The Kraus Family Wants to Nurture the Values Found at Providence Day School
No words were spoken. Just a slight nod of the head and the tacit understanding between two parents. Thomas and Sandra Kraus retell the story with fondness and a hint of the dramatic.
During their admissions campus tour, a stop in the Thompson-Jones library revealed the Canadian, German, and Cuban flags which signaled the school’s global focus, and coincidentally, mirrored Thomas’ and Sandra’s heritage. A computer programming class in Lower School showcased PD’s use of technology as a tool to engage the learner and teach critical thinking skills, which also reflected the Kraus’ professional dot-com past. They were impressed.
Combined, the two experiences created a powerful, personally-significant visit that told them what they traveled from San Francisco to Charlotte to decide — where to enroll their three kids: Calvin, Charlotte, and Nicholas.
“The answers were in our eyes,” said Sandra. “PDS is the place we should go. We didn’t speak them out loud because we didn’t want to influence the children.” A walk through the Lower School science lab sealed the deal for the kids. “The science room captured them.”
“For the family, it was unanimous,” explained Thomas. “It was a very simple decision.”
Yet the Kraus’ don’t make decisions lightly. They wanted a school that reflected their interests and all the things they value – hard work, perseverance, risk-taking, community spirit, multi-culturalism, visionary thinking. They trusted their instincts and now are entrusting the school with executing on those values and the vision for future generations.
“You can’t plant an apple seed today and be expected to be making apple sauce tomorrow,” responded Thomas when asked about their decision to support the CHARGING forward campaign with a $100,000 commitment.
“It’s the whole thing – how do you stir up an idea, nurture it and grow it? We wanted to help plant that next seed.”
Sandra places the importance of giving not on a singular action or outcome, but in the power of a collective group to grow the school for the benefit of everyone.
“No matter how much you give, it’s about the entire community doing something together,” she said. “Anyone can make a difference. You’ve just got to want to.”
Without a doubt, the CHARGING forward campaign will only be successful when the entire Providence Day community rallies behind the purpose and intent of the comprehensive effort, and looks beyond the brick and mortar to embrace the spirit of the initiative.
“I want the kids to be as prepared as they possibly can for whatever the next wave is going to be in 10 to 15 years,” said Thomas.
“The shiny new building represents so much more,” added Sandra. “It’s not about the building. It’s about what’s inside the building, and everything that happens there…all those minds coming together. It’s a world of learning.”
Thomas and Sandra are the proud parents of Calvin ’24, Charlotte ’25, and Nicholas ’26.