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Culture of Kindness Spotlight: Luke Nelson, Lakes Elementary School month we feature a staff member who embodies our 2023-24 district theme, Culture of Kindness. Luke Nelson is the school counselor at Lakes Elementary School. “Luke is amazing,” said Lakes Principal Taylor Swedberg. “He greets students at arrival and dismissal every day by name. Every. Single. Name. as students come by. He quickly gets to know new students and their families. He connects with students and families on a deep level and remembers the smallest details about home culture and family. He's always taking on more to help students and families solve problems and feel welcome and affirmed at Lakes.”

Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from Kent, Washington, and have been working in education for eight years. I’ve been serving as the School Counselor at Lakes Elementary for the past three years.

Luke builds blocks with a student on the floor

In my free time, I love spending time with my wife and our three young daughters. I also enjoy watching the Huskies, Seahawks, and Mariners, long distance running, and reading.

What do you like best about your job?

I think it would have to be the people. The students are each significant and special in their own way. I love getting to encourage students to realize their potential in school and in life. I like getting to work with our teachers and staff to provide differing types of support for our students. And I feel honored to be able to partner with and support parents as they do the important work of raising their children.

What does a Culture of Kindness mean to you?

Luke reads a book about happiness to a group of students

A Culture of Kindness is one that reminds people that they are valuable, loved, and created with purpose. It’s extending compassion, forgiveness, and patience to everyone we meet or interact with on any given day. It’s treating others the way you want to be treated. Sometimes, it’s leaving convenience at the door and sacrificially giving to others. Sometimes, it’s as simple as sharing a smile or greeting someone by name. It’s finding points of agreement, meeting people where they’re at, offering a listening ear, and finding ways to build each other up through genuine encouragement.