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Century High School students honor Bismarck High School teacher with ‘Kindness Tailgating Party’

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Last month, we took you to a “Kindness Tailgating Party” outside Bismarck High School.

Jody Olheiser’s AVID class wrote kind messages on signs, then waved at cars driving by on Avenue C and 7th Street. They handed out flowers and candy to cars lucky enough to stop at the red light.

They had hoped to make it a regular event, but then, Mrs. O. got sick. She passed away last week after a short battle with cancer.

There is good news in this sad story; Mrs. O.’s legacy lives on, even at cross-town rival, Century High School.

These Century High School students are spreading kindness and honoring a woman they never met.

“We were inspired by Mrs. O. and her AVID class,” said Elleanna Herner, a sophomore at CHS.

Mrs. O. is Jody Olheiser, a teacher at cross-town rival, Bismarck High. She passed away last week.

On this day, Century students wanted to honor her memory and show their support for their peers at BHS.

“We just want to continue the trend of kindness and know that she impacted kids and teachers outside of the BHS community,” said CHS AVID instructor Chelsey Gravseth.

These students didn’t know Mrs. O., but they know of her desire to make kindness trending.

“We’re just honoring her memory and spreading kindness,” said Aubree Wood, a sophomore at CHS.

“We’re showing Mrs. O.’s legacy and spreading something she started,” added Brooke Canright, a freshman at CHS.

“We know how much of an impact she made on other students, so we just wanted to spread that kindness that she wanted,” said Elyse Bock, a sophomore at CHS.

“I feel like she would like this a lot,” said Herner.

Their teacher, Chelsey Gravseth, did know Mrs. Olheiser.

“She’s the best teacher I’ve ever known,” she said.

And she knows this would have made her happy.

“This would have been her dream to see this,” said Gravseth.

She feels her presence here. Each honk and smile from a stranger driving by is a reminder of Mrs. Olheiser’s favorite saying, “Live a great story.” A saying they’ve included on candy canes they’re handing out to those lucky enough to have randomly passed by Century High School. They are words these students will never forget and they are words that will remind them of the importance of being kind.

Bismarck High students have been holding several fundraisers to help the Olhesier family since learning she was sick.

If you’d like to donate, there’s a GoFundMe set up.

You can also donate at any Dakota Community Bank locations under “Olheiser Family Benefit.”

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