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Program Information

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(All times are EDT - eastern daylight time)

Sunday, March 27, 2022


Keynote #1 Michelle Thompson - Director, Townsend Institute Executive Coaching & Consulting Program
“The Fuel You Need”

Have you ever run out of gas? Just like a car will not take us far without fuel in the tank, we can find ourselves empty without the right type of relational fuel. Relational fuel transforms us, creates higher-quality connections, boosts productivity and increases creativity. We’ll learn to tap into this fuel for ourselves and our communities.

Sectional A (4:15-5:15)


A-1 “Our Digital Voices Matter” by Dionne Lovstad-Jones (EC, EL, HS)

Social media is not a safe space for deep, vulnerable, and spiritual matters. Cultural norms dictate approval, acceptance, and affirmation. But how do we speak to our real identity in Christ? Learn how LHM’s research and resources are helpful in finding our voice through all the noise. What we share in real and digital space presents opportunities to discuss how to discern, extend invitations for, and enter winsome, meaningful conversations.

A-2 “SEL 360 Coming Back from Covid” by Brenda Jank (EC, EL, HS)

The emotional reserves of 6 – 12th grade students are running low, yet they have a race to run. Do your students know how to refuel and recharge? Teach them how, lead the way, and do it together. Navigating crisis, depression, and anxiety requires the ability to create connection, reduce cortisol, hit pause, and prioritize sleep. SEL 360 equips God’s people to refuel and recharge in ways that honor God and fuel our go.

A-3 “Documentation and Hard Conversations” by Angela Shirley (EC)

Documentation is a critical tool to observe, assess, measure, and identify challenging behaviors and
developmental concerns in the classroom. Our effective use of documentation is key to creating parent
relationships built on trust and mutual understanding. Once you have the documentation, how do you have hard conversations with parents without fear and anxiety? Learn critical insights, intentional communication skills, and essential planning techniques that will prepare the way for your difficult conversation.

A-4 “Reenrollment Strategies in Early Childhood, Part 1” by Aimee Knoepfel (EC)

Helping Early Childhood Centers more effectively deliver and adapt marketing strategies is critical to sustaining and growing enrollment during these unprecedented times. Learn common barriers and simple strategies that all Early Childhood Centers can employ.

A-5 “Mental Health Tools for Teachers” by Sara Clemm von Hohenbeg (EC, EL, HS)

Learn to incorporate brain break strategies and mental health support tools. Explore activities and opportunities to take time for personal development. Come learn effective ways to reach all students within your classroom while at the same time saving your own sanity.

A-6 “The Happiest School on Earth” by Mike Schiemann (EC, EL, HS)

Engaging in ministry has changed so much over the past couple of years. As an administrator, do you feel like your job has changed and maybe even includes counseling? How do you work to keep school and staff morale high while wondering what the next day holds when it comes to unpredictable elements in our world? Come and join the conversation on creating an uplifting environment for your school while supporting and growing your staff.

A-7 ALSS Meeting (Secondary attendees only)

Monday, March 28, 2022


Keynote #2 Bernard Bull - President, Concordia University Nebraska
“Toward the Virtue of Innovation in Lutheran Education”

While some look at innovation as creative thinking and brainstorming, innovation in Christian education is about allowing your mission, vision, and values to lead you into new and promising possibilities. Yet, this calls for a reconsideration of what it takes to be an effective innovative leader in Lutheran education. Drawn from over two decades of research on design thinking, change management, and leading innovation, this presentation highlights seven key virtues (and related practices) of leadership teams that strive to embody a truly distinct approach to innovation in Christian education.

Sectional B (10:30-11:30)


B-1 “The Coaching Leader” by Michelle Thompson (EC, EL, HS)

The coaching leadership style is one of six leadership styles based on emotional intelligence described by Daniel Goleman. Coaching leaders grow the people they lead to be better and more successful. Teams with a coaching leader value collaboration, build trust and engagement, and are known for “rising to the challenge.” This interactive sectional will explore coaching leadership traits that result in self-motivated people and can build teams that continually strive for excellence.

