A Special Kind of Genius

Max Jarvis (left) and  Brody Quinn (right) take a minute with Mrs. Walley to enjoy the bench they planned, designed and built for their Principal just because; "She works so hard for the whole school."
The back of the bench Max Jarvis and Brody Quinn built for Mrs. Walley includes their names and will be treasured for many years to come. 

“Everybody is a genius.  But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid,” said Albert Einstein. 

Creativity, enthusiasm, compassion and shear gumption are all sure signs of a special kind of genius that has often changed our world.  It’s not always about test scores, or even classroom excellence, it’s sometimes that certain something special that sets a student or students apart. 

Third grade buddies at Lincoln Elementary School, Max Jarvis and Brody Quinn are two very special students.  “We don’t live by each other, so we have to do most of our planning here at school,” said Brody.  “We hold a lot of meetings,” explained Max.   What do they plan?  What are their meetings about?  Quite simply, without even knowing it, these two young men are on a mission to make the world a better place. 

“We were having a meeting one day,” said Max and doing stuff and we decided that Mrs. Walley (Lincoln’s Principal) works so hard for the whole school that we wanted to do something for her.”  What they did was design and build a bench with a little help from their two fathers, Jason Jarvis and Pat Quinn.  “I told my Dad we could use some of the scrap wood we have, but he said we should go to Home Depot and get some new wood so it would be really nice for Mrs. Walley,” said Max. 

With no formal plan or design, the boys knew what they wanted the bench to look like and were able to bring their vision into being.   “We did all the sanding and painting,” said Max.  “It was a lot of sanding and painting, but it was worth it,” said Brody.  The boys even had a plan for delivering the bench to Mrs. Walley.  “We talked about several different ways to do it,” said Max.  In the end, Brody explained; “My Dad dropped it off in the parking lot and we put a tarp over it.  Then we went in and got Mrs. Walley.  We pulled the tarp off and told her, surprise, this is for you!”  Mrs. Walley was indeed surprised and delighted by the gift.  “I was so surprised and honored by how much work and effort they put into building it, just because they wanted to do something kind for me,” she said.

The two little guys aren’t done yet.  “We’re thinking about building tables for teachers, or maybe something for that guy that runs the all of the schools,” said Max.  “We need to have another meeting, because we haven’t had one in a while…like almost two weeks!” exclaimed Brody.  Both boys keep journals that they started in first grade and definitely plan on writing about their bench building experience.

Max and Brody are equally excited about the future.  After several minutes of discussion they determined that they will both probably join the military together; “We could be Army buddies,” said Max.   A few seconds later Max reminded Brody that he wants to play football after the Army, but quickly added, “Whatever we do, we’re going to be together some day and own our own tow truck and a repair shop.” 

It might be presumptuous, but it is hard to imagine that these two students, with a very special kind of genius, and with the years of support and encouragement from the Hanover Community that lie ahead, won’t someday have one of their meetings and end up changing the world. 

Getting to Know Principal Walley


Melissa Walley brought many years of teaching experience to Lincoln Elementary when she first arrived as Assistant Principal in August of 2012. Mrs. Walley previously taught at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Chicago, as well as serving the School City of Hobart for thirteen years.  She is a native of Crown Point and continues to reside in her hometown with husband Dennis and two daughters, Hannah and Ella.

Mrs. Walley earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Education, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Purdue University Calumet. “I believe that one of the most important and exciting things an educator can do is to keep learning,” says Walley. 

She is an avid reader and brings her love of reading and learning to all of the students at Lincoln Elementary School. “I want the very best for Lincoln Students.  I believe that all children can achieve success with appropriate support, and should always feel successful as they learn and grow.” Mrs. Walley’s distinctive approach to leading and learning has brought unique opportunities to Lincoln students where dogs teach manners, gorillas encourage kindness and smiles are found in hallways and classrooms. You can follow the adventures of Mrs. Walley and her students on Facebook!


  • Coming Up At Lincoln


    Saturday - 11/21 Boys CYO Basketball 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

    Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, November 27
    Thanksgiving Break - Have a good holiday.



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  • Lincoln Elementary


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  • Student Resource Officer 
    In an effort to continue to provide and maintain a safe learning environment in the Hanover Community School Corporation, we have begun a School Resource Officer program.  This program will continue to establish positive ways of communication between students, parents, the community, and the school corporation.  If you have any pertinent information you feel is worth sharing that will help us on this mission, please contact us using the below email address.  All contact information will remain confidential and will only be used for the betterment of the Hanover Community School Corporation.

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