Rev. Fred Bergen started Zion Lutheran School in 1888 and served as the first teacher. For 18 years, the school was conducted in the church edifice at Madison and Union (the present State Farm office) and for 36 years in the ground floor of the new church built on the same location.
The present church site was dedicated in May 1942. In 1947, a new two room school building was erected west of the church with a third room added in 1951. At present, two of those classrooms are used for preschool and kindergarten,
In 1962, a planning committee was appointed to define future needs of the church and school. On May 3, 1970, the groundbreaking took place. Much of the construction work was done by members of the congregation on a volunteer basis. The new educational facility and church offices were dedicated on April 30, 1972.
Zion was one of the first Lutheran schools in the district to have full air conditioning. The cost of the project was $275,000, a large portion of that amount came from the Margareta Weber estate. Members of the building committee who are still members of Zion today are: Ed Helgen and Lorman Mansholt.
Mr. Harold Repp served as teacher and principal from 1932-1971. In 1971, Philip Wenzel was called to serve as principal / teacher. When he left in 1972, Dennis Lahti became principal. In 1973, the kindergarten program was begun with Becky Lahti as the first teacher. William Lubben became principal in 1975. In 1980, Thomas Weiss accepted a call as principal / teacher. He served until August 1999. John Schaff served as principal and part-time 3rd and 4th grade teacher from 1999 to 2006. In 2006, Sharon Cordani was installed as principal and served until July 2014. Mr. Wesley Jones served from 2014 to 2016. Mr. John Schaff began serving as principal again in 2016 until 2020. Our new principal, Mark Lofink, took over the helm in 2020 and comes to us from Orange, California with 31 years of teaching and administrative experience.
The staff has grown from four teachers in 1972 to seven full-time and one part-time teacher in 2013. In 2009 before school and after school care was introduced. This program provides children care between the hours of 6:00 am and 5:30 pm and offers a rich learning and playing experience. If you are interested in this program, please contact the school. Enrollment has grown from 33 in grades 2 through 8 in 1937 to 144 in pre-k through grade 8 currently. We continue to grow each year.
Zion Lutheran School is accredited by the National Lutheran School Accreditation Commission, and also by the State of Illinois. We are proud of our church and school. Many of the present students can say their parents and grandparents or even great-grandparents went to Zion Lutheran School. To God be the glory!