Connor Brown asked his dad to help him count every summer day. Not because the soon-to-be first grader was dreading the dog days of summer slipping away. No, Connor was counting down the days until he could return to Timothy.
Connor and his older brother Nolan, a rising fifth grader, were two of the 264 new students welcomed into the Timothy community this year. Like so many other new families, their parents Jeff and Laura had always considered Christ-centered education for their boys. But the pandemic was the real catalyst to finally push them to enroll in Timothy. Their neighborhood Glen Ellyn school only offered a hybrid model, and the Browns wanted their boys to be in-person, five days a week.
From the get-go they were inspired by Superintendent Matt Davidson’s can-do attitude. “I’ve been so impressed with Matt Davidson’s Press On, Press-Forward mindset and communication,” Jeff explains. “I’m so grateful that our boys get to experience what true leadership and courage looks like.”
Even still, when August 19 rolled around and it was time to start school, the Browns were understandably nervous — especially for Nolan, their fourth grader. They worried about things like would he make friends? Would he fit in? One of Timothy’s core values is relationship-focused. In fact, community — both in and out of the classroom—is at the very heart of Timothy. So during the first few weeks of school, teachers make an intentional effort to develop a Christ-centered community in their classrooms. That can range from get-to-know-you games in elementary school to the 8th grade retreat to small groups in the high school.
“Nolan was nervous about starting a new school,” Jeff explains. “But I told him he could have the best of both worlds. He could keep his neighborhood friends and make new friends at Timothy. Honestly, the transition was pretty seamless.”
Nolan marched into Mrs. VanProyen’s fourth grade and Connor into Mrs. Schommer’s kindergarten class on the first day of school. They were both welcomed like they’d always been part of the class. “Mrs. VanProyen told me that Nolan didn’t seem new — that it felt like he’d been there all along!” Laura says, “Mrs. VanProyen and Mrs. Schommer were absolutely fantastic. I have to give credit to the kids, too. It’s just a super group of kids.”
Timothy’s values are at the heart of its mission and shape everything inside and outside of the classroom. From relationship-focused classrooms to opportunities for every student, our teachers and staff Go Beyond the classroom to cultivate learning, inspire leadership, and transform hearts.
"It's a wonderful feeling to be part of a community that has so much history."
That heart transformation that the Browns witnessed in their boys over the course of the year was the greatest gift of attending Timothy. Laura and Jeff admit that even though they were active in their church, and committed to raising their boys in the Christian home, something was always missing. “After a year at Timothy, what we’ve found is that having a Christ-centered education and having faith be such a big part of their every day learning experience has really tied everything together, where it was really missing before,” Laura says. “We’re all just living a little bit more out loud with who we are and that’s been wonderful for our family.”
Although the Browns didn’t get to experience all the community events of a normal year, they did attend Homecoming. “I was really impressed by the different generations of involvement, from new families, to generational families, to high school students, and alumni. That really speaks to the community,” Jeff says. “We just knew this place was really special.”
With over 260 churches and 61 towns and cities represented, the Timothy community is expanding. Even still, there are still deep generational roots. “We that knew going in,” Laura says, “but we never felt different, in fact we felt so embraced as a new family. It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a community that has so much history. We hope to be a generational family in the future.”