Schools should be places where hope is shared

By Jeff Boehlke, CCLS Principal

Why is it that there seems to be so much anger and violence in our society today?

As we look back on the tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut last month, we are all scratching our heads and asking “why does that kind of thing happen?”

In a strange twist of fate, on the Friday that those awful events happened in that school across the country, there was a wake here in Minnesota for a good man named Matt Shetka, who was a popular longtime teacher and coach in the New Prague Public School District. Many of you may have seen news stories about him. Matt had died suddenly the previous Sunday while shoveling snow at his home. Matt Shetka was an incredibly gifted educator and coach. He won multiple State Titles in girl’s gymnastics and golf.

As I thought about it, few events could have been any more polarized than these two. The first one, at Sandy Hook Elementary, was a criminal act, which seemed to have been borne out of anger, alienation and frustration with school, education and all that is good in life. The other, Matt’s wake, was a celebration of a life cut way too short, but one that positively impacted hundreds and even thousands of students and athletes in a small Minnesota community.

The criminal in Newtown lacked hope, for whatever reason. Matt Shetka provided hope, encouragement and much more for his students, athletes and their parents. On that awful Friday, hundreds and hundreds of mourners came to say goodbye to a good man who taught and coached at New Prague with passion and provided hope.

There is more to this story. Matt was my brother-in-law. He was married to my sister Meg for over 30 years. He was a devoted husband and great father to his four boys as well as an outstanding and award-winning educator.

Schools should be places where hope is shared! I am proud to know that Matt was part of that in New Prague. He was one of my mentors when I chose teaching as my personal vocation.

CCLS is focused on being a place where hope is found in a very special way every day. I think people in our community know that and recognize our school as a place where that hope is built on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Every year, CCLS chooses a Bible passage as the theme for the year. This year, we chose 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which says, Encourage one another and build each other up!  We encourage you to consider this special place of hope for your children!

If you have questions about CCLS or our ministry to families and children in the Watertown area, please contact Principal Jeff Boehlke at 952-955-1419 or by sending him an email at [email protected] .

For more information about CCLS, please check out our website:

The CCLS Family hopes that you will note the following upcoming activities and dates:

• The theme for National Lutheran Schools Week, Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, 2013, is “Baptized for This Moment” based on Acts 2:38–39.

Check the CCLS website for information about special events that will be happening that week!

• CCLS Kindergarten Round-Up- Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

• Registration for next school year- Begins Feb. 1.

Jeff Boehlke is the principal at Christ Community Lutheran School.