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Two Willamette Primary students find themselves in same classroom for six years straight

TIDINGS PHOTO: CLARA HOWELL - Fifth-graders Henry Thurman (left) and Rowan Reim (right) have been in the same class every year at Willamette Primary School. People view 10-year-olds Henry Thurman and Rowan Reim as the inseparable duo. It's hard not to when the pair have been in the same class for the last six years.  

"It's special," Henry says.

The fifth-grade boys are two of 544 students enrolled at Willamette Primary. There are four fifth-grade classes and each class has about 28 students. The chances of Henry and Rowan landing in the same class are quite low.

"The teacher who did the placements last year is no longer at Willamette so I'm not sure if they were placed together on purpose or not," says Tina Allahverdian, Henry and Rowan's current teacher. "I did talk with their third-grade teacher and she said the parents had requested they be together again but she didn't think they had requested that in the past."

While the two can't remember exactly how they met in kindergarten, Rowan's mom, Yarrow Currie, remembers hearing about it.

"I just remember Rowan coming home from kindergarten and saying that he has a new friend named Henry," Currie says. "We did half-day in kindergarten, so you talk to parents in the pick-up space and I was talking to Henry's mom asking if she was his mom. She said, 'Yeah,' and they were both these little sweet boys."

"It feels like so long ago," Henry adds.

But it seems the seeds for Henry and Rowans relationship were planted even before kindergarten.

Currie remembers a quilt topper her husband purchased from a yard sale before her son started kindergarten from a woman who also had a child going into kindergarten. Later, when Henry's mom was over, she recognized the quilt topper as one she made and sold at her yard sale — a pleasant surprise for Currie.

While the boys spend almost every weekend together, Allahverdian sees the benefits of their friendship in the classroom — even though she has only had Henry and Rowan in her class for a few weeks.

"They are both pretty quiet guys so working together helps give them confidence to speak up and share their ideas with the whole group," Allahverdian says. "It seems like their friendship, coupled with their experience being together in past classrooms, contributes to their confidence and success in school."

This is something Currie notices as well.

"They really support each other educationally and I think sometimes that's not always easy to find," Currie says.

Math is a subject the boys say they help each other in, but their favorite subjects are science and reading.

"We were in the same cabin during the overnight field trip to Boring, Oregon, (and) we were studying the Oregon Trail," says Rowan about their fourth-grade trip to learn about the Oregon Trail's history. "We were in the same cabin and did a lot of things with science on that trip."

Their love for science even spills into their home lives. They love working on science projects, like making volcanoes erupt.

"(Rowan's) really fun to be around because we like the same things and doing science projects. It's really fun to do it with him," Henry says. "We (also) like to swing together a lot and I (am) always happy at recess."

TIDINGS PHOTO: CLARA HOWELL - Henry Thurman (left) and Rowan Reim (right) make a poster together to advertise a change drive, as part of a class project, to help those affected by recent natural disasters. 
But the real excitement erupts from their love for Legos, especially the Star Wars brand — buildings and spaceships are just two of the things they like to create together.

Whether they have their noses between the pages of the latest Lego magazine or are reading a book on sharks, the friends see their relationship to be everlasting. And with both planning on attending Athey Creek Middle School next year, that just might be the case.

"Best friends forever, maybe?" Henry says, looking at Rowan.

"Yeah," he replies. "We like the same subjects and I just enjoy having a friend."

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The friends, Henry Thurman (left) and Rowan Reim (right), often travel to the beach together. This beach trip was was in first-grade. SUBMITTED PHOTO - Friends Griffin Reim (left), Henry Thurman (middle), and Rowan Reim (right) enjoy the tulips back when they were first-graders.

West Linn Tiding Reporter Clara Howell can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-636-1281 ext: 112.

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