St. Mark Lutheran School
45-725 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, (808) 247-5589, www.smls-hawaii.org
Offering a safe and caring Christ-centered learning environment, Saint Mark Lutheran School prides itself on being a real “ohana,” where students are challenged to be their best by a rigorous academic curriculum taught by quality teachers and where spiritual, physical, social and emotional growth all rank high in learning expectations. Founded in 1956, the K-8 school, part of Saint Mark Lutheran Church’s educational ministry, makes learning a pleasure with small classes in low-rise buildings (including a new gymnasium) on a surprisingly large 2.5-acre tree-lined campus with quiet open spaces in the heart of Kaneohe.
“We have a strong community feel to our school, where every child is known and nurtured to integrate faith with life. Families love Saint Mark, with many two and even three-generations returning for our strong academics and loving environment,” says Principal David Gaudi.
With a well-earned reputation for academic excellence, the co-ed school of 200, kept small by design, has consistently prepared its eighth grade graduates to transition successfully to larger private and public high schools, says Gaudi. Each year, a minimum of one subject area (science is this year’s) is rigorously evaluated to ensure high academic quality and relevance. Developing the “whole child,” the school also features band, choir, dramas and operettas, Lei Day programs, fine art displays, competitive volleyball and basketball teams for grades 5-8, and spelling bee finalists.
“Our teachers are the heart and soul of our efforts to ensure that our graduates learn to think critically to make informed decisions; to know and practice the importance of respecting oneself, others and property; and to utilize their talents to glorify God and serve others,” says Gaudi.