Principal’s Pen: to the class of 2020



These are my comments directed to Lakeside’s Class of 2020 at this year’s graduation. I extend my words to all graduates in our federation.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

In recent weeks, everyone’s lives were overturned. Many lost their jobs. Busy schedules were vacated and then made busy again in other ways. Pandemic, social distancing, and the new normal are today’s buzzwords. Face masks, shortages, and uncertainty about life are what we face today.

No, it wasn’t supposed to end this way.

Yet, the Class of 2020 is not the first group to think or utter these words. There have been other upheavals throughout history that quickly reshaped society: the 1950s polio scare, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Great Depression, to name several. In a matter of minutes or days, the fragile flow of life—as we know it—can be overturned or even destroyed. It has happened before. It will likely happen again. No, it wasn’t supposed to end this way.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, a group of bewildered men huddled behind locked doors. Their rabbi had been arrested, tortured, and crucified. They may well have wondered if they were next. All likely felt guilt since they deserted their Master in his hour of need. One, particularly, may well have felt this pain most keenly because his actions fulfilled the very words of his Master’s prophecy. Among them, there was fear, uncertainty, and perhaps even the sentiment, “No, it wasn’t supposed to end this way.”

A17year28gcThen, the risen Savior entered that room. He stood among his disciples with visible nail marks in his hands and a spear slash in his side. He spoke words that were most unexpected. Instead of chastising and berating those who failed him, he said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). These were ordinary words of greeting. Yet, they bear extraordinary meaning.

In John’s gospel, Jesus explained peace. It’s not the peace “as the world gives” (John 14:27). It is peace from the forgiveness of sins that he earned for all. It is the assurance that whatever happens “will [not] be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

“Peace be with you.” This was the Savior’s greeting to those confused men. It assured them that their sins were forgiven. It gave them courage to meet the challenges, trials, and death threats they would face in the coming years for preaching the gospel. The Savior’s promise of peace was their sure hope in dark and uncertain times.

Jesus’ words of greeting are also for us. Like believers of all times, you and I have the assurance of our Savior’s forgiveness. No matter how unsteady our lives become or how unsure our future appears, we have the same peace that Jesus spoke to his disciples. We know that God loves us, has made us his own through baptism, and will see us through whatever the future brings.

Some might still be tempted to say, “No, it wasn’t supposed to end this way.” The end of senior year of high school should have been a time of fun, celebration, and joy. Yet, it wasn’t this year. The events of the pandemic are so close to us that we cannot see the larger picture. But, God can. He will use all that has happened in the past months to praise and glorify his name and even serve as blessings for all who trust in him.

Congratulations, Class of 2020. You have made it! It did end in the way it was supposed to. You will receive your high school diplomas. Most importantly, you have the certainty of your Savior’s forgiveness with the peace that can never be taken from you.

“Peace be with you.”
God bless you always with Jesus’ peace. Amen.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or

Principal’s Pen: Action & Reaction

pen_8416c“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In Science, students learn Newton’s Third Law of Motion. It states that when two separate forces act on two corresponding objects, the size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second.3rd law of motion

Soon after God created humans, the Bible relates what is perhaps the saddest chapter in history: the fall into sin. Adam and Eve had perfection. Without sin, there was no aging, pain, or death. Their relationship with God was perfect. They wanted what God wanted because they were holy. But, that would soon change.

The serpent tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Against God’s clear command not to eat it, Eve succumbed and Adam did the same.

Now, the perfect world plunged headlong into sin. Perfection disappeared. Evil infected every human thought. Yes, holiness was gone as evidenced by Adam and Eve immediately blaming others, vainly attempting to salvage their own sinful pride.

thorns_17324cAt this point, God could have destroyed creation and his creatures. Yet, he did the unthinkable. While cursing the serpent, he announced grace and mercy to Adam and Eve. He said, “And I will put enmity between you (serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he (the Savior) will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). God showed unimaginable love by promising One who would remove sin’s curse. Years later, in his proclamation from the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30), Christ, the serpent crusher, fulfilled this very promise.

