Dads & Grads

What My Father Means to Me

By: DeJah Vandiver

Everyone around always asks me why I am bubbly and outgoing all the time. I hear things like, “You’re always so happy and excited all the time.” and “You always bring a smile to my face.” When I think about this, I realize that my personality comes from one special person in my life.

This person is always very exciting and fun to be around, and he always puts a smile on my face. This person is one of the first two people I met in life. This special person is my father: David Vandiver

Growing up, my dad would say phrases that would teach his kids small lessons to carry with us through life. One of these phrases is, “The lazy man works twice as hard.”  It is safe to say that my dad is anything but lazy. My dad is the literal definition of a triple threat; he is a physical education teacher by day, a basketball coach and fitness trainer by night, and loving father to his children at all times. He is someone I would describe as visionary. He worked tirelessly to get his Masters in physical education and he became a successful owner of his own company, DVD Blue Collar Sports Group. Words cannot describe how proud I am to have such an extraordinary father. I am delighted for him and all that he has accomplished in life so far.

My dad is a person who always puts others before himself. I don’t remember a time when he did not deliver on his word. My father is an extremely family-oriented man and an insightful person. He finds that the impact he makes on others to be payment enough, whether it is his students, his colleagues or even people in his community.

My father has taught me many wonderful life lessons which I shall carry with me into adulthood. He is a noteworthy person in my life and I am thankful for him everyday. He has helped shaped the woman I have become today.

So, with all that being said, I’d like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to David Vandiver. I love you Pops.

Being a Dad!

By: David Vandiver

Being a dad is a very tough job, but someone has to do it. It is the type of job that often goes unnoticed because “Dad will do it” or “Dad will get it” or “Dad will…” you get the point. But, with all that being said, being a dad is the best job I could ever have. I am so honored and proud to have raised two magnificent and totally awesome children. They are both super special in their own way.The final product in my Dad Daily Labor is well worth it. Here’s to the dads!

Thank You for Unconditional Love and Support

By: Sarah Boyle

My dad and I have a tradition that goes as far back as I can remember. Since I was in elementary school three days out of the week he took me to school.  From Dows Lane on to high school he was there every morning as I staggered down the stairs, still half asleep.  He made me laugh when I was nervous about a test that day, made me smile when I wasn’t looking forward to going to school, and even did my hair when I was too young to do my own ponytail.

When I went to elementary school he walked me to my classroom and would join the other kids sitting on the floor in the hallway. Every day he would make all my classmates laugh by handing me his oversized briefcase and teasing, “I’m going to school today; you go to work!” I can’t believe I laughed at this same joke for four years, but I really love my dad.

Our walks to school got longer when I started at Main Street School. We formed new traditions, like our special bench on Main Street. Every day we would sit at this bench a block away from Main Street School and talk for five minutes before I headed off to talk to my friends. Some of my most vivid memories of Irvington are sitting on that bench and talking with my dad, watching the town start the day in the morning.

Then came middle school and high school, and driving up to the campus. As all middle schoolers do, I experienced my share of friend drama, but my dad was always there every morning to make me laugh and give me a pep talk to deal with the crazy preteens. High school arrived quickly, and soon enough we were leaving the house later every morning due to teenage sleep schedules.

The first day of my senior year brought about a lot of changes for us. Seniors at Irvington are allowed to drive themselves to school, so it was the first time in years that my dad wasn’t dropping me off. As I pulled out of our driveway I saw my dad come running out of the house with his phone in hand, wanting to take a picture to remember the moment. I smiled as he angled the camera, wiping tears from his eyes. Looking back in my rearview mirror I saw him standing in the driveway as I turned to leave our street. He told me afterwards that he felt nothing but happiness in that moment, because he knew that this was my first step into the most exciting phases of my life. While I have missed our talks in the car this past year, I think it is the best ending to our tradition that I could think of. Every dad’s job is to take care of his kids, make them feel happy and safe, until they learn to do it for themselves. Thank you for the unconditional love and support, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

A Letter to My Father

By: Humberto Gonzalez

My father is at the top of my list of really amazing men. He is a great father, husband, friend, and family member. He is a very lovable man who is loved by most who know him. Also, he shows love and care anywhere he goes. He just has a way with people that makes them, and me, love him more and more everyday. He is also one of the strongest men I know both physically and mentally, even though I beat him in wrestling. However, my father is strong because he used to work multiple jobs and go to school before the job he has now.

Having these multiple jobs and going to school is extremely hard mentally and physically. Yet, he made it through that phase in his life and now he has found a great job, that is still a little hard, that fully supports his family. My father is also strong because he raised me and my brother, who were sometimes challenging as children and, sometimes still are. He is still amazing because of his support as a father. He has always been there for me. Now I know that sounds cliché, but he is that guy who’s always supporting and making you feel like you can do anything.

All of my life, he has been like this, always telling me and my brother that we are smart, strong, great kids, and handsome like him.  He always supported us with our decisions about sports even when he did not like the sport we played, like football. Most importantly, he is always telling us he is so proud because of our schoolwork and how people always compliment his parenting skills. My father has always been the man in my eyes who can do anything and help anyone. He is my role model as a father, a husband, a friend, and just an all-around human being. These are just some reasons why I love my father unconditionally.

To My Son

By: Cristian Gonzalez

Humberto, I can hardly believe that twenty-five years ago I was graduating from high school, unsure of what my future had in store for me. Twenty-five years later, I feel blessed to have two amazing young men that I was able to raise alongside your mother. It is hard to believe that you are a senior now and that, in just a few weeks, we will watch you cross the stage and graduate from high school. However, before you do so, there are just a few things I would like you to keep in mind while crossing that stage. Humberto, you have grown right before my eyes to be a strong, humble, loving, hardworking young man. We could not be more proud of the young man you have become.

You have shown us that our hard work has not been taken for granted. We can’t tell you how much we admire your strong work ethic. We love your determination to always give everything your all, while keeping a smile on your face. As you cross the stage to take the next milestone in your life, remember to always be yourself and stay strong in your faith. There is no obstacle you cannot overcome or mistake that you will not learn from. Most importantly always remember that you are our son and I will always be here for you, ready to listen and guide you as best I can.


Your Father, Cristian Gonzalez



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