New Chief Executive and Changes for the New Year at the Lutheran School Association

DECATUR — Brian Booth and his family came to Decatur from the Chicago area, where they had lived for 15 years.

“We really felt that God was calling us to come here and serve in this school,” said Booth, the new executive director of the Lutheran School Association.






Brian Booth, the new executive director of the Lutheran School Association, right, talks to a student after chapel on Wednesday. “We really felt that God was calling us to come here and serve at this school,” Booth said.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW


His job is to run the school, guide the vision and direction of the school, put in place a sustainable financial model that will help the school succeed and grow, and work with the board and community to develop partnerships.

Several changes are apparent at the LSA this year. Like other schools, this will be the first “normal” year since COVID-19 shut everything down in the spring of 2020. Students can wear masks if they wish, but they are no longer required. Uniforms are no longer required either, and the dress code, Booth said, simply requires students to be tastefully dressed in keeping with the Christian character of the school.

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Joel Witt is director and 50 new students have enrolled, for a total enrollment of 400 students.







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Brian Booth, the new executive director of the Lutheran School Association, right, talks to headmaster Joel Witt after chapel on Wednesday. “We really felt that God was calling us to come here and serve at this school,” Booth said.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW


Witt presided over Wednesday’s chapel service, which also changed. For a time the younger students had chapel services on Wednesday mornings, with the upper grades in the afternoon. This year, the whole school comes together to worship together.

“I’m thrilled to have everyone in one place at once,” Witt said.







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Principal Joel Witt leads Chapel Wednesday at the Lutheran School Association. Unlike previous years, the whole school met at the same time, instead of younger and older students meeting at different times of the day.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW


The theme of his message was I Corinthians 12:12-13: “As a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts are one body, so is Christ. “

He told the kids that he and his siblings worked on their own cars when they were growing up and the garage was always littered with parts. If they lost a little piece, they had to find it or the car wouldn’t drive.

“This (school) is a body, a group, and everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, is important,” he said.







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Students from the Lutheran School Association attend chapel on Wednesday.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW


High school sophomore Merle Morgan is new to LSA High School this year and loves the small classes and the sense of belonging, even though it’s only been a few weeks since classes started.

“You really know everyone, unlike a big school where there are 170 people in a class,” she said.

One of her new friends is Molly Harris, also a sophomore. She likes having the chapel as a school instead of being grouped together at different times, and having it in the morning to start the day well.

Jayla Endrizzi attended several schools in her time, but says LSA is her favorite.

“There have been a lot of changes, but these are good changes,” she said. “Mr. Booth has put in a lot of time and effort and I feel like this year the school has been even more faith-based. He’s started something that we have a new Bible verse every week that the teachers put in our lessons and we always get something from the Bible all the time.

Third-grade teacher Karli Grueninger said staff were meeting for prayer and devotions.

“We started the year on a very positive note,” she said. “It’s a culture of why we’re here and what we do, and that we’re here to love kids and teach kids and help them grow more in their relationship with Jesus and it’s really good that we let’s be doing it as a staff, too. Everyone’s on the same page and it’s a very unified start to the year.

Third-grade student Lillian Apa was a little worried that her schoolwork would be difficult this year.

“I was afraid it would be a lot harder, but it’s actually a lot easier,” she said. “There have been a lot of changes, but they are good changes.”

Teddy Younghouse said he thought third grade would also be difficult, especially in math, but it turned out he could handle it just fine.

For third grader Lydia Booth, Brian Booth’s daughter, she is also at a new school.

“My teacher is really nice,” she says. “I love her so much.”

Athletic director Kurt Younghouse said it was a relief to be done with masks, and there were people he didn’t even recognize at first because he had only seen their eyes since. almost three years.

“This year is starting very well,” he said. “Everyone is excited about the change that is happening in a positive way, and they are excited to get back to this normality, this return to normalcy that we all dream of having. My favorite thing is just seeing all the faces.

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter

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