Award Winners Impacting Lives

Examples of service to others were in large supply at Lincoln Lutheran’s “Coming Home” Celebration Event on Friday, October 2. Over 75 attendees gathered to celebrate the school’s ministry of impacting students and the community for nearly 50 years. The Lincoln Lutheran ministry began as a 7-9 grade junior high school in 1962. Today the school serves nearly 400 students in grades 6-12.

 Randy Klein, Lincoln Lutheran’s 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner, has been serving his church and the community through various ministries since the mid-1970’s. The award is given annually to individuals who, through their service to the community and/or church, exemplify Lincoln Lutheran’s mission to prepare young people to serve Christ. As a member of Lincoln Lutheran Junior High School Class of 1963, Randy was a student in the first 9th grade class to attend school at its current campus on North 56th Street.
“I remember helping Mr. Petri chart a bus route to pick students up for school. I also had the privilege of serving on a committee to select the school’s mascot and colors,” shares Randy. 
“I believe my experience at Lincoln Lutheran Junior High instilled a strong foundation for a faith walk that carried me through future secular education and business activities. I was able to discover how faith integrates into life’s activities and is not confined to church on Sunday mornings.”
Randy graduated from UNL in 1973 with a B.A. in Business and started his own company a few years later. He is a lifelong member of Calvary Lutheran Church. Randy has furthered his education in recent years though courses of the LCMS DELTO program at Concordia University, Seward. He has also attended leadership seminars on the topics of Worship and Effective Ministry. 
He has served on Stewardship and Evangelism Teams at Calvary and is the current chairman of the Lay Ministry Team. He has spent the past four years as a worship leader at Clark Jeary Assisted Living and has been a worship leader at the People’s City Mission for the past two years. He has also represented Calvary as a delegate to the Nebraska District Convention.
One fellow church member shares, “Randy is the epitome of love and selflessness. Knowing and watching Randy grow since he was 14 years old I’ve enjoyed seeing how he is always grounded in his faith, his actions, and his love for the Word. He walks with the Lord.”
Randy’s current pastor Lonnie Jacobsen states, “There is one thing that touched us from the very first meeting and continues to this day. God has given him a passion for those that are headed for hell, apart from Jesus Christ. He is driven to serve, to give, to lead for the one single purpose of proclaiming the life-saving gospel message to those that are dying apart from Jesus. This passion is a gift from God, given to a mature Christian leader, who is serving in powerful ways.”
Paul and Mary Schudel received the 2009 Lincoln Lutheran Founder’s Award, presented annually in recognition of individuals who have exhibited outstanding service to the Lincoln Lutheran ministry.
Paul served on the Lincoln Lutheran Board of Directors from 2001 – 2007. He served in several important roles during his tenure including Board Vice-President, and member of the Finance Committee, 2001 & 2007 Executive Director Search Committees, 2002 Strategic Planning Committee, Capital Campaign Steering Committees in 2002 & 2006, and the Tax-Exempt Bond Study Committee. 
When asked why he chose to serve Lincoln Lutheran Paul shared, “I knew that LL was experiencing financial difficulties and also needed new executive director leadership. I said many time in my calls during the Renew the Vision campaign that LL was too important to Lutheran Education in Lincoln and to our youth to let it fail. Observing the talents of the students during the years I was involved at LL and seeing their academic success, high ACT scores, the high percentage that continued on to college, their achievements in extra curricular activities and many who now serve the Christ in their careers was and is very rewarding and underscores the privilege that I had to be a part of this ministry.”
Paul is a managing partner with Woods & Aitken LLP. He has a private law practice with a specialty in telecommunications law.
Former Executive Director Dr. Gary Hammack stated, “When Paul spoke, everyone listened. He was so instrumental in the creation of Lincoln Lutheran’s Strategic Plan, the successful pursuit of two capital campaigns to reduce debt, refinancing of the school’s debt, budget preparations, and the recruitment and hiring of executive leadership. Paul understood the role of an excellent board member and modeled these behaviors both in and outside of meetings. He provided tremendous support and council to me as the Executive Director.”
Mary, Paul’s wife, has been involved at Lincoln Lutheran since son Mike enrolled in 1993. Her connection to school began as a volunteer, including serving the school for a period of time as a Secretary for the Board of Directors. Paul and Mary’s daughter Meg enrolled in 1997 and was a 2003 graduate of the high school. Mary joined the teaching staff from 2000 to 2007 with primary duties in instruction of English and Religion, serving as the Student Council Representative for several years. Mary was presented the KLIN/KGIN Golden Apple Award as Outstanding Teacher in 2004 and 2007. 
Mary gives thanks to God for calling her to use the gifts which He has so graciously endowed to her. She loves to serve God in the classroom, be it with young children, students or adults.   Mary believes it is a special blessing and opportunity to share God’s Word and work in the world. Her prayer is always that students might develop a stronger relationship with their Savior as a result of her teaching. Mary offers, “I certainly was blessed beyond measure to be able to teach them.”
Lincoln Lutheran Alumnus Nicole Heibel shared, “I couldn’t help but smile my first year of college in my intensive writing class as I realized how well prepared I was in relation to my fellow classmates thanks to Mrs. Schudel’s Senior English class. She took the opportunity to connect with students on a personal level, cheering us on, even outside the classroom. Her attitude was marked by positivity and determination and I can’t remember her ever missing an opportunity to smile.”
Katie Bockelman, a colleague teacher at Lincoln Lutheran, enjoyed teaching across the hall. “Mary was a huge blessing to our staff and students at Lincoln Lutheran. She had a genuine interest and concern about people as individuals. Mary always had a wonderful sense of humor. She had a reputation for being a very tough teacher, but the students respected her and she encouraged kids to work to their capabilities. Each year she would take photos of all her students and post them on her bulletin board in the front of the classroom with the words, ‘Why I Teach.’ I feel very blessed to have taught with Mary and to still know her to be such an outstanding servant of her Savior.”
Paul and Mary have both been very active in Christ Lutheran Church since the 1970’s. After stepping away from the teaching in 2007, Mary has lead a single moms’ Bible Study at Christ Lutheran and organized a women’s event called LIFE (Living in Faithful Expression). This winter she has plans to teach a Church History class for adults. Since completing his service to the Lincoln Lutheran Board, Paul has been very involved in Christ Lutheran’s current building project. He serves as a member of the Steering Committee responsible for the planning and construction of Christ’s new school building and multi-purpose area, and continues to assist with the Capital Campaign.