By Teresa Jagodzinski
“Securing Each Child’s Future,” is the theme for Lutheran schools Week March 2-8.
Local Lutheran Schools will be celebrating this week, with a variety of events for both students and the public. Some events include open houses, special church services, presentations, and special dress up days.
Five schools Christ Community Lutheran School in Watertown, Lutheran High School in Mayer, St. James Lutheran School in Howard Lake, St. Mark Lutheran School in New Germany, and Zion Lutheran School in Mayer each are unique in their own way.
Mayer Lutheran High School
Being the only Lutheran high school in the area, Mayer Lutheran draws students both locally and from distant towns. Established in 1960, it provides an education for 248 students in grades 9-12.
Its mission statement is “To prepare the next generation of Christian leaders.” The school lives up to its mission statement by offering the Daniel program to prepare students to be Christian leaders in whatever field they may go into after graduation.
The Daniel program is an after school program to teach the students about leadership and roles. This is a voluntary program, and the students can choose how much they want to be involved with it.
Three areas are included in this program. The first area is workshops with speakers and movies. Secondly, students take field trips into the business world and interact with Christian business leaders. In addition, once a month, after school Bible study is held for students to learn what the Bible teaches about leadership skills.
Students are encouraged to use their time and talents to be Christian leaders.
St. James Lutheran School
Since 1918, St. James Lutheran School has been educating students from Howard Lake as well as the surrounding area. It offers preschool through eighth grade with a total enrollment of 155 students.
With class sizes ranging in size from 10 students in the smallest to 22 students in the largest class, there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one attention. The small size also creates a family feeling to the school.
Confirmation classes, offered with two pastors to teach the classes, one grade per classroom, and chapel every Wednesday morning are some of the unique aspects of the school.
Its mission statement is “This school exists to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and assist Christian parents in following our Lord’s commands by providing sound Christian training for children.”
Zion Lutheran School
Founded in 1912, Zion Lutheran School educates preschool through eighth grade.
Principal Debra Kelzer states that a special aspect of their school is being able to “integrate faith into all academics.”
Kelzer also explained an innovative approach the school has taken place this year by having grades three through six use exercise balls instead of chairs in their classroom.
“It helps the kids stay focused,” she explained while improving posture and strengthening the muscles in the core area.
Christ Community Lutheran School
Christ Community Lutheran School was established in 1949. The school was formerly known as St. Paul-St. Peter Lutheran School, and moved into a new building in 2001, taking the name Christ Community Lutheran School. It offers a preschool through eighth grade education to 138 students in Watertown.
According to principal Jeff Boehlke, the school offers a lot of special activities and programs for a small school, along with a positive Christian atmosphere.
New this year, the school started an online grading and communication system for parents to have greater access to school information.
Next year, it is starting Home School Plus for home schooled students in grades five through eight. This program gives home school families the option of part time enrollment for certain subjects.
Boehlke added they feel this program has great potential and can be a wonderful service to home school families.
St. Mark Lutheran School
In New Germany, St. Mark Lutheran School offers preschool through eighth grade education to 36 students. In 1915, the school was established and today continues to offer quality education to its students.
According to principal Daniel Wacker, their school is special because they can offer a “Christ centered education. Everything is focused around Jesus.”
Wacker added that the small setting creates a family atmosphere where different grades share and mingle with each other. From eighth graders to kindergartners, they all learn from each other by interacting throughout the day.
For more information
The following resources will give more information on these schools:
• Christ Community Lutheran School, www.ccls.net
• St. James Lutheran School, www.stjameshl.org/school
• St. Mark Lutheran School, (952) 353-2464
• Zion Lutheran School www.zionmayer.org
• Lutheran High School, Mayer, www.lhsmayer.mn.org