This year, we’ve been focusing on reconnecting with our Dalat community and building even stronger bonds with one another. One of the most important characteristics of an authentic community is standing together in the fun times, like the wonderful PTO food fair last week, but also in the tough times. Many of you know that our former Head of School, Mr. Karl Steinkamp, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over the summer. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and purple is the official color of pancreatic cancer awareness. So, in support of Mr. Steinkamp, please join us for our own Purple Day next Thursday, November 17.
Mr. Steinkamp spent so many years at Dalat that we’ve lost count! He was a student, teacher, principal, coach, class sponsor, and head of school. He returned to his “hometown” of Minnesota (United States) in June and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly thereafter. The cancer is quite aggressive, but if you know anything about Karl, you know that he is tenacious, optimistic, and doesn’t give up. He is fighting cancer in every way possible, going through chemotherapy and also following a strict nutritional protocol. If you want to keep up with the details, please follow the family’s Caring Bridge page, where Mrs. Jacki Steinkamp provides weekly updates.
I had the opportunity to visit Karl and Jacki Steinkamp over the mid-semester break, and Karl is still the same as you remember him. He is the head of school at New Life Academy, where he gets up and goes to school every day that he possibly can, while also balancing grueling chemotherapy treatments. He is always trying to improve the school, even as he researches treatment options for his cancer. We at Dalat have greatly benefited from his constant drive for improvement, and we want to show our support for him and encourage him from this side of the world.
To show our solidarity with and support of Mr. Steinkamp, we’re going to have a Purple Day at school next Thursday, November 17. We encourage all teachers, staff, students, and parents on campus to wear purple. We’ll have a photo booth available as well as some additional surprises. Please see the announcement below for more information. This is a community endeavor and we want everyone to come together in support. We’ll be sure to take lots of photos and videos of the day to share with Mr. Steinkamp.