From the desk of Sally Ruecking, our Advancement Director:
Greetings from Walther, and Happy Spring!
May is always the busiest month at Walther. It is the event season, in which so many Walther traditions, old and new, take place: Prom, Senior Awards (and roast) Night, the Walther Classic, the Spring Musical, Spring Concerts, the 5K Run/Walk, and Graduation, just to name a few. Add to that senior nights and post-season tournaments for all of our sports, and the calendar is jammed. These events pull us out of our routine and require a lot of planning and work, so I confess that there are times in May when I long for a “normal” month when we just have our regular routines!
But then we have the events, so filled with meaning, and I end up loving this season of the school year. Parents embrace their children being recognized for four years of playing a sport. Teachers give moving tributes to their students as they present awards. Underclassmen play tug of war against upperclassmen as their peers cheer them on. These are special moments, and they make me proud to be a part of this Bronco community. And just as we are pulled out of our routine to stop and honor something special in the lives of our young students, we are reminded of how Christ pulls us out of regular life and calls us to a life of faith—a life of “abundance.”
May God be with you this spring season and always. It’s a great month to be a Bronco!
Head of School/Principal
Dear Walther Friends,
As the school year comes to a close, my hope is that everyone continues to remain engaged with Walther Christian Academy. Even though the students and teachers will be off for the summer, the administrative staff will still be hard at work!
In the coming year, I will be writing 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. In this newsletter edition, you will learn about the incredible careers two sisters have. They are more recent alumni and they are taking the world by storm! Walther truly changes lives. Here, our students have the opportunity to participate in so many extracurricular activities. They are getting a taste of what the world has to offer that goes beyond their classes with terrific teachers.
If you are an alumnus, a great way to give back to Walther is by being part of our upcoming 5K either through participation or by giving a donation. And, in October, we welcome you to return on Homecoming weekend. Friday evening 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. On Saturday, enjoy a chapel service led by Tim Bouman, an alumni softball game, and the traditional homecoming football game.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I hope that everyone enjoys the beautiful weather and has a nice summer!
Thank you for your gifts and for keeping Walther in your prayers.
During the Christmas break, I received a call from the Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director who has become my friend. Isaac Bazbaz told me about his nephew who was moving to the area and was looking for a high school. After listening to Isaac describing the myriad of changes his nephew had gone through, it was clear to me that Walther Christian Academy would be a great fit. At Walther, our staff and teachers are all student-centered. We see each student as an individual child of God.
Due to a challenging upbringing, Damien has attended many schools in his young life.
Damien told me, however, that in spite of a recent loss and relocating to Illinois from Florida, at Walther, he has found his purpose. Fortunately for Damien, he has some relatives who support him and his hope is to reconnect someday with other relatives who live in another state. His challenges have inspired him to grow and to make something of himself.
Damien told me about his love of math and how much he enjoyed learning about business and economics with our teacher Cindy Holliday. He also enjoyed learning about math and finance from another teacher, Catie Urban. Damien and I talked about the economy and stocks, and I shared with him my favorite stock investment site. He was interested in learning how to build a stock investment pie!
Damien dreams about being an entrepreneur. He would like to pursue a real estate license and also wants to own buildings and businesses in the future. This summer he will be interning with the Melrose Park Chamber under the guidance of his Uncle Isaac.
Because of Damien’s late entry into Walther, he had to work closely with our College Counselor Diane Palumbo. Diane immediately felt the “call to action” to help Damien with applying for colleges. With Diane’s dedication and passion, Damien has been accepted to his #1 choice: Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Creighton’s small class sizes, leading academics, and dedication to students who want to make the world a better place will serve him well. Creighton’s tagline is “Whatever you do today, do it justice” and it is clear that Damien Gibb wants to do well at whatever he does today–and also in his tomorrows.
Jelani transferred to Walther in her sophomore year. She didn’t know anybody, and she told me that it was the best decision she could have made for her matriculation. Jelani said the teachers were great and everyone was super welcoming. It felt like she was amongst family. Jelani joined basketball, track, and choir. She was also voted both junior and senior class president.
At Walther, she took advanced literature and science courses and taught Spanish to younger students at St. Paul Lutheran Church. The knowledge she gained especially in social studies classes pushed her in the direction of wanting a career as a lawyer. Jelani’s time at Walther made her feel prepared for anything. When she looks back on her time at Walther, she remembers lots of laughs, support from the friends she made, and hard work which helped prepare her for college. She even remembers some of the songs that were sung at Chapel services.
Jelani received a BA in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University and also an MA in Instructional Leadership in Education. She received her JD from Western Michigan University and has been a practicing attorney for 10 years. She is an Assistant Public Guardian with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian working as a children’s attorney in Cook County’s child protection branch. She litigates civil cases on behalf of young clients who are experiencing child abuse, neglect, and/or dependency. Jelani says it’s a fulfilling role because she helps those who can’t help themselves.
Marjana has really great memories of Walther Lutheran, now known as Walther Christian Academy. Homecoming week was always fun. The teachers were nurturing and supportive. Mr. Gillingham, Little Koehne and Mr. Korntheuer were some of the faculty who significantly impacted her experience at Walther.
She loved how close-knit the school was and really enjoyed basketball, volleyball, track & field, and the yearbook committee. In her sophomore year, a Psychology class was offered but it filled up before she could register. Thankfully, it was offered again her senior year and she fell in love with the field.
She graduated from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009 with a BA in Psychology, and minored in Criminal Justice. She received her MA in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Orlando, Florida. Marjani is currently finishing her doctorate degree in Business Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is the Assistant Director of the Intake department at Riveredge Hospital (a psychiatric hospital). Her experience at Walther Lutheran definitely impacted her academic journey and contributed to her success in the psychology field.
Walther is hosting its 3rd annual Bucking Bronco 5K Run/Walk at Walther on Saturday, June 3. Are you an alumnus who would also like to get involved with Walther? Please consider registering and inviting your friends, family, and co-workers to do so. It’s a great day to support this school and its students while enjoying connecting and reconnecting with others. What a fun day to help out and create your own reunion!
Regular Season Conference Champs. The tournament will be held on May 11. All conference selections are being announced this week.
This is the first season ever for this sport. Walther played mostly as a JV team.
We had a small team. All-Conference: Sophomore Javon Finley, Conference Champ in High jump; Senior Isaiah Wilson, shot put and discus; Ayana Hoskins, shot put and discus; boys 400m relay (Carter Powell, Antonio Gonzalez, Leonard Arguello, Javon Finley).
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, 2023
Saturday, February 24, 2024
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.
Paul Knapp , Class of 1965
Mrs. Carmen Kaesmeyer, Former Faculty
Dr. Timon V. Kay, Class of 1964
Herold Wind, Father of Alumni
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.