Third grade brought a new principal to Northpoint and a new perspective on improving the academic success for children in IEP’s (Individual Education Plan). Mr. Don Haerr was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and was matched up with our son, Jon for an exciting new Mentor Program that would be held every Wednesday after school. Their relationship was a match made in heaven.

They would first do homework and Mr. Haerr would work right beside Jon doing the Math homework teaching Jon, the way he had learned in school, he practiced spelling words, talked about cars, especially corvettes and then played checkers. HE did not let Jon win, he was a valiant opponent and it became more difficult for Mr. Haerr to win, as Jon gained confidence and learned strategies taught by Mr. Haerr. He would often share his childhood memories with Jon about the Morton pumpkin factory, his schooling and serving in the Army.

Wednesday Afternoons were a magical time for Jon. Mr. Haerr came back for 4th and 5th grade always with the understanding that he would return to be with Jon. He came to Jon’s 5th grade graduation and for many years Mr. Haerr would drop by our house to leave car magazines for Jon. He was an honored guest with his beautiful wife at Jon’s high school graduation party. He was the local grandfather that Jon needed because his grandpa’s lived so far away.

Tonight we present Mr. Don Haerr with a HEAL Foundation HERO AWARD for your gift of friendship, unconditional support, and loyalty to Jon.