DALLAS LUTHERAN SCHOOL NAMES STEPHEN EGGOLD NEW HEAD OF SCHOOL
Lifelong Lutheran Educator Brings Wealth of Leadership Experience to the School
Stephen Eggold has been named the fifth new Head of School of Dallas Lutheran School (DLS), the board of trustees of the north Dallas private school recently announced.
Eggold brings more than 38 years of Lutheran school education experience with him to Dallas and is excited about his return to Texas. “I am truly blessed and excited to join the team at Dallas Lutheran School. As we embark upon this incredible journey together for the future of our students, I am emboldened by the passion and enthusiasm of our students, parents, staff, board members and alumni. And, it is nice to return to the great state of Texas!”
“The board of trustees and myself are absolutely thrilled to welcome Stephen Eggold to our family community here at Dallas Lutheran School. He brings a wealth of Lutheran education administration and leadership to our school. We are excited for our future and know we are in good hands with Stephen’s leadership,” said Mindy Hail, president of the Dallas Lutheran School Board of Trustees. “As we embark upon our Arise & Build capital campaign, now is the time for new leadership of our school to take us to the next level of our growth. We have complete confidence that Stephen is the right person to help us achieve our goals. We welcome him to our team here at Dallas Lutheran School and look forward to working with him.”
Most recently, Eggold served as principal of Green Park Lutheran School in Mehlville, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb, for eight years. Upon Eggold’s arrival in 2014, the private school served 163 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2017, the school added a Pre-K 3- and 4-year-old program. Through a $250,000 capital campaign, the school was able to bring in new teachers and staff, balanced the budget, enhanced technology, changed academics in core classes and expanded electives. Enrollment grew to 225 students from Pre-K through eighth grade, with that number being higher to start the 2022-23 school year.
Change is nothing new to Eggold. Previously, he was principal of Lutheran High School in San Antonio from 2007-2014. Inheriting a similar situation as here in Dallas, Eggold hit the ground running, implemented a culture change, and secured a major $3 million donor gift to construct a new building, locker rooms and a cafeteria.
“When I arrived in San Antonio, we were in portables just as we are here in Dallas. We built specialty classrooms to accommodate our students and were soon able to get everyone back on campus and in a new building and new gymnasium.”
Eggold then began what is a popular refrain throughout his career: a culture change. The previous church located on the property sold the land to the high school, and the school moved into a temporary location prior to Eggold’s arrival. The environment had declined and there were about 92-95 students, and within a short period of time, enrollment decreased to 62 students. However, once administrators implemented a new culture focused on the new building, core values and technology, the school grew to 110-115 students.
Eggold sees a similar situation here at Dallas Lutheran. “I think any bold change or initiative focused on improving or enhancing the environment for students must come with a certain type of culture change. And, certainly here with the aftermath of the 2019 tornado that significantly damaged our campus and the tremendous impact it has had on our student family community, we are going to go through a culture change. However, that doesn’t mean we must sacrifice who we are as a school.”
Dallas Lutheran School empowers students to discover their God-given potential, and its vision is to change the world through Christ-centered education. Eggold believes this “Christ-centered educational approach will deliver well-rounded students and not only prepare them for college and their next steps, but it will place them at the center of the learning process to prepare them to be the best person they can be.”
DLS’ Arise & Build capital campaign is raising funds to replace the school classrooms and administration building after the campus was hit by the October 2019 tornado that destroyed a wide path of north Dallas. Students have been housed in temporary portable buildings since shortly after the tornado. The school is attempting to raise money for a Phase 1 development focused on exterior-facing classrooms, entries and hallways, a visual arts building, art studios, computer and science labs, library, Talent Zone, study center and administrative offices surrounding spacious courtyards offering an open campus learning environment. The completion of Phase 1 will accommodate 250 students, and future phases include plans to expand classrooms to hold up to 360 students, an athletic field and performing arts center and chapel.
“This is a crucial point in the history of Dallas Lutheran School. A new capital campaign to rebuild our school is daunting in today’s environment, but it is a challenge we must meet head on, “ Eggold added. “There is an old saying that if you want to be a big-boy school you need to act like it. And we do not run from the challenge. You need to have all the tools in the toolbox to deal with the situation. Sometimes you need a hammer and other times a screwdriver or wrench. But that’s life. At some point you’re going to need to use the right tools to get through life.”
Eggold notes that “Donors are huge to the success of the school, and the approach for donors here is simple. We have to state our case that we have an opportunity and now is a great time. The students need this. The families need this. They can be backing a winner. I think it is a win for the school and a win for the donors. And as we create the culture we want, we’ll have more and more people who want to sign up and be a part of that. I believe Dallas Lutheran is a winner and can be an even better winner. Donors can connect with that. Getting in front of them and cultivating those relationships and telling our story is huge so hopefully they can step forward and join us in our journey.”