Student Success Stories
We caught up with Garett Maag (‘18) who is a Division-I student athlete at University of North Dakota. He plays wide receiver for FCS (1-AA) North Dakota out of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Read about his SCLA football story and what led him to continue playing in college.
Parker Lewis (‘21) came to SCLA in 7th grade as an apprehensive middle school student in need of a change. Although he “cried his eyes out” when he came to shadow, he left laughing and joyful after immediately connecting with new friends. Now graduated, he is preparing for his future as a Christian teacher. His testimony is one of God’s unwavering grace, love, and provision, and a must-read.
Over the past few months, Nick Krueger (‘05), an aide to representative Terry Katsma (Sheboygan County, Wisconsin), has had a wild ride in his run for office in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Nick shares about the SCLA teachers that impacted and prepared him, his run for office, and his hobby of restoring their historic home.
Jared Joyal (‘17) is a recent graduate who has taken his creativity, attention to detail, and gaming hobby to the next level by landing a job at Epic Games where he helps develop the popular online video game Fortnite.
Senior CT technologist at Abbott Northwestern Westhealth campus in Plymouth, MN.
College life can be a bit tricky to manage, but then combine it with a pandemic and things get even harder. We caught up with two recent SCLA alumni who are currently studying at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN and are learning how to hold on to patience, hope, and faith. Wade Shult (‘16) is a senior looking forward to his first teaching assignment and getting married in just a few weeks. Madylin Mielke (‘19) is a sophomore who is looking forward to summer with family and friends and returning to SCLA to coach summer basketball camp.
Kristen (Scislow ‘05) and Bryan Budahn (‘05) have had their share of adventures since their time in high school at SCLA. From delivering babies to brewing beer to climbing mountains around the world, the Budahns took their passions and ran with them. Read on for how the pandemic has affected their careers and how they’ve done their best to make the most of every situation.
There are two unexpected residents in the St. Croix Lutheran Academy dormitory - Perry and Bev Abel - a couple in their early 60s who have a passion for the ministry of SCLA and who are both SCLA alumni (Perry ’76 and Bev ’78).
Charlie (Chuck) Wiplinger (‘98) is the CEO/President of Wipaire, Inc. in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Over the years, Chuck has shared his knowledge of aviation engineering with SCLA STEM students both at his business and in the SCLA classroom.
In just ten years, Loren Kosloske has gone from learning in the classrooms of SCLA to working as a a Senior Strategy and Operations Manager at Uber in Seattle. The pandemic has called on everyone to adapt, including Loren’s work at the ride-share company. Loren answered some questions for us about what he’s been up to and shares his hopes for more SCLA alumni to mentor current students.
On October 23, 2020, alumnus Kai Tai (Stanley) Chan shared his SCLA story with students via a recorded conversation with SCLA Pastor David Huebner.
This alumna returns to her alma mater every Wednesday to counsel students through the highs and lows of school, relationships, and life in a pandemic.
Tyler Wood (‘13) is an avid golfer and sandwich shop owner who loves his alma mater and keeps giving back.
As an independent financial advisor, Andy has worked the last five years at Tiarks, Becker, and Hackett Financial based out of Pine Island, Minnesota. Andy has served at SCLA as a volunteer head throwing coach for the Crusader track and field team, and he has served as an assistant football coach. He took part in 2019 Career Day at SCLA by explaining his role in the finance industry and answering student questions.
Gunther Grinde is conducting critical testing to identify the novel coronavirus as part of the state of Nebraska’s Test Nebraska initiative.
As part of Black History Month, entertainment executive, artist, teacher, entrepreneur, and market executive Craig Laurence Rice returned to his alma mater .
At this small Minnesota school with international connections, Nae Nhae found friends from America, Brazil, Eritrea, Nigeria and Turkey.
4:13 Athletics is a non-profit organization that was launched in July 2018 as a way to impact youth in the Twin Cities. Founder Kevin Branson, class of 2013, along with other SCL alumni saw a growing need in the community and acted on it.
The Sonnenburgs are one of those wonderful families who have seen the value of Christian education in their own lives, passed that on to their children, and keep coming back to serve at their alma mater. Gary (‘88) and Cami (‘87) enjoyed their time at SCL and have two daughters who also graduated in the last few years- Kalli (‘14) and Leah (‘17).
Since graduating from UW-Stout in May 2018, Trever has been employed full time at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul as a clinical research coordinator. He still attends his home congregation at Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater where he also teaches Sunday school.
Wegner’s music, digital media, and people skills would be put to use after college as he founded the Wegner Music Academy to offer private music lessons in connection to ministry at SCLA association member Bethlehem Lutheran Church (now Northcross) in Lakeville, MN.
Alisha Johnson, class of 1984, used her energy and passion for learning to work her way up in the banking and marketing world, and is now Executive Vice President of Operations at Ideal Credit Union. She is a shining example of finding a way to do what you love - sports, music, writing, government, and business - while still preparing for a satisfying career.
To add to her many blessings, Cathy was baptized in the SCL chapel on April 10, 2018. She wanted to come back to the place where she was introduced to Christianity for this special sacrament. “Since being introduced to God by St. Croix, I have personally witnessed the power of the Lord everywhere I went, in every country and continent. He always led the way to where I am, and now it’s time for me to declare to the world my belief of Him through baptism. I cannot think of a better place to do it except St. Croix.”
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.
Director of Marketing and Communication at Capitol Christian Music Group who works alongside incredible artists like Jason Gray, Unspoken, Andrew Peterson, Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz, and Apollo LTD.
Jason Bao’s first visit to the U.S. was a summer English camp in Connecticut at age 14. He enjoyed the freedom, and after camp when his parents in Shanghai asked he’d like to attend American high school, Jason said, “Yes!”