Lutheran private school celebrates 25 years


FAIRBORN — Bethlehem Lutheran School is celebrating 25 years of service to Fairborn this academic season.

Founded in fall 1999, what began as a preschool has expanded year-by-year to include preschool through eighth grade and a total of 130 students.

Principal Scott Ferguson said that as the only private school to teach above elementary grades in Fairborn, it has been through amazing growth in the last 25 years with even more planned for the future.

“We have two building programs now,” he said, adding that the school is also considering four additional classrooms and a full-sized gymnasium for the students.

Ferguson also said there are plans for a celebratory dinner, with invitations to be sent to past principals and students who have since moved on to other things.

According to Ferguson, eighth grade is the cap for the school with no plans to extend into high school. There is also a limit of 15 students per grade to allow for a more specialized teaching style.

“We like to keep our classes small,” he said. “We feel like it really benefits the students when the teacher really gets to know the kids.”

The smaller size still allows students to work together on group projects, according to Ferguson, while keeping the teachers from experiencing management struggles that can come with a larger classroom.

“Our big push this year is all about literacy,” said Ferguson. “We want all our kids to read at or above grade level.”

Most students are reading at or above grade level now, according to Ferguson, but teachers are making a concerted effort now to push those who may have fallen behind.

Bethlehem Lutheran School is one of just three private schools in Fairborn, and the only one to teach up to eighth grade. According to Ferguson, his school is the best and only option for parents who want to give their children a Christ-centered approach to education.

Ferguson said he sees the benefits of the school’s approach and smaller class size, as kids grow into leadership roles and gain self-confidence in themselves for their education.

“They get a lot of one-on-one support,” he said. “Our students are all notable in whichever field they go into.”

Bethlehem Lutheran School was founded after local church members ran a study of feasibility to see if there would be support for the project back in 1999. After doing so and receiving support, the school was founded and has seen greater success each year since, according to Ferguson.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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