Concordia University Wisconsin's School of Education annually recognizes outstanding Lutheran educators in conjunction with commencement celebrations.

The recipients of this year’s Master Educator Awards are Chad Janetzke of Martin Lutheran High School and Kathy Gruben of Trinity Lutheran School, Sheboygan. 

The Master Educator Award recipients are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Is presently serving at an LCMS affiliated school
  • Has taught at the appropriate level in an LCMS affiliated school for at least five years
  • Has exhibited dedication, excellence, and distinction in his/her service
  • Imparts a love for learning while inspiring students to serve in Lutheran education

Honorees receive an award and stipend of $1,000. In addition, the school where they serve also receives a $1,000 monetary gift.

Master Secondary Educator Recipient – Chad Janetzke

Chad Janetzke is in his 17th year of ministry (the last thirteen at Martin Lutheran High School in Greendale, WI). A recent recipient of the State Ethics in Coaching Award from the WBCA (Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association), Chad currently serves as a theology teacher and Spiritual Life coordinator for Martin Luther High School.

The Master Educator committee selected Chad for many reasons. CUW alumni and current students often reference the instrumental impact that he had in their high school experience as well as his influence in their decision and desire to pursue church work. Moreover, in the last twelve years, twelve students and/or staff members have been baptized at Martin Lutheran High School. Chad has often been asked to be a sponsor for many of these newly baptized individuals. The extra efforts and endeavors Mr. Janetzke pursues for his students, the student athletes he coaches, and the school community in general are numerous and continue to make a profound impact and difference in the lives of so many.

“Chad is a walking definition of selfless servant, sincere churchman, engaging teacher, inspiring coach, supportive colleague, and friend,” notes Principal Dr. Wayne Jensen. “Coach Janetzke is the living embodiment of what it is to be a Called Teaching Minister. I cannot say enough good things about Chad and the impact he makes on all with whom he interacts within our community!”

On behalf of the faculty and staff at CUW, we give thanks and congratulations to Mr. Chad Janetzke, our Master Secondary Educator recipient.

Master Elementary Educator – Kathy Gruben

Kathy Gruben is in her 21st year of service in the LCMS, and she has spent more than a decade serving at Trinity Lutheran School in Sheboygan, WI, where she currently teaches 4K. In addition to her teaching load, Kathy also runs the school’s student council and is the Sunday School coordinator.

The Master Educator Committee selected Kathy for several reasons. For one, she continues to lead the way in her innovative and creative teaching practices. Second, she demonstrates an exemplary skill set and uplifting dispositions in dealing with and encouraging parents. She makes family members feel an integral part of the education process exhibiting a clear understanding of the three-legged stool of success and faithfulness in Lutheran education—school, church, and home. Finally, she provides excellent support, guidance, and encouragement for younger faculty members and administration in particular.

Kathy “never complains and is a faithful servant,” says Trinity Principal Jenna Roeske. She “is always willing to sacrifice her time for the greater good of her students, parents, and colleagues. In the classroom, Kathy is incredibly gifted at addressing all of the learning modalities of students and seamlessly integrates Jesus into everything she does. Kathy is one of the teachers constantly cited as a primary reason why families love Trinity. I am blessed to work alongside her in this ministry.”

On behalf of the faculty and staff at CUW, we give thanks and congratulations to Mrs. Kathy Gruben, our Master Educator recipient!

—This post is written by James Pingel, PhD, dean of Concordia’s School of Education.

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