Principal’s Pen: Know His Voice

“Federal agents don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. They study genuine bills until they master the look of the real thing. Then when they see the bogus money they recognize it.”

This quote is from John MacArthur’s 1994 book titled Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern. In it, he calls to task segments of the Christian Church for conforming to a society with no absolutes and tolerating faith in any form. In short, he asserts that some within the visible Church embrace false doctrine so often that they can no longer distinguish between truth and falsehood.

To know the truth, one must “master the look of the real thing.”

Shortly before his crucifixion, our Savior declared, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). In his discourse, Jesus warned of the “stranger” (v. 5), “thieves and robbers” (v. 8), the “hired hand,” and the “wolf” (v. 12). False teachers and their teachings constantly work to undermine the Church and cause the downfall of God’s people.

How do we avoid this evil? The answer is to “know his voice” (v. 4). Jesus’ figure of speech points to the gospel. Those who “know his voice” know the gospel because it is the foundation of their lives. They “know his voice” because they learn the Word of God, study it, build their lives on it, and live it every day. They “know his voice” so well that they freely share the Word of God with others who need the truth.

You don’t get to know the real thing by studying counterfeits. You know the real thing when you “master the look of [it].” In the same way, you know the truth by learning the Word of God, believing it, and heeding the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Lord, give us discerning hearts to hear and believe the truth – the voice of our Good Shepherd. Help us also to share the truth. Amen.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Student teacher spotlight: Morgan Palubicki

Morgan Palubicki, a senior at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, is student teaching with Jenny Krauklis this semester. A Physical Education major with a minor in Coaching, Morgan appreciated the experience of student teaching at Lakeside. “I have learned so much! Mrs. Krauklis has been a great mentor throughout my time here so far. She has given me a lot of great advice for teaching,” she says. 

Morgan, who played softball at MLC, was also excited to get involved in extracurriculars, “I am helping with the Lakeside softball team this spring! I am super excited about this because I played softball with Coach Doering and Coach Birchbach’s daughters at MLC and now I get to coach with them!” she says. 

After attending Cotter High School in Winona, Minn., Morgan decided to become a teacher because “I had a ton of great teachers and they inspired me,” she says. The people around her also “really encouraged me that I have the gifts and abilities to become a teacher.”

Student teaching doesn’t come without nerves, however. “My previous student teaching experience was with K-5th graders so I was worried about transitioning to much older students, who are only about 5-6 years younger than I am,” she says. The concern was that they would see her as more of a peer than a teacher, but that didn’t happen. “What has been exciting about student teaching is forming relationships with the students and being able to relate to them.”

Though she heads back to New Ulm in May, Morgan has appreciated the opportunity to spend a few months at Lakeside. “I love that Lakeside has a great welcoming atmosphere,” she says. “Everyone here is super friendly—both students and faculty!”

Lakeside Lutheran winter athletes honored

Nine Lakeside Lutheran High School winter sports athletes were awarded post-season all-conference honors. 

Front, from left: Riley Schmidt, Janesville, 2nd team wrestling; Gabe Uttech, Columbus, 2nd team basketball; Jenna Shadoski, Janesville, 2nd team basketball; Mia Murray, Middleton, honorable mention basketball.

Back, from left: Ian Olszewski, Johnson Creek, 2nd team basketball; John O’Donnell, Madison, honorable mention basketball; Levi Birkholz, Watertown, 1st team and honorable mention D3 All State basketball; Trey Lauber, Lake Mills, honorable mention basketball; Lily Schuetz, Lake Mills, 1st team basketball.

Student Teacher Spotlight: Elena Mueller

This semester, Elena Mueller served as a student teacher in Mrs. Jodie Schommer’s classroom. Elena is a Secondary Communication Arts and Literature (English) major, and also studied Spanish for several years. She is from Doral, Florida, where she attended Divine Savior Academy. “This is near Miami and about a half hour drive from the beach!” she says.

Elena hadn’t always wanted to be a teacher, but “when I was a sophomore in high school, I had an incredible English teacher who completely changed my life. It was in his class that I fell in love with reading and writing, and he encouraged me to become a teacher! It’s because of him that I ended up at MLC,” she says. “He not only sparked my passion for teaching, but he also made me want to have an impact like that on my own students’ lives—both academically and spiritually.”

While teaching high schoolers might be a little intimidating, she is excited about the experience. “It gives me a chance to figure out what kind of teacher I am and really step into the shoes of full-time teaching as I look forward to receiving a call in a few months!” says Elena, who also worked with the newspaper and yearbook clubs.

It wasn’t only the experience in the classroom, but also the interactions in the whole school that helped her love her time at Lakeside. “I was so impressed on my first day with how friendly everyone is here at Lakeside,” she says. “Students talk to me in the halls, fellow teachers and administration go out of their way to make me feel at home, and Mrs. Schommer joyfully took me under her wing and has made teaching here fun from the start.”

As Elena looks forward to her own graduation, she reflects on other lessons. “Teachers do so much more than teach. They encourage, they counsel, they discipline, and they love endlessly, reflecting the love of Jesus—and I see this modeled by the educators who are guiding me through my experience here. Their first priority is their students’ souls, and this is so clearly evident and naturally integrated into everything they do,” says Elena. “I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry, even if it’s only for a few weeks, and I will take everything I learn here with me when I venture to begin a new ministry next school year!”

FFA celebrates 2020-21 with banquet

contributed by advisor Jeff Meske

In a year of constant pivots to meet the needs of FFA members and education, the Lakeside Lutheran FFA invited parents, members, FFA Alumni, faculty and agribusinesses to its 7th annual banquet March 7, 2021. 

In addition to enjoying a meal prepared by the Lakeside staff, 105 guests heard from guest speaker Amber Keller, an ag bank loan officer from Chilton. As the first female elected as State FFA President in 1989, one of her key points was to “show up,” whether it be FFA members trying new projects, entering contests, or traveling to new leadership conferences. 

First and second year members received their Greenhand and chapter degree pins. Star Greenhands included Hank Goessling, Whitewater, and Emma Wiedenfeld, Lake Mills. The Star Chapter FFA Degree member was Elizabeth Gunst, Hartford. Jeffrey Kalma, Okauchee, was recognized as the most active junior, while Haylee Meske of Jefferson will receive her State FFA Degree this summer. 

L-R: Top fruit sellers Meske, M. Iglesias, AC Iglesias, Gunst.

Celebrating a chapter fruit sale of over $17,000, the top three in sales were AnaCristina and Manny Iglesias, Watertown, Meske and Gunst. A variety of local proficiency awards or supervised agricultural experience (SAE) awards were also given, in the areas of goat production, beef entrepreneurship and placement, dairy entrepreneurship and placement, ag mechanics, diversified agriculture and equine entrepreneurship and placement, and horticulture. 

Warrior FFA also welcomed greetings from State FFA Vice-President, Melissa Konkel from Big Foot FFA, along with Lakeside FFA Alumni President Kevin Voigt and Section 10 FFA Alumni representative, Amy Voigt. The chapter recognized Dennis and Nicole Gunst of Hartford as the Blue and Gold Award recipient, and Lakeside secretary, Missy McKenna as a Friend of the FFA. 

“Stars over the Chapter” included Elizabeth Gunst, Star Farmer; Jordyn Jaeger, Lake Mills, Star in Placement; and Haylee Meske, Dekalb Agriculture Award. This year, the Tech Ed department had two youth apprenticeships working in industry with mentors: Ethan Degner, Watertown, was an auto technician at Ryan’s Auto of Lake Mills, while Haylee Meske was a quality control/CNC apprentice at Aztalan Engineering in Lake Mills. 

Elected at the banquet are the 2021-22 Lakeside FFA officer team (l to r):Treasurer Allen Lester, Waterloo; Vice-President Manuel Iglesias, Watertown; Secretary Emma Wiedenfeld, Lake Mills; Student Advisor Maria Meier, Watertown; Reporter Rudy Goessling, Whitewater; Sentinel Jeffrey Kalma, Okauchee; and President Elizabeth Gunst.

After the conclusion of the banquet, the FFA Alumni hosted its annual benefit auction to help with scholarships and assisting FFA members in attending leadership conferences. Receiving a $500 FFA Alumni scholarship were AnaCristina Iglesias, Watertown, planning to attend Martin Luther College for Spanish and Elementary Ed; and Haylee Meske, planning to attend Milwaukee Tech for Quality Control. Thank you to those at the auction who bid over $5,300 for 43 items. The Lakeside FFA thanks the administration, the Lakeside school board, the FFA Alumni and many parents and supporters for helping make a successful year. 

More photos can be viewed and downloaded at llhs.smugmug.com/Events/FFA-Banquet-2021

Principal’s Pen: Canceled!

“He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin;
He sets the pris’ner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood avails for me.”
(CW 340 v. 4)

As Christians, we confess our sins daily. We know that Jesus forgives us. Yet, we continue to wrestle with our sins. They plague us, even after we confess them and are absolved. Why can’t we just confess our sins, be forgiven, and never remember them again?

Some mistakenly believe that the memories of past sins are God’s punishment. They think that though they are forgiven, they must pay for their sins in order to earn forgiveness. They repeatedly beat themselves up, trying to free themselves from the memories of past sins. In spite of their efforts, sin’s grip lingers.

What should we do when sin’s guilt remains? The words of the above hymn point us to Christ alone where true freedom from sin is found.

The stanza begins, “He [Christ] breaks the pow’r of canceled sin.” As Christians, we know and believe that Jesus forgives our sins by his perfect life, innocent death, and glorious resurrection. Our sins are “canceled” just as the hymn says. Yet, forgiven sins may still at times try to exert “pow’r” over us. Even though they are only memories, thoughts of sin may arise in our minds. They try to convince us that they are in control. But, they have no power. We are forgiven through Christ and nothing can steal our forgiveness or take us from him.

Lent continually reminds us not to gaze at ourselves, but to lean wholly on Christ. We don’t need to be haunted by the memories of past sins. Instead, by faith, we know and believe that what Christ did for us on the cross fully pays for our sins. This allows us to focus on him alone. Our sinful nature is then made subject to him. Through Christ alone, sin’s power is destroyed.

Lord, during Lent, focus our hearts and minds continually on our Savior who truly “breaks the pow’r of canceled sin.” Amen.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Lakeside hosts school-wide resiliency training

“The last year has been hard for everyone,” says Andy Rosenau, guidance director at Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills. While adults can draw on past experiences for coping skills, “young people haven’t necessarily had those same experiences and, as a result, have been impacted to a greater extent by the pandemic. All schools, sooner or later, will have to address the mental health impact, so we wanted to be proactive,” Rosenau explains.

Lakeside NHS senior officers (L-R) Julia Neuberger, Lydia Buxa, Devin Splinter, Kaylee Raymond were integral in the planning and promoting resiliency training. In addition, these four further developed their leadership skills. “It made me step out of my comfort zone. As officers we were asked to talk in front of the faculty, small groups, and the entire student body,” says Raymond. 

At the beginning of the school year, student leaders and school leadership met and agreed to bring a resiliency training program to the entire student body. “Much of the credit goes to our National Honor Society [student] officers—Lydia Buxa, Julia Neuberger, Kaylee Raymond, and Devin Splinter—who saw the need for conversations about resiliency. They played major roles in making it happen,” says Rosenau, who also serves as the NHS advisor.

As the school administration searched but couldn’t find a program created for high school students, so they reached out to Milwaukee-based Christian Family Solutions (CFS). Licensed professional counselor Karen Fischer there had created the Cornerstone Resilience System, a curriculum geared for adults, and was more than happy to customize it for teens. “There is an anxiety epidemic among those under age 25, and they need to learn to manage this better,” Fischer says. “The sooner they have tools, the more ingrained useful thought patterns can be.”

Lakeside student leaders were excited to be on the leading edge of what’s now recognized statewide as a critical issue for students and school staff who have dealt with unpredictable and fluid learning environments. In January, the Wisconsin DPI introduced a “Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework” that seeks to address needs in schools. “We are the first high school in the nation to partner with Cornerstone, which is a neat distinction,” says senior Lydia Buxa, NHS president. “With our successful experience, we look to encourage other schools to participate because it really made a difference for a lot of us who sometimes struggle with these issues.”

The six modules comprising the Cornerstone curriculum address resilience, crisis survival, reality acceptance, mindfulness, emotion control, and thought distortion. The school scheduled six days over four months to host the sessions. After an introductory all-school assembly at the start of each session day, three counselors then met with students in a designated class. The smaller group interactions allowed presenters to equip teens with specific tools and strategies to develop resilience and decrease stress and anxiety. 

At the school assembly where students learned about thought distortions, teacher Eric Dorn wore vision-altering glasses from the game “Googly Eyes” and tried to draw what facilitator Karen Fischer showed him on the Pictionary-type card. The game was to illustrate to students that sometimes what they think is reality may actually be distorted. Later, during the classroom sessions with counselors, teens learned tools to combat distorted thinking. “The school has become more open to talking and discussing topics that relate to mental wellness,” says senior Julia Neuberger. (Another faculty participant, Hannah Uher, is pictured at right.)

Many teens at Lakeside looked forward to the information that was outside their typical curriculum scope but so applicable to life in high school today. “One of the coolest things about the resiliency training was that the modules covered a variety of topics,” says senior Kaylee Raymond, NHS vice-president. “This allowed students to relate to them in a different way.”

The feedback has been positive.“The school has become more open to talking and discussing topics that relate to mental wellness,” says NHS treasurer Julia Neuberger. The discussions carried over to home life too. “Parents have already shared many personal stories of ways the training has affected them and helped their families discuss difficulties,” says Fischer.

While the six Cornerstone modules have been completed, the school plans to continue discussing mental wellness. “The program is customizable, so we are now talking about taking targeted approaches,” Fischer says. “Maybe we provide mental wellness screening for freshmen or we create opportunities for seniors to learn more about adjusting to life after high school.”

Lakeside senior Devin Splinter appreciates being part of all the time and effort that went into planning, and how successful it’s been. “As an NHS officer, I am responsible for helping our student body—and a huge problem that students face is stress and damage to their mental health. We have learned about techniques and strategies to face stress,” says Splinter, NHS secretary. “Having this resiliency training was a huge success and something that I recommend other schools do.”

Lakeside senior named National Merit Finalist

Lydia Buxa, Oconomowoc, has been named a Finalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Daughter of Greg and Linda Buxa, she is one of 15,000 students throughout the U.S. to have earned the title. Based on her Finalist standing, Buxa has received a full scholarship to Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., where she will pursue a degree in nursing. 

Lydia Buxa, a senior at Lakeside Lutheran, is a National Merit Finalist.

“Despite the numerous academic challenges that all students face today, a core of motivated and gifted students has risen to meet the obstacles,” says Principal James Grasby. “Lydia Buxa is one of those extraordinary students who has consistently used her intellect and personality to its fullest God-given potential both in and out of school. She is a true leader within our student body and in the community at large. Her finalist status is an indication of her potential and the gifts she possesses.”

High school students enter the program by taking the PSAT, the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, during their junior year. Finalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are eligible to receive corporate and college-sponsored scholarships. 

For more information about Lakeside Lutheran High School, contact Principal James Grasby at 920-648-2321 or visit llhs.org

Warrior Dance Team sees early success

Lakeside Lutheran Warrior Dance Team (WDT), comprised of three seniors, a sophomore and two freshman dancers, has seen early success as it recently entered its 2021 competition season. 

Lakeside Lutheran Warrior Dance Team wears all black for its jazz routine at the Franklin Sabre Showdown. Pictured, back row, from left: Coach Audra Jensen, Lily Storlie, Naomi Jensen, Julianne Dollard. Front row, L-R: Evelyn Terry,  Kylee Krutsinger, Jada Teteak.

On February 20, at the Franklin Sabre Showdown, WDT was entered in all three areas of competition, Jazz, Kick and Pom. They came home with two firsts in Division 3, in Jazz and Kick, along with a third in Division 4 pom. The next weekend, Feb. 27, they earned seconds in both D3 Jazz and Kick at the Redbird Rumble at DePere High School. After the upcoming Ashwaubenon Invite March 6, the team will spend time honing their jazz and kick routines for the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches (WACPC) regional competition March 20, which they have elected to compete in virtually. From regionals they may have the opportunity to re-submit performance recordings at the State level in April. WACPC is planning to post a video of the Regional Results on March 21 at wacpc.com

The Warrior Dance Team is coached by former Lakeside dancer and alum Audra Jensen. Team members include seniors Lily Storlie, Lake Mills; Evelyn Terry, Ixonia; Jada Teteak, McFarland; sophomore Julianne Dollard, Deerfield; freshmen Naomi Jenson, Deerfield; and Kylee Krutsinger, Cottage Grove.

Lakeside Lutheran Warrior Dance Team wears teal with white poms for its kick and pom routines at the Franklin Sabre Showdown. Pictured, back row, from left:Naomi Jensen, Julianne Dollard, Lily Storlie. Front row, L-R: Evelyn Terry,  Kylee Krutsinger, Jada Teteak.

Slattery qualifies for State Bowling tournament

Connor Slattery, a senior at Lakeside Lutheran High School and member of its Bowling Club, qualified for the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin-sponsored High School Bowling Club State Championships, marking another first for the two year-old school club. 

BCAW splits the state into 14 different districts composed of nearly 200 high school teams from across Wisconsin. Out of 71 bowlers in District 6, Slattery placed seventh, earning him a chance to compete at the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay from March 5-7. 

Connor Slattery, Lake Mills, is headed to Green Bay in March to play in the High School Bowling Club State Championships, sponsored by the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin.

“Connor is a talented, self-driven, and humble individual, a great listener. He works hard improving his skills, says club co-coach Tom Horn. “He is what every coach wants in an athlete.” Slattery, son of Mike and Amy Slattery of Lake Mills, ended the season having bowled 180 frames, with 78 strikes, 71 spares, and 31 opens on his record.

To determine state qualifiers, club teams bowl Baker Style, that is, five players in each game, with each bowler assigned two frames in the game. Each meet allows players to bowl up to 36 frames. Bowlers advance when they meet the number of frame requirements as well as the required fill percentage (the number of frames with strikes or spares). Slattery ended the season with a fill rate of 82.77%.

Coach Rich Parkhurst, who with Horn helped start Lakeside’s club team two years ago, adds, “I can’t say enough about Connor on all fronts. His light shines unceasingly through his leadership of the team and dedication to continued improvement of his game. Connor qualifying for the state tournament is the well-deserved payoff of hard work and commitment to be one of the best.”

At the state tournament, bowlers begin with three games on Friday. The top 25% bowl in a  semi-final round Saturday. The top five semi-finalists bowl in a stepladder final competition on Sunday. “ Many weeks of practice with coaches, with teammates, and by myself, help[ed] me qualify,” says Slattery. “I believe the team has a good chance at qualifying together next year, and I believe we could send a player every year for years.”

Slattery qualifies for state competition post school club bowling season.

In its second year, the Lakeside bowling club consists of a varsity boys and a varsity girls team as well as a JV boys team. The girls team co-opted with two girls from Oconomowoc High School to complete its eight-player roster this year. 

Lakeside Lutheran High School is committed to assisting parents in nurturing the faith of students through a Christ-centered education that emphasizes the grace of God in Christ.  In all areas of academics and extracurricular activities students learn about living Christian lives of service in the home, the church and society. Lakeside Lutheran is supported by a federation of 32 area Lutheran congregations. For additional information about Lakeside, go to llhs.org or call 920-648-2321 and ask for Principal James Grasby.