- Sponsorship -

All in the family: two pairs of twins go to dad’s school

Sharing hugs, high-fives and secret snacks

Dan Zang was long looking forward to this school year, when all four of his children would be students at Rockford High School, where he is principal. That meant his two sets of twins — sophomores Aimee and Kate, and seniors Luke and Drew – would always be nearby, for an office pop-in or hallway smile. 

“I get my dad-hugs in the work day,” Zang said on a Tuesday in mid-March, with all four kids crammed into his office. “It’s nice to see my kids. It’s a real perk for me on those really hard days to get those hugs and high-fives.” 

Now, of course, they are even more together, in the same house. Since the statewide school buildings closure just three days after that office meet-up, their one year of in-school togetherness has become more intimate than they ever could have imagined. 

“We have had more meals together as a family and have enjoyed many activities that our schedules may not have allowed in the past,” Zang said after the shutdown. “Our family dog, Blue, has greatly enjoyed the family time as well.”

While looking on the bright side of things, Zang, in his 14th year as principal, acknowledges the heartbreak and disappointment for students, especially seniors. Still, he and his children had six months of a unique and memorable family experience before school doors shut. Aimee and Kate were at the Rockford Freshman Center last year (where mom Sara is a secretary), so this was the only time they were all in the same building with dad. 

More Pros than Cons 

Casually sitting around in Zang’s office, his children shared the pluses – and a couple minor minuses — of going to a school where their father runs the show. Sure, they’re always expected to be on their best behavior, but they’d do that anyway, they say. 

‘If I’m having a bad day, he’s always here to help me’

— Kate Zang on her father, principal Dan zang

“I think it’s great,” piped up Aimee, Kate’s identical twin and like her a track standout. She recalled coming into the office one day with a sore knee and putting an ice pack on it. “It’s nice because I know the staff members here and they’re all so nice. They always offer help.” 

Same for Kate. “If I’m having a bad day, he’s always here to help me,” she said. Added bonus: “It’s very nice because he has a lot of snacks” stored in the cupboard. “I can raid his snack stash.” 

Luke and Drew, fraternal twins, admit that sometimes friends would ask them to pass along complaints and suggestions to their dad, but mostly of the kidding kind. Luke: “They’ll be like, ‘Hey Luke, can you make your dad give us a snow day?’” Drew: “People will go, ‘You must get all A’s because your dad’s the principal.’”

But for them as for the girls, having a dad for a principal has been a winner. 

“I’ll stop and give him a hug” in the hallway, Drew confided. “I don’t care if other people see it.” 

It’s a blessing that goes both ways, Zang said.

“As a dad, it’s been a joy to watch them grow up as high school students,” he said. “It’s been just a joy to watch them flourish here. They’re finding their own path.”

- Sponsorship -
Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers Rockford and Grand Rapids. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

LATEST ARTICLES

‘Hope on the horizon’ as local teachers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

Lincoln School special education teacher, Ann Post believes there is 'hope on the horizon' for Kent ISD teachers and educators across Kent County after receiving her first round of the COVID-19 vaccine...

Sisters land grant to help those who ‘aren’t as lucky as we are’

Sisters at Page Elementary researched and wrote a grant to help homeless kids at Family Promise of Barry County...

Virtual counseling office offers ‘one-stop’ services

The site offers new ways for students to connect, on anything from academic questions to mental health issues...

Good behavior encouraged at home

For students learning from home, positive behavior rewards are still possible...

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Students speak their minds, open their hearts about life in a pandemic

Rockford broadcasting students are sharing the emotional burdens of living through a pandemic, but also their determination to emerge stronger for the experience, in a powerful and personal video...

Stress, studies and the pandemic: a steep learning curve

In response to the social and emotional impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockford’s Developing Healthy Kids Campaign wants students and families to know they are not alone...

Students find a quiet place to chill out: the hygge room

A calming “hygge room” has become a popular part of Roguewood Elementary’s mental-health supports for students during the pandemic...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS