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

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.

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

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.

 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

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.






Academic Top 10 in Class of 2020

Lakeside Lutheran High School is pleased to announce its Academic Top Ten from the Class of 2020. Their profiles, in alphabetical order, follow:

Bilitz, AnnikaTop Ten Annika Bilitz, daughter of Jon and Mary Bilitz, Cottage Grove, will attend UW-Madison  to earn a business degree in marketing. She also plans to study abroad for a semester.

Bilitz is a 2019 Badger Girls State representative and was part of the WHSFA State gold medal forensics team. A track athlete, she also was a member of the National Honor Society, Teens for Christ, and Operation Go, a mission trip program where students travel throughout North America to support churches. She teaches Sunday school at her church, Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel, Madison.

“Although it wasn’t easy, transferring to Lakeside my sophomore year was one of the best memories of my life. Lakeside is filled with so many great students and staff that welcomed me in with open arms,” she says. “I’m thankful for the memories we have made—like taking a picture every day of senior year—and the many more to come, if we ever get out of quarantine.”

Collins, EllaSalutatorian Isabella Collins, daughter of Clark and Tricia Collins, Lake Mills, is a member at St. Paul, Lake Mills, where she helps with vacation Bible school.

She will head to Eastern Illinois University to study political science and pursue a law degree. She will also play volleyball at NCAA Division I level for the Panthers. In addition to an athletic scholarship, she has received the Presidential Scholarship—a full-tuition scholarship—at EIU, which was awarded to only 15 recipients out of  130 applicants this year.

Collins, a four-year varsity volleyball team member, was named Player of the Year this year.  In addition, she was a member of National Honor Society and Teens For Christ, where she served as an officer for one year.  She was also accepted into the Senate Scholar Program, a week-long program which includes working in the Capitol alongside State Legislators and participating in mock legislative activities. A piano player, she has won numerous WSMA medals at both district and state festivals.

As for her time at Lakeside, Collins says, “I loved the feeling of being surrounded every day by people who share my same faith and want me to grow both academically and spiritually. I love the way the whole school feels like family and the faculty cares so much for each and every student.”

Haw, GilbertTop Ten Gilbert Haw, son of Steven and Heidi Haw, Marshall, is a member of St. Paul, Lake Mills, where he played music in worship services.

A National Merit Finalist, he has been admitted to the Honors College at Valparaiso University in Indiana. He has received the Presidential Scholarship and will study engineering and German.

While at Lakeside, he participated in the AV Club, STEM Club, and band. He was also active in the Academic Bowl and multiple math meets, where he often scored the highest of all participants. He participated in robotics, and was part of the first-ever team from Lakeside to attend the state robotics competition.

Meier, EliseValedictorian Elise Meier, daughter of Bill and Cathy Meier, Watertown, plans to attend Wisconsin Lutheran College, where she earned the presidential scholarship. She plans to study cultural anthropology and Spanish with the goal of “traveling the world and experiencing all kinds of cultures, getting to know people and their stories” says Meier, who was born in Malawi, Africa. “It would be fun to be a missionary!”

A member of the National Honor Society and Student Achiever award winner, Meier also participated in drama productions, the school newspaper, and the math team. With Teens for Christ, she served as the secretary her junior year and as president her senior year. On Student Council, she was the Class Vice President and Student Body Secretary.  “My teachers have been the most incredible and hard working people I’ve ever met. Even though they taught some tough classes, they only wanted to see us succeed,” she says.

While at Lakeside, she participated in volleyball, cross country, softball, and intramural basketball. She also played club volleyball, where she was the team captain. A member of St. Mark, Watertown, she taught Sunday school and volunteered with the youth group. She also volunteered at Twice is Nice, a resale shop in Jefferson.

Pampel, LoganTop Ten Logan Pampel is the son of Jon and Julie Pampel, Johnson Creek. He will attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., to study economics. He plans to eventually pursue a law degree. Pampel, a member of the National Honor Society, was also on the math team and served with Teens For Christ. A three-sport athlete, he played football, basketball, and baseball. He received first-team all conference honors for football and received an honorable mention for the 2019 Wisconsin State Journal All-Area football team.

About his days at Lakeside, he says, “I enjoyed all the memories I made in athletics with teammates and coaches, and meeting new people and strengthening my faith.” A member of St. John, Jefferson, Pampel serves his church as an usher.

Reinke, MeganValedictorian Megan Reinke, daughter of David and Tina Reinke, Watertown, received a presidential scholarship to attend Concordia University, Mequon. She will study education and math. “I am excited to share my love of math with future students,” she says, “as well as work with kids and watch them grow in their knowledge.” She also received the Arne Engebretsen Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a high school senior who plans to major in mathematical education.

Reinke is a member at St. Luke Lutheran Church, Watertown, where she plays in the church band and has volunteered as a teacher’s aid for Sunday School. She also volunteers at Twice Is Nice Resale. At Lakeside, Reinke has been involved with mission trips for Operation Go and Teens for Christ, serving as the secretary her senior year. As a member of National Honor Society, she was treasurer her junior year and vice president her senior year.

Reinke has also participated in A Cappella Choir, math team, track and field, marching band, Academic Bowl, and attended the Lake Mills Optimist Club’s Annual Leadership Breakfast. She received a perfect score at the State Forensics Fest her junior year, and received a “1” rating at WSMA for piano solos and duets.

“Attending Lakeside Lutheran blessed me with many opportunities. I was able to travel across the country on mission trips and tour with choir and the band,” she says. “I have learned you can work hard and have fun at the same time. Lakeside has prepared me with a firm Christ-centered foundation for years to come.”

Schoenherr,OwenTop Ten Owen Schoenherr, son of Terry and Lisa Schoenherr, Cottage Grove, plans to attend UW-Whitewater to study accounting.

A member of the National Honor Society, Schoenherr also wants to get married, have children, and travel to Europe. He serves as an usher for worship services at Peace Lutheran Church, Sun Prairie.

“What I liked most about Lakeside is all the friends I made when I was here,” he says. “I loved hearing the Word of God every day.”

Thiele, LaurenValedictorian Lauren Thiele is the daughter of Dan and Teresa Thiele, Poynette. A member of Teens for Christ, she has joined in “New Friends” afternoons, prepared care packages for soldiers, helped with Christmas Gifts for Kids, and made tie-blankets for hospitals. During her four years on Student Council, she helped organize the LLHS blood drives, mission offerings, and participated in Homecoming planning.

She was also part of the Society for Women Engineers-Lakeside Lutheran chapter and helped this spring with a workshop for elementary-aged girls. As a member of National Honor Society, she participated in highway clean up, Twice is Nice volunteering, and a mental health awareness event.

Thiele played volleyball for two years and was a four-year varsity basketball player and track team member. She earned second team all-conference honors her senior year in basketball and was on several state relay teams for track.

“One thing that I found special about Lakeside was the feeling of high expectations,” she says. “The teachers always pushed me to be faithful in my work, the coaches would not settle for second best, and the student body was always full of kids I could look up to.”

As a member of Holy Cross, Madison, Thiele has volunteered with her church for summer vacation Bible school and camps. She plans  to attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities at the Carlson School of Management to study finance.

Thunderloud, KirstenSalutatorian Kirsten Thundercloud is the daughter of Valerie Clark and Josh Thundercloud, Jefferson.

“I liked the friendships I made and the sense of community that a small school like Lakeside offered. Even though we came from all over, I was able to meet so many new people,” she says. “Since we had a smaller class than some schools, I was able to get to know each of my classmates over four years and I had the comfort of knowing that we were all united in the same faith.”

While at Lakeside, she participated in basketball for one year, National Honor Society, piano, band, and the math team. In her community, she’s been a member of the Fort Atkinson Swim Team (FAST) since sixth grade.

A member of St. John Lutheran Church, Jefferson, she has committed to Dartmouth—receiving the Dartmouth General Scholarship—and is hoping to be accepted into their gap year program so she can volunteer, work, “and save a bit more money for tuition,” she says. Her goal is to “earn a degree in psychology and become a clinical or school psychologist.”

Westrate, GraceValedictorian Grace Westrate, daughter of Bill and Shela Westrate, Lake Mills, will be attending Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, where she has received the presidential scholarship, the Bridge scholarship, and an honors program scholarship. She will major in business and minor in entrepreneurship with the goal of having “my own business in the future, something where the majority of the profits could go toward helping different causes,” she says.

Westrate, the vice president of the student body,  played volleyball for three years and was named second-team all-conference in 2018. She has been involved in Teens for Christ and National Honor Society and was named a Lake Mills student rotarian as well.

A member at Door Creek Church, Madison, Westrate loves “the friends I’ve made at Lakeside, and since it is a smaller school, I got to see them every day! Also, to be able to be surrounded and learn with people that share my beliefs and genuinely care about each other as people has been such a blessing,” she says.

Thiele awarded Wisconsin Academic Excellence scholarship​

Thiele awarded 2020 AES

Lakeside Lutheran senior Lauren Thiele has earned the 2020 Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholar Award, a scholarship granted by the state to high school seniors who have the highest grade point average in each school.

Recipients of the AES receive $2,250 towards tuition at participating Wisconsin colleges and universities, renewable for up to four years.

Thiele, who will major in business, is the daughter of Dan and Teresa of Poynette.

Schuster earns state Technical Excellence scholarship

Schuster awarded Technical Excellence scholarship

Lakeside Lutheran senior Cole Schuster has earned the Technical Excellence Scholar Award, a scholarship granted by the State of Wisconsin to high school seniors who have the highest demonstrated level of proficiency in technical education subjects.

A four-year FFA member at Lakeside, Schuster was awarded “Most Active Junior” in 2019 and received a State FFA degree in 2020. With a youth dairy apprenticeship and an apprenticeship at Tractor Supply Co. in Columbus, his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) has been rounded outwith field/forage work and animal science on his grandparents’ farm.

Schuster, the son of Thomas and Jessica of Juneau, plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College to study Agricultural Power Equipment.