2019-20 Year in Review

Article submitted upon request to Lake Mills Leader newspaper for publication in the Graduation insert released May 2020, specifically to celebrate the class of 2020.

2020 collage

To see the collage and download individual pics that comprise the collage, visit llhs.smugmug.com/LLFamily/Class-of-2020-Senior-Moments

The new biennial 2019-2021 theme for Lakeside Lutheran celebrates “Witness,” recognizing that all the students have been called to live their faith with the people around them.

Boys track won the overall Capitol Conference title. At the state meet, Collin Schulz placed second in the high jump and Casey Ponyicsanyi medaled in three events. The boys 4×1 relay of Caleb Bilitz, Brevin Jegerlehner, Tersony Vater, Casey Ponyicsanyi took 5th place with a school record of 43.59.

Warrior baseball won the regional championship and had 8 all-conference nominees.

After performing in several June Wisconsin parades, the Warrior Marching Band scored an incredible 93/100 and received first place in the Cherry Royale Parade in July 2019.

At the 60th annual Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Jefferson County, Warrior FFA hosted a food tent within the 70-acre “Tent City.”

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Okauchee, joined the Lakeside Federation, a group of 32 churches and 20 schools that support LLHS.

August 19 began our 62nd school year with 407 enrolled. New faculty installed included Activities Director Todd Jahns and Eric Dorn, sophomore Religion teacher and boys soccer coach. Kirk DeNoyer, our Executive Director, was inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association for his success at Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

A Cappella Choir traveled to 15 area churches sharing God’s Word before cancelling the rest of their Sunday worship services. Warrior Band and choirs held Christmas and Pops concerts and canceled Easter and Commencement. The band marched in the annual Gemutlichkeit parade and presented its annual concert in November with Swing Choir and elementary cadets. Swing Choir joined with a total of 515 student singers for National Choral Fest at Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

Almost 200 students comprise Teens for Christ, kicking off the year by collecting 71 pairs of athletic shoes for kids in need. Members visit nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, prepare meals for foster families and host “New Friends” afternoons for local residents with special needs. They also help Alpha Center in Watertown and Second Harvest in Madison.

Juniors Evelyn Schauer and Mia Murray were awarded a Certificate of Merit from Michigan Technological University’s section of the Society of Women Engineers. The Society of Women Engineers (at) Lakeside Lutheran is a branch of the national SWENext outreach program. Lakeside is one of only two high school branches in the state. To pass along STEM excitement to the next generation, members held a workshop for 33 K-8 girls on March 7.

After strong finishes at both District and State dairy judging competitions last summer, Senior Matthew Gunst qualified for the Wisconsin team at the North American International Livestock Exposition, in Louisville, Ky.

Lady Warrior golf were second in conference and took Regionals! Junior Maya Heckmann was conference Golfer of the Year again, and she and freshman sister Ava went to state.

Freshman Abigail Minning and senior August Gresens advanced to the State Cross Country meet.

Warrior football reached playoff Level 3 as underdogs, defeating higher seeds both weeks. Four players took first team all-conference honors.

The boys soccer team ended with a record of 3-11-0.

Warrior volleyball won conference undefeated, then took regionals. Three girls earned first team all-conference and Ella Collins was named Conference Player of the Year.

The 15-member Academic Bowl team placed 4th of nine teams at the annual Conference competition.

National Honor Society hosted “Tosses for Teens” cornhole tournament Nov. 17, raising over $3,500 to bring awareness of the growing need for mental health support for teens.

Wisconsin DPI creates report cards for private schools based on students participating in the choice program. For 2018-19, LLHS received a score of 84.8, a 5-star rating of “significantly exceeds expectations.”

The charter year for the Lakeside Bowling Club, a co-op team of students from Lakeside and Lake Mills High School, wrapped up its first season. The team won three matches and placed 4th in D2.

ACT results for the class of 2019 were released: of 110, 87 wrote the exam. On a 36-point scale, their composite score was 24.1 (state average 20.3), keeping Lakeside in the top 2% of 460+ Wisconsin schools.

At Fall and Spring Conference Math Meets and at the competitive Madison East Math Meet, both Varsity & JV Teams took 1st.

Warrior forensics took first in Conference on Feb. 3 with a total of 333 points, ahead of the second place team with 189.

For the first time in its 3-year history, Warrior Robotics Club sent a team to the State VEX Robotics Championship that included seniors Katelyn McGurk, Trevor Geerdts, and Gilbert Haw.

Haw is also a Finalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, marking his place in the top 1% of participants, and McGurk won the Kohl Student Initiative Scholarship, which recognizes students who put forth extraordinary effort and have overcome significant obstacles or adversity.

Eighteen Class A entries, including the Warrior Percussion Ensemble and several instrumentalists, pianists and vocalists, were awarded starred-first ratings at the WSMA Solo-Ensemble District level. Altogether, Lakeside had 66 solo or ensemble entries that involved more than 85 Warriors.

Winter sports round-up: wrestling (10-4); boys basketball (13-11); girls basketball (14-10). Girls head coach Tim Matthies announced he was stepping down (assistant Andy Asmus to succeed), as did wrestling coach Mike Twohig. Warrior Dance took D3 jazz regional championship and 2nd in D4 pom. Jada Teteak is the first dancer in LL history named to the D3 all-state team.

In February, Warrior FFA celebrated National FFA Week with many ag-related contests and activities. The almost 50-strong group held its annual banquet and recognition night in early March. In addition, they joined forces with the construction class and renovated the school’s greenhouse.

Classes did not resume after 2020 spring break because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online delivery of courses commenced March 25 and finished May 21.

The 9th annual Grand Event dinner/auction was switched to an all-online format held May 9.

92 seniors will graduate. Co-valedictorians are Elise Meier, Megan Reinke, Lauren Thiele, and Grace Westrate. Co-Salutatorians are Isabella Collins and Kirsten Thundercloud.






“The Nifty Fifties” takes stage April 27-28

Lakeside Lutheran High School is nearing its final week of practice for the spring production of the comedy musical “The Nifty Fifties” on Friday and Saturday, April 27-28.


FiftiesRehearsals (2)
The cast nears the end of rehearsals for the Lakeside Lutheran spring comedy musical “The Nifty Fifties.” Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 27-28.


In this musical comedy that will have audiences cheering, Gracie Stanley (played by senior Maria Werre, Sun Prairie) has gotten herself in hot water by promising to deliver her distant cousin, rockstar Ziggy Springer (senior Charlie Pingel, Sun Prairie), for the high school Hippity Hop at Louise’s Luncheonette. Ziggy’s manager, Lennie, (junior Justin Learned, Watertown) doesn’t want his client performing anywhere without pay, so Gracie and her friends have to produce a double and fast! They use a singing soda jerk (senior Isaiah Coleman, Watertown) and plan to have him perform in the dark! It won’t be easy for Gracie to get away with this one with her rival, snooty Muffin Mansfield (sophomore Abbie DiGiovanni, Jefferson), waiting for her to flop.

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The “mean girls” spar off against the “good girls” in a rehearsal for “The Nifty Fifties.”

Meanwhile, diner manager Louise (junior Samantha Anderson, Sun Prairie) has her own problems. The building’s owner forbids the dance and plans to turn the eatery into a dry cleaner. With all of this happening, Gracie’s brother (senior Andrew Burk, Johnson Creek) is living in terror because he’s smashed up a Harley belonging to Sinbad Gallucci (junior Lucas Schneider, Waterloo), a bad dude.

Will Gracie be able to keep her promise or will she fall flat on her face? Come back to the fifties and see for yourself!

Other 1950s characters include diner waitresses Virginia (junior Sophie Griffin, Madison) and Edna (senior Emily Raymond, Sun Prairie); Muffin’s mean posse Ann (sophomore Anna Bilitz, Madison) and Jane (junior Molly Lindloff, Lake Mills); Gracie’s goodie girlfriends Rose Marie Famiano (senior Emma Guld, Lake Mills) and Evelyn (junior Olivia Fregien, Madison); the nerd Jughead (senior Aaron Natvig, Cottage Grove); teen hunk George (junior Al Wood, Madison); beatniks Riff (junior Ben Huebner, Madison) and Misty (freshman Ella Butzine, Oconomowoc); Lennie’s secretary, Beverly (senior Alyson Steffan, Lake Mills); and Officer Moore (sophomore Bronte Perkins, Madison) and Mrs. Nicholson (junior Maddie Klug, Ixonia). A female chorus rounds out the cast that includes senior Gabby Grunewald (Bettendorf, IA), junior Kira Tweit (Madison), sophomore Kendra Kasper (Helenville) and sophomore Hannah Koenig (Cambridge).

