John Moldenhauer, Dave Metzger, Randy Goede, Jim Brenn, Dan Horn, Tom Bilitz, Mitch Reich, George Mortl, Coach Glenn Raasch, Jim Guenther, John Schwarzl, Llewellyn Eastern, Daryl Raabe, Frank Dethloff, Jerry Zarr, John Engmann, Art Bruegger; Kneeling: Paul Wendland, Steve Ferk; Not Pictured: John Metzger
In the history of WLHS, perhaps no team is as hallowed as the 1965-1966 boys basketball team that finished its season with a perfect 21-0 record. Head Coach Glenn Raasch assembled a team that won the Midwest Prep Conference title, the Midwest Prep Conference Tournament championship, and ended the season ranked fifth in the state of Wisconsin. This historic team preceded the establishment of WISAA and predated WLHS’ inclusion into WIAA, so they had no state championship vehicle with which to further their 21-0 finish. Wins over Catholic powerhouses Messmer and Madison Edgewood—along with nonconference wins over Greenfield, Greendale, Notre Dame, and West Allis Central—added to an undefeated conference slate and produced the perfect season. Since their graduation, many of the team members have continued as active supporters of the ministry of WLHS.
Upon graduation from Northwestern College, Watertown, Paul Ruege received a call to Lutheran High School in 1948. During that time, he also served part time as an instructor at the former Milwaukee Lutheran Teachers College. In the 1960s, Paul helped lay the foundation of Wisconsin Lutheran College, eventually assuming the roles of professor and dean of students. In 1970 Paul accepted a call back to WLHS, where he worked faithfully as the director of guidance and as a Latin, history, math, philosophy, and theology teacher. He also operated the Extended Learning Center and served as advisor to the National Honor Society. Paul spent 46 years of his ministry at WLHS. Throughout those years he was admired and loved by students and faculty for his biblical and historical insight and his gracious, gentle spirit. At his home congregation of Nain Lutheran Church, West Allis, Paul served faithfully as a church organist, Sunday school director, choir director, and a member of numerous boards and committees.
George Mortl was a two-sport athlete at WLHS, participating in baseball and basketball from 1962 to 1966. George earned all-conference honors in baseball and was a member of the undefeated 1965-1966 Hall of Fame boys basketball team. George served St. John’s, Wauwatosa, by coaching a wide variety of sports for many years. Later, George brought his coaching skills back to WLHS, spending two years coaching freshman baseball and eight years at various levels in the girls basketball program. It was the girls softball program, however, where George truly established excellence. During his thirteen-year run, George’s teams captured two WLTC softball titles (1999, 2000). At the state level, the WLHS softball teams appeared in five consecutive state championship games, winning WISAA Division 1 state titles in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000, finishing as runner-up in 1998. Coach Mortl’s passion for kids and their growth as young Christians has been a blessing to WLHS and to the lives of his former athletes.
Kris Johnson’s Hall of Fame athletic career started at WLHS, where she won eight varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and softball. Kris was a WLTC Scholar Athlete Award winner and received the Nitschke Award as the outstanding female athlete at WLHS in 1994. Kris was selected to First Team All-Conference positions six times in her high school career (VB-1, BB-3, SB-2) and was a two-time WLTC Player of the Year in basketball (1993, 1994). Kris led the basketball team to back-to-back WLTC titles and to the 1994 WISAA state title. She was the Journal Sentinel Basketball Player of the Year in 1994 and earned a basketball scholarship to Northern Michigan University, where she was a four-year starter and graduated with a 101-21 record. Kris is in the top ten all-time at NMU in steals (1), assists (2), scoring (5), and rebounding (6). Among many honors, Kris was the GLIAC Player of the Year and was selected First Team All-American (1998) when she led NMU to their first NCAA Final Four. Kris was inducted into the NMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. After her graduation, Kris joined the basketball coaching staff at the UW-Green Bay, where she was an assistant for nine years. The Phoenix were 223-58 and made seven NCAA tournament appearances during her tenure.
