Kindness has gone a long way at the Gunnedah High School.
About 50 staff have been carrying out "random acts of kindness" for each other this term to boost morale - but they don't know who is gifting who.
The secret gift-givers will be revealed at a staff morning tea next Wednesday and relieving deputy principal Karen Kruse, who was behind the idea, is among those who are keen to find out who has been brightening their days.
Ms Kruse said she started thinking about the concept in early October because there were well-being initiatives in place for students, but not staff.
She said the drought had impacted the school and people were a bit down and "morale is really important" so she took her idea to the principal Ken White who gave it his blessing.
Ms Kruse came up with a questionnaire to help people with gift ideas and the completed questionnaires were handed out so each staff member could "look after" a colleague.
"There was a 100 per cent buy-in from staff," she said.
Questions included favourite foods, a person they admire, something they like about themselves and something they dislike.
Ms Kruse said she was surprised by how many staff didn't write what they liked about themselves but had no trouble writing what they didn't like.
"That was a real eye-opener for me and I saw the need [for this idea]," she said.
My person has made me smile from ear-to-ear every week.
Ms Kruse said staff embraced the idea and a great deal of thought went into gifts, which included handmade placemats, flowers, food platters and trinkets.
Recipients were quick to express their gratitude for the secret gifts on the staff messaging board.
"People wrote things like, 'You made my day' .... [and] a lot of people said, 'You gave me that present when I needed it', so I think people were watching," Ms Kruse said.
"I was like, 'Wow, it's working'."
Staff member Jo Ralston said it had been "exciting" to receive unexpected gifts - "I didn't realise I meant that much to someone."
Colleague Ashleigh Hobart said: "I have been so spoiled this term. My person has made me smile from ear-to-ear every week."
Ms Kruse is hopeful that the air of encouragement will linger at the school next year.
"Now that everyone has seen how much happiness it has brought, hopefully people will look after each other a bit more," she said.
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