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St. Peter’s Lutheran School marks four decades; 5K is April 30

St. Peter's Lutheran School of Marble Falls

St. Peter’s Lutheran School celebrates its 40th anniversary while preparing for the 11th annual Run for the Son 5K/1K. Pictured are Avery Wing, Director Tracy Knight, Stella Evans, Lily Dean, Preslee Berry, George Edwards, Kali Tubig, and teacher Emily Copeland. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

One of the longest-running private schools in Marble Falls, St. Peter’s Lutheran School, is celebrating 40 years while preparing for its 11th annual Run for the Son 5K/1K. 

However, education is a journey, not a race, according to school founder and retired Director Jan Starkey, one of many people who have made the school a success over the years.

“St. Peter’s Lutheran School has had a blessed 40 years, primarily due to so many amazing people — the St. Peter’s congregation, Jan Starkey, the excellent and dedicated teachers and staff, the parents, and most importantly, the students,” said current Director Tracy Knight. 

As part of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, the school has served more than a thousand students in prekindergarten and kindergarten.

It is funded through student tuition, congregational support, and events such as Run for the Son, which starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Double Horn Brewing Company, 208 Avenue H in Marble Falls. The cost is $30 for adults, $25 for ages 17 and younger, and $20 for teachers, coaches, and 1K participants. Registration is online. 

Money raised at the event also goes toward tuition assistance for St. Peter’s families.

Run for the Son has not been in person for the past three years due to a storm in 2019 and the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The school held a virtual 5K/1K the past two years with people participating on their own courses.

“We’re excited to have it back in person this year,” Knight said, “but we’re still offering a virtual run so people can run where they want or walk.”

The Rev. David Henry, who served St. Peter’s church from 1980-2010, wanted to start a school like many other Lutheran churches.

“We should do this,” he told Starkey, who was a member of the congregation and an educator.

She developed the initial plans for a school with Henry’s wife, B.J., while they were stuck in a Blanco motel room during an ice storm. 

In the beginning, Starkey was the only staff member, serving as director and teacher. Currently, St. Peter’s school has nine staff members. 

The campus also grew. The first classes were held in a refitted garage on the church parsonage. Now, it is a wing on the church building with several classrooms and a library. It operates on its own budget and is governed by a seven-member school board. 

Since its start, St. Peter’s Lutheran School has been a school, not a daycare, with an educational curriculum. Teachers provide high-quality instruction and craft lessons to ensure each child excels to the best of their ability — all in a Christ-centered atmosphere. 

A good indication of the the school’s impact is the fact that several former students are now enrolling their children. 

“Our focus has always been on our students. We want them to love learning, love others, and love Jesus,” Knight said. “We look forward to another 40 years.”