Reading from handwritten notes or their phones, seniors rose from the auditorium stage one by one in a recent capel service and shared appreciation for faculty and staff members. Some were serious. Some had inside jokes. All were heartfelt.
The chapel on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, provided an opportunity to practice gratitude; the comments provided encouragement and lots of smiles to every school employee, from custodial staff to head of school.
Here’s what they shared (in no particular order and missing a few that didn’t make it to this print list):
Mrs. Mary Jo Veurink, front office staff: You are always so welcoming to all guests. Thank you for making signing out to MTC super easy. I have thoroughly enjoyed our short conversations on my way out the door, and your helping to find other faculty members in the building when necessary. We are truly blessed to have you as a part of our EMS community.
Mrs. Chafin Vrolijk, cross country and track coach: You have been not only a coach these past three years, but a friend as well. Thank you for going on runs and for coming to basketball games. Thanks for loving country music as much as I do, helping to edit my paper, and being willing to talk about anything. You relate well to all your students, and we are blessed to have you as a part of our EMS community.
Mrs. Mary Cranston, English teacher — Thank you for sharing your love of birds, playing classical music during tests, and teaching us how to become better writers. AP Lit is the hardest class I’ve ever taken but you make it fun!
Mrs. Joy Anderson, elementary music teacher and musical director — Thank you for not only handling elementary schoolers, but also handling high schoolers who act worse than the elementary schoolers. Your passion and love for theatre is present in every show you’ve directed. Thank you for everything!
Mrs. Debbie Katz, counselor — Thank you for being such an awesome listener and fantastic friend to all.
Mrs. Melodie May, front office staff — Thank uou for all your help in the office and sharing your musical gifts with us. Also, thakns for being an awesome babysitter when I was little!
Mr. Jared Stutzman, music teacher and choir director — Thank you for always being willing to talk at the most random times. Thank you for picking my interest in choral music and teaching me all that I know today like solfage and sight reading.
Mrs. Marsha Thomas, admissions counselor — Thank you always showing a smile in the morning. You are always at the door when we come in to give us a helping hand when we have lots of stuff. Thank you for welcoming all the new students with grace and smiles.
Cafeteria staff — Thank you to the cafeteria ladies for cooking all the wonderful lunch meals. Thank you for putting up with us seniors and for cooking all the wonderful lunch meals. Thank you for putting up with all the senior shenanigans that happened in the lunchroom. You are the real reason we are still alive in high school.
Mr. Curt Stutzman, Bible, English, social studies teacher — Thank you for being a wonderful and funny host father.
I miss the intersting and hilarious drama and Shakespear classes with you. And the psychology experiments.
Ms. Malea Gascho, art teacher — I love being around your creative personality! You light up my day and I love spending time with you whether I’m in illustrations club or in class
Mrs Rebecca Yutzy, middle school team leader/academic lab — I love getting a greeting from you in the hallways and your energetic personality is a blessing!
Ms. Jennifer Young, drivers ed, physical education teacher — Thank you for bringing hodgepodges to neighbor group, for teaching us how to drive, and for being a great teacher and fun person to be around.
Al Vanegas and Vilay Khamphavong, custodial staff — You two will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for brightening my day with your cheerful greetings and conversation. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and hearing about your farming endeavors and hunting adventures. Thank you for all of the hard work you do for our school.
Mrs. Susie Hardy, business office assistant — Thank you for working hard with our school’s finances. You were an exceptional help to our class when we were juniors planning banquet. Thank you also for your help this year with reimbursing SCO purchases
Mrs. Shannon Roth, history and government teacher: Thank you for inspiring me to go deeper in the field of social studies and being a good helper and listener. Talking about history and politics with you is one of the most fun things I enjoy doing at school.
Mrs. Kierra Sauder, English teacher — Thank you for making English class a little more enjoyable, and for dealing with my antics. Also, thank you for bullying me all the time. 🙂
To the dining hall staff: Thank you for making us food every day and for keeping the dining hall clean.
Mr. Lee Good — Earth science teacher: Thanks Mr.Good for always putting a smile on me and the class with your cheesy jokes. (Even though we did not always understand them). Thanks also for the awesome hunting stories and talk.
Mr. Kevin Carini, chemistry, physics and robotics teacher — Thank you for always answering my physics questions, even when they were very dumb. Like when I asked how long it took the Earth to orbit around the Sun during a test… You are very patient!
Mrs. Erin Kennedy Hess, advancement office assistant — Thank you for always being kind to me in the office when I’m late or coming back from an appointment. Thank you for starting those days off with a smile.
Mrs. Liz Martin, dining hall manager — Thank you for making lunch for us every day. Thank you for asking about my latest soccer and basketball games in the lunch check-out line and for being nice even when the lunch line can get stressful.
Ms. Laura Hershey, math teacher, — I was a bratty, loud obnoxious kid in class who was stupid and wouldn’t pay attention, would ask the same stupid questions over and over again even after she had already explained them like 10 times, so by the time the tests rolled around, I would have no clue what I was doing, and would have to retake them and Ms Hershey would have to take time out of her day and teach the stuff to me all over again. O, and also thank-you for making fun of how I write my exes and ys.
Mr. Mike Stoltzfus, director of operations: Thanks for all of the opportunities you have given me in the tech department and for all you do on a daily basis. I know that you deal with a tremendous amount of work every day and people often will run into your office and say “Tag you’re ‘IT’!” [Short for Information Technology] When major problems come up, you rise to the occasion to solve them and we thank you for dealing with that.
Mr. Brian Buchanan, band and tech ed teacher: Thanks for being a great music and woodworking teacher and continuing the tradition of REAL country music and not that wangey rap stuff. I will always remember the 9th grade E-term to Nashville and I’d like to thank you for introducing me to Vince Gill and his music.
Mrs. Susan Melendez, 6th grade teacher: Thank you for taking care of me and always checking in on me. Thank you for everything you have done.
Mr. Chad Seibert, physical education and boys varisty basketball coach: Thanks for coaching us and for letting us hang out at your house and having team meals, and thanks for teaching us to eat.
Mrs. Michelle Weaver, long-term sub and international student coordinator: I really appreciated all you did for our AP Stats class 2nd quarter while subbing. You were always willing to do all you could to help us with getting answers to questions, helping find more resources for us and sympathizing with our struggles. Thank you for all you do as a sub and around the school.
Mr. Zach Sauder, 7th grade social studies — Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into working with the middle schoolers, all while looking like one too
Mrs. Michelle Nussbaum, long-term sub — Thank you for the countless hours you’ve spent helping around the school, and for being like a second mom for me this year.
Mr. Justin King, high school principal: Thank you for being an awesome principal. You are always willing to help your students and whether it’s giving advice on a college essay or life in general, we appreciate your kind and supportive spirit and all that you bring to our school.
Mrs. Anna Haarer, family consumer science teacher: Thank you for being an amazing teacher. I love that you are easy to talk to ranging anywhere from Cardi B to life in general. Thank you for your hilarious HGTV references, delicious food I’ve tried in your class, and for being my assistant [basketball] coach sophomore year.
Mrs. Julianne Ross, librarian — THank yo ufor your time spent in the library. Thank you for what you have done with the kindergarten on Fridays, listening to their hilarious comments. And especially, thank you for letting Lily, Sukainah and I put rubber fish on the library lights.
Dr. Paul Leaman, head of school: Thank you for letting me stay at your house! Thank you for all the help and support that you’ve given me! It means a lot, and thank you for the egg sandwiches that you made me.
Mrs. Patsy Seitz, director of academics: Thank you so so so much for all of your scheduling help! Especially this year when we were still working on what my classes would look like (the day before school started). I really appreciate all the joyful work you have put in to help me succeed. –
Mr. Andrew Gascho, communications technology, girls varsity soccer coach: Thank you for letting me join all of your classes last minute. I enjoy forging my own path and exploring techniques in them. Thank you also for being an amazing coach, always being in my corner and always encouraging me. Seeing you smile and say ‘good morning” truly helps make my day.
Mrs. Chris Eberly, business office manager, Thank you for all of the support you have given me throughout this year. I truly appreciate all of the hugs and kind words you have given me.
Mrs. Maria Archer, K-8 principal, Thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to work with the elementary schoolers and helping em to build my love for teaching.
Mr. Larry Martin, sixth grade teacher: Thank you for dealing with us since sixth grade. You saw our potential, even if we couldn’t.
Mrs. Jodi Hertzler, college and career counseling/English teacher/drama coordinator: Thank you for helping us to plan out the next step in our lives, even though “senioritis” has his us all pretty hard.
Mr. Kendal Bauman, physical education and soccer coach: Thank you for being the only constanton the boys soccer coaching staff for all the yers I’ve played soccer, for teaching me everyting I know about being a keeper, and catching me that one time I passed out sophomore year.
Dexter Byler and Tyler Kauffman, grounds and facilities management: Thank you for giving me a summer job first off, and thanks for doing maintenance work around the school. Without you, the school would probably literally fall apart.
Mrs. Trisha Blosser, development officer: Thank you for leading Christmas Fund Drive and making it your own. You made my — and our — senior year effort a bunch of fun. I’ve appreciated your enthusiasm, encouragement and advice as I’ve gotten to know you this year.
Mrs. Gini Trotter (counseling services): Thank you for being the great counselor that you are. You give so much attention to every student who needs it. Thank you for the many hours that you put into our lives. Whether it’s helping me with my governor’s school application, decision-making, or just life in general, my time at EMHS would not be the same without you.
Mrs. Lorcas (strings teacher): Thank you so much for your impact on our lives. Whether it’s leading an orchestra, teaching a lesson, or holding a mock audition, you are a great influence on our musical journeys. Thank you for always asking me how my auditions are going and being willing to hear the pieces that I’m working on. I really value the advice that you give. Thank you for caring and being encouraging.
Mr. Elwood Yoder, history and government teacher — There was a duel in senior homeroom over who got to thank you… I won. Since taking Global Anabaptism with you in ninth grade, I’ve always looked forward to your class for the impromptu songs and stories about back when you had an Afro. EMHS wouldn’t be the same without your classes, or students humming “Build a bridge” down the hall, or the Sunshine Band bringing beautiful harmonies to chapel. You’ve been a mentor and a role model for me, and I know that God will continue to bless others through you for the years to come. Thank you. And if I could just take this time to let everyone know, Mr. Yoder has an album and you should ask to hear it, it’s amazing.