“Be still and know that I am God” has been Scripture’s guide for Dr. Janet Lindemann throughout her career in medicine. She is a family physician who earned her BS from Marquette University, her MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and her MBA in health care management from the University of Sioux Falls. Her accomplished career transitioned away from patient care when she took on the role of dean of Medical Student Education at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. Dr. Lindemann travels the country as a member of the prestigious Liaison Committee on Medical Education as an accreditation team leader for medical schools throughout North America. She also serves as medical advisor to Gift of Life in Ukraine, a pro-life medical relief effort developed in response to the Chernobyl disaster. Dr. Lindemann exemplifies Christian leadership as she continually seeks to model Christian values and glorify God in both professional and volunteer roles.
Lilli Gust’s profound love for the Lord’s work has shown forth in her devoted involvement with WLHS and a number of other ministries. Her experience as a business leader has allowed her to utilize her gifts for service to her alma mater in numerous valuable capacities. Lilli has shared her expertise and input as a member of leadership teams for multiple WLHS capital campaigns. She was also an inaugural and long-time member of the WLHS Foundation Board of Directors and proved instrumental in crafting the foundation’s investment and distribution policies. Lilli is a founding member of the WLHS Raabe Legacy Society, and she passionately encourages others to join her in including the WLHS Foundation in their estate plans. She finds great joy in both immediate giving to the high school as well as in planned giving, delighted by the impact she can make now and also in the future.
Col. Johnny Davis sought to utilize his strong Christian-based education and commitment to his community through active military service. He pursued a calling much larger than himself and entered the U.S. Army in the early 1990s as an infantry lieutenant. Col. Davis’ military career has landed him in numerous stateside locations in addition to various overseas deployments: Egypt, Kuwait, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to name a few. Since then, Col. Davis has used his God-given talents to help thousands of civilians around the world. Among many assignments, Col. Davis has served as aide-de-camp to the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chair, as well as director of the U.S. Army’s Wounded Warrior Program. He has also earned a multitude of promotions, decorations, and awards. Most notable are the Presidential Unit Citation, three Bronze Stars, six Meritorious Service Medals, the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, the Army Commendation Medal for valor, the Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, and qualification as an Airborne Ranger. Col. Davis earned a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College, Washington D.C. Col. Davis plans to continue his active service to our nation and his WLHS family.
Rev. Wayne Borgwardt left an indelible mark on Wisconsin Lutheran High School as the school’s first superintendent. When called to WLHS in 1978, he recognized the need for a division of roles within the school administration. He and the Board of Directors defined the distinct positions of a principal, superintendent, and development director. This model has not only proven to be successful for decades at WLHS, but has also been emulated by many other Lutheran high schools. As superintendent, Rev. Borgwardt used his gifts of communication and an ability to build relationships to reestablish WLHS’s integrity and reputation among the WLHS constituency and the public. During this time he also served the school’s Board of Directors in making key difficult decisions to put WLHS back on a solid financial ground. After leaving WLHS, Rev. Borgwardt’s prudence was again called upon as he became the administrator for WELS Board for Ministerial Education. Here he guided the restructuring of the synod’s ministerial education system and ushered in new technologies. The Lord has blessed Rev. Wayne Borgwardt with discernment, and the rewards of the decisions that he has made will continue to be realized at WLHS and within the WELS.
Alumni Leader As a promising career in mechanical engineering was about to begin, Dr. William Raasch decided to answer a lingering question of “what if?” by attending medical school at the University of Chicago. Twenty-five years after receiving his M.D. from theUniversity of Chicago, it is difficult to imagine Dr. Raasch working in any other field. A renowned expert in the fields of sports medicine and orthopedic surgery, he has served as team physician for numerous collegiate and professional organizations, including head team physician for the Milwaukee Brewers. In addition, Dr. Raasch has shared his medical knowledge with students as a professor at both the Medical College of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Lutheran College. As a way to give back to his alma mater and increase community outreach, Dr. Raasch regularly serves as the team doctor for WLHS athletics. In a career that has been filled with professional accomplishments, awards, professional publications and lectures, Dr. Raasch believes much of his success has resulted from his adherence to the Christian values emphasized through the teaching and dedication of his instructors and coaches at WLHS.
