School Spotlight: West Lutheran High School’s New Principal
Change can be hard. But, sometimes change can be good and bring rewards that are better than you even imagined.
Dave Gartner is first and foremost a teacher. But this year is also his first year as principal of West Lutheran High School.
“I came here saying I really want to keep teaching religion because I have a passion for it. I love watching the students grow in their faith and I love getting excited about teaching religion. These students at West have just been remarkable,” said Gartner, who teaches the 8th grade religion class at West Lutheran in addition to his administrative responsibilities.
Before coming to West Lutheran this year, Gartner spent 27 years as principal at Saint John’s Lutheran School in Redwood Falls, Minn. He had received many opportunities to take positions at other schools, but always kept a discerning ear to God for direction in his life.
“I feel like it was the Lord leading me to do something and my entire life I’ve said, ‘Lord lead me where you want me to go,” said Gartner.
I asked him what is the value of a Christian education today.
“Christian education is the thing that lets you be able to be in God’s Word every day and infuse God’s Word into every single lesson. That idea that God, His Word, is going to permeate and be a part of everything that you do. So that when the times do get tight and rough in your life that you can go back to those things you learned,” replied Gartner.
Gartner and his staff at West Lutheran High School see their role as preparing the whole person for life beyond high school. Mind, body and soul.
“You know that life is going to be tough. Every single one of us knows that. But to know that they can go back either through prayer, and go back in the scripture to talk to their Lord and receive that strength to come back. And also they are armed with an incredible education. That allows them to do just about anything,” said Gartner.
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**This story was recorded before the COVID-19 outbreak prompted the shutdown of schools.