My thoughts today have led me to wonder what it really means to be a founder of a school. As treasured moments in school life often do, one about the founding of Grandview emerged in response to a child’s striking observation of something illogical. A young student asked as we prepared to celebrate Founders Day, “I don’t get it...what’s the big deal about finding Grandview? It’s right here!” In that moment, it was difficult to explain to him that the “founder” doesn’t get to find anything! The magical part of founding a school is the creation of a place where others can find; the noble part is the relentless, unspoken generosity it takes to support it through its foundation.
In founding Grandview, Mr. Ehlers created a place where we all feel united in spirit and shared values but where we each find something a little different. For me personally, I found the following while at Grandview:
- my passion for teaching
- a home and a family
- the professional opportunity of a lifetime
- my voice as an educational leader
- my first real team, some of the best colleagues I’ll ever work with
- a network of students who years later still call me Mrs. D
- my best friend & mentor
- the childhood chapters of my children’s lives
My children found their own treasures, again collections of who they are today. At Grandivew, my daughter found her voice as a singer, more accurately, Grandview found it and helped her see it. At Grandview, she found her “siblings”, her best friends who despite distance have the sole ability to love and comfort in times of need. I asked my son what he found at Grandview. Almost instinctively, he responded, “pride, happiness, friendship, leadership, knowledge and loyalty.” Only these, the most important elements of a successful life, simple treasures indeed.
I have listed these treasures as they have occurred to me and our family today, but it would be wonderful for others to comment on what Grandview helped them find. Thinking back to that child’s inquiry today, I kept repeating, “What’s the big deal about finding Grandview? It’s right here!” Yes, yes it is. And we are incredibly grateful.