When Tim Sutton drove by Holy Cross Lutheran School, he didn’t realize what the future held for his daughter, Violet. All he knew was that something told him to stop at Holy Cross that day.“I see this place all the time,” Mr. Sutton says. “Really it was just coincidence and proximity.”But whether it was coincidence or something more, the outcome of that visit would have a lifelong impact as he met people from Holy Cross Lutheran School.A single dad, Mr. Sutton knew he wanted his daughter in a private school but didn’t think it was possible.“The enrollments were closed,” he explains. “It was halfway through the year. I came down here and within a day they had her enrolled.”This is just one example of how Lutheran Schools go the extra mile to make an education possible for families like the Suttons.Violet’s experience in the prekindergarten program at Holy Cross was positive, giving her the building blocks she needed for school.But when kindergarten enrollment arrived, Mr. Sutton didn’t think he could afford private school. He decided to enroll his daughter in a local school instead, but after a few days he found it wasn’t a good fit for Violet.That was when Shelly Ladwig, Holy Cross preschool director, sprang into action to make sure that Violet could return to school.“She took an active interest and went out of her way,” Mr. Sutton says, noting that she found him at a bus stop. “She asked me, ‘How much would you like [Violet] to come to Holy Cross? I think there’s something we could do.’”This is the one of the ways that the school cares for its students, by making sure students have access to quality education, despite financial obstacles. With the help of the school, they were able to work out the payments and make Lutheran school a reality for Violet. That was the beginning of Holy Cross’s influence on the Sutton family.“In kindergarten we would read a passage out of the Bible every night,” Mr. Sutton explains. “[The Bible] came to my house through her.”That’s when Mr. Sutton, who describes himself as “hesitant to accept religion,” began to notice some changes not only in Violet, but in himself.“It started to slowly change my life,” he explains. “Small things, like taking care of my body, being prompt on my bills, changing my eating. I was in bad shape before.”Later in the school year, Violet talked about her desire to be baptized and Tim decided to do the same. “They asked if I was serious about doing this. I said, yeah, and was baptized with her.” In order to show support for the Suttons, classmates and staff attended the event, celebrating with the family.Janne Ross, admissions counselor at Holy Cross, adds, “It was a real treat to go. All the younger kids stood and sang. It was priceless. This is what Holy Cross is about.”Mr. Sutton adds, “I like the friendships she’s developed here. The staff is always close knit. It’s like a family.”It’s that close community that makes Holy Cross a special place for the Sutton family. Being part of the Holy Cross community provided not only a high quality education for Violet, but something of even greater value as well: the chance to be part of a community that supports families spiritually and relationally.Although the family’s introduction to Holy Cross felt coincidental, some might say it was the plan all along.Even Mr. Sutton admits, “It was dumb luck that we ended up here. It almost seems like it was meant to be.”
Holy Cross Lutheran School makes education dream a reality.
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