History runs deep at Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran School. Established in the late 1800’s, the school was created out of necessity. Fort Wayne was just too far to travel in a horse and buggy.For the Hoffman and Myers family, the history of the school is personal. Both Shannon Hoffman and Deb Myers boast four generations at the school.So when the Hoffmans discussed where to send their daughters to school, the choice seemed obvious to Shannon: Suburban Bethlehem provided her with a foundation for success in life. Her husband, however, had to experience it for himself.“I did not grow up in a private school, so I didn’t see the advantages of it,” Justin Hoffman admits. “But once my daughter Keira became school age, we decided there were more things a school could offer than just an education—a lot more important things.”
Shannon knew firsthand how the close connections made at Suburban Bethlehem impacted her for a lifetime.“The friendships from this school were strong,” she says. “We became best friends. My graduating class was ten students and two of the students were in our wedding.”For the Myers family, the impact of Suburban Bethlehem was something they wanted to pass along to their own daughter.“Before we had Addison, Deb and I were members at the church and were ingrained in the church-school partnership,” Rob Myers explains. “So we didn’t even give our school decision a second thought. It was a no brainer.”Deb’s history at Suburban Bethlehem, like Shannon’s, is filled with positive experiences, long-lasting friendships, and top-notch academics. But when the Hoffman family experienced a family crisis, they found the school to be a lifesaver.
“Keira was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a kindergartner,” Shannon explains. “It was a learning experience for all of us. But the principal and staff at Suburban Bethlehem were willing to help and they trained the teachers to assist with her shots. It’s truly been a blessing through the years.”Through Keira’s medical challenges, it became clear to the Hoffmans that Suburban Bethlehem was more than just a school. It is a supportive community, providing close relationships and a spiritual foundation while challenging their daughters academically.“We’ve heard from a local high school that they know which kids come from Suburban Bethlehem,” Shannon adds. “It’s not only their academic performance, but their spiritual attitudes as well.”Mr. Myers echoes Mrs. Hoffman’s thoughts, adding, “They’re really preparing our daughter for high school and college. Seeing Addison grow leaps and bounds, there’s a marked, tangible difference.”This impact is why the Hoffman and Myers family have found ways to give back to the school that invested so much in them.Deb and Rob Myers are involved in championing a family friendly initiative at the church. Both men serve on the school board. Shannon volunteers as a coach for the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams.
“Sports is my passion and I love the character it builds in the kids,” Shannon says. “So it’s great to see the kids say ‘Hi Coach!’ It says something that the kids are excited to see you.”It’s this kind of community support that defines Suburban Bethlehem, making it a great place to call home.Shannon adds, “They are friendships for a lifetime.”