Every Knight Needs a Castle

Hoping to inspire current and future students in the spirit of service, Lincoln Southeast Principal Brent Toalson created the Service Wall of Fame to honor those students and staff - past and present- who contribute to the community.

The first project honored last year was the playground at Antelope Park. This year, Toalson honored the Every Knight Needs a Castle project from the 1998-99 school year at the winter pep rally.

During the project, then LSE principal Nancy Becker was looking for something the whole school could get behind.

“We were starting to get really big and I could see that there was all these different groups and they weren’t connecting,” Becker said. “They just needed to be presented with a challenge and then they took it from there.”

Becker met with the leadership from student organizations and presented the idea of participating in Habitat for Humanity, but with a twist. This home would benefit one of their fellow classmates and his family.

“Because of Darnell’s situation we had to change the whole layout of the floor plan because we needed to have everything accessible. That’s where our industrial arts kids got involved with design and it was great,” Becker added.

The rest of the student body got involved by volunteering hours to work on the house, or by raising funds. In all, over $30,000 were raised by the Knights for the project.

Dianna Utley and Darnell, her son and Southeast student at the time, worked alongside the students to complete the house that they would eventually move into.

“I just want to thank everybody. We wouldn’t have what we have if it wasn’t for you,” Utley said.

Toalson used the event to announce a new initiative at Southeast High School.

“I’m excited to announce a new service opportunity for next year’s seniors. Juniors, if you are interested, we encourage you to submit a proposal or business plan that would partner with local businesses or non-profits to complete a service project. The winning project will receive a cash reward to complete the project during their senior year.”

The Pay It Forward Service Project will begin in the 2017-18 school year. Lincoln Southeast High School will be working with the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools on funding for the project. More information on the Pay It Forward Service Project can be found here:

Published: December 14, 2016, Updated: December 14, 2016