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3 Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Choosing a High School

Each year, LuHi gets a handful of transfer students joining us from other area high schools. Oftentimes, these students are looking for a Christian school where teachers prioritize building relationships, understanding their learning styles, and investing time in students.

For our teachers, it's a joy to see these students who might have been feeling discouraged or out of place at their old school suddenly light up and start thriving, both in class and in activities.

There are many school options in our area, and choosing the right one for a student can feel overwhelming. As parents and middle schoolers research, visit, and weigh the different options, hearing testimonials from current students can aid them in the decision-making process.

We’ve asked some of our transfer students to share what 8th graders should know when looking for a high school and what they wish they had known before they chose their first high school.

Here are 3 common takeaways:

1) Student-teacher relationships make a difference day to day.

While friends and extracurriculars are important, teachers play a crucial role in shaping high school experiences. With students spending the majority of their day in class and potentially more time if teachers lead clubs or sports, their influence is significant. It's essential for parents to select a school with teachers who align with family values and beliefs. A highly relational environment fosters honest dialogue, meaningful conversations, and guidance rooted in shared values and biblical principles.

It’s hard to overstate the impact teachers have on student’s high school experiences.

“One thing I like about being in a Lutheran school is that everyone knows each other, and there’s a sense of community. At my previous school, it felt like my teachers didn’t care, and I had to try really hard to make friends. Having a place where teachers care is just a better experience overall.” – Isaiah Williams, class of 2024

“It’s important to have a good relationship with your teachers. I like to banter back and forth with my teachers; I can ask them questions or make jokes with them. I’ve formed close connections with them, so now, as a senior, I can ask them to write a recommendation for me to put in my college applications.” – Kylie Klimek, class of 2024

2) Consider how your values and beliefs line up with the school.

As students progress through high school, they develop their identities and beliefs. A crucial aspect of their journey is having a safe environment where they can ask questions, explore difficult topics, and strengthen their values. At LuHi, fostering students' growth in Christ is central to our mission. Many students, whether they join as freshmen or transfers, are drawn to LuHi because of this commitment to helping students understand their identity as children of God.

“The biggest reason I chose Lutheran is because I wanted the opportunity to continue to grow in my faith in Christ. Faith was something I couldn’t really talk about at [my last school]. I have more freedom of speech; there’s more I can say here than what I could say at [my last school]. I was baptized earlier this year, and now I just keep growing.” – Matthew Martinez, class of 2025

“Choose a place where your thoughts and opinions can be voiced.” – Isaiah Williams, class of 2024

“I know you’ll want to follow your friends but trust your gut. God has a plan for you. Follow your beliefs because they matter.” – Lily Norden, class of 2025

3) Community matters.

Being part of a community where you feel known, valued, and loved can significantly impact your mental and emotional well-being. The book of Proverbs holds wisdom about choosing friends and community wisely. And the Apostle Paul warns that bad company corrupts good character.

One of LuHi’s core values is to provide students with a highly relational environment. We prioritize creating a community where students feel known and loved by their teachers and where they can cultivate positive, uplifting friendships.

“My old high school is huge - which I still liked - but now, being here, I love the idea of knowing everyone and walking in the hallways and seeing familiar faces. Since [Lutheran] is smaller, It was such an easy transition from not knowing anybody to now knowing almost everybody in the school.” – Lily Norden, class of 2025

“No matter the high school you go to, get involved in activities. That's how you make friends. At LuHi, the theatre group has been the most welcoming group of people I have ever met. At [my old school] I had two friends in total. But here, I cannot count on my hands twice over the number of people that I would happily call my friends. I adore Lutheran. When I first toured my 8th grade year, Lutheran felt small. I was coming from another small Christian school in middle school so I decided I wanted to experience one of the bigger public schools. But after I transferred here, the classes felt more personal, and it was easier to find out about activities and get involved.” – Kylie Klimek, class of 2024

“Look for a group of people you can rely on.” – Isaiah Williams, class of 2024

We want students to thrive, not just survive.

"Definitely keep Lutheran as an option! It's been life-changing for me and especially coming from public school, being there for two years, and now here for almost a year, it's already changed my life.” – Matthew Martinez, class of 2025

“Lutheran’s Christian background works really well for my family. Before I moved, my last school was a Christian high school, and it was much smaller than this one. I’ve learned LuHi is the perfect size for me. I’ve really thrived here. When you look for a school, keep an open mind. Look into every aspect of the school and their standards to find the place that works best for you.” – Isabella Montgomery, class of 2026

The LuHi Admissions Department encourages families to tour multiple high schools so they can get a feel for the differences in culture, academics, and values of each one. Sending 8th-grade students to a shadow day is the best way for a student to get a feel for if a school is right for them.

Most schools today offer similar honors and AP classes, boast of similar ACT or SAT scores, and are accredited. To find out what really differentiates schools, spend time asking the hard questions and getting to know a high school’s culture and core values.

To learn more about LuHi’s culture and core values, schedule your appointment with the Admissions Department today!

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