Stewardship One fellow classmate describes Jim Guenther as “the epitome of the Christian leader Wisconsin Lutheran High School intends to develop.” As a faithful steward of the mission and ministry of WLHS, Jim served six years on the WLHS Board of Directors, and four as the board chairman. His service on the WLHS Foundation Board of Directors included chairing the successful Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders major gifts campaign. He has provided dynamic leadership on a host of other high school committees and task forces, and has established a family scholarship in honor of his father and mother, Bill and Ida Guenther. As a WLHS alumnus, Jim enjoys mentoring WLHS graduates for leadership roles in their home congregations, their professional lives, and for their most important role of all: that of a Christian parent. Over several decades he served the leadership of WLHS as a tireless advocate, as a sounding board for testing ideas, and as a cherished prayer partner. He genuinely enjoys celebrating the many ways in which God has blessed the ministry of WLHS, and for that WLHS will always be grateful.
Alumni Leader After graduating from WLHS, John Ritchie received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in political science and, after teaching at the university level for five years, began a distinguished 30-year career as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. Entering the ranks of the Senior Foreign Service, his career there was blessed by the Lord as he received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on four separate occasions. As Coordinator for U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs (2004-2006), John co-negotiated an end to Mexico’s Rio Grande River water debt to the United States. Following his retirement from a career filled with a variety of international experiences, he has continued to serve his country as a liaison officer between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Congress and as a recognized expert and guest speaker throughout the United States on U.S.-Mexico relations and drug trafficking through Mexico. John has never lost sight of his Christian roots, exemplified by the invaluable guidance he provided to a group of WELS missionaries in the late 1980’s while serving as Chief of External Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
Ministry While attending seminary for his theological post-graduate education, Pastor Mark Jeske’s ambition to serve was already evident as he started a mission church in Colombia, South America. Once called to St. Marcus Lutheran Church on Milwaukee’s near-north side in 1980 he made a commitment to lead the struggling church and school through troubled times. Not only did he help keep their doors from closing, but he also helped guide St. Marcus to flourish. This growth has included numerous successful outreach ministries. Pastor Jeske has led an ambitious ministry in the form of the televised program Time of Grace, which originally aired on one station in Milwaukee and has grown to be carried on more than 40 stations, numerous cable networks, five different satellite channels, and Armed Forces television. He has written Bible commentary, daily devotional booklets, and articles derived from his Sunday messages. In addition, he is an accomplished instrumentalist who enjoys touring with his church choir. Along with his many passions, Pastor Jeske has shown his love for WLHS in many ways, including the countless hours he has served on the WLHS Board of Directors.
Athletics Dale Walz’s gift for educating Christian leaders through athletics was evident early in his ministry as a 7th grade teacher and coach and then through his years as a very successful coach at Lakeside Lutheran High School. Arriving at WLHS in 1987, Dale was able to build upon an already impressive basketball coaching career over the next 21 years. He retired from coaching after 35 years with a career record of 515 wins and 245 losses, and was shortly thereafter inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. More than just producing victories, however, Dale developed basketball at WLHS as a program, beginning with summer camps for future student-athletes and developing into a system with a consistent philosophy and strategy applied to the students’ progressing skills. Whether it has been in coaching, teaching, or through his administration duties as an assistant principal, Dale has led countless students, through his love for his Savior, to reach their full potential and find success. Many of these students have in turn applied this same motivation to become leaders themselves after their graduation from WLHS.
Stewardship For over a quarter century Roger Kamin provided Wisconsin Lutheran High School significant financial stability with his fiscal expertise and faithful stewardship. He was a charter member of the high school’s first Endowment Committee. When that committee was replaced with the WLHS Foundation, Roger served as the Foundation’s first chairman. By the grace of God, and compelled by the love of his Savior, Roger chose to apply the wealth of his financial knowledge to support his passion for the Christian education of children, especially at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Roger, encouraged and supported by his wife, Ruth, used his God-given wisdom and treasure to impact the lives of generations of students through charter membership in the Wisco Stewards, the Legacy Society, various capital campaigns, and by serving on both the WLHS Board of Directors as well as the WLHS Foundation Board of Directors. WLHS thanks and praises the Lord for blessing Roger with the heart of a true servant leader.
Stewardship Dr. Walter Drost is passionate about the ministry of Wisconsin Lutheran High School. His love for Christian education is evident in that Dr. Drost served on the first faculty of WLHS as Guidance Director, teacher of freshman religion, American history, economics, sociology, and American government and as Chairman of the Social Studies Department. While a WLHS teacher, he helped develop the Milwaukee Lutheran Teacher’s College, also housed at WLHS. Dr. Drost was also an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and Associate Professor of Education at Valparaiso and Northern Illinois University. He was instrumental in the founding of Wisconsin Lutheran College in the early 1970s. A lifelong investor, Dr. Drost funds the Dr. Walter H. Drost Endowment Fund, supporting various aspects of the mission of WLHS. Dr. Drost is a model of Christian stewardship ensuring the future of our WLHS ministry and the proclaiming of God’s Word for many generations to come.
Ministry David Timm has modeled and epitomized the importance of laymen in the ministry of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). His many years of service include being actively involved in numerous WELS organizations. He has served on the boards of WELS Lutherans for Life – Milwaukee Chapter, Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service, and is currently on the board of HOPE schools in Milwaukee. He was the first non-ordained chairman of the Wisconsin Lutheran High School board. David organized the Barnabas Group to encourage lay people to be informed and active in WELS ministry. For the past 16 years David has held the position of Executive Director of WELS Kingdom Workers. He has been an active member of his home congregation, Atonement, and a loyal supporter of Wisconsin Lutheran High School. His zeal and dedication to excellence and service to the Lord is reflected through his faithful leadership. David is thankful to God for blessings in every area of his life. WLHS praises God for David’s dedication, love, and commitment to its ministry.
Athletics Inducted this day, Saturday, October 18, 2008. Randy Goede has used his God-given talents throughout his life. While attending Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Randy was a successful athlete in basketball and baseball. He was part of the undefeated WLHS basketball team of 1966 and a three-time All-Conference player in baseball. Randy was a scholar athlete, playing baseball and basketball at Valparaiso University. He was an All-Indiana Collegiate Conference pick and an All-American in baseball. Randy went on to play professional baseball in Canada prior to joining his family’s business. In 2007 Randy was inducted into the Valpo Athletic Hall of Fame and the Old Timers Ballplayers Hall of Fame. Randy is a life-long member of his home congregation, St Jacobi, where he has faithfully served for 30 years in various church council positions and coached grade school basketball. Randy values his Christian education at WLHS. Throughout his life Randy has shown dedicated service to the Lord offering his time, talent, and treasures.
Athletics The God-given gifts of PGA TOUR professional golfer Mark Wilson are evident in his achievements on and off the golf course. During his years at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Mark was a two-time individual state golf champion. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he received the Ben Hogan Award in 1996 as the top NCAA student golfer. Mark joined the PGA TOUR in 2003 where he could witness his faith for the world to see. “Golf is an avenue to touch people or influence people If I stayed home because I am simply satisfied with my past success, I would be dishonoring God and the talent he has given me.” Mark won his first PGA TOUR event, The 2007 Honda Classic, in an exciting four-man playoff. Mark has remained dedicated to the Lord and is an excellent role model because of his abilities and Christian values.
Ministry Ken Leverence is highly regarded and respected for his many years of service at Wisconsin Lutheran High School as a gifted teacher and school administrator. Ken began his teaching career in 1951 at Lutheran High School and retired from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in 1999, serving for 47 years. Ken has the longest teaching tenure, teaching in the same school, than anyone from Lutheran High School or WLHS. He “really truly enjoyed teaching” and is remembered for his unique ability to reach students at all levels. When the decision was made to establish separate Wisconsin and Missouri Synod high schools in 1951, Ken was among a small group of dedicated men to revise and update the entire WLHS curriculum, course by course. Ken was instrumental in the development of many new programs at WLHS, including computer technology. Ken’s service at WLHS and dedication to its ministry are an inspiration to all.
Alumni Leader Dr. Alan Merten has shaped a distinguished career in academia. Dr. Merten earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Wisconsin. He was Associate Dean for Executive Education and Computing Services at the University of Michigan, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Florida, and Dean of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. In 1996 Dr. Merten became the fifth president of George Mason University in Virginia. He has also held academic and business positions in Hungary and France. He was a member of the Virginia Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education and program chairman of the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology. Currently Dr. Merten serves on several boards. He has been recognized for promoting volunteerism, service to the community, and education excellence. Dr. Merten credits the demanding work ethic and high expectations of teachers at WLHS who prepared him to work hard beyond his high school years.