Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, LLS instituted differentiated education for all grades. Instruction for all students is tailored to the students’ level of competency, ability and interests. Many of our students are working a grade or more ahead of their actual age level.
Thanks to the efforts of a small but dedicated group of volunteers as well as paid professionals who renovated LLS over the Summer of 2010, our students learn in a climate-controlled environment that boasts internet ports, smart boards and Wi-Fi availability. There are laptop computers for every student. Eighth grade students take Algebra as a distant learning course from Lutheran High West. These opportunities continue to be expanded.
LLS from 1905 to 2010
The History of LLS
On September 11, 1905, Rev. Fred Zucker opened the first Christian Day School in Lakewood in St. Paul’s Chapel, becoming the first teacher in the school. This was also the same year the church was organized. The chapel was described as “an attractive building with an auditorium and a second room used for the school.” Instruction was conducted in the German language, the language many of the church families spoke at home.
During the succeeding years, the Lord blessed the school with many dedicated, faithful teaching ministers and an increasing enrollment. Today we still recognize the names of some of those early teachers: Niermann, Blankenbuehler, Witte, Schwass, Hoffmeyer, Engelmann, Tassler, Kalb.
In the 1920s the first church chapel, which had also served as the school, was replaced. In its stead rose “a new, fireproof modern school building with two classrooms and a large room on the lower level.”This building, which faced Lakeland Avenue, was later incorporated into the Lakewood Lutheran School structure built at Lakeland and Detroit in 1977-1978.
In 1945, the school was operated jointly as the St. Paul-Pilgrim Lutheran School. In the ensuing years, classes were held in a variety of locations, including Pilgrim and Gethsemane. The need for larger facilities became increasingly evident. In 1954, the school officially became known as Lakewood Lutheran School. In 1964, the Lakewood Lutheran School Association was established with the charter members being Gethsemane Lutheran Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church.
The idea of a new centralized Lakewood Lutheran School resulted in more than a decade of prayers, planning, generosity, and hard work. Pastor George Pohlod of Gethsemane and Pastor Rupert Uffelman of St. Paul helped lead the successful building effort. A new building was developed at Lakeland and Detroit in 1977, and was dedicated on January 22, 1978.
Saint Paul and Gethsemane Lutheran Churches continued operating the school jointly until 2004, when Gethsemane became the sole supporting member of the Lakewood Lutheran School Association. For the 2009-2010 School Year, LLS was operated as a collaboration between Gethsemane, Messiah Lutheran Church and School in Fairview Park, the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association, Lutheran High School West, the Ohio District LCMS, and the Ohio District Lutheran Church Extension Fund. For the 2010 School Year, Gethsemane reclaimed full responsibility over LLS, which returned to renovated facilities at Gethsemane in September 2010.