Though Sarah Ehlen Haecker didn't graduate from Breck, leaving the Class of 1984 after her sophomore year, she couldn't be more a part of the community. She's the mother of two current students, the sister of two alumni and the great granddaughter of someone who attended Breck School at the original campus in Wilder, Minnesota.
"Breck has given my family so much," she says. "And I imagine that, thanks to my great grandfather, Jacob Brogger, I have one of the longer legacies around!"
Growing up, Haecker says that Breck was always a huge part of her life. She came to the school as a fifth grader and attended along with brother Dave Ehlen '87 and sister Catherine Ehlen '90. The late Bishop Anderson was a close family friend, and her great grandfather studied English at Breck in Wilder after he emigrated from Norway.
Today, Breck is still a big part of family life for Haecker, whose own two children are happily enrolled. Daughter Lille, who started in second grade, is now a ninth grader who loves her classes, Nordic skiing and tennis. Son Hudson, who started in preschool, is a fifth grader involved with music and sports he's looking forward to playing for Breck in two years.
Both children were born in Philadelphia, where their mother was pursuing her postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving a double Ph.D. in molecular biology and bioethics from the University of Minnesota, Haecker was settled into a comfortable life out east but was anxious for the opportunity to raise her children in Minnesota. "I realized that I wanted to come back to Minnesota before my kids got too old," she recalls. "And I knew that they would benefit from not only the education but also the environment at Breck."
Haecker says she's seen firsthand how Breck recognizes and supports each student's strengths, and she's appreciative of the dynamic Breck community. "I have traveled quite a bit for work, and I always loved knowing my kids were so well cared for."
Now doing business development in the biotech industry but traveling less, Haecker is enjoying the chance to watch her children thrive and grow. "They're developing outstanding study skills, rich and dynamic friendships, and a set of values that reflect the importance of social responsibility" she observes. "Through the creative instruction and thoughtful guidance of the faculty, Lille and Hudson are flourishing, responsible Breck citizens."
Haecker feels strongly about supporting Breck financially, both for her children and the ones who will follow in their footsteps, and so she has included the school in her estate planning.
"Breck has provided my family with such a wonderful whole-worldview approach to academics," she says. "I want to do whatever I can to make sure that's available for students in the future as well."