by Kelvin Grivell
Encounter Lutheran College has, at times over the past eight years, looked more like a construction site than a school campus. Eight separate, significant building projects have enabled Encounter to cater for an Early Learning to Year 12 student population in excess of 650. Eight years ago we were a primary school plus a handful of Year 8 students and our enrolments were a little over 200.
Although we have had to be creative, clever and have aimed to be careful stewards with our resources, we do feel immensely blessed to now have the learning facilities and play spaces available to us that were once merely a dream. With purpose-built spaces allowing us to have two Science laboratories, a Food and Hospitality kitchen, Wood and Digital Technology workshop, an Art studio and a handful of flexible learning spaces, Encounter now stands at ease alongside other schools south of Adelaide in being able to offer a curriculum that is comparable with our neighbours.
Even though there has been as many high viz vests and hard hats on show as pencils, paint or devices, we have remained focused on our core goal of being in mission to the families of the Fleurieu.
Rather than speaking the love of Christ into the lives of 130 families, we now have close to 400 families who call Encounter home. In calling our college home, it gives us the capacity to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to so many more. Rather than handing primary-aged children onto a secondary school down the road, we now journey with families from Early Learning to early adulthood, a privilege and responsibility that drives the passionate team of Encounter staff who also call our community home.
In partnership with the LLL, to whom we are most grateful, Encounter can now spread its wings far wider than before and reach into the lives of many. Encounter has relied upon the LCA, the LLL, our local congregation and many others in our close and broader community to achieve what we have. The body of Christ is active at Encounter and we are glad to sing with joy God’s truth from the rooftops.
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Kelvin Grivell is in the privileged position of being both a founding staff member and now the principal of Encounter Lutheran College, Victor Harbor, which will soon celebrate the 20th anniversary of opening its doors.