Newton’s law explains the traits of objects and motion well. But, when considering the unfathomable grace of God, words can’t explain it. Adapting Newtonian verbiage, one might well say, “For sin’s every action, God’s grace and love respond with an immeasurable reaction.”

Lord, lead us daily to appreciate your great love for humankind as seen in the life, death, and resurrection of your Son, our Savior. Amen.

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or

Scholarship recipients announced

Lakeside Lutheran High School announces that 35 students in the class of 2020 report over $684,076 in scholarship money for the 2020-21 school year from individuals, foundations, organizations, and the schools they applied to attend. Of the 92 graduates, 84 have indicated plans to continue their education in the fall of 2020 through a four-year university or tech school; four plan to enter the military; and four will enter the workforce. Scholarships marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a renewable scholarship.

3 Abel, MadelineMadeline Abel, daughter of Christopher and Megan, Fort Atkinson: Martin Luther College Witness Scholarship $1,500*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study education.

63 Behnke, AshleyAshley Behnke, daughter of Peter and Laurie, Watertown: GCU 2020 Canyon Christian School Consort $4,000*, GCU 2020 Faculty Scholarship $4,500, GCU 2020 Priority Registration Award $800. She will attend Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, to study business management.

12 Berg, EmmaEmma Berg, daughter of Nathan and Jennifer, DeForest: Martin Luther College Messenger Scholarship $2,000*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study elementary and secondary vocal music.

86 Bilitz, AnnaAnna Bilitz, daughter of Ben and Sarah, Madison: Martin Luther College Messenger Scholarship $2,000*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study education.

17 Buelter, AndrewAndrew Buelter, son of Mark and Jamie, Juneau: Wisconsin Lutheran College $500 travel scholarship. He plans to continue working with Northern Trails Meats.

49 Burger, Ryann-eRyann Burger, daughter of Mark and Denice: Soaring Eagle Scholarship, UW LaCrosse, $2,000. She will attend UW LaCrosse to study therapeutic recreation.

Collins, EllaElla Collins, daughter of daughter of Clark and Tricia, Lake Mills: Pine Honors Presidential Scholarship, EIU, $12,000*. She will attend Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, to study political science, pursue a law degree and play D1 volleyball.

Doering, KyleKyle Doering, son of Matthew and Jill, Lake Mills: MLC Messenger Scholarship $2,000*, Lake Mills Rotary Club Scholarship $2,000, Lake Mills Light & Water Continuing Ed Scholarship $500. He will attend Martin Luther College to study elementary and social studies education.

81 Geertz, TrevorTrevor Geerdts, son of Dan and Jen, Lake Mills: Gleason Presidential Scholarship, Ripon College, $32,000*, Trustee Scholarship, Carroll University, $21,000*, Fred Loock Scholarship, MSOE $22,000*, Destination MSOE Scholarship, MSOE $3,000*, Summer Programs Scholarship, MSOE $1,000*, Scout Scholarship, MSOE University, $1,000*. He will attend MSOE to study computer science with a specialization in artificial intelligence.

76 Gunst, MatthewMatthew Gunst, son of Dennis and Nichole, Juneau: United Cooperative Scholarship $1,000, Patricia Hahn Memorial Scholarship $1,000, Siem Memorial Scholarship $2,000, University of Minnesota Collegiate Scholarship $30,000, John Klossner Memorial Scholarship $1,000, FFA Alumni Scholarship $500. He will attend the University of Minnesota to study agriculture communications and law.

Haw, GilbertGilbert Haw, son of Steve and Heidi, Marshall: Russel Kerr Scholarship, Rose-Hulman $1,250*, Cooney Gilbert Endowment, Rose-Hulman $2500, Rose-Hulman Grant Institute of Technology, $6,896*, Rose-Hulman Merit Scholarship $19,500*, Presidential Scholarship, Valparaiso University, $26,000*, Valpo Fund Alumni Award $960*. He will attend Valparaiso to study engineering and German.

25 Jensen, JenaeJanae Jensen, daughter of Jonathan and Jeanette, Juneau: Martin Luther College Messenger Scholarship $2,000*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study early childhood and special education.

20 Kaspar, KendraKendra Kasper, daughter of Caleb and Sara, Helenville: Voorhees Scholarship, Carroll University $19,000*. She will attend Carroll University to study psychology.

65 Knapp ElijahElijah Knapp, son of Kyle and Juli, Ixonia: Outstanding Academic Achievement Award $2,000, 2 yrs. He will attend University of Wisconsin-River Falls to study biology.

89 Krauklis, AbelAbel Krauklis, son of Brandon and Jennifer, Lake Mills:  WLC Presidential Scholarship $17,500*, Partners in Christian Education Scholarship $2,000*, Visit Scholarship $500. He will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study finance.

38 Krenke, LydiaLydia Krenke, daughter of Matt and Suzanne, Jefferson: Martin Luther College Witness Scholarship $1,500*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study early childhood and elementary education.

57 Mayer, RachelRachel Mayer, daughter of Dale and Sandra, Fort Atkinson: Martin Luther College Messenger Scholarship $2,000*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study elementary education.

19 Mcdermott, BrynnBrynn McDermott, daughter of Frank and Kristi, Poynette: Karate Family Scholarship, Plumer Karate America $1,000. She will attend UW-Oshkosh to study nursing.

McGurk, KatelynKatelyn McGurk, daughter of Damion and Laura Dehnert, Lake Mills and Chris McGurk of Fargo, N. Dak.: Herb Kohl Initiative Scholarship $10,000, Martin Luther College Messenger Scholarship $2,000*. She will attend Martin Luther College to study special education and elementary education.

Meier, EliseElise Meier, daughter of William and Cathy, Watertown:  WLC Presidential Scholarship $17,500*, Partners in Christian Education Scholarship $2,000*, Greenwoods State Bank Continuing Education Scholarship $500. She will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study cultural anthropology and Spanish.

Pampel, LoganLogan Pampel, son of Jon and Julie, Johnson Creek: Presidential Scholarship, Gustavus Adolphus College, $28,500*, Chancellor Scholarship, UW-Stout, $3,000* 2 yrs. He will attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., to study economics.


Madelyn Plitzuweit, daughter of Tom and Beth, Oconomowoc: MLC Grant Education $900, MLC Messenger Scholarship $2,000*, Ryan J. Zweifel Memorial Scholarship $2,500.  She will attend Martin Luther College to study elementary education.

Reinke, MeganMegan Reinke, daughter of Dave and Kristina, Watertown: Arne Engebretsen Memorial Scholarship $2,000, Soaring Eagle Scholarship, UW LaCrosse, $3,000, Trustee’s Scholarship, Carroll University, $21,000*, Hilger Tradition Award, Carroll University, $500*, Scholar Award, Carroll University, $1,000*, Carthage Highest Honors, $11,000* Carthage Endowed Scholar, $1,500*, Early FAFSA Grant, Carthage College, $500, Carthage Visit Grant, $500*, Robert Todd Grant, Carthage, $500, SouthPort Grant, Carthage, $1,000, WLC Presidential Scholarship, $17,000*, Partners in Christian Education Scholarship, $2,000*, Visit Scholarship, $500, Chancellor’s Scholar, UW Whitewater, $2,000*, UWW Foundation Freshman Academic Scholarship $1,000, CUW Presidential Scholarship $15,000*, CUW Early FAFSA Filing Grant $1,500, Concordia Grant, $5,299*, Concordia Assistance $1,000*. She will attend Concordia University-Wisconsin to study education and math.

30 Ryan, AexAlex Ryan, son of Jeffery and Christine, Lake Mills: Athletic Scholarship, Valparaiso University, $25,000*, Presidential Scholarship, Valparaiso, $23,000*, Award for Excellence, Valparaiso, $2,000*, Athletic Full Tuition Scholarship, UW-Milwaukee, $9,500*. He will attend Valparaiso University to study business and play D1 baseball.

schneiderCarter Schneider, son of Scott and Laura, Jefferson: WLC Collegiate Scholarship. He will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study accounting.

Schoenherr,OwenOwen Schoenherr, son of Terry and Lisa, Cottage Grove: Sentry Student Leadership Scholarship, UW Whitewater, $2,500*. He will attend UW-Whitewater to study accounting.

Schuster awarded Technical Excellence scholarshipCole Schuster, son of Thomas and Jessica, Juneau:  FFA Alumni, $500, United Cooperative $1,000, Wisconsin Technical Excellence Scholarship $2,250* 3 yrs. He will attend Fox Valley Technical College to study agricultural power equipment.

62 Statz, EmmaEmma Statz, daughter of Brian and Jennifer, Helenville: GCU: Faculty Scholarship $2,250, Canyon Christian Schools Consortium $2,000, GCU Priority Registration $200, GCU Select Scholarship $1,500. She will attend Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, to study secondary English education or nursing.

80 StorlieEspen Storlie, son of Justin and Michelle, Lake Mills: Carleton Grant/Scholarship, $58,570. He will attend Carleton College to study political science/international relations.

18 Sturgil, MollieMolly Sturgill, daughter of Aaron and Linda, Waterloo: CUW Presidential Scholarship $13,000*. She will attend Concordia University-Wisconsin to study graphic design.

Thiele awarded 2020 AES

Lauren Thiele, daughter of Dan and Teresa, Poynette: Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship $2,250*, Frank & Carol Trestman Scholarship, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities $5,000*, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Scholarship $1,500*. She plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management to study finance.

Thunderloud, KirstenKirsten Thundercloud, daughter of Josh Thundercloud and Valerie Clark, Jefferson: Dartmouth General Scholarship $10,550*, Trustee Scholarship, Carroll University, $21,000*, WLC Presidential Scholarship $17,000*, WLC Partners in Christian Education Scholarship $2,000*, University Honors Program Scholarship, U of Minnesota, $2,000*. She hopes to be accepted into Dartmouth’s gap year program and then pursue a degree in psychology.

52 Wagner hi resNathan Wagner, son of Mark and Nancy, Roscoe, Ill.: Excellence in Christian Education, Valparaiso University, $2,000*, Scholarships in STEM, WLC $10,000*, WLC Presidential Scholarship $17,000*. He will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study biology.

6 WardallAmber Wardall, daughter of Shawn and Shannon, Waterloo: Presidential Honor Scholarship, Winona State University $1,500*, WLC Presidential Scholarship $17,000*. She will attend UW- LaCrosse to study education or finance.

Westrate, GraceGrace Westrate, daughter of Bill and Shela, Lake Mills: Presidential Scholarship, Northwestern College, $16,000*, Undergrad Bridge Scholar Award, Northwestern, $2,500*, Honors Program Scholarship $1,500*. She will attend Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, to study business.

Warrior musicians receive recognition

The Lakeside Lutheran Music Department, led by Choir Director James Buege and Band Director Glen Pufahl, presented music awards and recognized the accomplishments of 25 student musicians for the 2019-20 academic year.

The National School Choral Award® is the highest honor for high school choral performers. It recognizes the dedication and musical achievement of top choral students nationwide and was awarded to senior Madelyn Plitzuweit, daughter of Tom and Bath of Oconomowoc.

Outstanding Vocalist awards for the A Cappella Choir were awarded to four senior sopranos, including Emma Berg, daughter of Nathan and Jennifer Berg, DeForest; Anna Bilitz, daughter of Ben and Sarah, Sun Prairie; Brontë Perkins, daughter of Brett and Heather, Madison; and Ashley Valerio, daughter of David and Cyndi, Delafield. Plitzuweit also received the Senior Accompanist award.

