August 2023

From the desk of Sally Ruecking, our Advancement Director:

Hello, Bronco Family!

Welcome to the 23-24 school year, Walther’s 70th! We are so excited to begin another year of preparing learners to fulfill their unique God-given potential through academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service, leadership and enrichment opportunities. Our theme verse this year comes from Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” In a spiritual sense, we are all asked, as Christians, to continually follow Christ: in loving one another, in serving our neighbor, in following His commands. Although the life of a believer is not always easy, we are reminded that we do reap rewards. At Walther, our teachers, staff and students work so hard all year long to achieve Godly excellence, and at times, the work can be tiring. This verse reminds us to push on and achieve all of our goals!

This year will be an exciting one. We anticipate our largest freshman class in a very long time, at over 80 students–and counting! We have spent the summer preparing to welcome our students back to a beautiful school on August 17th, our first day back. 

Thanks for your support, and please come visit for Homecoming Weekend! God bless you, and Go Broncos!

Tim Bouman

Head of School

Dear Walther Friends,

It’s almost time for our students to return to Walther Christian Academy! This year, we are welcoming nearly 300 students. And, we are ready for them! A very special thank you to our facilities director Jayson Devries and his team for making our school SHINE!

Our “We Are Walther” newsletter highlights stories about our students and alumni whose lives have changed for the better, thanks to Walther Christian Academy. If you have a transformational and inspirational story you’d like to share, please let me know. I’m happy to tell your story! 

Many of our students have used their summer break as a time to grow their passions. One such student is Maya Cooper, the recipient of the generous Zimmer Family Scholarship Fund. Maya attended the month-long  Lutheran Summer Music program at Valparaiso University, now in its 42nd year. The program focuses on Music, Faith, and Community in addition to advanced musical instruction and numerous performance opportunities. It is considered the premier faith-based music academy for high school students. 

You can read more about Maya in this newsletter.

Please mark your calendar for our Homecoming Weekend that starts on Friday evening October 13. There will be a dinner and concert (that former choir and band students can be a part of!) and a chance to reconnect with your classmates and others who attended Walther. If you are interested in having a private classroom for a class reunion event that evening, please email me at Sally_Ruecking@WaltherAcademy.org soon.  On Saturday, October 14, you can attend a chapel service led by Tim Bouman, join an alumni softball game, and enjoy the traditional homecoming football game.

If you haven’t already donated to the Alumni Campaign, please consider a gift today. You can easily donate right on our website, www.walther.com

Thank you for your continued support!

Sally Ruecking

Meet: Diane Palumbo
Walther’s Guidance Counselor

Imagining the Future in the Present

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a clear picture of what we wanted to be and do in the world at age 16 or 17? School Counselors do not operate in a silo and magically help students prepare for life after high school on their own.  Earlier on, I nudge students to ask family members about their career paths. You would be surprised how many do not know what profession their parents are in or where (or if) they went to college. The reality is that everyone in a young person’s life outside of school and those of us in a school environment helps them to discover pieces and parts of this puzzle. Administrators, the administrative team, teachers/counselors, coaches, and club moderators along with parents help students navigate their way through this process. As students are exposed to the rigors of curriculum, form relationships with students and teachers, explore careers, learn how to overcome challenges and advocate for themselves (in the classroom, field, and stage, etc.), meet colleges and career professionals, learn how to write a resume and interview…they acquire valuable skills and knowledge to begin to meet the real world.

 Personally, I tend to reframe the proverbial career question, “What do you want to be ” wherever possible because students often think they need to know and it is a fixed, one-time question that can not be changed or modified over time. In my experience, encouraging students to engage in some self-exploration into their gifts/talents, abilities, interests, and passions in tandem with family and school conversations is vital. This conversation includes the deep discussions that take place along the way in theology class as students wrestle with the questions of how their faith informs their decisions now and in the future.    

