MHS Pulleying Program

What is "Pulleying”?

“Pulleying” consists of positive student-to-student interactions that:

*             assist, include, encourage, support, appreciate or respect fellow students

*             show kindness to fellow students or create meaningful student-to-student bonds

*             defend or protect fellow students from bullying, unfairness, discrimination, or exclusion

*             help fellow students succeed, be safe, be well, or receive adult assistance when needed

Unlike bullying, which hurts others and damages the school environment, “pulleying” helps others and improves the school environment for all. Like a pulley creates powerful upward force with just a little effort, simple acts of student kindness lift a fellow student’s spirit and benefit our shared school climate. Featured below are some past-reported MHS student acts of “pulleying.”

Who leads the pulleying program at MHS? 

Pulleying is not something the school is something the school noticed and wishes to accentuate.  MHS students regularly demonstrate an exceptional level of student-to-student courtesy and support.  While other schools have bullying problems, we noticed that our students live in the solution....all we did was name it with a cute play on words (pulleying instead of bullying) that matched the way students lift each other up.  So, the leaders of pulleying at MHS are the kind, confident students.  MHS Counselor Mr. Landgraf simply serves as the program's coordinator. 

“This program addresses very important issues. It rests on solid theoretical grounds and appears to be really wise in how it is being implemented. I commend Mr. Landgraf's novel work in a great program that I suspect is very meaningfully impacting people's lives."  

- Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky 

Stanford University Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery

How Do I Report a "pulley" student for such acts of kindness, courage, inclusion, support, or connectedness?

Any student or community member can "report a student for pulleying" by emailing Mr. Landgraf at, seeing him in person, or calling 815-539-7446 x 506. Teachers who observe acts of pulleying commend students directly.  Annually, four seniors are selected as Pulley Honorees. They receive an award certificate at the senior awards assembly and their names are engraved on a "Senior Pulley Award" plaque to be displayed at MHS in perpetuity. Click here to view past Pulleying honorees. 

Upon what is "Pulleying" based?

Pulleying stands on five research-proven foundations: 

1. The social-stratification, primate-behavior-mimicking, and primate stress research of Stanford University Professor Dr. Robert Sapolsky's study of the Keekorok baboon troop 

2. The tenets of Solutions-Focused Therapy 

3. The internationally-acclaimed psychogenetic human motivation science of Dr. Steven Reiss and the Reiss Motivation Profile (MHS Counselor Mr. Landgraf is a top-internationally-ranked Certified Reiss Motivation Profile Master) 

4. Principles of social psychology and in-grouping/out-grouping of Dr. Gordon Allport, 

5. Several empowered-upstander, observer/bystander, and intervention principles from multiple sociological, educational, and psychological studies. 

Pulleying's structure was also influenced by The Four-Way Test of Interact / Rotary International. The MHS Pulley Program has received national commendation, including a 2018 grant and supplemental bonus grant from The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance/Learning For Justice Educators' Grant Program, a 2021 grant from the Mendota Education Foundation, major ongoing support from both Mendota McDonalds locations, and support from the in-town Mendota Subway and Pizzas by Marchelloni's of Mendota.