Two Outstanding Leadership awards were given, one to senior tenor Connor Dobson, son of Roger and Rachelanne, Johnson Creek, and a senior bass Kyle Doering, son of Matt and Jill, Lake Mills. The Swing Choir Choreographer recognition was given to senior Hannah Koenig, daughter of Brad and Cheryl, Cambridge.

In band, Outstanding Musicians are chosen by fellow band members in recognition for outstanding musical achievements, cooperation and dedication to the Lakeside Lutheran band program. This year’s recipients include seniors Ella Collins, clarinet, daughter of Clark and Tricia, Lake Mills; Jadyn Duddeck, saxophone, daughter of Timothy Duddeck, Whitewater, and Jody Duddeck, Palmyra; Cody Gumz, percussion, son of Rachelle Jaeger, Marshall; Gilbert Haw, trombone, son of Steven and Heidi, Marshall; Katelyn McGurk, French horn, daughter of Damion and Laura Dehnert, Lake Mills, and Chris McGurk, Fargo, N. Dak. Juniors awarded include Megan Grambsch, flute, daughter of Chad and Rachel, Columbus; Grace Seim, trombone, daughter of Steve and Julie, Beaver Dam; and Nick Yaroch, trumpet, son of Matt and Sue, Fall River. A sophomore, percussionist Benjamin Kasper, son of Caleb and Sara, Helenville, and freshman Marissa Duddeck, saxophone, daughter of Timothy Duddeck, Whitewater, and Jody Duddeck, Palmyra, also received the award.

The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award® was inaugurated in 1974 with the consent of his widow shortly after this great jazz artist died in 1971. It honors the outstanding jazz musician at each high school nationwide; this year’s award was presented to junior Nick Yaroch. The Woody Herman Jazz Award® was created in 1988, shortly after Herman’s death, also to honor outstanding jazz students, and was given to senior Jadyn Duddeck.

Said to be the most prestigious band award given to a high school band member, the John Philip Sousa Band Award is given to recognize superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty, and cooperation, and was awarded to senior Gilbert Haw.

Since the Wisconsin State Music Association state festival was canceled due to the pandemic, WSMA offered a Virtual State Solo Festival available for the state-qualifying performers. Eighteen Class A entries from Lakeside Lutheran earned a starred first rating at the District level held the week of Feb. 24-29. Of those 18, ten solos were able to perform for the virtual state festival. Receiving firsts for their performances were Emma Berg, musical theater soprano; Benjamin Kasper, drum set; freshman Jack DePrey, piano, son of Steve and Beth, Sun Prairie; and Ella Collins, piano. Receiving seconds were Gil Haw, trombone; Katelyn McGurk, French horn; Madelyn Plitzuweit, piano; Emma Berg, soprano; and junior Hannah Meyer, soprano solo and musical theater solo, daughter of Matthew Meyer, Jefferson.

13 from the LLHS Class of 2020 were among the 25 Warriors who received recognition, including , in order of appearance in article: Madelyn Plitzuweit; Emma Berg, Anna Bilitz; Brontë Perkins; Ashley Valerio; Connor Dobson; Kyle Doering; Hannah Koenig; Ella Collins; Jadyn Duddeck; Cody Gumz; Gilbert Haw; Katelyn McGurk.

Gunst named Wisconsin Holstein scholarship winner

Matthew Gunst
Lakeside Lutheran senior Matthew Gunst of Hartford

Baraboo, Wis. – May 13, 2020 – The Wisconsin Holstein Association has named Matthew Gunst a 2020 Wisconsin Holstein Association scholarship recipient. Gunst will be receiving the $1,000 John Klossner Memorial Scholarship, established for John—a young man who touched many lives during his short Junior Holstein career. Given in memory of John who tragically passed away in an accident while exhibiting at one of his favorite events, the Wisconsin Junior State Fair, this scholarship was established by John’s parents, Richard and Roxanne Klossner, and is given each year to a student who is considered a role model to other junior members.