What is my process each year? I meet with each student individually each year and take notes!  The first semester is dedicated to 9th and 12th-grade students.  During the first couple weeks of school, I meet with 9th-grade students for an introduction and “check-in”. Then I dive in with seniors before school afterschool, during lunchtime, and in P.E. classes to assist them with a variety of inquiries such as;  finding a military recruiter, ASVAB testing location, trade school/union hall, writing a recommendation letter or sending transcripts for both 2 and 4-year college applications. Semester two is devoted to the 10th and 11th grades. Thanks to our English Department, I am able to meet with 11th-grade students in the springtime during class about the college search process, letters of recommendation, and personal statements before they head off for summer break. Throughout the school year, we expose all students to college/university visits outside the cafeteria during lunch periods. In the springtime, students engage in an interest inventory before participating in a College & Career Fair. We’ll be hosting a Post High School Planning Workshop on September 13th for students and parents. Stop by!

Meet: Maya Cooper

I was thrilled to attend Lutheran Summer Music Academy at Valparaiso University this summer, and I already plan to attend again next summer. Valparaiso University and Concordia University Chicago are the two colleges I am considering after graduating from Walther.  

I’m currently in the Ministry Choir and Walther as well as in my Church Choir. My desire to be used by God is my calling, and He blesses me with a voice to sing with. At Walther, our Ministry Choir toured New York, Ohio, and Indiana and sang at different churches. We praised and sang to the Glory of God! It brings me joy to share gospel music with others.

I want to use my gift to minister and inspire children, teenagers, young adults, and the elderly to walk with the Lord and do His will. Someday I’d like to be a mentor and a role model to children. 

At Walther, I’ve participated in volleyball since my freshman year which has helped me to practice team-building skills and work together with my peers, all while enjoying the sport. 

Also since my freshman year,  I have participated in the gospel choir which has really taken my singing abilities to another level and I am grateful to God to be able to sing to His Glory. 

Choir has also been a part of my life in both my freshman and sophomore years. Boosting my courage to pray in front of fellow believers, preparing and equipping me for my ministry to come and more, and being a part of the Drama club which has encouraged me to sing, dance, act, and worship all on the same stage has been a wonderful experience at Walther Christian Academy. I’m looking forward to this upcoming school year. 

SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS:

2022-2023 Girls Soccer Photos-Walther’s First Season

Upcoming Events:

  • Alumni Reunions and Homecoming Events

    Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, 2023

  • Bronco Benefit

    Saturday, February 24, 2024

  • Career Day

    March 22, 2024

Purchase a Paver!

Do you want to support Walther and leave your mark? Or, purchase a gift for someone you love?

 

The time is NOW to become a permanent part of Walther by purchasing an engraved paver. You can purchase one on our website by choosing the paver purchase option to honor your time here at Walther, thank a parent for sending you here, thank a teacher, honor a memory, or give recognition to your business!

 

The pavers are $200 each.

Walther Memorial Corner

  • Jerry Erjavec Sr. 

Father of Walther alumni

  • Thomas Lockhart

Class of 1964

  • Oliver Hemman

Father of alumni and grandfather to current student

Please email any death notices to:

To Our Donors...

Walther would not exist without you!
 
To all ALUMNI: We are asking every one of you regardless of where you are in life, to consider including Walther Christian Academy in your will.
Leaving a legacy at Walther means that more students will experience the joy of attending a school that truly cares about them and that your legacy will be helping students tomorrow.
 
Please contact Sally_Ruecking@WaltherAcadamy.org to discuss your wishes.

Our Mission Statement 

Walther Christian Academy is a culturally diverse and inclusive Christian middle and high school, rooted in the Lutheran tradition. Walther nurtures and prepares learners to fulfill their unique
God-given potential through academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service,
leadership and enrichment opportunities.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Walther Christian Academy is operated for the purpose of providing Christian Education at the secondary level for the families of Lutheran congregations. However, it admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, and religion to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin and religion in administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.