Rod Story: My name is Dr. Rod Story. I’m a family physician here in town. We have been here since 2009.

Jenny Story: I’m Jenny Story, and we have nine kids. Maddie has graduated and soon to be a mother. Meghan has graduated Logos. Emma has graduated Logos. Then we have Ellie, who’s 15, and [Rilla 00:00:26] who’s 13. Joe is 11. [00:00:30] Peter is nine. Lucy is seven, and then Sam, number nine, he is in Kindergarten at Logos. He’s five.

Rod Story: Now you can know why I ask my wife to give all the dates and birthdays.

Speaker 3: The one other announcement I should make … You don’t need to worry about the cameras.

Rod Story: Sure. My name is Dr. Rod Story. I’m a family physician here in town. We moved from Wisconsin to be here in 2009.

Jenny Story: We [00:01:00] have-

Speaker 3: Pull your hair back, right there. There, we got it off your cheek. Perfect, you’re good.

Jenny Story: Right there?

Speaker 3: Yep.

Jenny Story: Okay, so you want all nine kids again?

Speaker 3: Yeah, I’d love that.

Jenny Story: Okay!

Speaker 3: Good.

Jenny Story: We have nine children. We have six girls and three boys, and Maddie has graduated from Logos. She’s going to be a mom soon. Meghan has graduated from Logos. Emma has graduated from Logos, and then we have Ellie, who’s 15. Rilla is … I’m losing track. Rilla is 13.

Rod Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and Joe is 11.

Jenny Story: [00:01:30] Joe is 11.

Rod Story: Pete’s nine.

Jenny Story: Pete’s nine, and then we have one more who’s seven.

Rod Story: Lucy.

Jenny Story: Lucy’s seven.

Rod Story: Oh, boy.

Jenny Story: Sam is five, and Sam’s in Kindergarten.

Rod Story: Every one of our kids has been at Logos.

Jenny Story: Yes.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Rod Story: God writes these stories and I think for us it began being in a public school many years ago. Jenny was homeschooled, and we thought God has given us a large family. There’s no way we can homeschool. Lo and behold, we started homeschooling, and we were homeschooling in a community [00:02:00] in northern Wisconsin. We discovered as we were getting kids older in the late junior high years and the younger years and the middle years that we just weren’t keeping up, and we were desperate for community.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rod Story: We decided that all of the stuff that we were doing and the classical stuff, the great history, the literature, and the languages, and we wanted really a school. We began looking around. We said, “Okay, we want to be in the Northwest. Where are all the classical schools? Particularly ones that are in small towns?”
[00:02:30] Guess what. We came to Logos.

Jenny Story: Academically, they did really well. Academically, it wasn’t a challenge for them. Their challenge came more social. Simple things like raising your hands. Who raises their hands around the kitchen table, right? Things like blurting out answers and that took a little bit of getting used to for our kids, and then socially, we were pretty isolated in northern Wisconsin where we came from. Being in [00:03:00] a class with peers, it was a challenge for some of our kids.

Rod Story: One of the biggest blessings and also biggest challenges was just having teachers. It was great to be able to be as a parent not the teacher any more, but to be able to come alongside. At Logos, the teachers are not just teachers of the subject. They’re really interested in your kids growing and maturing, and so they are in your kids’ lives. They care, and they are constantly engaging us with things [00:03:30] that are both encouraging and things we need to work on.

Jenny Story: Challenging maybe, yeah.

Rod Story: As a homeschooling family, that was probably the biggest challenge, hearing that your little darlings are not perfect.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Rod Story: I think it’s fantastic, the pink slips, and honestly, when … Probably the person who sets the tone the most is Matt Whitling. One of those things like you mentioned, where you learn that pink slips are instructive, and you get them for academic, and you get them for behavior issues. Matt Whitling spoke [00:04:00] some great truth. He said, “Write on the bottom, ‘Thank you,’ and send it back.”
Having an attitude of thankfulness for teachers that are willing to not just get your kid in trouble, but actually help them grow and to suggest things that they need to grow in, blind spots that you might have, really has been a huge blessing to our family.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rod Story: Frankly, we’ve actually looked for teachers that give pink slips.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup, I think we found them!

Speaker 3: [00:04:30] That’s awesome.

Rod Story: Well, because they’re alongside us. We really see it as a team. They see themselves as helping us, not taking over for us.

Jenny Story: Yeah.

Rod Story: Yeah.

Jenny Story: Yeah.

