For Lew and Nicki Zeidner, Breck is almost part of the family. "Our daughter Amanda is an only child," they say, "and at Breck she gets both older and younger siblings. For us, the school has become a focus for volunteering, an important focus for philanthropy and a big part of our social life!"
The Zeidners moved to Minnesota when Amanda was about a year old and never really expected to look at independent schools. Both had come from public school backgrounds, and the quality of public education in the state was a big attraction. But there was significant redistricting in their area and at a neighbor's suggestion they decided to attend an admissions event at Breck.
"We were immediately drawn to Breck's mission and the quality and commitment of the faculty," they recall. But what really won them over was a presentation by an eighth grader. "It was such an impressive talk — so poised and full of enthusiasm. That's what really sold us!"
Now that their own daughter has helped out with an admission event herself, the Zeidners say they know they made the right decision.
Both Lew and Nicki have volunteered with the Annual Fund, the Parents Association, in the classroom and with Nicki's membership on the Board of Trustees. "Giving our time is an important component of feeling like a part of the community," they say.
They feel good about supporting Breck financially as well. They explain, "Our giving is really prioritized for maximum impact. There are so many worthy causes, but you can't support them all. At Breck we know that our philanthropy helps to support the school's efforts to keep tuition manageable and the quality high. Our support helps sustain that vision and ability to maintain Breck's mission."
It's also a good example for their daughter. "We've been intentional about teaching her the value of supporting causes we believe in with our time and our dollars," they say. "She's really grown up understanding that from day one."
Away from school, the family is involved with church activities and enjoys camping, travel and dining out. But Breck plays a big role in all of their lives, and it's an institution they want to help keep strong for future generations as well.
"It's so important for us to do what we can to make sure Breck can maintain its excellent faculty and staff and its wonderful facility. Most important, we want to be sure it isn't a school that only people with significant means can afford," they say. "We're happy to help leave a legacy for the future."