Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
It’s a little known fact by current SLDM families, but when Rhonda Irving first taught at our beloved school in Fishers, she began her time instructing much smaller children. Each of my three sons had her as a teacher during their time at SLDM, and the first was my oldest son, Nick– as a third grader! Rhonda had a job share with Shannon Hall and that’s when I got to know her. He’s a junior in college now, so I’ll let you figure out the math on how long that means she’s been at SLDM. She was a blessing to all three Thieme boys, and we are grateful.
Rhonda is a stunningly beautiful and always fashion forward woman. A mom of 3, she and her husband, Doug, have two sons and a daughter. Because her sons are the same ages as mine, I had the pleasure of watching her parent Andrew and Bret while they were students in the building at SLDM. Morgan tagged along and was always just as shiny as her mom. It seems fitting on this Mother’s Day weekend to honor a woman who loves with her whole heart. Her smile really can light up an area!
I have lots of memories of Mrs. Irving as a teacher over the years. Many of us with children in the SLDM Class of 2012 lovingly referred to her as “Dharma” after the old sitcom called “Dharma and Greg”. The character on the show was the child of parents who were hippies and it showed in her sunny, giggly and easy-going disposition as well as her fun attire and propensity to go barefoot and take life not so seriously. Rhonda always kept things fairly loose and did a great job of loving up all our kids– and she reminded us of the best qualities of that character with her “boho” style and sunniness I suppose.
In more recent years, I found myself smiling at many SLDM Honor Roll ceremonies as she wanted to celebrate every child’s accomplishments with a hug. For my german-stoic youngest kiddo, that hug from Mrs. Irving was always kind of a moment of silly awkwardness. She knew he wasn’t super comfortable hugging, and he knew she was going to do it anyway…and secretly he wanted that love and affirmation. I saved a few photos of those moments just so I wouldn’t forget how she makes me grin. The fact is, she knows her students and their little quirks. Teachers like that who care about each individual kiddo are truly a gift.
Rhonda is a woman who chooses to love others. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it is a stretch…but she honors others in her path with kindness and her gorgeous smile and I have always, always respected that about her.
Thank you, Rhonda, for all you have done for the Thieme family over the years. We wish you and your beautiful family health and every happiness. We’ll miss you as we exit SLDM! Happy Mother’s Day to you! You’re a great teacher and a fantastic mom we’ve been so blessed to encounter over these many years!