A brief History of the Development of St. Luke’s Episcopal School
St. Luke’s Episcopal School, Lindale, is a part of a network of 59 area Episcopal schools, including, All Saints, Tyler, a nationwide network of over 1,000 Episcopal schools teaching over 160,000 children and employing over 12,000 administrators, faculty and staff.
After the dedication of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Lindale Texas, in April 1998, there was interest in starting a parent’s day out program. The program started in October of the same year and was called Discovery Days Academy. It met in the church fellowship hall and, in June of 1999, expanded to operating three days a week. With the success of the program, it repaid the seed money from the church and became self sustaining.
Soon thereafter, a gentleman from the community, Tom Carter, visited the church and expressed interest in joining the Church and also in the Discovery Days program. The Lay Vicar at the time, John Wolfarth, met with Mr. Carter and discussed what had been discovered as a true need of the community, a Christian based preschool. In time, Mr. Carter, in honor of his wife, Janet Hostetter Carter, offered to build a school covering all expenses except the furnishing of the school. After the Plans were approved by the Bishop’s Committee of St. Luke’s Church and the congregation agreed, permission was requested and given by the Diocese. While construction of the School building was going on, a Planning Committee was formed with two church members, Dolores Franklin and Joy Johnson, and also two community leaders, Sally Shaw and Carol Koehler. Chair of this advisory board was Virginia Wolfarth. The required legal work, staffing, programming and furnishing was accomplished, and the School was dedicated on August 27th 2000 with The Right Reverend Don Wimberly officiating. Furnishings were provided through the generous donations of the church members, and the School opened on September 1, 2000. Carrol Kimberley was the first director, a true pioneer. The chapel program has been a constant at the school, and April Butler, Head of the school, is currently serving as volunteer chaplain.
A further expansion took place under the guidance of then board president Alice Zillmer and Howard Tagg who was the Bishops’s Warden at the time. Again in response to community need , an after school program was offered and is a permanent part of the current program.
Currently April Butler is the Head of School with Alice Zillmer serving as the Board President. Allen Temple serves as Bishop’s Warden for St. Luke’s Episcopal School.
The school is licensed by the state, has the highest 4-star rating with Texas Rising Star (TRS) and is currently in the process of receiving accreditation through the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES).
St. Luke’s Episcopal School continues to offer a much needed outreach to the Lindale area community through St. Luke’s Church. It is a dream brought to reality by God’s grace and by the vision, hard work and dedication of many good people.