B-2 “Pastor and Principal on Mission Together!” by Steve Carretto, Jim Richards (EC, EL, HS)

A good relationship between pastor and principal is vital for a healthy Lutheran school. Peek into the relationship of one pastor and principal that not only see their separate roles as vital but their faith walk together as perhaps even more vital for personal, professional, and organizational success! Practical insights of pastor and principal’s time together and each seeing the mission of God as their role and the goal of their partnership!

B-3 “Equipping Directors to Equip Teachers – Nurturing the Faith Among Staff and Families, Part 1” by Bonnie Stottlemeyer (EC)

Explore Foundations of Faith Development, a seminar format that introduces early childhood teachers to unique aspects of serving in a Lutheran early childhood center. This session will focus on introducing Lutheran doctrine and exploring theories about faith development as two important steps in equipping teachers from a wide range of faith backgrounds. We will also discuss how building this foundation with staff members results in supporting families. Receive resources to craft your own version of this training.

B-4 “Loose Parts: Discovery and Learning” by Tammy Foster (EC)

Children prefer materials that give them the opportunity to be creative, curious, and independent. One of the most effective ways to encourage this is to incorporate materials into your classroom that support children's natural curiosity. Participants will explore theory, implementation, and ways to include loose parts into their curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways.

B-5 “Leading the Lukewarm and Supervising the Subpar” by Jim Pingel (EC, EL, HS)

Supervising rock star teachers is easy. Firing personnel who commit crimes or blatantly teach false doctrine is easy to execute. But what about individuals who do just enough to get by but eschew the mission? Or those “nice” folks who love the Lord but can’t effectively teach? Come for some practical tips, techniques, and tactics on how to become a better leader and supervisor for the full spectrum of teachers.

B-6 “Race Relations: Beyond Imagination” by John Nunes (EC, EL, HS)

Race is a fiction, theologically and biologically. Yet, racism is a fact in our fallen world. Because of the extraordinary presence of Jesus in, with, and under our ordinary relationships, Christian educators have a redemptive opportunity. Deploying imaginative strategies, we can participate in the Spirit’s formation of our students in a manner that transforms church and society.

B-7 “Financial Management and Modeling for Lutheran Schools” by Kyle Hanson (EL, HS)

Transform your view on the financial sustainability of your mission during this session where we will discuss a new model for financial management. The path to profitability requires new insight with a focus on strategies to achieve your vision. We will discuss the relentless pursuit of sustainable growth, including alternative revenue streams. We will also share efficiencies in backend support. Discover the path to thrive with partners in education.

B-8 “How Christians Can Engage with Critical Theory” by Mark Newman (EL, HS)

New terms like cisgender, Intersectionality, heteronormativity, white privilege, and many others have burst into our culture’s language. Although these terms seem to be new, they have actually been percolating through academia and fall under a larger discipline of Critical Theory. This sectional will consider the following three questions… What is Critical Theory? What should Christians think about Critical Theory? And how can Christians effectively engage with Critical Theory?

Sectional C (1:15-2:15)


C-1 “Race Relations: Beyond Imagination” by John Nunes (EC, EL, HS)

Race is a fiction, theologically and biologically. Yet, racism is a fact in our fallen world. Because of the extraordinary presence of Jesus in, with, and under our ordinary relationships, Christian Educators have a redemptive opportunity. Deploying imaginative strategies, we can participate in the Spirit’s formation of our students in a manner that transforms church and society.

C-2 “Responding to Trauma in Students” by Megan Miessler (EC, EL, HS)

Recent events have shown us new obstacles and new ways of coping with trauma in our schools, families, and students. What can we expect this school year that our students will need? Join Megan as she walks through the developmental stages of students and how COVID has affected their development. She will also discuss ACEs and how what we know from ACE’s can impact how we respond to students in this generation.

C-3 “The Many Hats of Leadership” by Annette Anschutz (EC)
Learn about the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, which provides guidance for early childhood administrators whose day-to-day responsibilities require informed and ethical responses to matters dealing with and affecting children, families, staff, community, and stakeholders.

C-4 “Reenrollment Strategies in Early Childhood, Part 2” by Aimee Knoepfel (EC)

Helping Early Childhood Centers more effectively deliver and adapt marketing strategies is critical to sustaining and growing enrollment during these unprecedented times. Learn tried and true retention techniques that all Early Childhood Centers can employ.

