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2010 Distinguished Young Alumni Award - Kim Loontjer

Kim Loontjer

Kim Loontjer was born to Gary and Sue Loontjer.  She grew up in Seward, NE and attended St. John Lutheran School.  She is a 1999 graduate of Lincoln Lutheran as she transferred here for Junior High and High School. 

Loontjer 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 graduating from Lincoln Lutheran, Kim has continued to be a strong advocate for the Lincoln Lutheran alumni.  Specifically, she has started and maintained a Lincoln Lutheran Alumni facebook page to help keep the alumni plugged in and updated on everything happening at Lincoln Lutheran.  She is also available to help each class organize their reunions. 

When asked what her favorite memory from Lincoln Lutheran is, she replied:

“One of the most meaningful experiences was a chapel that Lyle Ziems gave when I was a freshman. We were still meeting in the “old” gym (after being well supervised in setting up the pink folding chairs by Mr. Roeber). He started the chapel telling us a story about a young woman from Minnesota, with a surprise ending sharing with us that Sheila was pregnant with their first child; a miracle baby. The story was one of trust, patience and faith during a difficult, very personal time in their lives. His openness and transparency with his faith and doubts was an example of authentic Christian witness that I only hoped to demonstrate in my life.”

Ms. Loontjer feels very strongly that her education at Lincoln Lutheran helped prepare her for the challenges she has faced in both her life and career.

“While choir and band instilled the discipline needed to utilize musical gifts; history classes with Mr. Bassett and Ms. Bockelman, and my involvement in student government ignited a passion for politics, government, and the law.”

Do you have any advice for our current Lincoln Lutheran students? 

“You will never be perfect and you will never know everything. Accept it and you’ll avoid unnecessary stress and embarrassment. And from Judy Garland, ‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.’”

Congratulations to Ms. Kim Loontjer for being awarded the Distinguished Young Alumni Award!