Months following his tragic death, the community at Franklin County High School continues to honor the legacy of a teacher through acts of kindness.
FCHS began its first Kindness Week on Monday. Each day, students, faculty and staff are doing acts of kindness while dressing in different outfits in honor of Adam Hyatt, who died in a July car wreck on Interstate 75 near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. Donated items collected through the week will be given to local shelters.
Here’s the schedule for the week:
- Monday was Crazy Sock Day, as Hyatt often wore fun socks. The donation item for the day was socks.
- Tuesday was Bow Tie Blood Drive day, as Hyatt had scheduled a fall blood drive for the Beta Club that day. The Spanish Club and other students also made friendship bracelets during lunch.
- Wednesday is Warm and Cozy Wednesday and the Young Democrats Club is collecting winter gloves and scarves for those in need.
- The Yearbook class is sponsoring a Halloween Costume Contest on Thursday. Students, faculty and staff can pay $1 to wear a costume. Prizes for the top three winners are credits to the school store.
- Friday is Sparkle and Shine Friday. The dress code for the day includes glitter, sequins and anything that sparkles to represent how kindness makes the world a brighter place. The Student Council will collect donations of travel-sized personal care items, like shampoo, toothpaste and soap, from seventh period classes to donate to local shelters and charities. The class with the most donations will win a pizza party.
Londa Tester, an English teacher at the school, said if anyone in the community would like to donate to any of the drives, the school’s front office will accept items through Friday. After school on Friday, the donations will be made.
Senior Jake Parritt made a blood donation Tuesday. He had Hyatt as a teacher but referred to him as a “family friend.” He last saw Hyatt a couple of weeks before his death. Parriot is now the president of Beta Club.
“I think that our school lost somebody who was important to them, who did a lot of good, and I think that the students are trying to cling on to whatever form of good, whatever form of joy, whatever form of — I guess almost relief or closure that they can find,” Parritt said. “I think that doing these good things helps us to find closure in the fact that we lost somebody so near and dear to us. I think doing these good things helps us to feel as we could be that person in somebody’s life as well.”
Parritt wanted to thank Hyatt and his family for making a positive impact on him and so many other students.
Tester said the idea of having the Kindness Week came out of wanting to make a positive impact with the community’s grief. She and other staff members chose the last week of October to have the donation drives because Hyatt had planned Tuesday’s blood drive and it comes just before the holidays.
She estimated that more than half of FCHS students had participated in an event as of Tuesday. In addition, extracurricular organization have led their own events, such as the football team writing appreciation notes to teachers or the cross country and track team taking Humane Society dogs for a run.
“We are all still grieving him, but it's been a positive way to remember him and his legacy and the things that we loved about him because we’ve all been sad, we’ve all been hurting, but this week, just doing nice things for others, it’s let us celebrate him,” Tester said.