Ella Arbeiter, 13, would have been honored Saturday, April 18, at LESA’s cancelled "Cooking for Kids" Dinner-Auction to support Lutheran schools
(St. Louis, MO) April 20, 2020 - Ella Arbeiter, a graduating eighth-grader at Green Park Lutheran School in south St. Louis County - and future Lutheran South freshman - has been named Lutheran Student Christian Leader of the Year by the St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA). The award, which includes a $500 scholarship underwritten by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, recognizes Lutheran elementary schools students who demonstrate courage, compassion, leadership, academic achievement and a commitment to their community. (Click here to see a video interview with Ella.)
Ella, 13, had been scheduled to receive her award Saturday, April 18, at LESA's annual "Cooking for Kids" Tribute Dinner-Auction at Orlando Gardens South. The dinner, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, has since been converted to an online auction event to support scholarships and services for students at 31 Lutheran elementary schools in the St. Louis area. Bidding begins Saturday, April 18, and runs through May 3 at www.lesastl.org.
Ella was nominated for the award by one of her teachers, Mr. Joshua Dixon. "Ella has been instrumental over the past few years in the operation of our yearly food drives and donation drives for missionaries and other church work," said Mr. Dixon. “She’s the first to volunteer, the first to comfort, the first to try new things and the first to jump into action when action is needed. She leads by examples and encourages others to follow her example.”
Last year, Ella and her mother Emily participated in a mission trip to Hong Kong, where Ella helped students read and speak English. “It was so cool to be over there and to share our faith,” said Ella. She says her desire to help others is inspired by her mother, who raised Ella as a single mother after having her in college. “I look up to my mother as a leader because she did it by herself,” said Ella. “She moved to St. Louis where she didn’t know anyone. I see her as a huge role model in my life.”
In addition to her service work and studies, Ella is an active athlete. At Green Park, she played basketball and ran track and cross country. She also swims competitively year-round. Her favorite subjects are English and math, and she hopes to work in business or accounting someday. In the meantime, she’s looking forward to attending Lutheran South in the fall. For Ella, being a Lutheran Christian Leader is a way of life. “It means that you try to be the best role model - when someone is looking and when someone is not.”
LESA hopes to honor Ella in person at a future date, in cooperation with public health guidelines.
“Cooking for Kids” is LESA’s largest annual fundraising event to support and sustain the future of Lutheran Christian education in the St. Louis Metro Area. Bidding will open April 18 at www.LESAstl.org for hundreds of items, including jewelry, art, autographed sports memorabilia, tickets to see Hamilton at the Fox, Blues and Cardinals tickets, golf packages, and season passes to the St. Louis Zoo, among other prizes.
More than 8,300 children of all faiths attend LESA member Lutheran schools in the St. Louis Metro Area, making Lutheran schools the second-largest private school system in the Bi-State Region. A Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, LESA represents 31 elementary schools, three high schools and three related agencies. Since 2004, LESA has awarded more than $5.5 million in need-based scholarships to 3,488 families in the St. Louis area. Visit www.LESAstl.org, or follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/brewintheloustl/.
About Green Park Lutheran School
Green Park Lutheran School is a nationally accredited JK-8 school located in south St. Louis county. For over 55 years Green Park Lutheran has served as a destination and a pillar in the community, offering academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment. Located at Union on Green Park Road near I-55 and Reavis Barracks, Green Park is a ministry owned and operated by Christ Memorial, Gethsemane, Peace and Resurrection churches. For information on enrollment for the 2020-21 school year, or to schedule a tour, visit https://greenparklutheranschool.org/, or call 314-544-4248.
Katherine (Kit) Auble
Director, Fund Development and Marketing
Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA)