February 01, 2010

DHS Grad in Haiti

 A Dorman High School graduate was among those who experienced, but survived, the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 20th. Kristen Zeiler is teaching at Louverture Cleary School, a tuition free Catholic School for underprivileged, academically talented students in Santo, just outside of Port-au-Prince.


            Kristen’s mother, Katie Zeiler, is a DHS guidance counselor and says she was relieved to hear that her daughter and the school’s children were all alive. She received this email from her daughter not too long after the earthquake occurred.


“We are safe and have lots of protection and plans for any possible problems. The area that we are in did not get hit as hard as the areas that you are seeing on television. All of our buildings are still standing, and the six students who were hurt are either healing on our campus or already at their own homes. Most children are still at the school. While we cook for most of the day, they are playing soccer and drawing. It is a very safe atmosphere. Our job here has changed from teaching to taking care of the students and cleaning up campus. We have a security team that is camped out at the gate 24/7 as well as eyes and ears all over checking and double checking for any news.”


            Kristen graduated from Dorman in 2005 and recently graduated from Clemson with a degree in Elementary Education. She chose to go to Haiti when she heard about the Haitian Project at her church. She wanted to spend a year of service to give back to the community before she moved on with her career or graduate school.


            Katie Zeiler is grateful that her daughter is safe.  “When the call came in to our home an hour and a half after the earthquake saying she was safe, I thought to myself- Okay Lord, you didn't want to take her yet!  What's next? There is no doubt in my mind that she is there for a purpose, and that she has been called to serve those students and the people of Haiti in whatever capacity she can.”





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