Celebrating Trinity’s 60 Years… Reflections from a Head of School

By Lynne Fritzinger

 

For me, Trinity has always been a place where children are inspired to learn and thrive as individuals; it is a place filled with young people who care about each other and who work together to make the world a better place. Trinity has proven its worth and weathered the test of time.  It has flourished because of its recognition of the needs of the world and a commitment to fill those needs. This was first seen in the 1960’s when there was a need for kindergarten opportunities, and again in the 1970’s when there was a need for a middle school environment. It continues to be seen now as young people need a compass on values, a place to prepare for the 21st Century, and an understanding of their role as world leaders. 

 I know no better place for young people to learn than Trinity Lutheran School.  I am grateful for my 10 years as Head of School and that my grandson now a student at this thriving institution. During my time at Trinity, we accomplished so many great things! Looking back, here are a few of our accomplishments:

  • In 2011, Trinity became the only private school in Virginia to bear the distinction of being an authorized International Baccalaureate World School. Our journey added life into how we viewed young people and what they needed to succeed in the 21st Century.   I loved opportunities to connect with other schools during IB Conferences and our own staff to implement this program.  By participating in IB, we continued Trinity’s mission to teach the whole child.
  • Also in 2011, Trinity competed with other elementary, middle and high schools in Virginia and North Carolina to create a video for Harris Teeter’s jingle, and we won the $10,000 Grand Prize!  Thanks to Google, that video can still be seen. When I look back at the students who performed and the talent of music teacher Mrs. Lois Reese I can’t help but feel enormous pride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMyLyvlxRjQ     
  • In 2013, Trinity Lutheran School forged another pathway to greatness through accreditation with AdvancED/Cognia, the world’s largest educational network encompassing 27,000 public and private schools throughout the United States and 69 countries worldwide. AdvancED/Cognia remains the most comprehensive accrediting institution for schools worldwide to this day.
  • Other memorable events that left lasting impressions and made Trinity a special place to be were the Charity games, Lessons and Carols, spelling bees, and even the infamous taping of the Head of School to the gym wall. They represent the people, mission, and climate of this very special school.  
  •  As my time at Trinity came to an end in 2015, our school was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.  This distinguished award highlighted Trinity as an exemplary, high-performing school with student achievement in the top 15% nationwide in both math and reading.
  • Trinity also embarked on innovative ways to learn based on compelling research and a commitment to unleash the potential in every student here.  Some of my favorites are still in use today, including the SuperKids Reading Program and Singapore Math.

I’m proud of all that was accomplished over the years while I served as Trinity’s Head of School. It felt like we continued the vision started so long ago by Reverend and Mrs. Bosserman.  

One of my favorite books is “The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren; I kept a copy on my desk at Trinity. When I think about my time there, I am reminded of a quote that illustrates the difference Trinity Lutheran School has made for so many over the years. 

“There are three things you can do with your life: You can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. The best use of your life is to invest it in something that will last longer than your time on Earth.”  

 Trinity has done just that for me, and for generations of young people who pass through its doors. 

 

Lynne Fritzinger served as Trinity’s Head of School from 2005 to 2015, and is a proud Trinity grandparent.

Celebrating 60 years of Trinity… Head of School Reflections

 

I was at Trinity Lutheran School from 1975 to 2000.  I began as a classroom teacher and completed my tenure as Head of School.

Trinity is memorable for me not because it is a beautiful structure, but for the people who chose to worship and work there each day.  I have no connection with the very early years of the school, but I do know that many members of the congregation contributed their time and energy preparing snacks and lunches, driving children to school and doing whatever was necessary in those early days. When I came in 1975, Mrs. Bosserman was still very much involved in the work of the school. Tom Bosserman and Pastor B.  shared the administrative/pastoral duties of the congregation.  They alternated conducting chapel for the school once a week.  The teachers preferred to have Tom conduct chapel since the children came back to the classroom quiet and ready to begin the day.  Pastor B. had a knack for winding them up, but one of my favorite memories connected with those chapels was when Pastor B. conducted the service he would have the children leave the chapel singing Let there be Peace on Earth.  It was a much smaller building in those days and the sound of children’s voices echoing through the halls remains with me to this day.

Mrs.  B.  was very particular about the dress and conduct of the teaching staff and reminded them that their conduct beyond the school reflected on the school, and she expected that it would be exemplary. Money was tight.  Many of the teachers spent a significant portion of their pay for materials for their classrooms while in the kindergarten and extended day classrooms, paper towels were cut in half to make them go further. Teachers and staff were motivated by their love of children and the community of the school.  Until the day, I retired, I never came to school barelegged during the time the school was in session. Hose and no clothing that cupped below your buttocks were the order of the day even in the era of pant suits.

Each successive Head of School brought their own personality and interests to the make up of the school Peggy Smith who worked along with Mrs. B.  was very much interested in the counseling aspect of teaching and Dan Landis was what my granddaughters would call a “fun date”.  He helped to set up the middle school, hired Sandy Butler and encouraged sports teams and retreats for the middle school at Jamestown.  Our enrollment blossomed during his tenure.

For me it is always about the people who were there.  Members of the congregation like Louise Mozingo, Jeanette Thomas, and Cathie Wall gave uncounted  hours and years to the work of the school. Those early teachers worked for salaries that I would be embarrassed to quote because they loved the school and the work they did with children. The number of those who contributed their teaching skills to make the school strong  were too numerous to list.  They, along with support personnel like Mrs. Waggner, Sandy Hampton and Teresa Carr all of whom worked to prepare lunches, helped to create an environment in which children knew they were valued and loved.  Even Jim Smith , the custodian, watched out for their interests.

When I became the Head of School, Dan had made notes for me on a variety of topics. My experience with the Parents’ Association was not that they were a wonderful asset to the school.  Many of them became allies and friends that I hold dear.  I hope their value continues to be recognized.

When I resigned from the school, I thanked the Board for allowing me to do what I loved in a place that I loved and had enjoyed doing it.  I could write a book full of stories about the people (students, staff, and teachers.) The twenty-six years I spent at Trinity enriched my life and I will be forever grateful for my time there and the friends and memories I made.

by Claudette H. Taylor

Claudette Taylor served as Trinity’s Head of School from 1983 to 2000.

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