Distinguished Daycrofter Award Recognizes Community Contributions

The Daycroft School Foundation continues the mission of the Daycroft School, a Christian Scientist nursery school founded by Sara Pyle Smart in 1928 in Darien, Connecticut. Over the years, the school grew, adding different grade levels until it offered a preschool through high school education. During this period, it also moved locations, first to Stamford and then to Greenwich, Connecticut. Although the school closed its doors in 1991, the Daycroft School Foundation continues to focus on its goal to “provide an educational environment which embraces the teachings of Christian Science, giving opportunity for individual unfoldment and community responsibility.” To accomplish this, the foundation focuses on four core areas: online learning, peer support, grants, and programs for Christian Scientist Educators.

In 2000, the Daycroft School Foundation established its Distinguished Daycrofter Award to recognize former students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to their communities in a way that exemplifies the Daycroft School’s motto of “Perceive Then Demonstrate.” Read on to learn more about what it takes to earn this prestigious recognition.

What are the criteria for receiving the Distinguished Daycrofter Award?

The Daycroft School Foundation instituted this award to recognize members of the Daycroft family who have positively affected other people’s lives. To earn this award, an individual must demonstrate his or her commitment to humanity, as well as an unwavering commitment to achievement by doing the following:

– Making some form of meaningful contribution to society

– Embodying the character traits that Daycroft promoted

– Displaying an appreciation for the school and the principles of Christian Science

Who has won the Distinguished Daycrofter Award?

Since it first instituted the award, the Daycrofter School Foundation has presented it only three times. The following individuals have earned this distinction:

Donald L. Koch—The foundation presented the award to Mr. Koch in 2007 for his charitable work in educating young people. A Daycroft student from elementary school through his junior year of high school, he has stated that he feels indebted to the school for teaching him about hard work and perseverance, as well as for showing him “how to think.”

Utilizing the tools he gained at Daycroft, Mr. Koch created the Donald L. Koch Foundation to help students become better citizens. To this end, it sponsors lectures on America’s founding documents and on how to reach one’s true potential. Some guest lecturers have included Dr. Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and David McCullough. The foundation also hands out copies of the Constitution to students at these events.

In addition to the efforts of his foundation, Mr. Koch gives back to his others by volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, teaching Sunday School, and paying school tuition for young people in need.

Lynn A. London—A former Daycroft faculty member and assistant head, London received the award in 2000. As Daycroft President Trude Harper presented the award to London, he praised her ability to bring “light and warmth” to the school, as well as the broader community.

Over the course of nearly 30 years at Daycroft, Lynn London earned a reputation as being someone with whom students could share their troubles without fear of being judged. After providing students with a sympathetic ear, she would encourage them to do the “right” thing and offer to help, whether they required financial, emotional, or scholastic assistance. She was also a steadfast and patient presence in the lives of everyone she worked with.

Still giving to others today, she immediately steps in to help out as soon as she hears about someone in need. Among the many recipients of her caring heart are older people, her church, and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Janet and Cobbey Crisler—Known as “two of Daycroft’s dearest friends,” this couple received the Distinguished Daycrofter Award in 2007. Cobbey Crisler, a 1950 graduate of Daycroft, returned to serve as the institution’s president from 1966 to 1976. During Mr. Crisler’s tenure at what he often referred to as “our God-blessed free school,” his wife Janet taught at the Daycroft nursery school program.

Passionate about the Bible, Mr. Crisler began to share his passion for Scripture with others, giving talks throughout the country and guiding others on expeditions to the Holy Land. After his departure from Daycroft, Mr. Crisler focused exclusively on his Bible investigations and lectures. He also co-authored two books: Fishers of Men: The Way of the Apostles and Come See The Place: The Holy Land Jesus Knew. Janet Crisler was a full partner in her husband’s work and even co-authored her own book: Loaves and Fishers: Foods of Bible Times. She also serves the American Schools of Oriental Research as an associate board trustee.

After Cobbey Crisler’s death in 1988, Janet Crisler became an active fundraiser for various initiatives. She also established a biblical research institute to carry on the work her husband started.

The Debate over How to Interpret the Constitution

The Constitution is the basis for America’s system of government and laws, but many Americans disagree about what role this founding document plays in our lives today. Is the Constitution a sacred document that should be interpreted according to the original intentions of its creators? Is it a “living” document that should grow and change to reflect modern sensibilities? Or, is it something else?

Read on to learn more about these different perspectives.

What Is a Living Constitution?

In short, a living Constitution is one that evolves according to the new circumstances of the nation. Interpreting the Constitution as a living document comes with the assumption that the words have meaning beyond the relevant text, meaning that the situation of contemporary society needs to be taken into account when looking at a particular phrase.

Why Do People Think We Need a Living Constitution?

The Constitution has remained the cornerstone of our nation’s liberty for more than 220 years. While it can be amended, the process is necessarily difficult. In fact, the most important amendments were made 150 years ago after the Civil War. Amendments since that time have dealt mostly with very minor matters that do not impact the daily lives of American citizens. In those 150 years, the country, not to mention the world, has changed dramatically. The population of the United States has increased many times over, and the nation’s technology, economy, and social mores are completely different. People who support the idea of a living Constitution argue that amendments alone cannot keep up with this rate of change.

Proponents of a living Constitution believe that change is necessary, even for the Constitution, as demonstrated by the amendments that have already been made. People who believe in a living Constitution and those who do not both accept this fact. However, supporters of a living Constitution argue that the document was written such that the meaning of the language could change without requiring a formal amendment.

What Do Originalists Believe?

