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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • St. John’s just keeps growing

  • In 1983 when St. John’s school officially opened its doors, there were 59 students enrolled with three teachers on staff; Principal Dave Gartner said this week the school looks to have up to 140 students enrolled in its preschool through eighth grade program next year.
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  • In 1983 when St. John’s school officially opened its doors, there were 59 students enrolled with three teachers on staff.
    Thirty years later the school has more than doubled its enrollment, as the year which ended May 24 saw 130 students with 11 teachers.
    That kind of growth, said Dave Gartner, St. John school principal, is a demonstration of the kind of success the school has been able to experience over the past three decades and why things continue to head in a positive direction.
    “The Lord has truly blessed the ministry here at St. John’s,” Gartner said, adding the quality staff and continued dedication of the congregation behind the school have been reasons why the school is growing.
    “This was a fantastic year,” said Gartner as the final minutes of the 2012-13 school year ticked by and excited students said their goodbyes before heading out for the summer.
    While students take education a little easier during the next several weeks, the staff at the school is already gearing up for the coming year, and Gartner said the numbers are promising for the new year. He said the school looks to have in the area of 140 students enrolled in its preschool through eighth grade program.
    It is in the lower grades where most of the growth is happening, and because of that the school has called a new member to its staff for the coming year.
    For the 2013-14 school year the first and second grades are going to be split, and Gartner said he believes this is the first time that has happened in the 30-year history of the school.
    “It’s great to know we are keeping the same staff for the coming year and are adding one more,” said Gartner.
    Although the numbers are growing, the end of the school year does mean there are some faces who are leaving the school district.
    Three students, Alix Miller, Tatum Gregg and Micah Schoer, finished the eighth grade and are going to be moving on to their next school setting in the fall.
    “These three students were a fantastic part of our program,” said Gartner. “They showed kindness and compassion to the other students in the school. They watched out for younger students and always were putting others first.”
    Gartner called the trio of graduates great role models, adding their smiling faces are going to be missed next year.
    The early childhood program continues to see tremendous growth, said Gartner, as the program consistently has had an en-rollment in the mid- to high-30s.
    “We finished the school year with 38 students in our early childhood program,” said Gartner.
    Page 2 of 2 - From commitment to academics to great music programs, the 2012-13 school year was a very good one for the students and staff at St. John’s, and Gartner is convinced there is no reason for that to change when the new year begins.
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