May 9, 2018

There are always a lot of goodbyes at the end of the school year. Students we have had the opportunity to pour into during their time at Valley are moving on to the next stage of life. And it’s not just the students because some of the parents have been very involved and become familiar faces around campus.

There are years when we also say goodbye to some teachers. This year it is only one, but we sure are going to miss Mr. Jenkins. If you were at the Fine Arts Festival on Monday night you saw first-hand how the students feel about him. There were many tears shed and quite a few hugs. When Mr. Jenkins joined us seven years ago he had been married for just a year and was a first year teacher. On more than one occasion he told me he didn’t think this teaching thing was for him and he was done. I think my most common reaction was to laugh and reassure him it would be okay. There were times he looked at me like I was crazy for laughing, because he was serious; he was at the end of his rope. That happens to every first year teacher, even the best ones, and Mr. Jenkins is one of the best. Seven years later he is the confident and talented veteran teacher I knew he would become and he has left an impact on our school. We have had the opportunity to walk with Mr. Jenkins and see his family grow as they have two beautiful children. While Mrs. Jenkins desperately tried everything she could to keep them quiet during the concert on Monday, my heart was full of joy seeing the two of them having fun.

Mr. Jenkins, we are going to miss you greatly. We know God has great plans in store for you and your family. Even as you move to Houston you will always be a part of the Valley Lutheran family. I think 1 Thessalonians 3:9 sums up how a lot of us think of you. It says, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of God because of you?”  You have grown into an excellent teacher and one who always points others toward the joy of being in the presence of God. Thank you Mr. Jenkins!

Mr. Robert Koehne
Executive Principal