C-5 “A Rest That Works” by Brenda Jank (EC, EL, HS)

Covid-19 is a bucket-draining time for educators, yet it is filled with opportunity. Are you tired? Is your team? Do they know how to refuel and recharge? Explore how teams can sharpen their saws and keep their buckets full—together! Simple and strategic, Restorative Wellness empowers staff to navigate seasons of crisis and recovery by creating a pace and plan that is biblical, strategic, transformative, and sustainable.

C-6 “Create an Annual Values Proposition” by Tom Wrege (EC, EL, HS)

Create an annual values proposition that shows others that your ministry continually makes improvements. Everyone benefits – including the organization and the community. Being innovative can set us apart, utilizing gifts and skill sets, providing new models that spur on design-thinking and greater involvement. Watch how word spreads quickly and how the Gospel can be shared in new ways.

C-7 “Leadership Using a Strengths Approach” by Jake Hollatz (EL, HS)

Examine your personal leadership skill set in depth. Knowing what your strengths are is critical in maximizing your leadership potential and effectiveness for Kingdom work. We will examine the intersection of personal leadership and the Clifton Strengths report to understand how to fully use your strengths in your leadership role. Real analysis of your own and other’s strengths reports will yield real life applications for you and your faculty.

C-8 “Admissions & Marketing Techniques” by Joel Bahr, Christine Oldenberg (EL, HS)

Dive into marketing and learn the power of packaging your differentiators to develop brand recognition, awareness, and integrity. Use these strategies to build your sales leads list to drive enrollment. We will discuss the “tried and true” methods and new creative ways to market your school.

Sectional D (2:45-3:45)


D-1 “Leading a Culture of Professional Development” by Jim Pingel (EC, EL, HS)

Knowing the importance of professional development is good. Building a culture of professional development is better. Leading a school that embraces personalized professional learning is the best. This sectional not only provides the latest research and insights on personalized professional learning, but also provides ideas, tools, concepts, strategies, and various approaches in creating and implementing a comprehensive professional development plan for your school.

D-2 “Imagine the Possibilities” by Bernard Bull (EC, EL, HS)

Join Dr. Bernard Bull for a session dedicated to exploring mission-minded futures and possibilities in Lutheran education. Mission-minded innovation is an approach to exploring and pursuing new models and possibilities in Lutheran education that deepen our commitment to the mission while reaching new people and discovering ways to better serve and support current learners. Come explore examples of what this looks like and how you can make use of practical tools and strategies to surface new, promising, and potentially high-impact possibilities for your classroom, school, and beyond.

D-3 “Faithful Living and Learning in Early Childhood” by Cheryl Haun (EC)

How did we grow in our faith-walk with Jesus in our classrooms this year? We are so blessed to serve as spiritual leaders in our schools! In our short time together, we will explore authentic, intentional ways to demonstrate spiritual living and learning in the early childhood classroom.

D-4 “Equipping Directors to Equip Teachers – Nurturing the Faith Among Staff and Families, Part 2” by Bonnie Stottlemeyer (EC)

Learn ways to equip early childhood teachers who are new to teaching in a Christian faith-based center. This session will focus on teaching Bible stories/verses and strategies for weaving Christian faith concepts throughout the daily and weekly schedule as well as implications for impact on homes and families. Receive resources from the Foundations of Faith seminar format and links to other programs and webinars designed for sharing this topic.

D-5 “Special Education Inclusion” by Kara Bratton (EL)

Special education inclusion means more than students with disabilities being physically present in our Lutheran schoosl. As school leaders, we want to emphasize the strengths these students bring to our classrooms and schools and help them feel that they truly are a part of our school community. Our session will talk about strategies for leaders to connect our Christian mission with the idea of creating truly inclusive school communities for students with disabilities.

D-6 “Confident Pluralism” by Chad Lakies (EL, HS)

In the hallways of Lutheran schools, we bump into students or their family members who are different from us. Often our biggest concern is encountering someone who believes or behaves in a way that we believe violates Lutheran doctrine. Yet Jesus never let an issue prevent a relationship. Let’s explore ways to live confidently in our pluralistic society by following Jesus in embracing those who are different from us.

