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Facebook Page Compliments Shaker Students

A mystery student created a page dedicated to praising good-natured students and staff

Facebook is abuzz over a page dedicated to Shaker Heights High School students and staff, but nobody knows much about its origins.

"I just know that it exits," district spokeswoman Peggy Caldwell said of Shaker Heights HS Compliments. "(Principal Michael D. Griffith) doesn't know who created it. It appears that it is entirely student-initiated and student-run."

The owners of Metheny Weir on Larchmere suspected that famously positive Assistant Principal Eric Hutchison was behind the page, but he said he had no clue it even existed. A stream of Facebook messages eventually revealed that a student is behind the page that keeps on giving. He or she agreed to answer some questions, but opted to remain anonymous.

"The intent of the page was to spread compliments about others, and to gain a sense of respect and community throughout my high school," the creator wrote. "As a student of Shaker Heights High School, too often I see students who go about their high school experience feeling under-appreciated.

"By creating this page, I hoped that the students of my school would submit compliments about others who they see don't get enough credit for how wonderful they are."

The page was created on Jan. 6 and has 730 friends. Students can message the creator about another student, teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment. The creator then makes a public post applauding the individual for a recent accomplishment or for simply being a good person. The individual who submitted the compliment remains anonymous just like the page creator.

"Vicky Carballo always makes my day better. Whenever I'm feeling icky she can always make me laugh :) She's a wonderful friend to have," a recent post reads.

The page administrator hopes the compliment stream leads to more face-to-face kindness as well.

"Going to Shaker Heights High School, it has been interesting hearing people talking about this page in the hallways," the person wrote. "Feedback is, for the most part, positive. We have received many messages from students each day on how they think we're doing something positive and to keep up the good work."

He or she just hopes students give up trying to guess the creator's identity.

"When people try to guess my identity, it really just ruins the comfort level of those who are submitting compliments," the administrator wrote. "The trust between this page and its users is part of what makes the page functional. I choose to keep an anonymous identity so that users don't think of sending in compliments to a particular person, but rather a Facebook page that will post it for you in the most anonymous manner possible."

Shaker officials are equally pleased with the page and its early impact on the student body.

"It's a mystery and a nice thing," Caldwell said. "We know, unfortunately, that social media can also be a platform for bullying, unkindness and attacking people's reputations.

"It's nice to see it used in a positive way."

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