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A New Look for the Gym

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There has been a flurry of activity in the Lincoln Lutheran gym over the past two weeks. Our Facility Supervisor Doug Wiemer has been working hard to paint walls, replace light bulbs, and perform other cleaning tasks in preparation for the 2010-11 basketball season. This year, there will be an additional key change taking place. By the time Grand Island Central Catholic comes to Lincoln to face the Warriors on December 2, the gym will enjoy two new scoreboards, a digital display board, and some new advertising panels. 

In a year during which Lincoln Lutheran realized a significant tuition increase for its families, some might wonder why such an upgrade is taking place. In reality, new equipment is being added because of the increased cost of education. We have been exploring new ways to partner with businesses in the community to generate additional revenue to serve our students. This work has led us to combine print media, permanent gym signage, and digital advertising into a comprehensive package. 

As work was being accomplished on Monday of this week, a student asked me, “Who is paying for this new stuff?” The answer is – our business partners. While the Lincoln Lutheran Athletic Department will contribute a small gift to this gym upgrade, the strong majority of this new program will be paid for by our business partners in the first year. Moving forward, this program has the potential of generating between $30,000 and $40,000 for the students and programs of Lincoln Lutheran. This income will allow us to better serve our students.

Because our brand new display board sustained some damage in transport, it appears as though we will have a temporary display board on our wall while a new board is constructed and shipped in the weeks to come. Because of this setback, our complete “new look” in the gym won’t be finished until Christmas. 

Huge thanks are necessary for Development Director Amy Jurgens and Development Assistant Carrie Merry for all their hard work making this possible. Many other folks have supported this process as well. We especially thank our Anchor Partners – Amigos, Concordia University, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Tracy’s Auto Collision Center, Heibel Dermatology, and Wellness One. We also thank our current Founding Partners Bob Haberman – State Farm, Watts and Hershberger, and HoriSun Hospice. 

We have additional marketing opportunities available. Please let us know if there are businesses we should talk to about this new program.


Have a great Winter Activity Season!

Scott Ernstmeyer
Executive Director - LLSA

Eighty 5th Graders Visit

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On Wednesday, October 13th Lincoln Lutheran was buzzing with the excitement of 5th graders. Eighty students from Christ Schools, Faith Lutheran, Messiah Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran joined the Lincoln Lutheran staff and a few high school students on an afternoon full of fun.

The afternoon started off with a short program led by Matt Heibel, Principal. A devotion was led by Amy Jurgens, Development Director, reminding the children that Jesus Christ is the only one who can lighten our daily burden. Whether these burdens are school-related or family-related, He is the only one we can turn to and have our pack lightened. The program continued with a demonstration by the Cheerleaders and Blue Angels. Mrs. Mariel Olp also briefly spoke about the drama opportunities that the 5th graders will have as they enter into Middle School. Isaiah Bockelman and Samantha Heibel, both seniors, spoke about their experiences at Lincoln Lutheran and all of the activities and other opportunities that they have participated in.

After the program, the 5th graders were separated into groups and participated in numerous activities around the school. The activities were as follows:

  • Puzzleville – Found the names of the books of the Bible in a short story
  • Healthy Home Snack – Learned the significance of a Christian home
  • Pinwheel Art – Learned how to make paper pinwheels
  • Computer Scavenger Hunt – Searched on the Lincoln Lutheran website to find answers to questions
  • Science Frog Hopping contest – Learned the art of origami and tried their hand at racing their paper frogs

The day ended with the distribution of goodie bags and a bus ride back to their schools. Lincoln Lutheran would like to thank the 5th graders, their teachers and parents for allowing them to visit our school and get a feel for what it is like to be a WARRIOR!

Please feel free to contact Matt Heibel, Principal, at or Carrie Merry, Recruitment Coordinator, at or call them at the office at (402) 467-5404 if you have any questions about Lincoln Lutheran or if you would like to have a personal tour of the facility.

Never Alone

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If ever a message can be loud and clear, Judy Foster – a survivor of Nazi Holocaust – delivered just that. Foster, a German-born Lithuania daughter of a pastor, spent the afternoon with Lincoln Lutheran’s freshman English class retelling her story. Students created dialogue with her comparing her story with their studies Holocaust literature.

“It was a powerful talk,” Andrew Wendland said. “Of course the novels and the movie were good too, but you can’t really ask a book a question and get it answered. When you hear it in person from a survivor you have proof.”

Foster blended a story of facts with her personal story of faith. She repeated the phrase, “I was never alone.” The message, based on Psalms 46:10, came from her mother to calm her in the midst of some horrific events. It stayed with her even after her mother’s death and reminds her even today that her Savior walks with her.

“She is an inspiring person,” Hailey Backhus said. “She is an example of how it is possible to push through even the toughest moments in life. She inspires me to push through those tough times in my life.”

“It was interesting to hear her tell how there weren’t just Jews put into the camps,” Emma Schmeling said. “Basically anyone didn’t support the Nazi cause was treated poorly.”

Class discussions that followed were powerful, insightful and even emotional at times. Mr. Stoltenow adds with pride of his literary scholars, “they are handling this unit very well. Despite this ugly chapter in our world’s story, it is inspiring to see these young men and women care about the concept of fair treatment.”

Students weren’t the only ones impacted however. When asked if Judy wanted a copy of the pictures, she quickly stated, “I need an 8x10!” In these pictures, it is clear that as believers we are never alone.

Coming Home a Success!

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“What a beautiful night for a football game!” This statement was heard more than once on September 24th, 2010 as the Warriors took on Fillmore Central for our Homecoming game. Friday night was also the Lincoln Lutheran Coming Home Celebration for alumni, friends, families, and other supporters of Lincoln Lutheran.

During halftime, Matt Korte was honored as our Distinguished Alumni and Kim Loontjer was honored as our first ever Distinguished Young Alumni. Matt Korte is a 1985 graduate of Lincoln Lutheran Junior High before finishing high school at Lincoln High. Korte went on to Concordia College in Seward, NE where he received NAIA All-District Football and Academic All-America honors while earning his bachelors degree in Secondary Education. Later he attended Kansas State University receiving a degree in Educational Administration. He taught math and coached football and baseball at Junction City High School, KS from 1991 to 1997 before serving as assistant principal of Reedsburg Area High School, WI from 1997 to 2001. In 2001 he accepted a Divine Call to become the first principal of the new Concordia Jr.-Sr. High School in Omaha. During his tenure as principal, the Lutheran school has grown from an initial enrollment of 45 students to 276 students in 2010-11.

Kim Loontjer is a 1999 graduate of Lincoln Lutheran. She attended Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, IL and received bachelor degrees in History and Political Science graduating in 2003. Later, she attended the University of Nebraska College Of Law earning a Juris Doctorate degree. She finished her studies at the University of Denver’s Graduate School in 2007 earning her Masters degree in International Studies. After graduation, Kim moved to Washington D.C. where she worked as a deputy director for a lawyers’ membership organization until the end of 2008. In January 2009, she served as the director of operations and finance for the Washington Legal Foundation, a pro-free enterprise law firm and public advocacy organization. In January 2010, Kim moved to Chicago where she currently works for Wheat Ridge Ministries as an Associate Director of Program Ministries.

After the third quarter, Steve and June Taege were recognized for their many years of running the SCRIP program. Steve initially got the idea of SCRIP from some Catholic schools who were using SCRIP to raise money for their schools. Technology has changed over the years from a paper process to being able to order SCRIP online with the new “Shop with SCRIP” program. Over the 14 years that Steve led the SCRIP program, he has volunteered many personal and family hours to this very important program. Lincoln Lutheran was just one organization who benefited from his efforts and between $300,000 – $350,000 was raised to benefit our school.

