One of the ways you make something pretty is to remove all that is ugly. That is the approach to caring for the landscape at Tennessee Christian Preparatory School by Chester and Ellon Schierbaum.
Chester described their approach to gardening during an honorary chapel held for the husband and wife who have landscaped the 25-acre campus for 10 years.
“I appreciate your appreciation. This is the highest level of honor I have received,” Chester said.
“Our children and grandchildren are not here anymore, but we come here and see these children running and playing and it’s such an inspiration to us,” Ellon said. “We have an endearment to each of you. You are all special to us and we appreciate the loving kindness we feel.”
The couple was surrounded by loving kindness Wednesday afternoon to give them a small token of the entire school’s appreciation. Some students sang songs while others joined teachers, staff and parents in praising them for the beautiful campus on North Lee Highway. The Schierbaums sat in a place of honor on the stage as still more students approached them with thank you cards.
As a special surprise, their daughter, Debbie Claudio, drove from Brentwood to attend.
“We are here today on a very special occasion and this chapel will dedicated to the honor of Ellon and Chester Schierbaum,” TCPS President Dr. Bill Balzano said during opening remarks. “They are a couple I have really grown to love over the years.”
Balzano said the couple was being honored because they are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and “they have faithfully served you and me and so many different ways.”
Melanie Stout has been a parent at the school for more than nine years. She thanked the Schierbaums for their commitment to TCPS. During that time, she has seen many changes in their pursuit to grow and develop the school into one of the finest preparatory schools in the region.
“While we have patiently and sometimes not so patiently waited for God’s perfect timing in providing the right piece of property we can call our home,” she said. “We’ve been encouraged by the service that has been provided by the Schierbaums for keeping our grounds well manicured, for the beautiful beds of flowers, and for me, it has been a personal encouragement of hopefully, what we have to look forward to when he have new property and new buildings.”
Balzano pointed out that Ellon was a bookkeeper and accountant while Chester farmed in Alabama.
He presented the couple with a plaque and little monetary gift “that is a token of our appreciation” and could never amount to the couple’s value to the school.
Inscribed on the plaque was the real test of a saint as described by Oswald Chambers. “A saint is being willing to do those things that may seem unimportant in human estimation, but count as everything to God.”