D-7 “Leading through Change: Teaching for Transformation” by Matthew Beimers, Daryl DeBoer (EL, HS)

By examining one school's journey into the Teaching for Transformation framework for deeper learning, you can imagine the structures and leadership frameworks required for your own school. Learn ideas and principles applicable to any school change journey. The deep hope of this session is that school leaders and leadership teams will feel empowered to begin or continue their journey into deeper learning.

D-8 “Blending for Lutheran Schools” by Scott Fogo (EC, EL, HS)

Increasingly, the growing K-12 online learning market is transitioning to Blended Learning (BL) schools. Why? Educational entrepreneurs realize what we all know: Most students learn and grow better together in a community. Explore creative BL models that promote the best parts of online and face-to-face learning, allowing for the relationships and Christian ethos we hold dear. In addition, BL can increase affordability, accessibility, flexibility, and potentially your customer base.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022


Keynote #3 Tony Cook – Vice President, Global Ministries, Lutheran Hour Ministries



Sectional E (9:45-10:45)


E-1 “Compensation Decision Support” by Beth Jones (EC, EL, HS)

Evaluate your ministry’s pay practices with confidence utilizing a validated salary data tool that is available to all LCMS ministries free of cost. The Compensation Decision Support Tool provides ministries with salary benchmark data specific to their ministry and the worker so ministries can plan their compensation strategies with confidence.

E-2 “Conversations – Discussions about Diversity and Equity” by Tripp Rodgers, Kevin Brockberg, Louis Johnson (EC, EL, HS)

Meet with a panel of three participants from a year-long national conversation into the unknowns of DEI, CRT, and civil rights. Intentionally lean into knowing more about how you might bridge the divide over race in our culture. Tracing this open and expressive shared Zoom experience will draw you into an on-site dialogue of questions and answers in this interactive session. God has called and placed you in your ministry “for such a time as this.”

E-3 "Creating Connections and Managing Challenging Behavior" by Angela Shirley (EC, EL)

Educators are a fundamental part of God’s plan to bring healing and hope to our children as they struggle, fail, grow, and flourish. Through this session, participants will explore the impact of each child’s unique history on their behavior. Participants will also be provided with insights and strategies for working with challenging behaviors, leading to meaningful connections and well-managed classrooms.

E-4 “The Play-Based Learning Continuum” by Cheryl Hahn (EC)

Find yourself somewhere on the play-based learning continuum. We will consider the three VIP components to playful learning in the ECE classroom: the role of the teacher, the role of the environment, and the very-necessary set of classroom management skills. Play and learning are dimensions that stimulate each other and are inseparable. Play-based learning allows children to create an understanding of their world in a process that lasts a lifetime.

E-5 “The Blessing of Religion Standards” by Tom Wrege (EC, EL)

Provide standards for a concrete, objective framework, giving all Lutheran schools an important tool that reflects Lutheran teaching and theology. Our brand new religion standards allow us to strive to be engaging, accessible, and aligned with the needs of our students, staff, and community. They add great value, and guess what? They provide alignment and collaborative efforts in powerfully sharing the Gospel!

E-6 “Who’s Afraid of Being Lutheran?” by Chad Lakies (EC, EL, HS)

Our secular age calls for authenticity. People consider it a “right” to be true to themselves. People want honesty and authenticity from others, including institutions. What might it look like to authentically live our historic Lutheran identity, one that leans back on a tradition of offering excellent education to everyone? And what would it mean to do so fearlessly while confessing Christ as the reason for our work?

E-7 “Making a Difference for God's Kingdom” by Scott Fogo, Pat Klekamp (EL, HS)

Participants will explore the elements necessary for effective service learning in schools as they consider the connection between service learning and healthy schools.

E-8 “Staff: Relationships, Needs, and Challenges” by John Buck, Steve Buuck (HS)

Come ready to discuss and share best practices regarding needs, challenges, and relationships with staff. People are our most valuable resource at our schools, and we need to make sure that we remain focused on and committed to them.

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