The Friday evening festivities ended at The Legends, where over 70 people gathered for a social time after the game. Alumni, donors, school families, and many others had the opportunity to make new connections in addition to catching up with old acquaintances.

$15,000 for Safe Driver Pledge

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Lincoln Lutheran is again partnering with American Family Insurance to encourage safe driving habits and to compete for a chance to win $15,000 for our school.  All students, parents, and supporters of Lincoln Lutheran age 14 and older are encouraged to go to  Please take the pledge, promising to observe safe driving habits, and cast your vote for Lincoln Lutheran.  You will also be eligible for individual prizes, including iPads, Flip video cameras, and iTunes gift cards.  No purchase of any kind is necessary to take the Safe Driver Pledge.  Pass the word on to your friends and family as well!  Votes must be cast by Wednesday, November 24, 2010.

Last year, we participated in this contest and placed 4th out of over 200 schools.  For our participation, we received a check for $900, part of which went to purchase new microwaves for the lunch program and concession stand.  Imagine how $15,000 might be used to further benefit our students! 

If you have any questions regarding the Teen Safe Driver Pledge, please contact Katie Bockelman at 467-5404 or kbockelman, or speak with any of the 2010-2011 Student Council members.

Faculty cleans-up at inservice

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"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

After a morning of devotions, discussions on what constitutes critical thinking and how to develop it in the classroom and department meetings, the faculty of Lincoln Lutheran spent part of the afternoon working together to help make the school more visually inviting.

"I'm reminded all the time how accepting and inviting our students and faculty are. Sometimes we miss the chance to be visually inviting as well." said Mr. Sommerer after the work was done. Mr. Heibel listed about a half dozen high priority jobs that would have an immediate impact on how the school looks and that could be accomplished in an afternoon.

The faculty divided themselves up into teams to attack the various projects. Trash was picked up, trees and bushes were trimmed, accumulated sediments were hauled from the parking lot, debris was collected and removed from the front of the school. As one group finished they would join in the work yet to do. Many hands really did make for light work.

Mr. Stoltenow spearheaded the tree trimming and said when finished, "It was nice to work together as a team. As teachers, the results of our work is sometimes months or years in the future. Sometimes it's nice to do something and see an immediate improvement."

As a theology teacher here at Lincoln Lutheran, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Stoltenow also saw an immediate relationship between this act of service by the faculty and Lincoln Lutheran's theme verse for this year. "We were certainly, 'One in spirit and purpose' this afternoon. It was a neat reminder that Lincoln Lutheran is a place where being united leads to great things."

A New Website for the New School Year.

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Welcome to the brand new Lincoln Lutheran school website. We talked to parents and students. We talked to faculty, our own and others. We researched current trends in school websites both secondary and post secondary. We listened to what you liked and disliked about the former site. You can see the results today.

Any website is about communication, and we wanted to be able to use our website to better communicate with everyone associated with the Lincoln Lutheran community: students, parents, association churches, alumni and supporters. Our old website served as a good starting point, and we learned a lot from it: what to do and what not to do.

The new website is the result of the hard work of many individuals. Our faculty, administrators, coaches and staff spent many hours going over each page and updating the information (there are over 160 pages on the new website).  Our website design class did a wonderful job exploring what was good and bad about the former website. The journalism class took hundreds of photos that you see throughout the website. Our parents, students, faculty and supporters answered surveys and participated in card sorts to determine the best way to present this information to you. The new website was truely a team effort.

Where is the _________ page now?

It might be a little hard at first to find the information that you're after on the new site, but we're confident that everything is in a logical place, and that you'll be able to get to everything you need in just a click or two.

There's a new menu at the top of the page, and you can get to every page of the site from one of those six choices. Chances are pretty good that your first choice will be the correct one, so just click around. You never know what new information you'll find.

