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Pflueger ’00 returns to Prep as staff

Sara Pflueger ’00 felt called home. Her siblings, Ben ’98 and Becky ’03, both recently moved back to the Saint Cloud area. Following the desire to be nearer to family, after almost two decades in Chicago, Sara headed west. However she did not move to the family farm in Collegeville where her forebears have farmed since the late 1800’s, but to the newly renovated Saint Michael Hall, the transformed dormitory for Saint John’s Prep School.

In Saint Michael Hall, Sara works with a team of dedicated professional staff to care for and mentor our resident students. This fall there are 67 students in the two villages, the largest number in residence since 2015. While working with this age group is new to her, Sara brings 16 years of residential treatment experience from her work as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, helping treat homeless individuals with substance abuse issues. “These were often people who had nowhere else to go; other resources couldn’t or wouldn’t help them.” While the joys and challenges facing SJP students differ dramatically from those on the streets of Chicago, the skills and wisdom Sara honed will serve her and our Prep community as she attends to the social, mental, academic, and spiritual needs of our learners.

Sara cites the importance of great faculty to inspire a lifetime of passion. “I took a service trip to Guatemala when I was a Prep student. It changed my life and showed me a world beyond Saint John’s”. It was from this trip that a love of international travel was born. And it runs in the family. Sara’s younger sister Becky ’03, spent several years serving in the Peace Corps, and each year they would meet somewhere around the world and explore. Whether they were driving the circumference of Iceland, watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon over the Serengeti, or hiking Machu Picchu, the Pflueger Women continue to explore some of the most interesting sites around the world, slowed down only by a global pandemic.

From the farm in Collegeville to Guatemala to Chicago, life takes many twists and turns. It was the opportunity to help others in a different country that helped instill a lifetime of passion for travel and service in Sara Pflueger. And now in Saint Michael Hall she lives among students from 15 countries using these experiences to provide connection points and inspiration for all of us to see the world beyond home in Collegeville.