January 2024

Happy New Year, Bronco Family! I hope your 2024 is off to a great start. I want to share an email that I received from one of our students over this past Christmas Break: “Good morning. My mom has been laid off work recently and she has been struggling to pay bills and is struggling to pay off my tuition at Walther. My mom is choosing between rent or my tuition…I really want to stay at Walther…I’ve experienced the best stretch of my high school career over these past few months.  I truly believe it’s because of the guidance and lessons I’ve been receiving from Walther. The Christian beliefs and caring staff are exactly what I need to continue my journey into becoming a respectful, productive young man.  The valuable information and the hard-working traits I’m gaining by attending Walther Christian will serve me well as I continue through life…” This email got to me. I felt heartbroken for the situation that their family is in. I felt gratified that our student sees such a great value in what he is receiving at Walther. I felt humbled by his willingness to make himself vulnerable and ask for help. I felt determined to work with this family and find a way to keep him here. Thanks to our generous supporters, we do have some limited emergency funds for cases like this. Finally, I felt blessed that I have the privilege to serve students like this, young men and women whose lives are changed for the better because of their time and experiences at Walther.

Yours in Christ, Tim Bouman Head of School

Dear Walther Friends,

Thank you for your gifts in 2023! We are grateful for your support. 2023 was a successful year at Walther Christian Academy. We have increased our donations through our events and appeals, and our homecoming dinner/alumni event was the most well-attended event in recent years!

So, what can you do to support Walther?  You can support students like the young man Tim mentioned by choosing the Scholarship drop-down on our website. You can also go to our website to donate to our year-end appeal, which is closing in on our revenue goal. 

You can register to support, attend, or donate an auction item for our upcoming Bronco Benefit. You can choose to support every month through online giving. A gift of $50 will support a student’s tuition at $600 a year and might mean the difference between attending Walther or not. 

Our students are here because of your support and commitment to a Lutheran education. We are dedicated to our students and believe that what they learn here will serve them well in whatever career they choose in the future.  Whether our students are Lutherans or not, we treat all as children of God and encourage their faith and service to their communities. 

Thank you for being a part of our Walther family!

Sally Ruecking, Director of Advancement

Meet: William Kuehner and Kendylle Shumaker

Walther Seniors and Clauss Family Scholarship Recipients

William Kuehner and Kendylle Shumaker are Walther Class of 2024.  William and Kendylle wrote essays to compete for the Clauss Family Scholarship which is awarded each year to one Senior Boy and one Senior Girl. 

The Clauss family established the scholarship in honor of their parents, and their requirements are for senior students to write about their “hero.” William wrote about his family, and Kendylle about her mother. Both students are dedicated to their faith and academic excellence. Kendylle has an early acceptance and will be attending Western Illinois University and William is waiting for an answer from Tufts University and Cornell University. 

Both of these students are grateful for their education at Walther Christian Academy, which has given them a strong foundation for future success.

Meet: Mark Korntheuer

Walther’s new Board Member, pictured with his wife Barb.

Mark grew up in Winfield, Kansas, where his father was on the faculty of St. John’s (Lutheran) College. Mark attended St. John’s Academy (high school) and then the 2-year junior college.  After graduation, he continued his studies at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois where he met Barb. Barb grew up in Chicago Heights and attended St. Paul Lutheran School and later Bloom High School. 

Mark played basketball at Concordia and Barb competed in tennis for 4 years. After college, Barb taught elementary school in Blue Island, Illinois while Mark began his teaching career at Walther Lutheran High School in the fall of 1974. Mark and Barb were married in June 1975.  Three years later, their son Dan was born and three years after that, John was born.

Mark coached lower-level boys’ basketball for 15 years and for 35 years he was the boys’ tennis coach.  Barb taught elementary school for 5 years, took 8 years off to raise the boys, and then became the librarian and later an English teacher at Walther.  She coached the girls’ tennis team for 22 years and taught for 27 years at Walther. Mark and Barb were blessed to have Dan and John in multiple classes and to coach them in tennis. The boys graduated in 1996 and 1999 respectively, went into education, and married elementary school teachers.

Since their retirement in 2014, the Ks have spent their time doing volunteer work at the Proviso Food Pantry and at the St. Paul Melrose Park resale shop. They also enjoy chasing around their 7 granddaughters who live in Elmwood Park and Winfield, Illinois.  Mark is very excited about serving Walther again as a new member of the Board of Directors.

Upcoming Events:

Bronco Benefit Saturday, February 24, 2024, at Maggianos in Schaumburg, IL. Registration is now OPEN! Please help us make this event the most successful Bronco Benefit ever by either registering to attend the event, contributing an auction item, or donating to the event even if you cannot attend so that we reach our revenue goal. You can register, view current auction items to bid on (even if you cannot attend), and donate by clicking this link:

The Bronco Benefit was established nearly two decades ago to raise funds for scholarships and grants-in-aid to support our students. Our enrollment has increased this year, and because of your support, more students who choose to attend can attend because of the financial support they receive.  Please help today!

Career Day, March 22, 2024. This year, we would like to encourage more participation from alumni who graduated in the past 20 years and have never participated in a Career Day. 

Our Career Days feature past alumni who speak about their jobs and the steps they took to get to where they are today. We also have a College Fair featuring traditional colleges and universities as well as trade schools. 

 If you are comfortable with public speaking and work in the following fields, please email me at Sally_Ruecking@WaltherAcademy.org. Fields we are seeking include:

  • Education
  • Church Work
  • Science
  • The  Arts (music, graphic design, journalism,  etc.)
  • Medical fields (including Veterinary Science)
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Environmental Studies
  • Philanthropy
  • Trades

Career Day, March 22, 2024. This year, we would like to encourage more participation from alumni who graduated in the past 20 years and have never participated in a Career Day. 

Our Career Days feature past alumni who speak about their jobs and the steps they took to get to where they are today. We also have a College Fair featuring traditional colleges and universities as well as trade schools. 

 If you are comfortable with public speaking and work in the following fields, please email me at Sally_Ruecking@WaltherAcademy.org. Fields we are seeking include:

  • Education
  • Church Work
  • Science
  • The  Arts (music, graphic design, journalism,  etc.)
  • Medical fields (including Veterinary Science)
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Environmental Studies
  • Philanthropy
  • Trades

News from the LCMS Foundation regarding Estate Planning:

Order and Simplicity – amazing New Year resolutions!

Bringing order and simplicity is a goal of all estate planning. The two parts of an estate plan are: 

1) The Gift Plan (gifts to family and ministry or other charities) and 

2) Legal Direction for managing property or providing for the needs of others (through a trust). If someone does not own a business or excessive properties, this plan need not be complex. The process begins with defining goals. After that, attorneys construct the legal documents to make those goals happen. 

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can assist you in organizing your goals. 

Contact Dionne Lovstad-Jones@lcmsfoundation.org or by calling or texting her at 219-380-1034.

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

Robert A. Weith, Class of 1965. Robert and his wife Sandy both graduated from Walther and have supported the school for many years. We deeply appreciate their commitment. 

Psalm 116:15: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.

 

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.