October 17th, 2014
The Hern Family: There’s No Place Like Home, Home, Home, Home
Kevin and Amy Hern and their four children have moved in and out of the King Park area several times in the last decade, living in 4 different houses on the same street in the Herron Morton Place neighborhood. In the early 2000s, Kevin moved to Indianapolis to begin a new job with Eli Lilly. While in Indy for an internship, before his family moved here from Chicago, he was playing soccer in the Old Northside and met some other downtown residents. These neighbors impressed him with their sense of community that he wanted to be a part of, so he moved his family into a beautiful big Victorian house on New Jersey Street in Herron Morton Place. This neighborhood choice not only decreased Kevin’s commute to work, but helped the Hern family build strong friendships.
During this time, Kevin met other neighbors who dreamed of starting a charter high school on the historic John Herron campus in the heart of the neighborhood. They needed a treasurer for the new board and with Kevin’s finance training, a previous career as a teacher, and the fact that his father had been a school superintendent, Kevin was a great fit. As a member of the Executive Committee of Herron High School, he was critical in helping the school get started (Herron High School opened its doors in 2006 with 99 students and now serves 745).
A couple of years later, Eli Lilly offered the Herns the opportunity to move to Puerto Rico. A few months after accepting the offer, the Hern family sold their big Victorian house and migrated south to the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, Amy began home schooling her younger children, while her oldest attended the local International School. The family loved the cross cultural experience. After Kevin’s term in Puerto Rico was finished, he was given another offer to move—this time to Greece. The adventurous family packed up and moved to Athens, where Amy continued home schooling.
After a three-year term, the Herns moved back to Indianapolis. Old friends and neighbors helped them find a rental house on the exact same street where they lived before moving out of the country. This gave them time to figure out their next move. Would they stay in Indy? Would they move to the suburbs? Where did they really want to settle? After a year in a rental home, they were surprised when the owners decided to sell and the house sold quickly. This could have been a bit of a crisis, but fortunately, the Herns were able to find another house to rent, two doors down. This was the THIRD house on the same street, in the same neighborhood . . . and moving there convinced the Herns that Herron Morton was where they wanted to stay in Indianapolis. They purchased a vacant lot, perfect for constructing a modern home big enough for this family of six and began building what would be their 4th home on New Jersey Street.
You may wonder, “Why would a family move in and out of the country and continue to return to the same neighborhood and street?” According to Amy, it’s very simple. Her entire family loves playing and biking in and around Indy’s downtown neighborhoods and, in doing so, her children have developed a wonderful sense of community and independence. From welcoming neighbors and sitting on porches to neighborhood dinners and a neighborhood church, they are thankful to be investing in this part of the city . . . over and over again.