Originalists believe that the Constitutional provisions meant, and continue to mean, exactly what they did to the people who wrote and adopted them. In other words, they argue that the idea of a living Constitution is a moot point because the document does not need to change or adapt except through formal amendment.

The Constitution is the foundation of the nation, and a changing foundation leads to instability. Many originalist constitutional scholars scoff at the idea of a “living Constitution.” After all, the Constitution is the embodiment of our most sacred beliefs and principles. Public opinion changes, but these foundational concepts do not. If they did, what is the point of a Constitution?

Why Do Originalists Prioritize the Founders’ Original Intentions?

The Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers – Source: DonkeyHotey

Originalists argue that it is vital to interpret the words of the Constitution according to the intentions of the Founding Fathers because doing so removes the personal judgments of individuals or judges from the equation and minimizes the chances of corruption. Many originalists turn to quotes from the Founding Fathers to explain this point of view. While George Washington believed that “the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government,” he also thought that the Constitution as it exists at the time is “sacredly obligatory upon all.” Similarly, Thomas Jefferson said, “Instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Originalists believe that a living Constitution is equivalent to a manipulable Constitution. If the document changes, then someone is doing the changing and inserting his or her own ideas into it. Generally, the “someone” is a group of judges charged with interpreting the document. To many, a fluid Constitution is not a Constitution at all and should not be taken as law any more than the ideas of judges in power should be considered law.

Are There Other Opinions on the Nature of the Constitution?

People in support of and against the idea of a living Constitution both seek to protect the Constitution as the ultimate law and the source of our liberty. At the same time, these are not the only viewpoints that exist about the Constitution. Some scholars have taken a different position altogether.

This position is grounded in the belief that the Constitutional law of the United States resembles a type of law that predates the actual Constitution. This older type of law is called common law, and its roots can be traced back thousands of year informally, and hundreds of years formally. Common law is a system built on precedents and traditions that become solidified over time. While the law can adapt and change, these shifts must stay rooted to the past and thus evolution becomes checked. Supporters of the common law theory believe that the American Constitutional system is a common law system defined by the Constitution but also sensitive to precedent.

As a source of common law, the Constitution, some would argue, gives room for growth, but it also lays out the fundamental principles that are protected from the vicissitudes of public opinion. While amendment is possible, it is not something that can simply be directed according to the opinions of one judge or even a group of judges.

Clark Beim-Esche’s Calling on the Presidents

Calling on Presidents, Clark Beim-Esche pic

Calling on Presidents, Clark Beim-Esche
Image: store.kobobooks.com

Formerly the chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Donald L. Koch currently oversees Koch Asset Management and the Donald Koch Foundation. Through the foundation, which supports programs for young people that promote an understanding of US history, Donald L. Koch has sponsored presentations featuring such historians and authors as Clark Beim-Esche.

A longtime educator and lecturer, Clark Beim-Esche is the author of Calling on the Presidents: Tales Their Houses Tell. In the 474-page book, Beim-Esche takes the reader on a journey as he and his wife travel the United States visiting the homes of former presidents. In addition to stopping by several presidential homes, the couple travel to historic sites associated with every past American president.

As he visits the locations, Beim-Esche discusses the historical relevance of each and provides readers with a unique insight into the US presidency. Readers can follow along on trips to George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia; Ulysses S. Grant’s childhood home in Georgetown, Ohio; and Ronald Reagan’s ranch outside of Santa Barbara, California. Other notable stops highlighted in the book include Lincoln’s birthplace in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and William Henry Harrison’s home in Vincennes, Indiana.

The Daycroft School Foundation Grants


Daycroft School Foundation pic

Daycroft School Foundation
Image: daycroftschool.org

Donald L. Koch is the president of Koch Asset Management and a recipient of the Distinguished Daycrofter Award, which was established in 2000 to recognize former students and faculty members of Daycroft schools for their contributions to the community. Upon receiving the award in 2007, Donald L. Koch made mention of how important he feels it is for students at Daycroft and Principia, which he attended when studying for his bachelor’s degree in economics, to make the most out of the opportunities afforded to them and to give back to their communities.

Daycroft itself aims to do this by offering grants to schools that provide education with the values of Christian Science at its core. School grants are rare in comparison to those provided to students who attend the six Christian Science camps in Canada and the United States, however, Daycroft has committed itself to helping the 14 schools all over the world that use the fundamentals of Christian Science at the core of their educational offerings.

Daycroft provides specific assistance to the children and grandchildren of Daycroft alumni students and faculty who attend Principia School, which is based in St Louis, Missouri.

Explaining Econometrics, Qualitative and Quantitative Statements

Econometrics pic

Image: imf.org

Donald L. Koch is an economist with extensive experience and also the current president of Koch Asset Management. Prior to beginning his career, Donald L. Koch studied economics at Principia College, earning his bachelor’s degree in the subject before going on to complete his masters at Trinity College in Connecticut. One of the core areas of economics that students will encounter during their time at college is econometrics.

Econometrics relates to the practice application of mathematics, statistics, and economic theory. It is primarily used to work out how theoretical economic models can be turned into practical models that have tangible effects on the economy.

In doing this, econometricians take the qualitative statements produced by theorists in their models and develop versions that offer quantitative statements instead.

The difference between qualitative and quantitative statements is subtle but important. A qualitative statement is one that refers to a situation that can be measured with numbers. For example, saying somebody’s skin is softer after they have applied lotion it a qualitative statement.

Quantitative statements seek to bring facts and figures into the mix. Using the skin example above, a Quantitative statement would focus on the increased percentage of softness the skin has attained following the use of the lotion.

Econometricians do the same thing, only applied to economics.