O'Leary Middle School


By Brittany Cooper

Aesop once said, "no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

And at O'Leary Middle School, community service is as common as lesson plans.

John Hyatt, principal of O’Leary Middle School says, "community service is what the school is all about, long before I've ever been here."

Last December, Governor Butch Otter presented O'Leary with the Brightest Star award for volunteerism in Idaho, an award the school is proud of, but doesn't take all the credit for.

Hyatt says, "the fundraising hasn't been about what can we get for O'leary, but what we can give back."

The school has helped organizations such as Salvation Army, Valley House and just finished their Helping Hands day last week. Now, students and staff are involved in Relay for Life.

"Our kids, our parents, our teachers get behind all this stuff and at the same time, we do some quality things of learning here."

Each of these footprints represents $100 the students and staff have donated to the cause.

He says, "a number of the teachers here are survivors of cancer."

And tomorrow as Relay for Life events kick off at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds, the students will get the party started earlier in the day at their school. By shaving their heads to remember those we've lost and honor our survivors.

"Cancer can strike at any time."

From caring for others to caring for the planet. O'Leary is going green. a solar panel was installed on one of the buildings.

"It's a great teaching tool so that students in the 8th grade science, can see what it does...the meter shows amount of electricity generated and the cost of savings that electricity is provided."

Hyatt says even with all the success and hard work that the students demonstrate, the will of the parents also stands out in his mind.

"We have lots and lots of parents come in everyday and i appreciate that."

And while the past few years have been nothing short of challenging for educators, Hyatt says the focus still remains.

"And that's taking care of the students and making sure they provide the best education possible...ya it's been painful for all of us, but they haven't lost focus."

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