Alumni Spotlight: Jennie (Scislow ‘14) and Zach (‘13) Haugen

Published Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 11:45am


Making the choice to attend a Christian school like St. Croix Lutheran Academy is not always easy, but these two alumni are glad they made that decision.

Jennie (Scislow ‘14) and Zach (‘13) Haugen attended WELS grade schools as children. Zach attended Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran while Jennie went to Good Shepherd Lutheran and St. Croix Lutheran Middle School. Following grade 8 graduation, both had the option to attend public school. Many of Zach’s friends planned to attend the local public high school, and Jennie felt that she might have better sports opportunities at a larger school, but in the end, both were ultimately led to attend St. Croix Lutheran.

While at SCL, Jennie and Zach were very focused on their education, leadership, and sports. Zach was involved in football, basketball, and track while also being a member of the National Honor Society, the homeroom leader’s executive team, and serving as the student body vice president.  Jennie played for and was captain of the soccer, basketball, and track teams while being on the homeroom leader’s executive team. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, New Friends, and Students for Life, and was named class salutatorian.

Aside from their educational and sports endeavors, other memorable experiences at SCL for Zach and Jennie included participating in mission trips around the country, and the world, that allowed them to grow in their faith while serving others. Jennie and Zach were both mentors for international students, learning the importance of inclusiveness, diversity, and travel.

SCL also fostered their appreciation for the arts. Jennie won the St. Croix Lutheran senior gallery award, went on to receive a minor in studio arts, and continues to enjoy painting today. The Haugens now attend plays and concerts together whenever possible.

Jennie and Zach have come to realize that the very things they feared about attending SCL, such as saying goodbye to old friends and missing out on big school opportunities, were turned into blessings by the God who never stops giving. They met each other, dated throughout high school, and continued their relationship long distance while in college - Zach at University of St. Thomas and Jennie at South Dakota State University. Lifelong friends made at SCL turned into eight of the ten people in their wedding party. Growth through leadership and involvement in multiple sports at SCL presented Jennie with the opportunity to become a multi-sport, Division 1 athlete, playing soccer and running track at SDSU. At St. Thomas, Zach used his education and servant heart while serving on the Gibney Board for philanthropy where eight students worked together to research and visit local non-profits to allocate donations from the Gibney family.

After being married in the St. Croix Lutheran chapel in June 2018, Zach and Jennie moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Zach is a public accountant at KPMG, auditing financial statements for mid to large sized companies, and Jennie is an interior designer at Crawford Architects, specializing in the design of sports stadiums and arenas. While unsure whether Kansas City will be a temporary or permanent home, they continue to grow in God’s grace and trust in his plan wherever he may lead them.

Thao Le, Class of 2010, Amherst College
" Many St. Croix graduates earn university scholarships. I earned a scholarship that covered 87% of my university costs in a pre-medical program. "
- Thao '10