Tisovec Lutheran High School      
bilingual Slovak-English


History of school

Construction and opening of the original EGT building-
as Tisovec Municipal School

When new churches were established following the reformation, Martin Luther felt very strongly that a school should be established with the church.. Tisovec had such a school as early as 1527. The idea of establishing a Lutheran Slovak-English High School in Tisovec emerged after the changes in the political situation in 1989. This was built upon the rich traditions of the Lutheran basic school system of education, and from the living memories of the high school which existed in Tisovec from 1938 - 1953.
In 1938, when the southern part of Slovakia was given to Hungary, the Slovak classes of the High School in Rimavská Sobota were moved to Tisovec. The parents of the students from Tisovec made all the preparations so that it could be moved quickly. The citizens of Tisovec accepted the new school very cordially. The high school was a state school, but because it was in a Lutheran area, most of the students were Lutheran.

Photographs of some post-war graduates

The school provided an excellent education for the students who came, not only from Tisovec, but in a wide area surrounding the town. It had many students who went on to become important Slovak personalities. Eighteen of the High schools graduates studied theology. In 1953, after the reformation of the system of education, the high school was moved to nearby Hnúšťa. The plan for the new high school relied on using the building of the former public school which was built in 1928 on the 10-th anniversary of the forming of Czechoslovakia. A public school trained students for jobs which required manual labor. The school was built with the financial help of American Slovaks. The building was always used for the needs of schools, the public school, the high school, and the elementary school.

In 1944, during the Slovak National Uprising, the building was used as a field hospital. Following the move of the elementary school to a new complex in the mid 1970s, the building was used by many different businesses. Later the building was given to the technical school which planned to use it for laboratories. The plan was never realized and the building remained empty. It became the target of vandals who began systematically to demolish it and ultimately set it on fire.
In 1992, the ownership of the building was returned to the town, and the town gave the building over to meet the needs of the Lutheran school.The minister of education, Jan Pisut, in his letter written on the 5-th of March, 1992, gave permission for the school to be established, and the school became a part of the high school system in Slovakia. The general bishop of Slovak Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession, Pavol Uhorskai, wrote a founding document which officially established the school on April 27, 1992. The town parliament and the mayor supported the idea and gave their approval. The preparations were made by Igor Kišš, head of the Lutheran church schools in Slovakia, from the office of the General Bishop.


Thanks to the great understanding and willingness of the Director of the School Office in Rimavská Sobota, Július Benčík, and the headmistress of the elementary school, Elena Krajčiová, the EGTs classes for the first two school years were held in the Elementary school.
The parents of Tisovec students, boys and girls from Tisovec, future students, and members of the church voluntarily helped to clean and paint the classrooms, and to prepare the apartments for the American professors. The first school year started on the 31st of August, 1992 with la worship ceremony and the school was opened on the 12th of September during a national celebration. It was attended by the bishop of the west district, Jan Antal, who was a graduate of the former gymnazium.There were 57 students from all of Slovakia in the EGT the first school year, 1992/93.

Seven teachers formed the first teaching staff: Helena Pasiakova, headmistress, Bohdan Hroboň, Magda Dolná and Libuša Hrnčiarová (the first month), and american professors : Julie Ballantyne, David Doellinger, and Kevin Steffens. There were also eight external teachers who taught at other schools as well as at the EGT. They were: Monika Cabanová, Ľubomíra Petricová, Ľudmila Krišková, Jaromír Sokol, Ján Štefánik, Juraj Bakoš (two months), Lutheran Pastor Mojmír Zúrik, and Roman Catholic Priest, Marián Feduš.



The reconstruction of the Gymnazium came from the initiation of Julie Ballantyne who wrote more than a hundred letters to her friends and contacts in the USA and Canada asking for financial help for the reconstruction of the building. In January of 1993, a delegation from the Orphan Grain Train came, led by Dusan Toth. The five member delegation included, Ray Wilke, who planned on giving support to the project via the Grain Train organization, and Rudy Schaser, who was later appointed the coordinator of the volunteer groups under the direction of the Lutheran Laymens League based in St. Louis. As a result of the visit, a corporation was established. The members of the corporation were: the Lutheran Church of Tisovec and the town of Tisovec.

The aim of the corporation was the reconstruction of the building for meeting the needs of the EGT and providing material and spiritual support to the school. The chairman of the corporation was Jan Lesko. On the 15th of April, 1993, a solemn assembly took place, attended by the chancellor of the president of the Slovak Republik, Ján Findra, the executive director of the International Lutheran Laymens League, Larry Lumpe, and many other official guests from Slovakia and the USA. At this meeting, an agreement was signed by Pastor Zúrik, Larry Lumpe, and Peter Mináč, and wittnessed by Julie Ballantyne. Honorary citizenships of Tisovec were presented to the first three American teachers.

EGT people

The establishment of the EGT Corporation was a unique action in Slovakia. It united the capabilities of the Lutheran people of Tisovec, other towns of Slovakia, parents, students, teachers, the CSM factory workers, and over 200 volunteers from several areas of the United States and Canada. The volunteer efforts began in March of 1993 and continued through September of 1994.

The volunteers became our friends and part of our families. Although they have returned to their homes and families in North America, they are still helping our school. They have invited and made it possible for seven of our students to study in the USA for the 1994/1995 school year.The reconstruction of the school additions began in June 1993 and were the design of engineer and architect, Ondrej Mrlian.

In a short period of time, the school project became famous both in Slovakia and in the USA. At the convention of the International Lutheran Laymens League in Forth Worth, Texas, in July, 1994, our school was featured and had an exhibition booth. The booth was managed by Helena Pasiakova and Julie Ballantyne. A large photograph of the school was given the place of honor next to the chairmans table and a generous offering was presented to help support our school.The rebuilt rooms of the school building were officially dedicated in a festive way on the 18th of September, 1994. Classes were started in the new school building on the 14th of November, 1994.

The goal of the Lutheran High School of Tisovec is to provide a Christian environment which continues in the rich traditions of the Lutheran system of education in Tisovec, and to educate nurture young people with high moral principles, and academic abilities, and encourage them to seek further education. This will encourage and equip these young people to seek prominent positions in the church and in the society.

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Tisovec Lutheran High School, Jesenského 836, 98061 Tisovec, 047 5511 700, skola@egt.sk