Principal’s Pen: Year-Round Light

Sight may well be the most important sense because so much hinges on it.

Scripture mentions sight, vision, and other related words over 850 times. Nearly everyone understands these concepts. They are also keywords in Epiphany.

Isaiah 9:2Epiphany—the season of light—marks the revelation of God’s light in his only Son, Jesus. In short, Christ is the light of the sin-darkened world. He is its hope and only Savior.

The festival of Epiphany—the 12th day of Christmas—is the “Gentile Christmas.” The Church has long celebrated the coming of the Gentile wise men to worship the Christ child on that day and all throughout the season.

Epiphany and Advent are like matching bookends. Not only do these seasons sandwich Christmas, but one complements the other. Advent passages like “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2) take on a deeper meaning when considered from an Epiphany viewpoint. Sinners live in spiritual darkness and blindness. Christ is their only hope. Isaiah’s inspired words and other passages like it point to the salvation that comes by faith in Jesus for all sinners. Christ alone dissipates the spiritual blindness that leads to despair and damnation. His light—much like that of the rising sun which disperses physical darkness—allows believers to see their God and Savior.

Christ is the light of the world during Epiphany and always.

In [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).

Mr. Jim Grasby is Principal at Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 x2204 or

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Although this adage was used for years, it was popularized in the 1970s. In context, the speaker referred to government trying to fix things that were not broken, while ignoring things that needed fixing.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

As Christians, we may wonder at this time of year,
“If Christmas ain’t broke, then why does the world keep trying to fix it?”

The answer is that the world views Christmas very differently.

It sees Christmas as an occasion for lavish gift giving, disregarding God’s greatest gift— his Son, the world’s Savior. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

The world sees Christmas as family time, losing sight of God’s promise, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26).

The world sees Christmas as a party time, ignoring the true reason for celebration, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you” (Zechariah 9:9).
baby_14775cIn short, the world has lost Christmas’ true meaning: the celebration of God becoming man to perfectly fulfill the law and pay for mankind’s sins.

From the Christian perspective, Christmas works just fine!

God bless your Christmas celebration. May he also give you a joyous New Year.

Mr. Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran. Reach him at 920.648.2321 x2204 or This post is the meditation from the December 2016 edition of the LLHS Federation Connection. Read the rest of the newsletter here.

Lakeside Lutheran winter athletes honored

Lakeside Lutheran High School recently held its winter sports award night when several student athletes were recognized as honorary captains, most valuable team members and for their WIAA Capitol North All-Conference basketball team honors. Six Warrior basketball players received all-conference spots, while one also received Capitol Conference North Player of the Year.

LLHS winter 2016 athletes honored
Back row (l-r): Abby Monis, All-Conference 1st team; Cam Kuepers, All-Conference Honorable Mention; Austin DeNoyer, Honorary Basketball Captain; Mason DeNoyer, Basketball MVP and All-Conference 1st team. Front (l-r) are Laura Hafenstein, All-Conference 2nd Team; Meghan Pingel, Basketball Team MVP, Capitol North All-Conference 1st team honors, Capitol North Player of the Year; Zech Schleef, Most Valuable Wrestler; Paul Grunewald,  Honorary Wrestling Captain. Missing are Ashley Kohls, Most Valuable Dancer; Becca Doering, Honorary Dance Team Captain; and Clarissa Keller, Christian Leadership, Growth and Dedication to Dance Award.

Senior point guard Meghan Pingel was awarded Capitol Conference North Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She also earned a spot on 1st Team All-Conference, WBCA All-State Honorable Mention, and was voted Most Valuable Player and Honorary Captain by her teammates. Last fall she signed her letter of intent to play for Division 1 UW-Green Bay. Pingel is the daughter of Jim and Renae Pingel of Sun Prairie.

The girls basketball team took the Capitol North Conference championship for the third year in a row, going undefeated 10-0, and finishing with an overall 20-4 record for the year. Senior post player Abby Monis, daughter of Peder and Trisha Monis of Oconomowoc, was also awarded first team All-Conference honors, and was voted to the All-State Team by the WBCA. Monis was also recognized for being the 8th Lady Warrior player to surpass 1,000 career points. Monis intends to play for D2 Maryville University next year. Junior post Laura Hafenstein, daughter of Brian and Tammy Hafenstein of Lake Mills, was awarded a spot on 2nd Team All-Conference.

The boys basketball team also had a successful season, advancing to the regional final game in post-season play, finishing 7-3 in conference, 20-5 overall. Senior wing Mason DeNoyer, a four-year varsity player and son of Brad and Janelle DeNoyer of Sun Prairie, was recognized on several points. In addition to being voted 1st Team by the Capitol North Conference, and Most Valuable Player for the second year by his teammates, he was celebrated as the first Warrior boys basketball player to surpass 1,000 career points. He also holds the school assists record. Senior guard Austin DeNoyer, son of Kirk and Karen DeNoyer of Lake Mills, was awarded 2nd Team All-Conference, and his teammates voted him Honorary Captain. Junior wing Cameron Kuepers, son of Ben and Becky Kuepers of Madison, earned All-Conference Honorable Mention.

The Warrior Wrestling team finished fourth in region this season, and saw five players come within one place of advancing in post-season. Senior Paul Grunewald was D2 sectional-eligible at the 126 weight class, even though an injury kept him from participating. Grunewald, son of Michael and Kristen Grunewald of Bettendorf, IA, was voted Honorary Captain by his teammates, while 170-pound class junior Zechariah Schleef, son of Todd and Kay Schleef of Watertown, was voted by his teammates and coaches as the Most Valuable Wrestler this season.

The Warrior Dance team also recognized its athletes from the Winter competition season. The team voted senior Becca Doering, daughter of Matt and Jill Doering of Lake Mills, as Honorary Captain. Senior Clarissa Keller, daughter of Dean and Patricia Keller of Middleton, was recognized with the Christian Leadership, Growth and Dedication Award. Senior Ashley Kohls, daughter of Michael and Joanne Kohls of Waterloo, was voted Most Valuable Dancer.

Lakeside Lutheran honors veterans

Lakeside Lutheran High School hosted a Veterans Day event Friday, November 6, that featured an introduction to and speech from Rep. Cody Horlacher, state representative for Wisconsin’s 33rd Assembly District, which includes the cities of Jefferson and Fort Atkinson, among other areas in southeastern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin 33rd Assembly District Rep. Cody Horlacher addresses attendees at the Lakeside Lutheran Veterans Day observance on Friday Nov. 6.
Wisconsin 33rd Assembly District Rep. Cody Horlacher addresses attendees at the Lakeside Lutheran Veterans Day observance on Friday Nov. 6.

More than 100 veterans from several branches of service spent the morning at Lakeside. The veterans in attendance represented more than half a century of military service, from World War II to the conflicts and wars in Korea, Vietnam , the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. After a breakfast and social time for veterans and their guests, Principal James Grasby greeted the veterans and introduced Rep. Horlacher, who serves on several legislative committees, including Campaigns and Elections; Constitution and Ethics; Criminal Justice and Public Safety; Education; Interstate Affairs; and the Committee on Judiciary, for which he serves as the Vice Chair. Rep. Horlacher expressed his thanks to the veterans in attendance and to those currently serving, and commemorated the selflessness that is required in service to God and country.

A special Veterans Day chapel service, presided over by Pastor Matt Krenke of St. John Lutheran Church in Jefferson and Pastor Mark Toepel of the Lakeside faculty, included the honored veterans as well the entire student assembly, the Warrior Band, faculty and staff.

A gallery of other photos from the morning can be found at:

Vets sing at chapel 2015
Attendees of the Lakeside Lutheran Veterans Day Observance activities sang the National Anthem as the school band accompanied during the chapel service.

Lakeside Lutheran volleyball teams dig deep in pink for the cause

The volleyball program at Lakeside Lutheran High School recently held its sixth annual Dig Pink® event to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and research. Through a night of special activities and an online donation page, the program raised over $3,700 that will be given to the Side-Out Foundation, Inc. for breast cancer research and patient support.

Hundreds of spectators from both Lakeside and Luther Prep showed up to cheer on the Warriors and Phoenix as they battled in pink on the court. The stands were filled with fans wearing pink clothing, and activities including a bake sale, raffles, chuck-a-duck and recognition of participating elementary volleyball teams were conducted before and during the matches.

This year’s event raised $3,723.40 for the cause. “We were thrilled to see the great attendance this year again,” says Sandi Birschbach, one of the organizers of the 2015 event. “We could not have done it without the effort of many behind the scenes and so many supporters the night of Dig Pink.”

Members of the Lakeside Lutheran freshman, JV and varsity volleyball teams stand behind a check representing the over $3,700 raised for breast cancer research during the 6th annual Dig Pink event held at Lakeside Lutheran.

The proceeds from all donations benefit The Side-Out Foundation, a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the Washington, D.C. area.  Funds are currently devoted to cutting edge targeted therapies and molecular profiling.  Side-Out also devotes a portion of the funds to local and national cancer support organizations. Lakeside Lutheran joined thousands of teams from around the country who participated in the Dig Pink® National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally in the 2015 season.

The term side-out refers to a situation in volleyball when one team wins a point while its opponent is serving, thereby regaining serve or control of play. It is hoped that Side-Out will do the same for breast cancer patients, providing them with the support, education and best available treatments to regain control of their lives.

Lakeside Lutheran celebrates Homecoming week September 21-26

Lakeside Lutheran High School announces its Homecoming activities and events for 2015, beginning with all-school activities on Monday, September 21 and ending with a dance on campus the evening of Saturday, September 26.

The 2015 Homecoming Court includes two representatives from each of the freshman, sophomore and junior classes, and four representatives from the senior class. Members of the court include freshmen representatives freshmen Alyssa Fehrman, Juneau, and Caleb Raymond, Sun Prairie; sophomore representatives Sophie Collins, Sun Prairie and Joseph Grambsch, Columbus; Lake Mills; junior representatives Brooklyn Wagner, Reeseville and Brady Jensen, Juneau; senior representatives Autumn Tracy, Lake Mills and Justin Nagy, Fort Atkinson; Queen Estrella Tesch, Sun Prairie and King Alex Pillard, Oconomowoc.


Lakeside will celebrate homecoming with student activities throughout the week of September 21, both during the school day and after school.  The theme for this year is “Cartoons.” Each class has been assigned to decorate halls, doors and windows and create class floats and videos according to different classic cartoons figures, including “Roadrunner” for the freshmen, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” for sophomores, “Scooby Doo” for juniors and “SpongeBob Squarepants” for seniors. Students will decorate the school throughout the week as well as participate in class competitions. After a 5:00 p.m. parade in downtown Lake Mills on Friday, the varsity football team plays Watertown Luther Prep at 7 p.m. The Warrior Marching Band and the Dance Team perform halftime routines. A semi-formal dance is planned for Saturday evening on the Lakeside campus beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The activity schedule is as follows:

Monday, 9/21: Class/Trash Dress Day; Senior friend day; In-school Musical Chairs; JV football game v. Columbus at 5 PM.

Tuesday, 9/22: Homecoming T-shirt Day; In-school Dodgeball; Cross Country Meet at Korth Park 4 p.m.; Soccer v. Sugar River 4:45/6:45 PM and Volleyball at Lodi 5:15 PM

Wednesday, 9/23: Class Workday to complete decoration of school in the morning with banners, hallway murals, window and door banners; Powder Puff Football, Boys Volleyball, Talent Show.

Thursday, 9/24: Career Dress Day; Class Relays  in-school; soccer at Poynette 4:45 PM, Freshman Football at Columbus 5 PM

Friday, 9/25: Warrior Wear Day and In-school Pep Rally;  Parade 5 PM downtown Lake Mills — Alum Zone event on football field 5:30-7 PM – Varsity Football game v. Watertown Luther Prep 7 PM

Attention: Football Fan theme has changed: It’s a BLACK OUT with GLOW STICKS!

Saturday, 9/26: Semi-formal dance at Lakeside 7:30-10:30 PM.

Lakeside Lutheran ACT exam results among highest in state

ACT Research Services of Iowa City, Iowa, recently released the ACT scores of the members of the Class of 2015 of Lakeside Lutheran High School.

Seventy-three percent of 2015 Lakeside Lutheran graduates wrote the ACT in 2014, matching the state average. Based on a 36-point scale, the composite score of these students was 25.1, above the state composite of 22.2. Wisconsin as a state is the second highest ACT composite score average among states with over 50% of students testing, behind only Minnesota at 22.9.

This composite score keeps Lakeside Lutheran results among the top 5% of nearly 460 public high schools in the state, as reported by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. The most recent Lakeside Lutheran scores stayed the course and even raised the bar within its five-year average scores. Compared to the previous school year, scores in three core areas – math, reading and science – rose, with Math showing an almost 2-point score increase, from 24.3 to 26.2.

LLHS ACT scores well above average again
LLHS ACT scores well above average again

The ACT organization reports that “it is the rigor of coursework – rather than simply the number of core courses – that has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness.” Fifty-nine percent of Lakeside Lutheran students who wrote the test met all four standards for college readiness as determined by ACT – in English Composition, Algebra, Social Science, and Biology— meeting ACT benchmarks within these areas indicates at least a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in first-year college courses and a 75 percent chance of scoring a C or higher. The 2014 Wisconsin average for meeting all four standards is 35%. According to ACT research, students who meet these benchmarks are more likely to succeed in college and earn a degree than those who don’t.

LLHS ACT students ready for college
LLHS ACT students ready for college

Some may feel that a small high school like Lakeside Lutheran that focuses on the basics produces less able students,” says Lakeside principal James Grasby. “That our students do well each year on the ACT is a testament to the quality of Christian education.  We emphasize Christ in all that our students learn and he amply blesses our humble efforts. Our teachers work hard to instruct our students, and our students, in turn, work hard to master what they are taught.  But, we also understand with the Psalmist that ‘unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain’ (127:1). The Lord has truly blessed our students, our teachers, and our school in many different ways.

The ACT is a national college admission and placement examination that is used by more colleges than any other examination. Begun in 1959, more than 1.8 million students wrote the ACT last school year, including over 46,000 students in Wisconsin. This year the ACT became a standard assessment for all 11th-graders in Wisconsin public high schools.

Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills is a ministry operated by a federation of 31 Lutheran congregations who are affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod or the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The school holds accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), a division of AdvancED. For further information about Lakeside Lutheran, contact Principal James Grasby at (920) 648-2321.