Papa (Not Principal) Van Eerden

I have been part of Grandparents Day at ACES (including when it was Clayburn Hills) for 20 years. I will never forget my first year as Vice-Principal when I was in charge of gym bookings. I neglected (I just didn’t think about it) to make sure the gym was free the evening before for set up. That was long before the PAC started helping us, so it was completely up to staff. Enduring the wrath of Mrs. Smit, who was in charge of Grandparents Day, let alone having to tell staff they had to come in early (really early) to set up, is not something I ever want to go through again.

This year, I got to experience Grandparents Day in a whole new way. I was one of the grandparents! Many of the grandparents remembered the program after I found out I was going to be a grandfather and I asked them for advice. They also remembered when I carried my eight month old grandson to the front the following year. So when I announced that Noah was part of the Kindergarten class that was filing in, there was a huge round of applause.

I will admit that I pop into his Kindergarten class perhaps a bit more than other years (at least Mrs. Goertzen think so), and I know about the great things that happen in Kindergarten. But this year, after delivering faxes and emails from grandparents who couldn’t attend, I could take some time and sit with Noah while he showed Jane and I his scrapbook. What a wonderful new experience that was. Now I know why we get a full house every year.

I thank God for the privilege of being a “Papa” and the joy that brings me every day. I thank God for this wonderful school. I thank God for Mrs. Goertzen for making Noah’s first year such a blessing. I thank God for all the staff at ACS and the confidence I have that Noah (and Hannah) will have a great learning journey here. I thank God for all the grandparents and others who have been a part of this school for the past 60 years; for their vision and faithfulness.

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