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  • Sarah Mathison

2022: A Year Of Growth

The LHSAGM has put many actions in motion during 2022 that, with God’s blessing, will benefit our students, teachers, and city in 2023 and beyond. Two new virtual schools, a partnership with the South WI District to launch a Classical High School, a blossoming business and human resources service for other non-profits, and two executive team member changes are the highlights of the year.


Virtual Campuses

This year, both Milwaukee Lutheran High School (MLHS) and Mount Calvary Lutheran School (MC) partnered with Britestar Virtual to launch virtual campuses. The MLHS-Virtual Campus and MC-Virtual Campus operate like additional campuses of the schools offering high-quality, online Christian education.

Following the trend of remote work becoming more available, education is now emerging more into the virtual world. There is an increased desire and/or need for some students to learn in a remote environment. Reasons range from travel and location flexibility, supervision resources, or simply providing a different type of learning environment that allows some students to thrive. The virtual campus also gives some families access to Christian education that otherwise wouldn’t be attainable.


At the virtual campuses, students receive live (synchronous) online instruction from an accredited teacher. Students are provided with all the technology they need to be successful at home. Additionally, if the student meets the attendance and grade expectations, families are given a stipend of up to $2,000 per year for their support with this endeavor. This stipend serves to provide external motivation for the student to succeed as well as acknowledge the materials, workspace, and supervision needed by the home.


Research has reinforced what we’ve seen these past few years where students are still able to form social connections virtually. Great teachers can make strong connections with students in any format. The virtual staff are intentional in cultivating a virtual community in the online classroom environment through morning meetings, small groups, interactive lessons, and one-on-one meetings with students. Virtual campus students also have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities at the main campus, receive social-emotional instruction, and have access to school counselors.


In this first year, 60 students attended MLHS-Virtual Campus, and 1 student attended MC-Virtual Campus. It has been a great first year, and we look forward to serving more students as these campuses grow.


Trinity Lutheran Classical High School

Over the last two years, our Association has been working with the South WI District of the Lutheran Church to formalize details and create a plan to start a Classical high school in Milwaukee. These efforts are on track for Trinity Lutheran Classical High School to open for the start of the 2023-24 school year. The high school will be located at Trinity Lutheran Church on 68th street and Arthur Avenue in West Allis. Pastor Brandon Koble will be the headmaster and leading the launch of the school.


Classical schools develop their curriculum through a different pattern of learning called the trivium. The trivium is grounded in the study of Latin and is designed around students’ progress through grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The knowledge is interrelated and spiraled into the lessons and seven liberal arts disciplines. Historical and biblical knowledge aren’t studied as isolated subjects, but alongside the curriculum in other content areas. For example, when the curriculum focus is on God’s creation, this is explored further in science class, students will use art class to create pieces about creation, study in history will incorporate perspectives of the world’s view versus the Christian view, and papers about the topic will be written for English classes.


Pastor Brandon says, “The mission of Trinity is to nourish our students with a classical education that instills truth, goodness, and beauty through an emphasis on and adherence to the Holy Word of God.”


If you are interested in learning more about Trinity Lutheran Classical for your student, applications are being accepted for 9th and 10th graders only. Please visit trinitywa.org/classical-high-school/ or reach out to Pastor Brandon at 414-543-3580 or pastorkoble@trinitywa.org.


TRIUN3 Growth

Officially offered in the spring of 2020, TRIUN3 (pronounced “triune”) was launched as an outsourced fractional CFO service. TRIUN3 has grown significantly in the last few years by working with the LHSAGM and specializing in non-profits and education. Education staffing solutions, financial services, and strategic consulting are now included in the services offered. TRIUN3 is serving 26 clients across the USA. Of these, 16 new clients were added in the last year, and 17 of the current 26 clients are schools.


TRIUN3 is founded and led by LHSAGM CFO, Kyle Hanson. He and his team have been able to reduce schools’ cost gap per student by an average 29%! For more information about this and the services offered, visit www.triun3llc.com.



Executive Team Changes

Coming this summer, two exciting leadership changes are set to position our organization for continual growth.


Mr. Mark Bahr, the first Chief Growth Officer

The primary role of the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) is to ensure the profitable execution of growth initiatives through the development of relationships and the execution of strategic initiatives. This includes the development of our relationships with private foundations, the growth of our TRIUN3 clients, and the consistent investment in the relationships with supporters of our schools.

CEO Cole Braun shares, “As we look to grow and ensure the financial stability of our organization, there is nothing more critical to our organization than to grow the relationships with our community partners.”


Mark echoes the sentiment for his new role. “I am extremely excited to embrace this opportunity to push things to not only be bigger and better, but to also create sustainability for future growth and continued excellence within our Association.”

Mark has spent forty years in Lutheran Ministry, 35 of them in Milwaukee as an employee of our Association. He has served as our Head of Schools for the past 7 years, working as part of the executive team that develops the long-term vision for our organization. His skill set and experience with the LHSAGM, and the communities that we serve, has allowed him to work intentionally with donor relations, advancement initiatives, and school growth. Most recently, Mark was instrumental in executing the building expansion at Lake Country Lutheran and worked closely with the leadership teams and school staff in the acquisition of Mount Calvary Lutheran School, including the ongoing transition and integration of the two entities.


Mr. Michael Waugh returns to Milwaukee as Head of Schools

In his role, as Head of Schools in Milwaukee, Michael will craft and execute the academic vision for our schools alongside the principals and the school administrations and will also work as a member of the executive team. Michael will have the authority to supervise and will be responsible for all academic and educational aspects of our schools.


Michael shares, “As we look to the future, we see a world that needs Christian education now more than ever before. The Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee is poised to meet and exceed the immediate educational needs of students and families – and these needs have an eternal impact.”


Michael served as the assistant principal at Milwaukee Lutheran High School for three years before accepting the position to serve as principal in Cleveland in 2018. During his years in Cleveland, Lutheran West expanded from grades 9-12 to grades 6-12, enrollment grew by 50%, and the school is in the midst of completing a $19 million dollar capital campaign. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael is a product of Lutheran schools since preschool. He is a graduate of Valparaiso University with majors in Secondary Education, Mathematics, and Classical Languages and a minor in Theology. He earned a master’s degree in Teaching Mathematics from Kent State University, followed by a master’s in Business Administration from Grand Canyon University a decade later.


Mark Bahr will be transitioning to the role of Chief Growth Officer when Michael Waugh joins the team this summer. “God continues to place incredibly talented and passionate individuals in our midst to help move His ministry forward at our schools,” shares CEO Cole Braun.

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