Bethlehem Lutheran: A Small School with a Big Heart

Lasting Friendships Highlight Layne Fisher’s Experience

Layne Fisher doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that her family ended up at Bethlehem Lutheran School.

“It was God’s plan,” she says. “I was getting my hair cut from a lady in Ossian. I was looking for a babysitter, so I talked to my hairdresser who recommended Susan Stoppenhagen. Susan recommended Bethlehem to us.”

Aspen, now 15, joined a class of all boys when he was in kindergarten. That group bonded so well, they are still friends in high school. Besides the strong friendships, the kids who come out of Bethlehem are prepared for the rigors of the local high school.

“My kids have a good foundation academically and spiritually. Five of the boys (from Bethlehem) made the distinction list this year in high school, which is having an A- or higher,” she adds.

Even though the Fishers were not part of the church before coming to the school, they decided to try it and found the church to be a great fit for the family. Eventually Autumn and Aspen were baptized at Bethlehem.

“I can’t imagine my kids being anywhere else,” Layne says. ”I know all the families of my kids’ friends. Aspen loves to go to youth group. I appreciate that sense of family. Those older kids have always had someone looking out for them.”

Because Bethlehem is a small school, a big part of their success is parent volunteers. The board at the school recognized Layne’s gifts and outgoing personality were perfectly suited for the role of admissions. They asked her to host open houses, an important aspect for the school’s growth.

Layne agreed to volunteer for the task and now works alongside Sheryl Bauermeister, coordinating the admissions process together. Connecting new families is an important part of her job and the family’s involvement is critical at a small school like Bethlehem.

“This school runs on the parents. Our PTL tries to meet new families. When they come here as Kindergarten parents, we try to introduce the culture of our school, which is all hands on deck.”

The relationships at Bethlehem often become long-lasting friendships, one of the most important aspects for the Fishers.

“I love how deep my kid’s family has become,” Layne adds. “Any of the parents here would help my kids. They’re family.”

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