I was raised by a Village that included my parents, my church, and my school – Grace Lutheran. All pieces of this Village worked in harmony as they all came from the same strong Christian-Lutheran base. My memories of my 9 years at Grace Lutheran are very strong; and each memory is part of the person I have become. Teachers like Miss Sieling, Miss Marquardt, Mrs. Liebert, Mr. Stohs, and Mr. Liebert…all were vivid role models in my childhood. They cared about me and each student in the class, classes that were small enough that no student got lost in the shuffle; they had a love for learning and teaching; they enjoyed the world that God gave them; and they easily shared their faith with their students daily.
Of all of those incredible teachers, Mr. Liebert, my 7th and 8th grade teacher and also the principal, left the most indelible impression. He was cool, he was Christian, he made us play by the rules, but loved us all no matter what. He was the reason I went to college at Concordia in Nebraska and became a Lutheran school teacher.
While I no longer serve in the classroom, I am now the Head of Advancement, an administrator at Long Island Lutheran School (Pre-K through Grade 12) in New York, where I have served since I received my first call there. In my role, I do all kinds of things I never thought I would be doing in my life. Part of the reason I have been successful at them is because I was taught to trust in God, to believe in my abilities, to challenge myself, and to have passion for my work. All of that was emulated in each classroom setting at Grace.
And then there’s that word grace, a perfect name for the school, as I also learned the most important lesson of God’s amazing grace to each of us. It enables me to set goals, to try new things, to rise and fall knowing that God loves me no matter what.
I hope, above all things I accomplish in my life, that I continually share God’s love with all people in my midst and that I serve God through my work – whether I am talking to prospective parents, meeting with people in our community about stewarding the gifts that God gave them, reminding a student at our school to adjust behavior, enjoying the life stories of families and alumni, or dealing with important issues as they arise.
While I live far away from Grace Lutheran now, it is always close to my heart.