The production is directed by Pastors Clark Schultz and Mark Toepel, with choreography by Becca Lauber, musical talent management by Jim Buege and Brian Schmidt, and costuming by Sandra Corlett. Mr. Damon Tracy heads up a crew of student for lights and sound. Students from TechEd, under Mr. Jeff Meske, built the staging, and art students painted, directed by Mrs. Lori Tetzlaff. Student stage managers are junior Rachel Poyner (Madison) and Kristina Meinel The Nifty Fifties is presented by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc.

The show will be at 7 p.m. each night. Reserved floors seats are available for $8. Advance Tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3375667 or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Walk-up unreserved bleacher seats will be $5 both nights.


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The cast rehearses one of the full cast musical selections in preparation for the Lakeside Lutheran spring comedy musical “The Nifty Fifties,” onstage at campus April 27-28.


Lakeside Lutheran to present spring musical

Lakeside Lutheran High School is nearing its final week of practice for the spring production of the comedy musical Princess Whatsername. Performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling the school office at (920) 648-2321, or purchasing tickets at the door the nights of the performances. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students (K-12).

It begins in the Misty Forest, where a girl is sleeping. When she wakes, nothing looks familiar to her. She can’t remember anything — not where she’s from, how she got there or even her own name! She embarks on a journey to discover her identity and meets several fairy-tale characters along the way. Some are helpful, some are dangerous, and some are just plain weird, but all have information to help our young girl eventually realize her true identity as a princess. As with any good fairytale, there’s also a prince! He’s desperate to find the princess, but he’s always one step behind and inadvertently rescues and wins the hearts of all the wrong princesses! A rocking musical score adds even more fun to new takes on the stories everyone loves.

A large cast offers the opportunity for many Lakeside students to showcase their acting and musical talents. Characters include the fairytale legends Gretel (Mindy Meske, Jefferson); Hansel (Malachi Mortenson, Beaver Dam), Rumpelstiltskin (Kyle Burger, Lake Mills), Cinderella (Lillie Johnstone, Jefferson), Rapunzel (Emma Guld, Lake Mills), the Forest Witch (Audra Sonntag, Janesville), and fairies, both good (Jordan Gade, Lake Mills, Marilyn Klein, Watertown and Sophia Griffin, Madison), evil (Violet Dumke, Fort Atkinson) and the godmother (Sam Anderson, Sun Prairie).

Princess Whatsername rehearsal with Princess, Goldilocks and Snow White at Lakeside Lutheran
Lakeside Lutheran students (from left) Madeline McKenna (Goldilocks), Jade Wood (Snow White) and Maria Werre (Princess) rehearse a scene while director Toepel follows along.

Other fairytale characters include Snow White (Jade Wood, Madison) and her seven dwarfs, Giddy (Olivia Fregien, Madison); Nosy (Ben Huebner, Madison); Rowdy (Al Wood, Madison); Whiny (Gabby Grunewald, Bettendorf, IA); Hippie (Mollie Lindloff, Janesville); Guilty (Corey Paske, Arlington); and Flighty (Maddie Klug, Juneau). Likewise, Goldilocks (Madeline McKenna, Lake Mills) and a big and little bear make an appearance (Mark Hoeft, Fort Atkinson and Colton Hatcher, Oconomowoc).

In addition to the title namesake Princess (Maria Werre, Sun Prairie), the cast also features several other royalty, including the Queen of North (Heidi Skewes, Madison), King and Queen of the South (Josiah Eaker, Keyera Giese, both of Watertown), Queen of the West (Emily Weber, Helenville), and Princes Hercules (Josh Schoenfeld, Lake Mills), Reveille (Derek Gulrud, Marshall), Adonis (Joe Graumann, Fort Atkinson) and Swavay (Mason DeNoyer, Sun Prairie).

Rounding out the royalty staff are the Herald (Caleb Strutz, Verona), the Steward (Lucas Schneider, Waterloo) and the Nurse (Noah Kooiman, Lake Mills).

Princess Whatsername rehearsal at LLHS
Lakeside Lutheran students (from left) Derek Gulrud (Prince Reveille), Malachi Mortenson (Hansel) and Mindy Meske (Gretel) hunt for the Princess while director Schultz reads along.

The Lakeside Lutheran drama team is directed by teachers Clark Schultz and Mark Toepel. Choreography is provided by Lake Mills dance instructor Rebecca Lauber. Musical coaching is provided by Lakeside Lutheran choral director James Buege and Rachel Mortensen. Student stage manager is Annika Butzow of Janesville. Princess Whatsername is presented by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc.