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Our Story

Inspiring minds,
cultivating hearts,
removing barriers.

How we’ve grown.

Since it’s doors opened in 1979, Mustard Seed School has gone from serving two classes of 16 students total to 16 classes and more than 255 students from preschool to 8th grade. Our impact has been highlighted over the years through many exciting events and accomplishments. But though we have achieved much and continue to grow, our core values remain: providing an outstanding education by integrating academics, art, faith, and service; celebrating each and every child; and ensuring availability to all.

2019

Mission is updated. Board of Trustees votes to adopt updated Mission and Core Commitments.

Aftercare program launched in September 2019.

Mustard Seed School celebrates its 40th birthday.

2018

Thriving Roots and Flourishing Branches, Mustard Seed’s Strategic Plan is launched.

2017

Mustard Seed students attend the National Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Conference in Philadelphia to assist MSS artist-in-residence Joan Litman with a class for music educators.

2016

Mustard Seed is accredited through the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS).

2015

Mustard Seed embarks on a $3 million endowment campaign, Together for Tomorrow. Two additional chairs are endowed: The Agnes and Peter Steenland Memorial Chair for Professional Development and The Coleman Fung Chair for Creativity and Design.

The school receives a $1 million gift for the endowment from the Battaglia-Reyes family.

2014

Teachers Melissa McCallihan and Clara Buckley present “Full STEAM Ahead,” a workshop about Mustard Seed’s STEAM program, at the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston.

2013

Coleman Fung Chair for Mathematics Gary Lawrence and Mustard Seed students present at the New York State Teachers of Mathematics conference in Buffalo, N.Y.

2012

Coleman Fung Chair for Mathematics Gary Lawrence presents research at the International Congress on Mathematical Education in Korea.

2011

MSS documentary, A Shared Space: Learning from the Mustard Seed School, wins two bronze Telly awards.

An international search leads to the hiring of Mustard Seed’s third Head of School, Thomas Postema.

Hoboken Historical Museum highlights student artwork in Shared Stitches: Quilts by Mustard Seed Students exhibit.

Hoboken resident awarded Graham & Dodd, Murray, Greenwald Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Value Investing donates $50,000 prize to Mustard Seed School for technology. The gift launches the laptop program in the Upper School.

2010

Teachers Sam Choi and Melissa McCallihan chosen to participate in the Stevens Institute PISA2 program.

Mustard Seed School students tape PBS special with famed American folk singer Peter Yarrow.

2009

The school celebrates its 30th birthday. Governor Jon S. Corzine joins the Mustard Seed community for a celebration.

2008

Grades six, seven, and eight sing at the Apollo theatre as a part of the Carnegie Hall program, “Perelman American Roots.”

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) program for grades four and five begins.

2007

Coleman Fung establishes the Endowed Chairs for Math and Music.

School receives Markowitz Book Award from the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

2005

The Advisory Council, Mustard Seed’s annual “think tank,” gathers for the first time.

2004

Between Memory and Vision published. The book features Mustard Seed School in a chapter about faith-based schooling.

Internship program begins with Covenant College. Every other year, teacher interns come to work and learn alongside Mustard Seed teachers for a month in the spring.

2000

Teacher Dee Mingey receives the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship, enabling her to author a manual on the school’s innovative Shared Space.

Christine Metzger joins Mustard Seed as the second Head of School.

1999

Choir sings at the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lincoln Center.

1998

Founding Head of School Lawrence Litman leaves Mustard Seed after 19 years of extraordinary service.

1996

Mustard Seed is cited as an example in the published book, From Candy Sales to Committed Donors: A Guide to Financing Christian Schooling.

Students perform three Carnegie Hall concerts and at the Kennedy Center as part of a benefit concert for Bosnia.

1993

Choir performs on PBS with Peter, Paul and Mary.

1992

Education consultants in Denmark fly Larry and Joan Litman to their country to teach Danish educators how to serve immigrant students.

Arkansas governor and presidential candidate William Clinton visits the school and holds a press conference.

1988

The U.S. Department of Education distinguishes Mustard Seed as a “Blue Ribbon” Elementary School.

1986-89

Larry Litman and Shanna Pargellis participate in conferences resulting in the publication of the book 12 Affirmations: Reformed Christian Schooling for the 21st Century.

1985

Students win art contest through the Hungarian Peace Council. Art is displayed at the Hungarian Peace Consulate in Budapest, East Germany (NATO peace conference), and at the United Nations.

1979

Mustard Seed opens with 16 students. Larry Litman is the Head of School and teaches 3rd through 5th grades. Shanna Pargellis (then Shanna Klein Horsman) teaches K-2. Joan Litman is the third faculty member, launching the school’s award-winning music program in the Kodály tradition.

A group of pastors, inspired by a documentary on the Dawn Treader School (Paterson, N.J.), decide to address the education crisis in Hudson County by opening a Christian School in Hoboken. They recruit Lawrence Litman of San Clemente, Calif., to launch the school. Larry; his wife, Joan; and children, Emily and Peter, pack the car and drive across the country to open the school.

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Mustard Seed School.

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