2018-04-12 / News

Valley Lutheran commemorates its 40th school year

By Cameron Kerkau

Valley Lutheran High School has offered the families of Saginaw Township and surrounding areas a Christ-led alternative to public education for four decades. A special chapel service will be held on Monday, April 23, at 10 a.m., to commemorate the 40th year of the school.

Executive Director John Brandt has been with the school since 1979, just two years after the school opened in the spring of 1977.

“It has been a great blessing to me to be able to serve here for so long because I am reminded often as I come across alumni, of the way that God uses people in ways that are often times completely unexpected to me,” said Brandt.

The Valley Lutheran High School Association formed in 1976 and hired the first principal, David Krause, to build a curriculum and hire teachers. In the first year of Valley Lutheran, 82 students were taught in the basement of the Coleman Temple, 2405 Bay St, which was known as Faith Lutheran Church at the time. In 1978, Valley Lutheran made the move into its current location at 3560 McCarty Road. Now, the school serves 325 students.

“What has not changed is that we are here to prepare our students with the best education that we can, and more importantly we’re here to prepare students in their faith,” said Brandt.

According to Brandt, Valley Lutheran will continue to fulfill its important role in the community and develop its students as lifelong learners.

“I think that it’s important for a community to have schools like Valley Lutheran because we offer a clear alternative to public education. That is not to say public education is bad, I want good public schools as a taxpayer and citizen, but I think it’s important to be able to present a clear alternative,” said Brandt.

Valley Lutheran is in the midst of a campaign to make significant additions to its facility including four new science labs, a new art studio and a new rehearsal space for the band and choir.

“[The additions] are critical to the students’ interests, and we want to be able to position our keeps to be able to do the best we can,” said Brandt.

The special chapel service will be led by Pastor Gil McDonald, who taught theology, coached volleyball and cross country, and assisted with the school newspaper, student council, and drama from 1978 to 1991.

“He was very influential in the early days of the school but also he had a great way of communicating with students, especially in communicating on faith issues. It’s a real honor that he’s going to be leading the chapel,” said Brant.

“I oftentimes say we have been so blessed by the people who have been involved in this school over the years. Our founding group set such a strong foundation for this school... I reflect on that often. That we’ve been able to continue to this day means that there are very committed teachers here that I get to work with everyday,” said Brandt.

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