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West Lutheran develops plan to face financial challenges

The Board of Directors of West Lutheran High School, Plymouth, Minnesota, has announced that it is initiating a campaign challenge to the individual supporters and congregations of the West Association of Congregations in order to meet the financial challenges of operating the school.
There are 20 Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) congregations that own and operate the West Association in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. West Lutheran also receives support from volunteers who operate a thrift store called the Wise Penny in Buffalo, Minnesota. School enrollment now stands at 161 with eight foreign students attending this year.
The board will raise awareness of the school’s responsibility to pay off its $2.4 million debt, and will aim to reduce the debt $500,000 to $800,000 over the next two years.
This effort will lower the mortgage payment and assist in controlling operating expenses and tuition costs, according to school representatives. Merlin Meitner, the school’s principal/administrator, will work with congregations and individuals to raise awareness and encourage special gifts.
Marketing the school within the feeder school system, as well as the community at large, is also an important aspect of the plan. A committee of parents of past and present students will look for ways to encourage prospective families to use the school. The school’s website explains that “West Lutheran offers a solid Christ-centered education that integrates biblical principles with the academic and social aspects of the school.” Several graduates of area Lutheran Pre-K to 8th grade schools continue their education at West. King of Grace Lutheran, Golden Valley (ELS); Salem Lutheran, Greenfield (WELS); Cross of Christ Lutheran, Coon Rapids (WELS); Mt. Olive Lutheran, Delano (WELS); Holy Trinity Lutheran, New Hope (WELS); St. John’s Lutheran, Maple Grove (LCMS); Redeemer Lutheran, Wayzata (LCMS); Pilgrim Lutheran, Minneapolis (WELS), and Trinity Lutheran, Belle Plaine (WELS) are feeder schools that encourage graduates to attend West.

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