Rod Story: What are some of the teachers that we find the most fascinating? Mrs. Sawyer, Jan Sawyer. Every one of our kids has gone to Kindergarten with her. Our last one’s in Kindergarten with her. We wish we had more, so that we could have them go to Kindergarten with her. She’s amazing.
Mrs. Kimmel, [00:05:00] who really is-

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:05:02]

Jenny Story: The wisest things come from Jan’s mouth. She’ll say to me, as we’re sitting at a parent teacher meeting, about my five-year old, “Jenny, take care of this now, because this will get bigger.”
Even though we have nine kids, and sometimes people think we know what we’re doing, it’s so good to be reminded with number seven or number eight or number nine, yeah, take care of this now. [00:05:30] This little thing will get bigger and be harder to take care of next year and harder to take care of the next year, but now it’s just little. Let’s take care of that. She does it with a smile on her face, with such kindness and compassion for not only our children, but our family as well.

Speaker 3: Is this what you mean by partnering then? [crosstalk 00:05:51]

Jenny Story: Absolutely. Right. I didn’t say anything about, “Is she teaching them to read?” or “Is she teaching them math?” Of course, she does that. This is about [00:06:00] the character of our children, who they are not only at Logos, but in our family, as a Story family, that she really cares about that.

Rod Story: She has such a joy of learning. She has particular joy in outdoors, and I think the bird unit is the famous one for Kindergarten. Every one of our kids has become an expert in picking through owl pellets, yes, which is a nice word for [00:06:30] scat, but it does give you a lot of interest. When you have a five-year old who’s out there gathering them, because Mrs. Sawyer taught her that this is fascinating. This is what God has made, and you can learn so much. Wow, that’s glorious.

Jenny Story: Yeah.

Speaker 3: [crosstalk 00:06:46]

Jenny Story: We still have Ziplocs of owl poop in our freezer, that our kids can pick through at their leisure.

Rod Story: Yes.

Jenny Story: Yeah.

Speaker 3: Just for context, who are we talking about?

Jenny Story: [00:07:00] Mrs. Sawyer.

Speaker 3: The Kindergarten teacher.

Jenny Story: Kindergarten teacher.

Speaker 3: Full name and then what she does.

Jenny Story: Okay, so Jan Sawyer is the Kindergarten teacher, and I don’t know … How long has she been there?

Speaker 3: 27 years, I think.

Jenny Story: She’s been there a long time, but she does this bird unit. I don’t know how long it lasts, months. The bird unit lasts months, and they learn bird names, the way birds look, the bird noises, their habitats, everything, and owls. Then with the owls, you get the owl poop. [00:07:30] We happen to have a little bit of property behind our house, so we have a prime gathering area for owl poop.

Speaker 3: Ideal really for a field trip or …

Rod Story: It really is. It really is.

Jenny Story: Ideal.

Rod Story: She takes them to her house, and a lot of teachers do. I think Mrs. Kimmel, one of our teachers that we’ve had almost every one of our kids go through, because Mrs. Kimmel takes a second-grader and makes them grow. [00:08:00] She does that not with gentle smoothing, but with really a firm hand and encouragement and a call to a higher standard. Boy, that’s the hardest year, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our kids grow. They’re not squashed. They rise.

Jenny Story: Yep.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jenny Story: I’ve done this before, many times, and I usually say, “It’s not the building,” because the building isn’t much to look at. I’ll say, “It’s the teachers.”
[00:08:30] You need to sit in on a class. Sit in a class. Listen to those teachers. Sit and talk with a teacher for five minutes afterwards if you can. It’s those teachers. They love our kids, and I’m so thankful for them.

Rod Story: You’ve never seen such classrooms, classrooms there where the kids are enjoying it and yet it’s not chaos, where they’re learning things that you go, “Wow, how did you memorize that?”
I think [00:09:00] for me, it’s usually the assemblies, the student assemblies. We have assemblies once a month, and they’re worth going to, even if it’s not your students. You are just blown away, partly by what the kids are able to learn. The young minds that these teachers capably recognize and the material properly addresses at the age where they are rather than talking down to them. Then [00:09:30] just the ability to do plays. I think the size of Logos really allows for almost every student to have an opportunity to grow in public speaking and put it all together, the things that they’re learning.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Rod Story: Early on when we were first hearing words about the campaign for a new building, we were a little bit hesitant. We liked this old girl, this roller rink that we live in, and we liked the humbleness of it. We were concerned. Would it turn us into something [00:10:00] different? Would it take Logos and the community feel and the accessibility for everyone in the community, would it make it different? What I think we see instead is a vision that’s cast for a school building that encourages the very best of Logos. Those things that we talked about, the public speaking, the mock trial aspects that our family has found to be highly valuable, the community of K through 12, where [00:10:30] all the students know each other and where families are involved … we see that even more so being even more so being built into this new location.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:10:40]

Jenny Story: I feel like I could be the personal cheerperson for mock trial. We didn’t understand what it was when we started. We thought, “You’re pretending to be a lawyer? What? What is this? You want me to help you, and I don’t understand this.”
We actually just threw our first child out [00:11:00] there, and then we saw it. We went to the first competition, not helping a minute. We didn’t help her one minute. We went to the first competition, and we were like, “Wow, this is incredible. Everything that they’re synthesizing from their classical education of rhetoric and public speaking and debate, kindness, truth … [00:11:30] We were overwhelmed.”

