How has your education at Topeka Lutheran School prepared you for your life?
I’ve found myself thinking quite a lot about different schooling options now that I’m a mom of a daughter nearing kindergarten age. While there are positives and negatives with the various options, I want for my two children what I had at TLS. The nine years I spent there were transformative and heavily influenced the person that I am today. TLS was a place where I was encouraged to stretch myself, grow in my faith, and develop skills that I continue to use daily. The small class sizes and individual attention created a wonderful education environment that prepared me for high school, college, and beyond. I have such fond memories of the school, the students, and staff at TLS. While we do not live in the Topeka area, I hope that my children are able to attend a school that helps shape them and strengthen their faith as TLS did for me.
What is one thing you would want people to know about Topeka Lutheran School that they might not think about?
People often think that small, private schools are unable to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. I found the exact opposite to be true at TLS. I experienced sports, cheerleading, yearbook, student council, and many other activities. I was able to try them all, gaining a true understanding of my interests and talents. The opportunity to try different activities is such an important part of childhood development and one of the many benefits of TLS.
How has the teaching and modeling of Jesus' salvation received at Topeka Lutheran School impacted your trust in the Lord?
My faith, fostered in my time at TLS, has been a foundational aspect of my life. The teachers and staff at TLS modeled their faith through daily example and were instrumental in both my educational and spiritual development. They taught me that my identity and worth is based in Christ, not in my successes or failures. Through the hills, valleys, and unexpected detours of life, I depend on this truth, asking the Lord to open my eyes to the opportunities He provides in daily interactions to love and serve those around me.
Please list some accomplishments that you have achieved since leaving TLS.
One of my most noteworthy personal accomplishment is marrying my husband of almost six years, Braun, who is an LCMS pastor. We have two wonderful and energetic kids – Lily (4) and Cade (1). I received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree from the Naval War College. I had the privilege of serving as an officer in the 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka, a position that included several short overseas deployments. After college, I moved to Washington, DC for an internship in then-Senator Brownback’s office and have continued to work for Congress in some capacity for the past 13 years. Currently, I am a senior policy advisor for the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs under the leadership of Chairman Isakson from Georgia.