Most common requests:

  • PowerSchool: link at the bottom of each page (soon to be at the top of the page)
  • Moodle: link at the bottom of each page (soon to be at the top of the page)
  • News: icon below search on each page (or "read more" links)
  • Calendar: icon below search on each page (or "full calendar" links)


We do know that there are some pages that still need content, and there are some features that we are planning to add in the near future. There are also some typos. We've asked Mrs. Kuhn to proofread everything for us, but she hasn't had a chance to yet. We're still a work in progress, but we were so excited about the new site that we wanted to share it with you as soon as it was feasable to do so.


A Lincoln Lutheran Face Lift

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I liked our old logo…why did we change it?

I have heard this question more than a few times in the last couple of weeks. I recognize that change can be difficult, however I want to let you know that the change to our new Lincoln Lutheran Warrior Logo was part of an overall strategy to benefit the school in our marketing and fundraising efforts. We changed the logo for a number of reasons:

1) To Create a consistent brand image: You may not realize it, but we have been using a number of different logo icons in recent years – the crossed “L”s, the Spartan head and in some cases a cross with a sword. We had some materials that used multiple logos and some that didn’t include any authorized logos. The usage of the new logo consolidates the Lincoln Lutheran brand and provides us with a vehicle to move forward consistently.

2) To make a positive first impression: Our Lincoln Lutheran brand needs to appeal to our external audiences and represent us as a best-in-class option for Christian education. While those of us who have been in the Lincoln Lutheran family are used to the old logos and like the flexibility of using different graphics – that does not provide a strong impression to our external audiences.

3) To continue to reinforce Lincoln Lutheran’s commitment to providing a quality Christian education: As we embark upon additional marketing efforts, the community will begin to see our logo more often and will associate it with a quality Christian education. We worked with a team of marketing experts to carefully craft a logo and tagline that projects this image. The best way to build our image in the community is to project high quality brand with consistency and frequency.

The Lincoln Lutheran Logo and Mascot were developed to specifically represent a high quality Christian education. The new Warrior is suited in the armor of God. When you reference Ephesians 6:10-18 you can see the rationale for the Helmet, Breastplate, Belt, Boots, Shield and Sword. The Warrior looks to the heavens for inspiration and strength before continuing on a mission of a life in service of Christ. The Warrior’s foot is firmly planted on solid rock, representing the foundational training provided by Lincoln Lutheran. Finally, the shield prominently features a cross so there is no mistaking the Christian element of a Lincoln Lutheran education. This shield will also serve as the logo for the Lutheran Education Foundation.

The new school colors of blue and gold have been deepened to offer a more sophisticated look. This updated color scheme further differentiates Lincoln Lutheran from the many other schools in our area that utilize royal blue in their color scheme.

The new tagline “Christ-centered preparation for college and life” defines and communicates the benefits of a Lincoln Lutheran education. Middle and High School is a time of change and preparation. As teens enter adulthood, their values, skills and knowledge are formed into a foundation that will support them throughout life. At Lincoln Lutheran, we provide students with an academically strong education while developing a Christian worldview that prepares them for college and life. Through our distinctively Lutheran educational process, Lincoln Lutheran provides both a spiritual advantage and an academic advantage – both are represented in the new tagline.

Thank you for joining us in support of this important change!

15th Gala a huge success

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Over $166,000 raised for ministry to students!

Saturday, March 13th may have been cloudy and gloomy, but that was certainly not the mood at Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School’s 15th Annual Gala and Live Auction. This fellowship and fundraising event was held at the Embassy Suites in downtown, Lincoln.

“Let Your Light Shine” served as the theme for this year based on Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” The 390 people in attendance first enjoyed a silent auction and wonderful dinner. Tom Bassett and Kristine Kuhn (Lincoln Lutheran English Teacher and drama sponsor) served as auctioneer and emcee respectively for the live auction. Money was raised to help serve the general needs of Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School. In addition, each year school leadership selects a special project representing an area of identified need. This year’s special project was transportation. Due to the recent change of regulations by the State of Nebraska and Department of Education regarding the size and use of school vans, our current school vans will not meet these guidelines after June 2011. Lincoln Lutheran is pleased to announce that over $90,000 was raised for this project. This will provide the necessary resources to purchase one brand new van and two gently used vans. Key donors to this project were Mark and Karen Heibel and Dr. Ron and Diane Schwab.

The faculty, staff and administration of Lincoln Lutheran is thankful for everyone who participated in, helped prepare for, and provided support for this wonderful event. We look forward to next year’s Gala on March 12, 2011 at the Embassy Suites!

Fore 4 Youth Golf Tournament

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A Perfect Day for Golf!

As promised, Friday, June 4th was a beautiful summer day and just perfect for a golf outing. The 15th Annual Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School Golf Classic was described as being a wonderful day for fellowship, support for the school, and a great day to have fun. 20 teams gathered at Yankee Hill Country Club for a lunch donated by Ideal Grocery and Market, putting and chipping contests, and a shot gun start at noon. The afternoon concluded with an awards reception at 5pm with social time and appetizers provided by Yankee Hill.

“Let Your Light Shine” served as the theme for this year based on Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” The many participants helped raise money to serve the general needs of Lincoln Lutheran Middle/High School. Over $20,000 was raised in gross profits for the school! A huge “Thank You” goes out to Duteau for being our Hole-in-One Sponsor and Art Ortlieb from Town and Country Masonry for being our Gold Sponsor. There were an overwhelming number of other individuals and companies who donated towards our school along with nearly 30 volunteers who prepared, organized, and helped out on the day of the event. Please refer to the bottom of this article for a full listing of all of our donors and sponsors. Thank You to all who helped to make Lincoln Lutheran’s 15th Annual Golf Classic a huge success!

We also appreciate your comments on the event. Please take 10 minutes to fill out a survey at Your input does matter to the golf committee as we research ways to improve our tournament.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Golf Classic at Yankee Hill Country Club on Friday, June 10th, 2011!

Hole-In-One Sponsor

  • DuTeau Chevrolet • Subaru

Gold Sponsor - $1,000

  • Town & Country Masonry Contractor, Inc. – Art & Jo Ortlieb

Team Sponsor - $600

  • West Gate Bank
  • Seward Physical Therapy
  • Terry & Ruth Ann Saner
  • US Bank
  • Mike & Sue Ziegler

Corporate Sponsors - $500

  • Midwest Bank
  • TMCO
  • Mapes Industries
  • Todd & Keli Martin

Hole Sponsors - $250

  • Alley Cat Disposal Service, Inc.
  • Amigos
  • Davis Design
  • Infinity Fasteners
  • Joe’s Body Shop
  • Lincoln Trucking Company
  • Lutheran Education Foundation
  • MasinMisko
  • MortgageLinc – Bob Chancellor
  • Nebraska Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, P.C.
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Remboldt Luedtke
  • Seward Physical Therapy
  • Schwisow Construction
  • Watts & Hershberger, PC
  • Lunch Sponsor
  • Ideal Grocery & Market

Cart Sponsors - $100

  • Air Balance of Omaha
  • Egan Supply Company
  • Lincoln Orthopedic Center, P.C.
  • John Baylor Test Prep

Prize Sponsors

  • ABF Freight
  • Amigos
  • Arby’s
  • Austad’s North Location
  • BMG Certified Public Accountants, LLP
  • CH Robinson
  • Conway Freight
  • Frosty’s Specialty Advertising
  • Granite City
  • Hundt Capital Management
  • Indusrial Pipe & Supply Company
  • J.D. Casey Paint Company
  • Lincoln Orthopedic Center, P.C.
  • Lincoln Benefit Life
  • Mary Kay Consultant – Carrie Merry
  • MasinMisko
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Subway
  • USF Holland
  • Vitran Express

Additional Donors

  • Bob & Don’s Plumbing
  • State Farm Insurance – Bev Higgins
  • Town & Country Masonry
  • William & Carol Stoneman