Rod Story: Drama, showmanship, teamwork, and because we’re such a small school, it’s very accessible for just about any student that really puts themselves out there to be able to be part of it. It’s not an exclusive little club.

Jenny Story: No.

Rod Story: In fact, every year there’s new faces and new families that are being drawn to it. Although, there’s also families, like ours, that say, “Okay, you might not be drawn to this, but I really think you should.”

Jenny Story: Yup. You just need to try it. You just try out, [00:12:00] and just give it a try. We’ve told all of our kids now, “You need to try this.” Yeah, I love mock trial. I love what it has done for our children.

Rod Story: It’s one of several things that I think at Logos are capstone experiences, whether it’s being involved in the drama productions, which have a very similar feel, an intensity and extraness, whether it’s some of the sports activities where you rise to the level of captain in leadership, or whether it’s mock trial, there are many of these [00:12:30] elements that take the very best of what you grab at Logos and just put it together in a capstone.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I think that the personal discipleship, mentoring, that our children receive with these, particularly these extracurricular activities that they’re involved in, to us, that’s invaluable. They get to rub shoulders on a consistent basis with [00:13:00] Dr. [inaudible 00:13:01], with-

Rod Story: Tom Barfield.

Jenny Story: Tom Barfield.

Rod Story: Megachurch. The remarkable people that go above and beyond and bring an extra level of care. I think one of the most amazing things is actually our team attracts alumni, college students, and people that are 10 or 20 years out. They come back, and they help coach. They come and they take care of an alumni scrimmage that happens every year, and the whole community shows up for it. [00:13:30] Fantastic.
We came and we jumped in thinking it’s about our individual kids, and it’s about getting them to a place. Then you realize, no, it’s actually about something much bigger than that. That sometimes is intangible, but then you look around the community and you see the multiple generations that are brought here. We’re an example, actually, now. My mom has moved here part-time, and she comes and she just falls right into the school. She attends everything she can. [00:14:00] She jumps into volunteering. Jen’s parents just moved here, and I think for the very same reason. They see something more than just a school that the kids go to. They see it as part of the community.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I think when you’re talking about the building and the new building, and why have we invested in it in the way we have? The first thing that comes to my mind is, because I want it to be around for my grandchildren.

Rod Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jenny Story: I want Logos to [00:14:30] be here 20 years from now, 30, 50 years from now, a hundred years from now, and I don’t see that being sustainable in the spot we’re at. When I think about why have we chosen to invest, I want it to be around for my children and grandchildren.

Rod Story: This old building, boy, it’s been stretched. You can see that walls have been moved multiple times. The eating [00:15:00] place has gotten smaller and smaller every year as they’ve added on classrooms. It’s just gotten to a point where we need more. We need to be able to spread out so that we can keep these things that are so essential or the things that just are the icing on the cake, allow them to expand, and include more people.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 3: But …

Rod Story: I think I would say Logos is bigger than one church, and that is one blessing [00:15:30] and encouragement that I would want people to know. I have friends at the Evangelical Greek Church, and I see this grandfather who shows up and does a reading group every week. This guy glows when he’s done with it, and he’s there partly for his grandkids, but honestly, he’s there for a lot of grandkids that are not his own. I see that interaction and that draw that is bigger than just one church, that represents the body of Christ [00:16:00] growing and building something that is bigger than just one location. I like that. I really think that that’s healthy. Our kids have had some fantastic interactions where they’ve come home and said, “Hey, did you know that so-and-so goes to the Catholic church?” Then there’s a conversation about, “Well, how is it for them going?” They have a great conversation about, “They believe this, but they don’t believe that.” The conversation is really healthy at our school, and the students feel like they’re included. [00:16:30] I think that that’s amazing.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:16:33]

Rod Story: Absolutely, and you see that with the students that come out there, not a rubber stamp. Each one is an individual that has grown remarkably in their maturity and with their family’s involvement.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:16:44]

Rod Story: Well, she’s not just any grandma; she’s a grandma who was a public school teacher for 35 years. Guess what. She thought homeschooling was better, and she sees this and she thinks this is amazing. She can’t wait to be part of it.

Jenny Story: She loves Logos.

Rod Story: All of the things that she wishes she could’ve [00:17:00] done, the culture that she wishes she could’ve brought, the glorifying of God’s name openly, she just is thrilled with that.

