Our School's History

A common thread connects us all at Renton Prep Christian School
Listen to Dr. Zimmerman’s Narration of Our School's History
A promise that there is a plan for us, a plan for a future and a hope.
Renton Prep Photos from the early years
Renton Prep Sketches
“Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.'” How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:6
Florence Storck (Merz), my grandmother, was a deaconess in the Lutheran Church from 1937 to 1947 before her marriage to Pastor Merz. Her love for children was evident as she took her first assignment in 1937 to an orphanage in St. Louis, Mo.
Renton Prep History Photos
Renton Prep History Photos
Renton Prep History Writings
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” (Matthew 21:16)
And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
Renton Prep Old Writings
Holy Cross Lutheran Church Dedication

Historically, there were two churches that made our school possible. We started with Holy Cross Lutheran Church, dedicated in 1953.

Holy Cross Lutheran School opens
Holy Cross Lutheran School

Groundbreaking at the 8703 Rainier Avenue, Seattle, Washington site.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School move to St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church

The city tore down Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School to build South Shore Middle School in 1973. Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School were grateful to St. Timothy for allowing Holy Cross to rent facilities.

The last year Amazing Grace could be called a traditional school
Dr. David-Paul Zimmerman establishes forward-thinking technology and a computer lab for early childhood and elementary
First official empirical research is conducted

The first official empirical research conducted with human subjects was in 2006. There was a review board approval on Apprenticeship Learning Models at Amazing Grace through the University of Washington’s College of Education. This marked the official ongoing transformation model at Amazing Grace for research into practice.

Amazing Grace goes high tech
2009 AERA

Amazing Grace School goes high tech, removing technology from lab space and integrating it into classroom subjects. 2009 also marks the first launch of one laptop with digital ink for every middle school student. This began the school’s global impact.

In April, research from Amazing Grace is selected out of 16,000 proposals through Blind Peer Review to be presented and published at American Education Research Association. It’s regarded as high quality empirical research.

Amazing Grace makes news in the Seattle Times

In May, Amazing Grace made news in the Seattle Times for raising money for war veterans.

2011 News
  • First time to make news in UW Today
  • First time to make news on King 5 TV for Global Current Events, first person perspective and multiple perspectives
  • First ed-tech company to film at Amazing Grace for Eduss Mathematics
2012 Presentations
  • Amazing Grace students are selected to present at Pacific Science Center for University of Washington, Paws on Science Day.
  • First Amazing Grace Student Presenter at International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE) in San Diego, California
2015 Presentations
  • First students accepted to present at SXSW-EDU
  • March: Renton Prep Dedication and opening for Middle and High School at 200 Mill Avenue South, Suite 110, Renton, Washington
  • Fall: Selected as a Microsoft Showcase School
2016 Awards and Presentations
  • January: First invitation for students to present to local public school board to introduce technology in Everett Public Schools showing Renton Prep’s influence on the local public school systems
  • April: Amazing Grace awarded from New York, the Lester R Bayer Excellence in Urban Education
  • September: First Business Excellence Award for Best Non-Profit in Renton
  • November: First invitation for a Renton Prep student to speak at Scientific American and Macmillan STEM Summit
  • In the news for our first Showcase School visit from Brazil
  • First Empirical Research Published Internationally including Renton Prep and Amazing Grace student work from 2009 and 2015
  • STEM Excellence Award Top 3 Middle Schools in the Nation awarded by Future of Education Technology Conference
  • First book published highlighting both Amazing Grace and Renton Prep for excellence in modern assessment
2017 Accomplishments and Publications
  • April: Renton Prep Showcase School is highlighted at Bett Middle East in Dubai
  • April: Renton Prep Students are selected to have their Silent Film Debuted at the Historic Paramount Theatre in Seattle
  • May: First year as a WE School.
  • June:  First time Renton Prep is published in research on Minecraft in Education.
  • October: Renton Prep first establishes connection by visiting Showcase School in Japan
  • First time in Venture Beat
2018 News
  • Renton Prep is selected as one of 17 global schools as part of the Microsoft Flagship Schools program leading education transformation.
  • The Learning Council awards Renton Prep Super Hero in Education for recasting education, exulting achievement equitably, and joyously engaging learners with new technologies.
  • Renton Prep is invited to co-design and develop the first ever International Society for Technology in Education Creative Constructor Lab, with students guiding the design, training and demonstrations.
  • Dr. Michelle Zimmerman represents Renton Prep, who was invited to Keynote a national conference in Croatia, CARNET CUC 2018, to inspire education transformation.
  • First book published on Christian Education highlighting Renton Prep.
  • Renton Prep becomes a Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) Partner.
  • First kindergarten students from Amazing Grace and the first ever student presenters at Texas Computer Educator Conference (TCEA) Elementary Technology Conference in Galveston, TX.
  • First document published on mobile technology with experiential learning as part of curriculum.
  • First book published including alumni student and current student contributors.
  • First elementary technology highlight in the local news for OneNote Learning Tools.
  • First visit from the Government of Taiwan documented in Renton Reporter.
  • First government officials and researchers from Japan visit Renton Prep documented in Renton Reporter.
Amazing Grace Joins Renton Prep
  • Amazing Grace moves from the 10056 Renton Avenue South location to the 200 Mill Avenue South location in Renton, joining Renton Prep.
2019 News
  • First time in Forbes Magazine for Microschool and teaching to prepare students for Human-Computer Interaction for a world with Artificial Intelligence.
  • Renton Prep is invited to represent transformational education at the International Bett Show in London.
  • Renton Prep is selected as the site for the first ISTE Certification Training in the nation.
  • Renton Prep became Founding Members and represented at the National Coalition for Safe Schools in Birmingham, Alabama, established by the National Network for State Teachers of the Year.
  • Renton Prep represents as one of 17 schools around the world that Microsoft selected as exemplars for education transformation around the world at the Flagship Schools Global Summit.
  • Renton Prep is awarded International Accreditation by AdvancED, the first and only STEM Certified School in Washington State by AdvancED.
  • Microsoft Awards Renton Prep Top Influencer Showcase School.
  • Best NonProfit Business in Renton Award.
  • Bellevue College Running Start Partnership Established with Internships and STEM to Stern program.
  • Renton Prep is awarded Advanced Placement Status by the College Board through training at Puget Sound Educational Service District to officially establish an AP Computer Science program for 9th and 10th grade students.
  • Steelcase Furniture Award Granted from a National Search for a Partner school.
  • First Alumni Student volunteer to officially be on our teaching faculty through TEALS.


2020 News
  • As the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe and hit Washington hard, Renton Prep transitioned entirely to remote learning, equipped with the technology to make the transition as smooth as possible. By March 16, students were using technology that we’ve been prepared with for over a decade. It was a challenging time, and disappointing for many, with the 2020 Dance Program canceled and face-to-face interactions sparing. But with community-wide engagement strategies and connecting digitally, we were able to stay engaged with students, even from a distance, and keep students on track for educational success.
  • During the pandemic, Renton Prep ninth grader Alden Johnson 3D printed face shields for hospitals around Washington.
  • For the first time, Renton Prep alum earned college credit via the Running Start program.
  • Three Renton Prep eighth graders were speakers during the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 forum, which included educators and students from around the globe.
  • In November 2019, Renton Prep students were part of a WE Day Live Studio event. As of 2020, Renton Prep has participated in the global event for three years to engage educators and youth in experiential learning programs.