Hudtloff Middle School eighth grader Jalean Peek started learning about golf when she was less than a year old. Her great grandfather was excited to have someone new to take out on the course.
She still plays today. Golf helps her stay active and make new friends. It’s also how she first learned about integrity, an important component of character. “Golf is a quiet game,” she said. “If your opponent isn’t paying attention, you can pick up your ball and throw it.”
The golf course isn’t the only place Jalean works to develop her integrity. In fifth grade, she took a hard look at how she and her classmates were treating each other. She didn’t like what she saw and decided to take an active role to change it.
“Integrity is all about how you act when no one is looking,” she said, “You don’t always know what someone else is going through, so it’s important to lead with kindness.”
She believed she could make a difference by changing the way she interacted with others. She started offering help on class projects, giving hugs and a chance to talk to those who were feeling down or even just flashing a smile in the hallway.
Now, Jalean brings that same attitude to Hudtloff through her leadership as ASB president. She is focused on spreading her commitment to kindness and integrity to her peers and talking about the importance of treating each other well.
As part of Hudtloff’s daily message to students, Jalean shares a short bio of a historical figure who demonstrates leadership, integrity and kindness. She encourages classmates to think about those values the same ways he does.
Character is one of the Four Pillars of Student Success and provides a strong foundation to help young people develop into active learners and strong citizens. Jalean demonstrates and models character every day through her commitment to integrity and kindness.
“She always looks through a positive lens,” said Hudtloff Principal Cindy Adams. “When she ran for ASB President last year, her campaign was focused on making Hudtloff a kinder place. She is working hard to make that happen.”