First Impressions by Kelsey Clark, Hope PE and history teacher
As I began writing this newsletter, I started by brainstorming all the attributes that come to mind when I think of Hope Lutheran’s students, families, and faculty. The word I kept coming back to is community. I have been very blessed to become part of a school as welcoming and full of life as this one. The ways that I observed students and teachers interact on a daily basis at the beginning of the year reminded me of a family. When I began meeting different students and parents, finding out which students were siblings, and learning the long history of classmates who have grown up together in the classroom, I realized that this could not ring more true. All the experiences I have been a part of and witnessed so far this year, both joys and challenges, have contributed to my understanding of how this school functions as a loving community united in God.
Having come from a public school environment last year, I was unsure of what I might expect or encounter in a religious school setting. I was excited to be able to pray with students, and rely on God more as a teacher. I was unprepared to interact with students who are so full of life and love. God is so alive in the students at Hope Lutheran. As a specialist teacher, I am thankful to have met each and every one of them this school year at an accelerated pace. I have had some especially moving moments when I have seen kids show each other compassion, encouragement, and companionship in ways that demonstrate their closeness to each other in Christ. Specifically during Chapel time every week I love seeing the students eagerly engage with whomever is leading in the message, raising their hands and singing at the top of their voice to songs like the current favorite for some of the younger grades, “My Lighthouse”. I love seeing their smiling faces walk though the front doors of the school, giving high fives or fist bumps, and witnessing them try their best while walking with their peers in the footsteps of the Lord.
I especially enjoyed joining the girls basketball team on their journey to LEST, where I was able to be a part of a Hope tradition that I have been curious about ever since starting in August. I enjoyed spending time with the kids outside of the classroom and school environment in a way that allows their personalities to shine, and certainly lets their energy out! I also loved spending time with staff members as well as getting to know parents in a new way. This definitely emphasized my understanding of the Hope community in terms of family, as well as the bonds that tie so many people in the Lutheran community across the Northwest region. Watching the 5th -8th grade students of Hope perform and participate in so many different events throughout the course of the weekend reinforced and reminded me of the multitude of talents they possess. These talents are not restricted to robotics, glee club, basketball, or cheer. Their God-given talents of kindness, joy, compassion, humor, perseverance, and so many more of the attributes that make them who they are should be celebrated routinely by those around them, including myself!