It certainly wasn't an easy decision for the Van Wieren family to change up what they have done for years. Going from homeschooling to public education is never easy, but with two sons in high school, it was time for the family to discuss it.
"When we were talking about going to Hamilton or homeschooling, or even other options, we were thinking, what are the extracurriculars?" Explained younger brother, Broden.
Broden, who was set to enroll as a high school freshman, alongside his parents and his older brother Turner, decided Hamilton High School was the best option for them. Despite feeling confident in the decision, worry set in on day one.
"At the beginning of the year, I was like, 'Man, this is so much different from anything I've ever done. Will the teachers like me? Will I make friends?" Recalled older brother, Turner, who just completed his sophomore year of high school.
The answer to the question about fitting in came quickly. Not only were the two Van Wierens accepted in Hamilton, they were getting set to find major success. Both Turner and Broden say between the teachers and staff and Hamilton High School, they have found a perfect academic home.
"So far, I have felt so accepted at Hamilton and it has been one of my best experiences ever and one of the best decisions to come here," Turner smiled. "It was very nerve-racking at first, but I've truly enjoyed it and it has been a great experience."
Both brothers have not been shy about jumping into extracirriculars at Hamilton, either. The two both participated in tennis, wrestling, theatre, and golf in the 2022-23 school year and loved every second of it.
"At Hamilton, there are so many things I can learn from and different programs like theatre," Turner added. "Then there's the fantastic teachers here and how they really understand their subject. I can't get that from an online class or my mom, they really help me learn."
Broden says one of his favorite things in Hamilton is how he's surrounded by other students and a great community-like atmosphere at HHS.
"I'm really happy, the extracirriculars have been great along with the teachers," he smiled. "It has been really fun being involved with other kids, not just my brother and I at home."
Their mother, Meredith, has also been extremely happy with the decision to become Hawkeyes.
"The boys have just loved it, they've had some really great successes already in just one year."