Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family, Faith and Love

The rate of change at Van Meter is accelerating exponentially with our focus being to empower students to THINK, LEAD, and SERVE. Last Friday we had probably the most important lesson taught year to date. This lesson focused on FAITH, FAMILY, and LOVE

Separation and Service
We have a family whose father serves in the military and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. It has been eight months since the family has seen their dad. Mom works for the school as a certified teacher’s aid and the children, senior son, 8th grade son, and 5th grade daughter are all Van Meter “Bulldogs.” It is hard to imagine the emotions a family would have knowing that their father is so far away and in “harm’s way.”

Faith, Family and Love
Senior son Kaden, working with Van Meter staff, arranged for a special Valentine’s gift for his mother and father. Over the noon hour last Friday, the Van Meter Secondary office conference room was transformed into a “chic” candle light restaurant complete with white table cloth. Kaden enlisted the assistance of Secondary Principal Deron Durflinger. Mr. Durflinger made an overhead call for Kaden to come to the office. This overhead call raised Mom’s concern for she feared that her son had made a bad choice. Mr. Durflinger then made the overhead call for Mom to come to the office. She now was convinced that Kaden had really made a bad choice. Kaden, greeting his Mom in the office, took her into the “chic” restaurant conference room and there via his school issued Mac computer mom was able to SKYPE and have a surprise Valentine lunch with her husband. Following some private time, Kaden and his siblings joined mom and dad in the conference room.

I cannot put into words all the emotions I had witnessing this chain of events. I get “teary” eyed just thinking about this day. I guess the important “take-away” from all this is that at the core of all learning communities is a relationship built on care and love for one another.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Out of respect for the family and for security reasons, names have not been used.


  1. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story. And you are so right about relationships built on care and love are the cornerstone of learning communities.

  2. I love this!We hosted 2 parents conferences over Skype with a dad serving in Afganistan but this is way cool! It seems military use for kids to see their family is a really easy way to incorporate into school.

  3. Very cool.

    Indeed - for anything to have value, it's going to be built around relationships and storytelling.

    You guys are going the right direction. Bravo.. Keep leading man.

  4. Thank you for sharing this with me. It shows what is possbile when schools and families work together for a common goal. Technology makes so many things possible.

    Happy Valentine's Day indeed.

  5. A moving and wonderful use of technology, as usual Van Meter is providing a lead for others

  6. My eyes watered when I read this, but I figure it was hayfever. My wife is an elementary school teacher and she has described some of their skype reunions. Technology is one of God's gifts that when used for His purpose is downright astounding.