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Invisible Capes

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Rilee Schreiner

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Heroes are everywhere, but all too often they are thought of as being the masked figures who fly around and save the world with great strength, flight, invisibility, time shifting and more; however, those aren’t the heroes that walk this Earth. The Sequoit superheroes’ powers go unnoticed and last far beyond the closing credit scenes of a movie. The impact of these heroes lasts a lifetime.

There are stories heard all around the world about people who jump in front of trains to save children or something else equally newsworthy. These stories bring up the question: What about all the everyday heroes? The ones who walk the streets without doing anything other than holding a door for someone. The ones who help the elderly cross the street. The ones who greet everyone with a smile and a compliment. The ones who make it their goal everyday to make someone else’s day just a little bit better. Who are those people?

“[An everyday hero is] someone who is there for others without being asked,” physical education teacher Marni Polakow said. “Someone with a positive outlook on life that makes others feel loved and important.”

There are often times when people overlook the everyday heroes within their community. These everyday heroes are the ones who are always there no matter the situation, simply trying to lend a helping hand.

“An everyday hero is a person who leads by example,” special education teacher Kelly Johnson said. “[They] provide assistance and support anytime a need arises, whether they are asked or not.”

Everyday heroes tend to have certain characteristics in common with each other. Although they all look different, these heroes have the same tendencies and inner drive that sets them apart from others.

“I think that an everyday hero is a person who selflessly devotes their time and effort in the service of others,” guidance counselor Brett Heintz said. “A hero can also be someone who has overcome a great hardship and kept on moving. I’m happy to say that I know many everyday heroes of each kind.”

People go through their days and don’t notice the people that are heavily influencing their lives daily. The everyday heroes in their lives are seen as just another, normal, everyday, social interaction. Because of this, sometimes the hero doesn’t even realize the kind of impact they have on the person, they just consider themselves normal or doing the right thing.

“They usually do not do things for accolades, they do things to help and assist because it is the [right] thing to do,” Johnson said. “They do things to make [others’] lives better, not just to make their [own] life better.”

As for Heintz, he has a different opinion as to why these heroes go unnoticed.

“I think for a lot of everyday heroes the goal is almost to go unnoticed,” Heintz said. “I think part of being a hero is to be so without seeking recognition or glory. On the other, less-positive side, perhaps everyday heroes are easily taken for granted.”

Lots of people are taught to be kind to others, but the most important people are those who don’t have to be told how to be a good-hearted person.

“Many are just being who they were raised to be,” Polakow said. “Most are not going out of their way to act a certain way, they are just being their normal, everyday selves.”

Anyone could be an everyday hero. People are often everyday heroes without even noticing. A lot of the time, they do something that to them seems like a normal thing to do, while to someone else it seems kind or special.

“Everyday heroes have the potential to help anyone and this could happen either directly or indirectly by inspiring heroic acts,” Heintz said. “One of the great responsibilities of heroes is to inspire others to help.”

Everyday heroes are often mistaken for being what students call “fake.” People assume they are just putting on a face or pretend to care, but this usually isn’t the case because these people don’t see themselves as being everyday heroes. Many people also overlook teachers as everyday heroes. Some teachers come to school everyday just to inspire students to be better.

“I try to inspire my students not only through their health and wellness, but in life as well,” Polakow said.

Johnson and Polakow are not the only adults in Antioch Community High School that are everyday heroes to others: counselors, deans and other staff members are too.

“Assuming I am one, my job as an everyday hero is to support those around me to the best of my ability,” Heintz said. “This goes far beyond my role as a counselor at ACHS.”

Students are just as capable of being everyday heroes as adults. Lots of students feel their acts go unnoticed by teachers at ACHS, but students are the ones that make teachers want to be an everyday hero in the first place.

“There are many everyday heroes at the school in every role, including students,” Heintz said. I am inspired every day [by them].”

When the signal of the Sequoit A lights up the sky and the shadow of a cape flaps in the wind, a hero comes calling. This person doesn’t arrive to the call of those in need because he or she wants the recognition; rather, this person, the hero, is there to help make the lives of those around him or her better, stronger, more impactful. When that light comes on and the call is heard, these heroes come flying in ready to act no matter what. These heroes are unsung and beloved for all the right reasons

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Invisible Capes