Have you visited St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Des Peres?
The year was 1991, and I was a first grader shyly walking the cinder block hallway of my new school, St. Paul’s Lutheran of Des Peres. My family had just moved to St. Louis from Indianapolis. This was a scary change for a 6-year-old, but it was shocking for my eldest sister, who, with braces and sky-high feathered bangs, had to navigate her 8th grade year knowing no one. Despite our Hoosier newness, my sisters and I were warmly taken under our teachers’ wings. The kids were excited to meet us and show us the ropes. With their love, we quickly began to feel that this new community was home.
Fast forward three decades and many life experiences, and our children are all attending that same school! My eldest sister recently fulfilled her second term on the school board (with a calmer hairstyle). The middle sister is a secretary for the connected church. I am the marketing and admissions director. Many of our former classmates have children in our children’s classes! I still stay in touch with the first girl I met who asked me to play with her. My first-grade teacher, long since retired, still comments on my Facebook posts. Our first year in 1991 was the start of something special – and it created a foundation for the path on which we would navigate life and raise our families.
St. Louis moms have a plethora of schools to choose from when they contemplate the best educational setting for their children. Some parents are attracted to a Christian school because it is connected to their denomination of faith. Others are looking for a context in which their children are learning Biblical morals and values alongside the core subjects. Another contingency is drawn to the intimate setting with a greater emphasis on individual development and achievement. Whatever your reason for exploring Christian schools, here are seven characteristics held dear at St. Paul’s to consider in a school before making your selection.
- The Bible is the ultimate textbook. Above all else, this is the source where answers are sought, guidelines for life are taught, and morals and values are rooted. It equips students with the tools to overcome the challenges that life brings. Students open this book often at school.
- Faculty focus on holistic child development. Students are encouraged spiritually, academically, physically, emotionally, and socially to be the best versions God created them to be. High standards of growth and achievement are expected, with a loving approach. Faculty and staff are devoted to each individual student’s success and are not only instructors but life coaches.
- Individual spiritual guidance is provided to each student. Pastors, counselors, and family ministry offer support in addition to teachers and principals, who pray for each child by name. Students pray with and for one another. Students are reminded that they are unique and precious gifts from God with a purpose in this world.
- The school’s intimate setting has a Goldilocks feel. In this “just right” scenario, the community is not too big – where everybody knows your name! – and it’s not too small because of the myriad opportunities in which to become involved and stretched for growth.
- It’s a community that feels like family. A church connected to a school emphasizes the sense of community. The congregation prays for students and subsidizes tuition. Parents engage in Bible studies, volunteerism, and various support groups with each other. Alumni circle back and enroll their children in the school. Lifelong relationships are nurtured.
- Christian sportsmanship and mentorship are cultivated. Students are developed into caring servant leaders. In competitions, they are coached to win and lose with grace. They demonstrate teamwork and mentor younger students in various capacities.
- Graduates are well-equipped for future life phases. Strong academics and discipline well-prepare students for high school, college, and beyond. Students establish a work ethic and a sense of commitment, and love others because Christ first loved them. Their foundation of faith holds them steady through life’s ups and downs.
You are invited to St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Des Peres! Limited openings are available for the 2023-2024 school year. I will personally give you a tour and show you how, after 174 years, the school continues to move students forward in faith.
About St. Paul’s Lutheran School: Established in 1849, St. Paul’s Lutheran School of Des Peres has a rich tradition of fostering children from infants through Grade 8 to grow in the knowledge of Christ and offers a strong academic foundation for future success. For enrollment information, visit stplutheranschool.org/admissions.
About the author: Joanna Hoeltge (rhymes with voltage) is an alumna of Valparaiso University. Her first two careers were dedicated to animals: public relations at the Saint Louis Zoo and digital marketing at Nestle Purina. When she became a mother, Joanna took a step back and now works half-time in admissions and marketing at St. Paul’s Lutheran School of Des Peres, her alma mater! She resides in St. Louis Hills with her husband Brian, two young sons Roman and Solomon, and two dogs Bernie and Fitz.