Our senior class of 2009 was the twenty-ninth graduating class from Metro-East Lutheran High School. For this we give thanks to our Lord and Savior. Metro-East Lutheran High School, owned and operated by an association of Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations, started in 1977 as the result of several families coming together with a mutual concern about the Christian education of their children beyond the eighth grade. At that time there was not a Lutheran high school on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis region.
The first students were nomads spending their first two years in the facilities of St. Paul Lutheran Church - Wood River, followed by short stints at Concordia Lutheran Church in Granite City and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville while the original building on Center Grove Road was being constructed. Satan certainly tried to intervene during that construction as the building process was interrupted for a time by a violent storm that dismantled much of the project.
Throughout the past thirty years our Lutheran High has faced many other trials and roadblocks. Through each one—whether it was financial, facility related, or human—God has provided the answers to our needs. Our first school enrollment was 15. This year we have 230 students. The first graduating class (1981) had thirteen graduates. In 2009 we graduated 61 seniors.
Throughout our history, Metro-East Lutheran High School has developed a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence and college preparatory training of students. The strengths of our academic program are our curriculum, our faculty, and our staff. God has blessed us with a caring, committed, and well-educated faculty. Of our twenty full and part-time teachers, we have ten teachers with advanced degrees. Nineteen of our faculty and staff members are either synodically trained or have successfully completed an LCMS colloquy program which helps us maintain a solid focus on Lutheran doctrine.
Our curriculum is uniquely focused on the needs of our students with many opportunities for them to pursue their goals and to challenge themselves. Advanced courses are available in all the major subject areas including some dual-credit courses offered through Lewis and Clark Community College. These dual-credit courses make it possible for our students to be taught by our teachers on our campus while simultaneously earning both high school and college credit. Moreover, independent studies are frequently used to help students tailor their college preparatory education to best suit their needs.
The ACT exam is the college readiness test most often given in the Midwest. This test is a reliable tool for assessing the potential academic success of college bound students. Lutheran High School is proud that our average composite ACT score of our 2008 graduates was 23 while the state average was 20.3 and the national average was 20.9. Over the past five years the average composite ACT score of all of our students taking the ACT is 23.2. The state average is 20.7 and the national average is 20.9. Over the same five-year period, twenty-two of our students have achieved a score of 30 or above on the ACT, and there were twenty-three students who scored either 28 or 29. The highest score that one can receive on the ACT test is a 36 and one Lutheran High student achieved that mark during the last five years. During this same five-year period, 16% of our graduating seniors have scored 28 or above on the ACT. ACT scores of 28 and higher are above the ninetieth percentile nationally.
In the history of the school, over ninety percent of our seniors have moved on to college upon graduation. We thank God for the number of our students who annually choose to go to one of our Concordia University campuses to prepare for church work. Currently thirty-six of our graduates are enrolled at Concordia campuses located in River Forest, IL; Seward, NE; Austin, TX; Irvine, CA; and Mequon, WI. Many graduates are attending major universities such as University of Illinois, Purdue, Notre Dame, Bradley, Case Western Reserve, University of Nebraska, University of Kansas, Valparaiso and many other highly acclaimed colleges including several appointments to our nation's military academies. Some students choose to stay close to home and attend local universities and colleges such as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, St. Louis University and Fontbonne University.
We are justifiably proud of the academic achievements of the students at Metro-East Lutheran High School, both past and present. Whatever the vocational calling or the university chosen, we believe that our students are prepared both academically and in the knowledge of their faith as they go out into the world.
Though many things have changed in the last thirty-one years, one thing that has not changed is our commitment to provide a Christ-centered education to high school students in the Metro-east area. We continue to put our trust in Christ that He will provide for our needs and give us the wisdom needed in the awesome positions in which He has placed us. If you are the parent considering where you want your child to attend high school, please consider Metro-East Lutheran High School.