During Ian's Learning Center years, we watched a preschooler grow into a giant of a young man. Yes, his physical build served him well for JV football, and now proves a plus for his CrossFit and weightlifting goals as a rising 11th grader at Murphy High School. However, as I tell the story of this former student, the word "giant" takes on a far greater meaning.
His PS-7th grade years proved to be a positive experience. Some of his favorite memories are PE and STEM with Ms. Shelley, middle school electives and Mr. Ryan's ELA classes. In the midst of these learning interests, Ian struggled with math. But in true "Ian style", he looked the challenge square in the face, as he allowed the help and patience from his teachers to keep moving him forward with school.
As Ian grew in self-esteem, so did his interest in other subjects. No question Social Studies teacher Judy Coleman provided the subject matter that turned this sleeping giant into a learner fascinated with history, dinosaurs and paleontology. Perhaps inspired by this dad, Ian is now gearing up to the next giant step in his life as he considers a medical profession.
Last week I had the opportunity to watch this gentle giant show his big heart. Our school is in major growth, adding 9th grade and expanding to a second campus. Moving is indeed an active word in our campus vocabulary. The picture of Ian working with the movers intent on getting all the 7th-9th materials over to our second campus at 78 Terrace Avenue, captures not the full face I had intended, but the moment when this young man took the time to adjust his load and keep it moving forward. In hindsight, I realized I had captured the essence of a person we had the pleasure of seeing well on his way to full growth.
His mother concluded as she shared some of these special memories, "TLC will forever be home for Ian."