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Linda Klassen

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MEI Parent

“We feel very blessed to be a part of this community and are so grateful for what has been invested into the lives of our kids.”

Our kids have been attending MEI since 2004. Our son Eric, graduated in 2009. Our second son, Brad is in grade 12 and Natalie is in grade 5.

I was at a HOME event last year and there were 2 things that Ernie said that really resonated with me and reflected our own experience. The first is that there is a myth that MEI is only for the rich and smart.

For a long time I believed this myself. Our boys started out in a good public elementary school. One day I was talking to another parent about school in general, the way parents often do. I made the comment that MEI would never be an option for us because Eric couldn’t handle the academics. She told me that because MEI is a private school, they have more resources to deal with kids who are struggling. It was a light bulb moment and I tucked that bit of information away.

Both my boys are intelligent and thoughtful, but Eric was never a strong student. Book learning is not his learning style; there were social struggles and others as well that all together made school unappealing. Things got much worse in middle school. He only had one real friend but the friend moved away and then he had none. He struggled on every level possible and was so miserable that it scared me. The constant bullying and harassment caused him to say many times: no one likes me – not even the Teachers care about me. It finally became clear that we HAD to move him. I remembered the comment I’d heard about MEI a few years earlier and it’s the reason why we took a closer look at MEI and then made the decision to register our kids.

The 2nd thing that Ernie said at the HOME event that resonated with me was that teachers at MEI really care about their students. We experienced this firsthand upon arriving at MEI. A situation came up on the first day that I felt needed to be addressed right away so after dismissal I met the teacher, Ron Peters, and shared some of Eric’s history and my concerns with him. We talked about that for a few minutes and then Mr. Peters did something that absolutely blew me away. He prayed with me! I had spent years in school prayer groups praying for teachers, but I had never had a teacher pray with me before!

Eric settled in and made friends very quickly. I was both stunned and thrilled when a couple of months later Eric said “The thing I like about MEI is that the teachers care about you”. It was quite a statement coming from him. They really did care, as I discovered myself through many discussions throughout the year. Then he added that the students here cared more too which, again, coming from him was huge. Our son was much happier. His stress and anxiety of going to school every day disappeared. It struck me one day that the whole atmosphere in our home had changed; the tension and anxiety were gone.

Eric continued making friends through high school and became a leader among his group. He’s 21 now and attending Summit Pacific College. He still sees most of his MEI friends. Brad is thriving in the music program here. Natalie has been here since kindergarten and wants to come back and teach someday.