes-Drees, a business education teacher at Arrowhead, said, “I love the idea of reaching out to students to hopefully, unexpectedly, brighten their day. I believe the connection becomes full circle when some of the students have mentioned to me how it has made their day; that they’ve displayed the postcards on the fridge; or that they just want to say thank you.” Birkes-Drees also said that the postcards opened doors of communication that weren’t possible in a regular classroom setting.


This was a schoolwide program as staff members wrote postcards to students in all four grade levels. 


The postcards are a way for staff members to show their appreciation for students that don’t get recognized for all the good they do along with their hard work. When the students receive the postcards from staff members in the mail, they may feel more connected with their teachers knowing that what they do doesn’t go unnoticed and gets appreciated. 


Kathi Koepke, a Spanish teacher at Arrowhead, said, “I have had many students and parents tell me how much they appreciated receiving the postcards. Students tell me that they keep them and hang them up. After sending a student a postcard, I have had students who will talk to me more and seem to enjoy the class more.”


Birkes-Drees said, “Every student deserves to feel special and noticed. I believe receiving a postcard just might achieve that. If I could, I would send a postcard to every student I’ve come in contact with. Whether they’ve been in one of my classes or I’ve watched them participate in activities I’ve supervised, they’ve all made such an incredible impact on me as a teacher at Arrowhead.”


“Share the Love” helped Arrowhead staff focus on increasing the number of students to receive a positive postcard in the mail from one of their teachers. 


Arrowhead made this into a competition between the staff members to see which team could send the most students their first postcard by the end of the month. The team with the most students would receive lunch from Picnic Basket on March 4th, 2022.


The teams were made up of five staff members and had to be registered under a team name with Adam Boldt, Arrowhead’s Director of Student Services. The staff members were allowed to choose their own teams for the competition. 


On February 14, 2022, Boldt sent another email to all staff with the halfway update. Boldt said, “Halfway through February and Arrowhead has doubled the number of postcards written the entire year in just 14 days. At this point 52.2% of the student body has received at least 1 postcard home.” 


The number of students staff members have sent cards ranging from 162 to one between the 13 teams. The top 3 leaders from February 14, 2022 were Pen Gals with 162 students, Espanol Mas One with 86 students and Let’s Connect with 61 students. 


In the first email, Boldt advised staff members to write things about the student that parents can’t see on Skyward such as their effort in class, acts of kindness, and more. 


Kevin Lewandowski, the school psychologist and warhawk interact advisor at Arrowhead, said, “It’s all about trying to catch the students who are doing good. Since I’m not in a classroom, it’s a little harder but teachers can complement students for tests, presentations, labs, how they interact with others, etc.”


Alicia Obermann, a math teacher at Arrowhead, said, “I keep track of students in class who have made improvements in participation, growth in learning, coming in for help, helping out a peer/me in class, etc. Recognizing and acknowledging positive change and growth in behavior as well as positive acts of citizenship validates behaviors for a student in hopes they’ll continue to do them.”