Carson City’s Sierra Lutheran welcomes new principal, wins award of excellence

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As back-to-school supplies start rolling out in stores, Sierra Lutheran High School’s administrative team is already gearing up for the school’s 16th school year.

The school welcomes Dr. Tami Seddon, a Carson Valley native, as its new principal following the retirement of Reverend Juls Clausen.

Seddon, a UC Davis and Stanford alumna, has been with the school since its inception as both a teacher and academic dean.

Founded in 2002 with 24 students in ninth and 10th grades, the school was begun by a group of parents seeking to provide a Christ-centered alternative to the public school system.

“We wanted our kids to be able to achieve academic greatness while also growing in their faith in Jesus Christ,” says founding parent and SLHS Board Director Julia Bonafede. “We wanted the students to be able to focus on their studies and not have to worry about all of the negative influences that increasingly encroach on childhood.”

Over the years, the school has grown into a full-fledged high school with more than 120 students in four grades. At their first commencement ceremony in 2005, Sierra Lutheran graduated six students. The SLHS Class of 2017, at 30 students, had a collective $2.3 million in scholarships with some attending colleges as far away as Wartburg in Wisconsin, and others choosing to stay closer to home at University of Nevada, Reno.

As the school has grown, so has the strength of both its academics and athletics. For the first time in school history, Sierra Lutheran won the NIAA Award of Excellence (Class 1A), an award the NIAA considers to be “Nevada’s top overall sports competition” ( The NIAA, the nonprofit governing body of high school athletics in the Silver State, began the award program in 2001.

“The scoring system awards points to member schools based on their varsity teams’ performances in the classrooms, at the sport venues and in the Citizenship Through Sports initiative. Each of the three major categories in high school activities — academics, athletics and sportsmanship — are weighted equally, and boys and girls programs are combined in the standings table” (

The Sierra Lutheran Falcons are now ranked sixth for all-time record points (since the start of the award program in 2001) in Class 1A. They also set the all-time fall seasonal record for Class 1A.

Just a few of the many highlights of the year included the Academic Olympic team (led by Seddon) winning the State Championship, the Girls Basketball team (led by League Coach of the Year Michael Nelson) winning the League Championship, the Girls Track & Field team taking the State Championship, and the baseball team advancing to Regionals for the first time. In the arts department, Sierra Lutheran put on the first musical in the school’s history (Godspell), hosted two fine arts showcases, and added a dance class elective.

As the new school year approaches — the first day of school at SLHS is Aug. 11 — keep in mind Sierra’s motto is “Every Day at Sierra Lutheran is an open house.” Still open for enrollment, or just a tour if you’re curious, Sierra Lutheran’s office is open during the summer Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 3601 Romans Road. Contact the office at 775-267-1921 with inquiries.


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