Mr. Christian Vandehaar
Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Iowa’s Bondurant-Farrar High School’s art teacher Mr. Vandehaar for his hard work in his community and his students’ success in their many endeavours.
Mr. Vandehaar has been teaching 9th – 12th grade art classes at Bondurant-Farrar High School for nine years. Bondurant-Farrar High School serves approximately 600 students. Mr. Vandehaar received his Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Iowa State University and his Masters from Drake University. He decided to become an art teacher because he enjoys helping others and seeing them reach their full potential.
Through Mr. Vandehaar’s passion for the arts, Bondurant-Farrar High School has been recognized as one of Iowa’s top three All-State Art Schools, with his school earning the number one overall spot in 2018. Students from Mr. Vandehaar’s art classes have had state and national success in various art competitions including the Congressional Art Competition. Under Mr. Vandehaar, art students from Bondurant-Farrar High School have been selected for the Congressional Art Competition for the past 5 out of the last 6 years. Twelve of his students have even become All-State honors within the last four years. The accolades continue with three Gold and Silver medals in the National Scholastic Competition, two Grant Wood Legacy Prize Awards, and a National Scholastic American Vision Medal. Mr. Vandehaar and his students have also worked with the Bondurant Community Foundation to create a 100 foot mural along a bike trail within his community. However, Mr. Vandehaar’s proudest accomplishment is his Art Canned Food Drive which challenges classes to donate the most canned items for their Combat Hunger week. Through his initiative, students have donated over 15,000 items in the last seven years. As Mr. Vandhaar says, “You can move mountains if you tell teenagers there’s pizza on the other side.”
It is an honor to commemorate Mr. Vandehaar’s outstanding achievements in his school and his community. I have great respect and admiration for our educators and am particularly thankful for the strong foundation they are giving our kids. As the mother of two boys, I know that a quality education is crucial to success. I hope the well-rounded training and techniques they found successful in the classroom becomes a model for the district and the country.
I applaud Mr. Vandehaar for his hard work and dedication, and I congratulate him on his success.