Polly (LeVin) Wright '77

Nicole Sheldon

“My entire journey is about seeds that were planted along the way, how those seeds were watered, fertilized, grew, and bloomed into fruition in my life.”  

Seeds Planted In My Life

Polly’s "whole family” went to Minnehaha Academy, starting with her aunt Joy Ringold ‘47. Throughout the years, many of Polly’s cousins attended, and then her brother Ted and sister Joy. Polly was the youngest in her family, and by the time it was her turn, she did not have a choice—she was going to MA!  Minnehaha was very different from her previous school, Jefferson Junior High on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. She could be herself at MA and express the faith she was developing in her Christian home. “I was a Christian but I didn’t know very much, so coming to Minnehaha was really formative for my faith. It was OK to express my faith at school.” 

After graduation, Polly went to Bethel College for two years then graduated from the University of Minnesota. She and her high school sweetheart Brian were Young Life leaders together during college for the club at Minnehaha. They were married in 1983. They started attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) in 1991 and soon were both in BSF leadership, which continued for many years. “My faith deepened when I studied God’s Word and realized how I needed to live my life; the Bible became my road map. I needed to know God’s word to substantiate my faith for myself.” 

Seeds Planted in Our Children's Lives

By faith, they sent both their daughter Carly (’06) and son Andy (‘11) to MA. Minnehaha was a big influence in both of their children’s lives, and they both had teachers that poured into them. Polly remembers how art teacher Nate Stromberg planted seeds of design and creativity in Carly, and showed up personally to one of her later art shows. Theatre director Nicholas Freeman cast Andy as the lead in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and planted seeds of great patience and encouragement as he drew out Andy’s gifts of acting. “I still can’t believe Andy memorized all of those lines!”  

One year when Andy was in school at MA, Brian was in between jobs and they reached out to the financial aid office and asked if there was any assistance available mid-year. Unfortunately, no aid was available, but about a month later they got a call back that “someone has come forward and paid your son’s tuition.” To this day, they do not know who this person was. “It was such an amazing God piece. We continue to be so grateful that our whole family had the privilege of going to Minnehaha.”

Polly spent most of her career in Marketing while they raised their children. While she was at an event for Brian’s work, she met a recruiter who said to her, “I think you should be doing Development work; have you ever thought of it?” Her initial reaction was, “No!  I work in Marketing!,” but after several conversations and God speaking very clearly to her, she was called to serve at Feed My Starving Children as a Major Gifts Officer. “I’ve witnessed sacrificial giving that is just amazing and incredible people who are living out their faith. We get to join arms and feed kids. It’s not an easy job but such a rewarding one. It has given me a different view and a different focus of ‘stuff’ and what a quarter will do. A quarter equals a meal and that feeds a child. That affects my family--it affects me, and how I view ‘the material stuff’.” 

You Cannot Put a Price On That

It is so meaningful to Polly and Brian that when their son Andy was in the Madrigals, they still sang the same blessing that she and Brian sang when they were in the Singers. “I can’t sit through it now without getting teary—because it is singing God’s Word, it’s telling His story.  It was seeded into me so I could receive more and grow more as I went. To see it being fed into him and knowing what it meant to me is so affirming. The support we received as parents at MA during some very difficult times was amazing.  There’s nothing like going to a conference for our kids with a teacher that Brian and I had!  We had teachers and staff who loved and cared about us and our faith, and later, our kids.  You cannot put a price on that.” 

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