DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Tecumseh Local School District is participating in a Kindness Challenge all week, but one student got a head start last Friday — in a sweet way.
Sophomore Austin Soppe arrived at school with two cakes that he baked as a surprise for his teachers, Mr. Knapke and Mrs. Werling, who were both celebrating their birthdays.
Superintendent Paula Crew snapped a photo of Soppe holding his culinary creations and posted it to the school’s Facebook page, showing off the kind gesture. Within days, the post amassed over 35,000 likes along with hundreds of comments and shares.
“I am amazed at the number of likes on the post,” Crew said. “I just thought it was so sweet of him that I took a picture and posted it.”
While the social media attention is new, Soppe is no stranger to kind gestures like this one.
“I thought it was funny,” Soppe said. “I just made cakes. I do it all the time for my teachers!”
He shared he usually tries to make and deliver cakes for his teachers on their birthdays.
Soppe’s math teacher, Scott Knapke, was one of the recipients.
“Austin’s act of kindness demonstrates the thoughtful, caring and selfless individual that he has become and continues to be,” Knapke said.
“While the birthday cakes were a surprise for us, Austin’s thoughtful actions are less of a surprise, as we have seen through his interactions with his peers. Austin is only one example of some of the great students we get the opportunity to work with at Tecumseh High School.”
Adrianne Werling, Soppe’s former math teacher at Tecumseh High School, was also a recipient.
“I had Austin last school year in Advanced Geometry. Although I no longer have him as a student, he still stops in my room almost daily to check in and see how things are going. I have always appreciated this gesture,” Werling said.
“His kindness and generosity never go unnoticed. This cake is no exception. Austin takes time out of his day to ensure his peers, as well as his teachers, feel appreciated. It is always nice to know students care.”
Soppe said that, although he thinks his cake surprise for his teachers was not “a huge deal”, he is glad that the story is being shared by so many people.
He hopes that it will inspire others to commit their own acts of kindness.
“I think that everybody deserves a birthday cake,” Soppe added.