The son of Dennis and Nichole Gunst of Hartford, Matthew is a senior at Lakeside Lutheran High School. He is involved in the Lakeside Lutheran FFA Chapter, his church, and is currently serving on the Junior Activities Committee for the Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association. He plans to pursue a career as an agricultural lawyer at the University of Minnesota in order to help dairy farmers everywhere.

Gunst is among 16 outstanding individuals that have received scholarships from the Wisconsin Holstein Association this year. The Wisconsin Holstein Association is a not-for-profit membership organization with the purpose of promoting the Wisconsin Holstein Registered Breed, breeders, and owners. For more information visit

Fischer memorial scholarship awarded

DiGiovanni, AbbieGary and Nancy Fischer continue the scholarship tradition begun over 20 years ago by awarding the Steven Fischer Memorial Scholarship to Abbie DiGiovanni, daughter of Michelle DiGiovanni, Jefferson, and Michael DiGiovanni of Surprise, Ariz.

The award is presented to a Lakeside Lutheran High School senior who plans to continue in music ministry. DiGiovanni will attend Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., in the fall.

The Fischers, who live in Milton, instituted the scholarship in memory of their son who was a student and musician at Lakeside Lutheran when he died in 1998.

Doering awarded Public Power scholarship

Doering, Kyle
Lakeside Lutheran senior Kyle Doering

Lakeside Lutheran is pleased to share the news from the office of Greg Hoffman, Energy Services Representative from Lake Mills Light & Water, that the 2020 Public Power Scholarship has been awarded to Kyle Doering of Lake Mills. Doering was awarded the $500 based on winning an essay contest.

The scholarship, part of Lake Mills Light & Water’s commitment to give back to the community and contribute to educational efforts, is available to seniors whose parents are customers. Doering is the son of Matthew and Jill Doering, Lake Mills. He plans to attend Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., to pursue a degree in Elementary and Social Studies Education.

Meier receives Greenwoods scholarship

Meier, Elise
Lakeside Lutheran senior Elise Meier

Senior Elise Meier was awarded a $500 scholarship from Greenwoods State Bank in Lake Mills this spring. On the basis of an essay and application, the scholarship is given to a graduating senior who plans to enroll in a 2-year technical college or 4-year university.

With the announcement, the bank shared, “Greenwoods State Bank is proud to support our schools and be part of such a great community. We especially appreciate the efforts of the graduating class of 2020 and recognize this is a different and challenging time for you.  We hope as you pursue your educational endeavors and career aspirations, you find these unprecedented times to have better prepared and equipped you for the ups and downs that lead to your success!”

Meier, who will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, to study cultural anthropology and Spanish, is the daughter of William and Cathy Meier, Watertown.

Doering awarded Rotary scholarship

Doering, Kyle
Lakeside Lutheran senior Kyle Doering

Senior Kyle Doering, son of Matthew and Jill of Lake Mills, was awarded a $2,000 Lake Mills Rotary Scholarship.

Doering was awarded the scholarship based on his character, leadership, scholarship, and participation during his high school years as well as his essay on the value of Rotary and service in the community. He plans to attend Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., to pursue a degree in Elementary and Social Studies Education.

According to Rotary International, Rotary Clubs are committed to service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership. Supporting education is one of the six top priorities of Rotary, along with promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, and growing local economies. The scholarships are funded primarily through the annual Scholarship Brunch offered to the public each February.

Plitzuweit receives Ryan J. Zweifel scholarship

Lakeside Lutheran senior Madelyn Plitzuweit of Oconomowoc

Senior Madelyn Plitzuweit, daughter of Tom and Beth Plitzuweit of Oconomowoc, received this spring’s annual Ryan J. Zweifel Memorial Scholarship for those entering the WELS teaching ministry.

The scholarship endowment in memory of Ryan J. Zweifel (LL Class of 2008) was established in 2009 after a car accident took his life after his first year at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., the synodical teacher training university for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. This $2,500 scholarship encourages and assists Lakeside Lutheran High School graduates who attend MLC to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Plitzuweit intends to pursue a degree in Elementary Education this fall.