It was on a tour of Legacy that the family knew this was the right place for them. Austin’s dad recalls, “At one point we had a quiet moment where the person leading the tour kind of stepped away for a second and I said, ‘What’s different?’ and he just looked at me very seriously and said, ‘Everything. Everything is different.’” They made the change and never looked back. One of the biggest changes Austin could feel right away were the teachers at Legacy.
They say change is good. But change can be hard, too. When Rob and Fran Hutchings needed to uproot their family from Chicago to Gilbert, it made for some tough adjustments. But a good change came about when a friend told them about the new Legacy Traditional School opening down the street from them. Their son Austin had been practically begging them to look into different schools for quite some time.
“The teachers were really encouraging and it was a lot better than the other school. They’re very helpful. They never lose their cool. They’re great teachers.”
Austin and his brother weren’t happy with the school they’d been attending since the move. The behavior of other students was bothering them, as well as the attitude of some teachers, and lack of feeling academically challenged. “It got to a point where Austin just couldn’t take it anymore and requested that we look at other schools,” said his mother. It was on a tour of Legacy that the family knew this was the right place for them. Austin’s dad recalls, “At one point we had a quiet moment where the person leading the tour kind of stepped away for a second and I said, ‘What’s different?’ and he just looked at me very seriously and said, ‘Everything. Everything is different.’” They made the change and never looked back. One of the biggest changes Austin could feel right away were the teachers at Legacy.
It was his Gym teacher who first recognized Austin’s potential for success in cross country. His passion had always been basketball, and it had never occurred to him to try running. But Coach Larson, who has more than 40 years of coaching experience, noticed Austin’s drive for success. “He said that I could win a state championship before I was even in cross country and that kind of pushed me to get into it. I definitely wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t tell me that,” Austin said. Coach Larson’s instinct was right on– Austin’s experience as a point guard had helped build his endurance, and it turned out to be a perfect fit. “In my first cross country race I started off in the back, but then as the race went on I moved up,” Austin remembers. Surprising even himself, Austin ended up winning that race… and went on to win the state championship that year, just as his coach had predicted he would. Austin’s experience with cross country that season ended up teaching him a lot about himself and about life.
“It felt really good to be a state champion. All of the work I put in, like countless hours of running, paid off. I think the same thing applies in life; you’ve got to work hard in whatever you want to become good at and eventually all that work will pay off and you’ll become really good at it.” Austin’s parents have noticed that using sports and academics to teach important life lessons is a real priority for Legacy. “I view Legacy as a partner in preparing my kids for life. They’re in it with us. They aren’t focused on just the sports or just the academics and test scores. They’re trying to prepare these kids to be better people. Without Legacy I don’t think Austin would have developed into the young man he is now,” said Austin’s dad.
His mother agrees: “Having a well-rounded child, especially in this time of their life, is important. They’re just getting into adulthood, so all those characteristics that you want a child to have, such as the academics, the good character, just how to treat people… a well-rounded person starts with a well-rounded child.” Austin feels confident about his future and he knows that with hard work he can accomplish anything. With the support of his parents, teachers, and coaches he is ready to take on any new challenge. “I think it’s important to have people in your life that can push you, challenge you, help you reach your goals. I’m confident that I’ll continue to do well in my academics, basketball, and cross-country because I’ve put in so much work that I know it’ll pay off.”