At Irvington Community Schools, Education Really is a Family Affair (part 1)

There are many factors involved in making that critical decision to send children to what parents hope is the right school. After all, elementary, middle, and high schools are charged with building a solid, promising educational foundation for all children to prepare them for success in college, trade schools, the military, and ultimately for us all, the workplace. No pressure!

In selecting a school, parents look for high academic standards, an emphasis on children’s character development, a safe and secure learning environment, and ultimately, a school whose staff love children and are passionate about delivering a highly engaging educational experience. At Irvington Community Schools (ICS), we have had many staff members who have opted to have their children educated by their employer. We thought we would ask a few of them just why. So in their own words…

Son Brennan Hicks, 1st grade at ICES

Stephanie Brinsley, IPA Counselor

My husband, Jason, and I decided to send Brennan to ICES because we knew about the successful academic history of the school, it matched my work schedule, and because we knew his class size would be manageable. We also knew going in that his first teacher would be a former student of mine from IPA (Ms. Walden) and I knew he would be nurtured and loved. I also knew the values we as a family find important are also important to Irvington: high ethical standards, compassion for others, and unconditional positive regard.

So far this school year we have been very pleased. Brennan’s teacher, Mrs. Strausbaugh, is loving, compassionate, has a great sense of humor, and challenges her students to learn. She views each child as an individual and cultivates a loving atmosphere where students feel safe in exploring the unfamiliar. She listens to the students and respects their thoughts and opinions.

Jason and I are very pleased with the high ability classes. We know our child is being challenged to get out of his comfort zone of thinking he knows everything! We also appreciate that he gets Physical Education every day and that he and his fellow students also are exposed to Art, Music and Computer Technology.

It’s one thing to be a school employee; it’s another to be a parent of a child in that school system. I’m aware of more of the behind-the-scenes reasons for things and that can be challenging. But it’s all part of the territory. And we’re very glad that Brennan is an ICS Raven!

Kim Anderson, IPA Administrative Assistant
Daughter Sabra Tolliver, IPA Class of 2010

My daughter Sabra had attended a private Christian school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. When she entered 9th grade the school seemed more interested in controlling students than letting them learn to become adults. I was told about Irvington by a good friend, Michelle Dunahee, who had children attending ICS. My husband and I visited and spoke with school administrators and we moved Sabra the very next day.

For us and for her, this was a blessing. At Irvington Sabra grew and developed as a person. She was inspired by a great staff and developed a passion for teaching and helping others. She loved to write and was supported by her teachers. Mrs. Larkin even used some of Sabra’s short stories in her creative writing classes. After Sabra graduated and went to Indiana University she knew she could still depend on getting great guidance from IPA’s staff. Math teachers Ms. Suttor (former IPA teacher) and Mr. Wilson (current) helped her many times with her Calculus 2 class. This is a “cut” class for the IU Kelly School of Business and is very challenging. She finished the class successfully, earning a B.

The guidance and knowledge Sabra gained from Irvington has been paid forward, as she is now teaching Math at IPA!