I have been allotted six minutes by the emcee for the history of the school, which comes out to 18 seconds per year. I've already lost a couple years by telling you this! So lets get going.
It would be foolhardy to try and capture the whole history of Children of Hope School. Even the many red letter dates would be too much. And as I prepared for this presentation I realized that even mentioning all the people who have had significant contributions here would be too time consuming. Suffice it to say that hundreds of people have given of their time, talent and treasure to help this school, including many of you here tonight. So I'm going to summarize.
I'll talk about two groups – the heroes and the unsung heroes.
Some of the heroes of Children of Hope School are here and will be honored or mentioned tonight.
Dan Chalmers, with his wife Carla, made the donation that allowed us to build this school. Without their generosity and responsiveness to God's leading, we would not be here tonight.
Lisa Saavedra was one of the visionaries who started this school. Her progressive ideas about education and her willingness to go to bat for CHS with the Dept. of Education, and her work as our school principal for many years was foundational.
Shari Reasoner's hard work, talent and foresight allowed our school to improve and be more responsive to the needs of our kids.
Those are our heroes and we will be sure to honor them tonight.
But I want to mention a few unsung heroes, people whose contributions might not be known to many here tonight.
Ron Duterte was the best friend that our staff ever had in Cebu. He was generous with his time, his influence and his heart. Many don't know that Ron was, technically, the first Principal we had at CHS. We needed a name when we submitted our papers for registration, and we penciled him in. His doctorate was respected and we were off and running. Like the pace car in an automobile race, he soon pulled over and let someone else take the reins, but he was our first.
Nancy Healy helped us greatly by writing the first curriculum for our school, using her knowledge and experience in multi-age classrooms, and her big heart for the CSC kids. She helped us pioneer a type of education that was previously not known in the Philippines and was a big help to our first teachers. She and Lisa worked together to get CHS started and provide a standard for our education that is still being realized today.
Brian Kusunoki heard about CSC from a friend from Minnesota where he used to live. When he moved to Hong Kong for his work he told the Union Church about CSC. He came down to visit us on behalf of the church and went back excited about our school idea. His promotion of our ministry in that church resulted in a major contribution for outfitting our school, particularly our main activity room which is named for the church.
Jan Druckenmiller is an early childhood educator who had a vision for our pre-school program. She wrote a curriculum, did teacher training, sent over materials and came often to help out with our younger students.
I want to mention one more unsung hero, and that is Paul Reasoner. Shari's commitment to the school and coming here several times a year had a cost, and Paul generously gave her up, though it meant that they were often apart. Paul's willingness to have her in Cebu so much is a contribution to CHS that we often overlook. Not tonight.
There are many more. Many more. People who came along just when we needed them to teach, contribute or encourage. God has always filled the slots and raised up the heroes that we needed to establish this school and keep it going.