Speaker 3: This is who again? [crosstalk 00:17:11]

Rod Story: This is my mother, yeah.

Speaker 3: [crosstalk 00:17:13] my mother who just joined us the last year.

Rod Story: Yes, so this is my mother Scotty. I lost my dad a couple years ago, and she now lives with us part-time. She comes, and when she comes, this is one of the things she throws herself into.

Speaker 3: Awesome.

Rod Story: I’ve heard it said [00:17:30] that Christians should be about having the best, and what does that mean? The best education, because it’s a joy and it’s a blessing to the community to give that and for our kids to pursue that to God’s glory. The best athletics, not because the kids need to excel to make themselves feel good, but because we can do that to God’s glory. I think that the new location is going to lend itself to a community, a place, that people want to be, and [00:18:00] that makes us what the Bible speaks of, a city on the hill. We’ll be a school on the plain, which is a very similar concept, but I think the building of the athletic fields, the building of a beautiful campus, the open invitation for people to join us, I think that that speaks to where we want to be, Christians holding out the very best to our community. Yeah.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:18:25]

Rod Story: Overflow with God’s goodness. Come and enjoy the P Picnic. Come and [00:18:30] have-

Jenny Story: The P Picnic is something that happens in Mrs. Sawyer’s Kindergarten class, where everything that they eat at the P Picnic starts with the letter P. It’s popcorn, pickles, pizza … It’s the P Picnic.

Rod Story: It’s a production.

Jenny Story: It’s a production!

Rod Story: I don’t know.

Jenny Story: Yeah.

Speaker 3: I didn’t even know that that … We’ve never had a Kindergartner, right?

Rod Story: Yeah!

Jenny Story: Ah.

Speaker 3: [crosstalk 00:18:53] I’ve learned to enjoy Jan through John, because I had a relationship with him. I’ve heard … Well, [00:19:00] nobody wants her to quit.

Jenny Story: Yes, no!

Speaker 3: There’s a reason, right?

Jenny Story: Yes.

Rod Story: You know what is neat is that each classroom, each teacher develops their personality. You’ve got some teachers that take their kids out to the buffalo farm. You’ve got others that take their kids over to their own house, and they have a goat picnic. You’ve got kids that go over to the Kamiak. You’ve got remarkable trips that people do that grows out of the personality and love and uniqueness of who they are.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rod Story: [00:19:30] Yeah, we’re enthusiastic about Logos. One of the remarkable things, too, about Logos is they’re not special kids. They’re not uniquely weird families. It is a place of community where people are raising their kids alongside each other. That’s another Matt Whitling thing. You’re going to bring your little sinners, and they’re going to be growing up and going to school alongside other little sinners. What does that mean? That we [00:20:00] recognize properly where these kids are and that they’re growing up and maturing as believers. We want to see that, not try and set them apart as unique and untouchable.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 3: One more time.

Jenny Story: We love Logos! That’s easy for me to say. I could say that over and over again.

Rod Story: Yup.

Jenny Story: I don’t want you to use this on tape, but when we went through this transition, our biggest, number one fear was that we were going to lose Logos. [00:20:30] With losing his job and … We didn’t want to move. Lord, we’ll do anything. What can we do to stay right here? We had no idea that it was starting our own practice. That was not in our plans, but-

Rod Story: No way. We thought I’d be doing some traveling for work, and we’d do what we had to to keep in …

Jenny Story: Really my heart’s desire was, “How can we stay?”

Speaker 3: You knew that your options were incredibly limited.

Jenny Story: [00:21:00] We started immediately making calls and believe it or not, nobody wanted to talk to us. We had a reputation, and so we were thinking, we’re going to have to move. [crosstalk 00:21:13] My number one thought was, “I don’t want to leave Logos. Please, Lord, please.”

Rod Story: You know, hon, I don’t think that’s … It prompts me to think about how many families strive and make sacrifices [00:21:30] and do what they need to to be here, many who have moved and they’ve changed positions or jobs so that they could be part of a community-

Speaker 3: It’s a hardship, right?

Rod Story: Raising kids together, and it has been a hardship.

Speaker 3: Look at [inaudible 00:21:42]

Jenny Story: Yep.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:21:42]

Rod Story: For some families, they’re working extra at the school to be able to help their … or going without and living in more humble situations so they can pay for the tuition. It’s remarkable, the sacrifices, because people see there’s something unique here.

Jenny Story: Mm-hmm (affirmative). [00:22:00] We love Logos.

Rod Story: Right on cue.

Speaker 3: That was good!

Jenny Story: When we went through a pretty scary career transition, one of the things that was biggest forefront in my mind was, we don’t want to leave Logos.

Rod Story: Absolutely.