I’m writing to thank Pete Harter for all he has done for our family and for all those whose lives he has changed for the better, forever.
On Maddy’s “Kinder-buddy” day, more than six years ago, we came (on a Friday) to drop her off and Mrs. Stafford said, “Stay for pledge – it’s really neat.” Well, we couldn’t have been more impressed. The whole pledge experience and explanation of why Harter started doing it really touched our hearts. I’m sure everyone appreciates his acknowledgement of our unity. As a patriot and a fellow parent, I thank Harter for instilling that love of country in our students and citizens.
That Friday, the guests of honor at the pledge were Olympic athletes Tracy and Lanny Barnes. I was so stunned, I could hardly remember what they said, other than their hardy encouragement to all the kids. Unbelievable! How had Harter been able to get these two to come speak at Needham? Oh! They’re alumni? Really? They grow world champions here, and they’re humble enough to come back and speak and encourage. Now that we know Harter, we know why. We know the undeniable influence he has had on so many – maybe not all so globally recognized, but all so globally inspired.
When the little boy wanted to get gum-chewing into mainstream elementary practice, Harter didn’t shut him down. He had the child write a paper about gum and then allowed everyone to give it a try. Unbelievable!
When another student wanted to save the polar bears, Harter allowed him to set up a lollipop sale to help and donated the first bag of lollipops. Unbelievable!
Harter potentially saved many of our children’s lives when he was so in tune with the physical building that a creak alerted him to the cafeteria roof collapsing, prior to collapse and catastrophe.
May the spirit of cooperation, generosity and respect that Harter inspires follow him throughout your life, but especially into next year’s fourth-grade class. I’m sure he will need it.
We love and appreciate Harter so very much – he is truly unbelievable!