Throughout our 58 years, MLS has had the absolute pleasure of schooling entire families. We love that we are able to be a part of a family’s story and that their family becomes a part of ours. The Chaves Family has had a tremendous impact on MLS, having all four children walk through our halls, play on our teams, participate in our clubs, and leave with great impact on our teachers and staff. “It was a small school and you got to meet basically everyone that went there,” says Tom, Class of ’81. One thing is for sure…everyone knew the Chaves.
Q: Who are some of the teachers you remember from your time at MLS?
Mark ‘78: “Oh my goodness…Mr. Dolak in English stands out. He was also our Class Advisor for a few years. I also remember Mr. Bitten in History and Mr. Craigo for Math. They were all excellent teachers. And Mr. Mueller, who was my Basketball Coach on both JV and varsity, was an important part of my time there.”
Tom ‘81: “I had Mr. Fox for English and he was also involved with the Theatre Program. Mr. Bucholtz was my Math teacher and Basketball Coach. I had a great relationship with both of them inside and outside of the classroom. Having interactions with them outside of the classroom made them more personable. I had Mrs. Dolak for Freshman English…she had a unique style of teaching and very friendly nature.”
Cathy ‘82: “I remember Mrs. Hansen who was my Typing teacher and Mr. Canava who was our Cheerleading Coach and also an Accounting teacher.”
Q: What are some of your favorite memories from MLS during your time here?
Mark: “I played basketball when I was there and it was so much fun. I was also Class President so I was involved in Student Government. There were always good opportunities to participate. Because I was the president, I was involved in planning a lot of events, such as the Senior Prom and the Volleyball Marathon, which raised money for the school.”
Tom: “I think the extracurricular activities…I played basketball for four years and cross country in senior year. The friends I have and the experiences I had from all of the activities is what I remember most. I was also involved in some of the Theatre productions, playing Albert in Bye Bye Birdie. Thursday mornings were Bagel Thursday’s…we had a late start that day and one of the members in our class (David Link) would bring in bagels and set up in the kitchen to sell them and fundraise for the class.”
Cathy: “I remember being a Cheerleader and in the Cougar Club. I had the experience of being involved in a lot of sports, too.”
Q: Why did your family choose MLS?
Tom: “It was a small school and we got to meet of lot of the people that went there. My two brothers came to MLS before I did, so there was an expectation I had to live up to. There was protection…people looking out for you. It was an extension of family. Good feelings and good memories were created with great friends along the way.”
Q: How did MLS impact your career and college choices?
Mark: “I got a really great general education. The academics were strong, and there were lots of leadership opportunities even in a small school. You could be in sports, clubs, student government... and that all helped me prepare for college and beyond.”
Tom: “From a college perspective, I came from a small high school and wanted to go to a small college because of this. I didn’t want to get lost in the crowd. In junior year I started taking a computer course, and this sparked my interest…my career has been around that ever since then.”
Q: What was it like being in the same school as your siblings?
Tom: “When I was a freshman, David was a junior and Mark was a senior. All three of us were the Class Presidents. It was the three of us for two consecutive years. It was nice in freshman year to have some access to family, but also be able to do my own thing as well. My brothers and I were all musically inclined so we would play in Chapel occasionally. David even wrote the Martin Luther Pep Song.”
Cathy: “It was good…I had to keep up with them since everyone knew us, both teachers and students. They would always refer to me as Mark or David’s little sister.”
Q: What else did you want to add about your experience at MLS, and the impact it has had on your life?
Tom: “Education was always an important part of our family. MLS provided the right balance of socializing, extracurricular activities, teachers that cared, building relationships, and making friends. I think about my time at MLS fondly. My Dad was always involved in the athletics. He would keep score at the games. He worked in Higher Education and had a relationship with College Advisors and helped students do what they needed to do to prepare for college. We will be introducing the Chaves Family Scholarship in honor of our Dad who passed away a few years ago. The Scholarship will enable more students to do what we did in our years at MLS.”
Q: Why would you consider MLS to be the Small School - Smart Choice based on your experience?
Cathy: “In a smaller school you get more one on one attention with teachers. It was very family-like. A small school is also good because everyone knows you and teachers can center their attention based on your needs”
After catching up with the Chaves’ kids, we had the pleasure of speaking with their Mother, Joan Chaves. She spoke happily on the years her children attended MLS.
Q: Mrs. Chaves, what do you remember from the years your kids attended MLS?
Joan: “They enjoyed the small school atmosphere…the fellowship and activities that continued through high school. We didn’t want to separate them. They made a lot of friends and loved it.”
Q: What were some of the reasons you chose MLS for the kids?
Joan: “The Christian Education, the opportunity to be with friends, and the amazing faculty… we really enjoyed it. My husband was a Pastor and I was a teacher, and we decided on this school because of the small class size. Many classes were overcrowded elsewhere.”
Q: What do you remember about the teacher-parent relationships?
Joan: “They were easy to speak to and we always saw them at activities. They were friendly and approachable. We could speak to them about anything and that was very helpful.”
Mrs. Chaves spoke fondly of the years the kids spent at MLS, explaining, “My four were all good students…they never got in trouble. I always remember the years that the boys were all Class Presidents for their grades.” She also explained the impact of the size of the school saying, “the size…the fact that it wasn’t a huge school where kids get lost in the crowd and where faculty knew everyone was amazing. We were pleased with the Christian atmosphere and the after-school activities. They just had a great experience, and I would encourage other parents to looking into MLS because of these things.”
The Chaves Family has had an incredible impact on Martin Luther School, and we are blessed that their family has remained a big part of ours. We also want to take a moment to remember their Father, Alan Chaves for his role at Martin Luther School as a mentor, friend, and member of the family. He will always be remembered for the important role he played in many students’ lives.
Thank you to all of the Chaves Family for telling us their MLS Story.