I had the honor of working with Dan Fleming at Hope Elementary for many years. He was responsible for sixth graders; I was responsible for fifth graders. He chose education as a career later in life and brought many wonderful experiences, including farming while providing a farm and market report for several local radio stations, and a common sense approach to Hope Elementary and the Hope community. His background was applied greatly when building a greenhouse which sixth graders eagerly took care of and made a little money while selling their flowers for a variety of projects. It was another worthwhile project that went far beyond standardized tests. Dan was a master of engaging students in discussions for Social Studies.

Our staff was always thrilled when Dan and his wife, Lynne, another retired educator, would invite us to their farm for an outdoor dinner and then take us on a wagon ride through the woods and even through the shallow waters of the Driftwood River bed.

One year, I presented Dan a special plaque with words my dad said to me while spending hours on a job which I was questioning why he had even agreed to take on, “For The Challenge.” I gave Dan the plaque to honor my dad, Roy Wilson Webster, and to honor Dan for his willingness to meet any challenge that life threw his way. Another plaque followed, this one with the powerful word “Simplify” on it. Through the years, Dan and I have discussed the importance of making our lives less complicated in order to be more balanced and to move forward which also benefits others.

It did not surprise me to find that BARTA, Bartholomew County Retired Teachers, another outstanding community organization, nominated Dan for Volunteer of the Year to IRTA, Indiana Retired Teachers Association.

The following was stated about Dan's efforts, “Dan Fleming works tirelessly in the community through his service to people. He is actively involved in his church where he serves on the Board of Trustees. Dan also devotes countless hours volunteering in the community during events and serves on the Hope Community Center Board.

“In addition, Dan's volunteer work takes him outside of the local community with CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates. Currently, he is working on CASA cases with a placement in South Bend that is now in Terre Haute. He tries to do a face-to-face visit twice a month. So the driving and visits add up to a considerable amount of time. Children are involved with quite a few hearings to go with placement changes. Of course, Dan was at those hearings to help facilitate the best possible outcome for the child.

“Dan Fleming has worked his entire life helping others. His legendary work helping people is well known.”

BARTA also awards grants each school year to educators. Congratulations to:Flat Rock-Hawcreek Schools for Mrs. Wright's “To Sit or Stand” Program with $202.45

Being an educator for thirty-six years, I am well aware of how such grants can go a long ways in helping our students and schools!