EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) – Jon Kroeze has taught at Calvin Christian School for 18 years.
“It’s the kids that keep me coming back, building great relationships with them and helping them learn,” he said.
He first started building relationships with students in Haiti, teaching English for a mission agency.
“Teaching in Port au Prince was a great experience,” he said.
Raised on an Iowa dairy farm, Kroeze came back to the Midwest where he’s made quite the mark on his students here, from starting a cross country club he’s coached for the last five years to encouraging his students to be stewards of the environment.
“We call it being earth keepers here, so we worked with solar energy and one of their favorite projects was they each got to develop solar cookers and figure out ways how to use renewable energy resources,” he said.
His biggest mark is on not only his students, but also on seniors at a nearby retirement living center.
“Once a month we go over to Cloverleaf,” he said referring to the facility in Blaine. “We visit with them, we play games with them, we share stories, we just develop relationships with them.”
Kroeze says what he loves about those relationships is the multigenerational learning. He says students learn so many social skills through the visits.
The seniors love it too and will often send the class cookies.