We are proud to share this guest post by Erin Stinson, mother of three students at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School, offering her parent perspective about the well-rounded education her children are receiving. Also read a teacher’s tale.
Hi! We are the Stinson family, and we are thankful for the education our children are receiving at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School (SHLS). We have three beautiful children, Keegan, Brynnleigh, and Quinn. Keegan is 14 years old and actively plays baseball for Trosky Baseball and basketball at his school; he is currently in the eighth grade. Brynnleigh is 12 years old and actively plays softball for HITT Fast Pitch and basketball at her school; she is currently in the sixth grade. Quinn is eight years old and in second grade, and actively plays basketball at her school and coach pitch softball for Greater Helotes Little League. We love SHLS because our school has felt like home from day one. I feel like it is one, big, happy family. We all have one common goal for our children: Raising them to love the Lord and be wonderful human beings.
Faith and Academics at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School
As we looked for a school to meet our needs as a family and thought about what we wanted for our children’s education, we fell in love with the mission at SHLS: Working as a community of parents, staff, and children together we foster Christ-like qualities in all we pursue; spiritual growth, academic excellence, physical, emotional, and social development. Since day one, our children have always been cared for and given a holistic approach to education.
Our faith is very important to us, so we chose a Christian environment to further develop that relationship with Jesus, on top of our regularly attended church services. This school provides the religion aspect but also excellent and competitive academics that challenge each of my children. They are allowed to move up if they are ahead or get additional support if necessary. Our children are also able to pursue their athletic talents and play soccer, basketball, cross country, track and field starting in first grade. The school offers students clubs and groups that foster their likes and hobbies.
A School Culture that Features Innovation and Communication
Our school has shown flexibility and innovation in teaching and leadership by always looking outside of the box and providing new and exciting curriculum. It challenges the students on all different levels. They use different technological advances that allow our children to continue to stay present and engaged, especially when COVID-19 hit in March 2020. Our children were able to attend Zoom classes and engage in Google classroom to complete assignments. Teacher were able to utilize resources readily available to them to assist the students from getting too far behind and seamlessly continuing on with school life. They have supported our children’s mental health by keeping things as close to how they were before to allow our children to have the best possible education they can have.
Our school emphasizes the importance of achieving their fullest potential by instilling in them the want and drive to do their best. We have constant communication with their teachers to ensure the children are all working to their potential. When a potential problem arises, communication is initiated and instructions if modified if necessary to meet my children’s needs.
Our campus has some wonderful traditions that my children have grown to love. We have “First Fridays” each month where the kids engage in a pep rally and concession stands loaded with various treats for the whole campus. Different grade levels are involved to fully include the whole campus. We have some wonderful fundraising activities, including movie nights, game nights, and the most popular—Ram Fest. It’s like a giant carnival for the school, and the kids love it.
Choosing Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School
We have attended SHLS since our oldest was in first grade. Before SHLS, our son attended kindergarten at University United Methodist Church Day School—another Christian school. When we were looking for a school after kindergarten, we looked into charter schools like Great Hearts, BASIS, etc., but at the time they were all very new to the San Antonio area. We loved how SHLS felt and we believed it would meet all our family’s needs.
My advice when looking for a school would be to visit and just drop in. Catch them on an off time and see how important your child and your family’s needs are to them. If you feel at peace and sense that this is going to be a good fit for your child, then don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Make sure they are willing to work with you. Get involved and get invested. Meet other people who attend or have attended the school and ask them how they feel about it. Get their honest opinions. Finally, see if your child can do a tour and shadow day so they have the opportunity to experience it fully.
I have learned that school choice is crucial for students, families, and educators because it allows you to take ownership of your child’s education and select what is important and critical for YOUR family.
Charter Moms Chats
Erin Stinson is mother to Keegan (14), Brynnleigh (12), and Quinn (8). She is madly in love to college sweetheart Chris; they have been married for over 18 years. Currently, she is self-employed as a recreation therapist providing therapy services to individuals with special needs in San Antonio and surrounding communities. She loves to attend her kids’ sporting events.
Read More About Private School Options
- “2022–23 Guide to Enrolling in Catholic Schools in San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, February 1, 2022
- “Incarnate Word Virtual High School Offers Catholic Online School for Girls,” Anne Schaefer-Salinas, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 18, 2021
- “Catholic Preschools in San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, June 16, 2021
- “Choosing Online Private Schools,” San Antonio Charter Moms, May 13, 2021
- “St. Anthony Catholic School: A Fresh Look at Catholic Education,” Patricia L. Ramirez, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 30, 2021
Read More About Parent Perspectives
- “Bonnie Salas Is a Parent and Leader at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering,” Bonnie Salas, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 26, 2022
- “A Mother’s Angst: Kathleen Gomez Exercised School Choice in the Age of COVID,” Kathleen Gomez, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 27, 2021
- “Parent Perspectives: How Lety Gómez Became a Parent Leader,” Lety Gómez, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 18, 2021
- “Stephanie Adams Shares Her School Search Experience,” Stephanie Adams, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 2, 2021
- “‘Never Too Old or Too Young to Learn’—Wendy Gonzales-Neal of My Child My Voice,” Wendy Gonzales-Neal, San Antonio Charter Moms, December 16, 2020