Carrying on a long run academic legacy can be a beautiful opportunity for bonding among relatives, and can be considered a principal part of a family's heritage; passing down their experiences and core values to countless future generations through tradition.
Eastern Christian is a great example of this, accommodating ancestors for years in history and promising many more for future kindred, staying perpetually true to their passionate ideals and therefore providing a fantastic community for people to dig the roots of their family tree deep into. One family in particular that finds themselves delightfully embedded in Eastern Christian’s indivisible society is the Nelsons, a lineage that appreciates all that EC is and hopes for all that it is to become.
Michele and Eric Nelson both come from a long history of Eastern Christian graduates, as they have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and more extended family members who were all attendants of EC. When questioned about what exactly makes Eastern Christian such a special school, Eric Nelson responded, “being a student at EC provided a safe, faith-based education that paved the way for strong friendship bonds, a quality education and an atmosphere of positivity and personal growth, all with a background rooted in the Christian faith.” Clearly EC’s core values shine through in so many ways, constantly being there for students in all areas of their educational and personal lives.
A big part of leaving a legacy is the lasting impact a school can have on one’s life. For many, high school isn’t just four years of their life, because the things they experienced and learned stick with them going forward. Michele Nelson comments, “I enjoyed EC as a teenager. I never considered going anywhere else. It was a comfortable, safe place to grow up in.” Being able to look back fondly on the developmental years of growth in a youth’s life is so crucial, because these memories and lessons will shape the years to come. Some precious moments looked back upon by the Nelsons, who met and began dating at ECHS, include going to prom and getting to walk together at their graduation. Another great thing they, along with hundreds of other past and future graduates can take away from EC is the cherished bonds with friends made along the journey. Eric said, “We still keep in touch with some classmates. It has been fun, recently, to reconnect with many classmates as our kids are friends with their kids.”
Not only do the Nelsons have ancestors that went to Eastern Christian, but they also have three children currently attending the district. Michele mentioned, “When we were deciding on a school for our kids, we always knew we would send our kids to EC.” After sending their son to public school for just two years, “We quickly realized that it was not a good fit for our family and enrolled him in EC for second grade. It was the best decision we made and have not looked back.” Their oldest is now in seventh grade, and their daughters are currently in fifth grade and kindergarten. They all enjoy the Eastern Christian community and are glad to be growing up in the same friendly environment as their parents. This further proved to the Nelson’s how glad they were to have kids continuing in the EC district. Eric said, “EC has been there for our family many times over the years in ways that a public school may not have been.” When they were asked about any differences between attending EC as students and now witnessing it in adulthood through their children, Michele responded, “We feel that one of the biggest differences from when we were in school until now is the diversity among the students. It seems that kids are attending EC from many different backgrounds and churches now, as compared to when we were students in the 1990’s.” This family, likely along with countless others, are glad to see EC keeping up with modern growth in diversity and are proud to be a part of it all.
Both Nelsons have expressed their hope that future generations to come will continue the tradition of enrollment at EC. EC is home to so many families just like this one, as so many people choose to return again and again. “There is something to be said about the legacy of EC – it definitely has had an impact on our family,” reasons Eric. Continuing on the legacy can help families themselves feel more connected, because they have this shared community and can relate on this level. Michele adds, “We also know that we have support among the community of EC. We feel that as more generations attend EC, there becomes a stronger bond to the school and the community.” They both agree that this legacy at EC is a true blessing to them and their relatives.
When it comes to a tight knit, welcoming community, there seems to be no better place than Eastern Christian. There’s a reason so many different families all choose to share their experiences there with their children, and evidently EC shows promise for the education, success and happiness of students, whether it was years ago, today, or decades from now.
Eric Nelson closes, “Despite growing up in a community where the majority of students attended the local public school system, EC provided the curriculum and teaching staff that was perfect for me. The care and concern for each student is clearly displayed by the faculty and staff. Additionally, the constant encouragement and integration of the Christian faith is thoughtfully woven into each class, extracurricular activity and even offsite events.”