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Parents cite Christ-centered, quality academics

By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
(Email Joanne)

DENISON – Taking their cue from a famous advertisement, Louis and Lisa Scheuring share this insight about choosing St. Rose of Lima School.

Public education – free.

School supplies - $200.

Christ-centered, quality academics – Priceless.

For the Scheurings, it was never a question of if their children would attend a parochial school, but which one.
Lisa is a native of Denison and grew up on a farm near town. She was raised in a home of educators as both her mother and father were teachers. Her early education was at Zion Lutheran parochial school, across the street from where her boys attend school now.

Louis grew up on a farm near the small town of Defiance, Iowa, which is just south of Denison. His family has strong Catholic roots as his mother, father and all five of his older siblings attended and/or graduated from the Catholic school. However, as Louis became old enough for school, the Catholic school in Defiance closed. As a result, Louis was bussed to Harlan, Iowa and attended public school.

Louis and Lisa were married on July 8, 1995 in Denison at Zion Lutheran Church. To this union, four children were born – all of them boys. Austin is in seventh grade at Denison Middle School. Collin is a fifth grader; Derek is a third grader; and Brody is in first grade at St. Rose.

Lisa had fond memories and a great learning experience at Zion Lutheran and wanted to pass that experience on to the boys. Louis was especially supportive of the parochial school as he has sometimes felt a void of knowledge when it came to his faith and its teachings.

“He had strong feelings about the boys learning more about their faith than he had experienced in the religious education offerings to public school students when he was young,” Lisa said. “So it was resolved that since the boys were baptized in the Catholic Church, we should send the boys to St. Rose of Lima school to be consistent with their religious faith. We wanted the boys to experience a Christ-centered education and we were lucky enough to have two choices in the community of Denison.”

The motto of St. Rose is that it is big enough to challenge and small enough to care. Lisa felt that was not only a motto, but also the strong point of the school.

“We have been pleased with the academic achievements and spiritual growth that the boys have received at St. Rose,” she said. “The climate at the school is one of caring. We can see from the interactions our boys have with their classmates and within our family in the home that they are receiving an education filled with Christian values.”

Louis characterized the whole school like a big family with the kindergartners through the fifth graders genuinely caring about each other.

“Academically, the size of the school and smaller class sizes increase the amount of attention and time the teachers can give each student to meet their individual challenges,” he said. “Challenging and caring is a great combined strength.”

With the changing demographics of society, Lisa speculated increased enrollment and technology demands will be some of the major concerns in Denison.

“St. Rose enrollment has increased the past two years; however, it needs to keep growing as demands for technology and possibly a new facility arise in the upcoming years,” she said.

Louis acknowledged, often, cost is cited as an issue by parents when choosing public over private education.

“It is hard to put a value on a Catholic education,” he said. “St. Rose offers both a quality academic curriculum coupled with a Christ-centered environment. We felt that the cost of tuition was a small price to pay for the return on investment we are gaining for our boys academically and spiritually.”

The Scheuring boys are also cheerleaders for St. Rose.

“We account this to the family/caring atmosphere,” Lisa said. “They have good friendships and get along well with their teachers.”

“Austin, our seventh grader, had mixed emotions about leaving St. Rose after fifth grade,” Louis added.

“While he was excited about going onto middle school, he was truly sad about leaving his ‘family’ at St. Rose behind.”

Both Louis and Lisa had high praise for the St. Rose staff, too.

“St. Rose has hired some of the most energetic, hardworking, dedicated teachers around,” Louis said. “They all put an extreme amount of energy into their teaching and make learning fun and engaging for the students.”

“We are truly impressed with the achievements our boys have made academically while enrolled at St. Rose of Lima,” Lisa added. “The teachers develop some pretty cool activities for families to participate in each month and need to be applauded for their efforts to increase parent involvement in the school.”

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