Each year, the Lutheran Education Association (LEA) Awards honor outstanding teachers who are active in the Lutheran community and who are committed to meeting the social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive needs of children, youth, adults and families. Four Concordia-Chicago alumni are among the honorees of the 2022 LEA Awards, joining an impressive list of the University’s graduates who have previously been honored.
Mark Bahr BA ’82, MA ’88 received the LEA’s top honor, the Christus Magister award, which has been presented since 1965 to individuals who have made significant contributions to Lutheran education. Bahr is head of schools for the Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee. He previously served as principal at Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, TX, and founding principal at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland, WI.
“I love watching students and colleagues maximizing their God-given gifts and abilities to their fullest potential and feeling really good and satisfied about that process,” Bahr says. His personal mission statement is, “Love God. Love others.”
Richard Cohrs BA ’71, of St. Charles, MO, was selected to receive the Distinguished Retired Lutheran Educator EncourAGING Award. He officially retired in 2014, having served in elementary schools and congregations in Illinois, Texas and Michigan, as well as at Lutheran Hour Ministries.
Today, Cohrs draws on his vast experience and expertise as he serves the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. He creates educational, website and promotional pieces that inform about the work of the LCRL. Cohrs is now collaborating on the production of a video-based LCRL Bible study on the topic of the Two Kingdoms. In addition, he is in the process of helping develop trainings that will provide instruction in and appreciation for the Lutheran school ethos for non-Lutheran teachers in a Lutheran school setting.
Julie (Luber) Weil BA ’11, a teacher at Zion Lutheran School in Georgetown, TX, was named Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Teacher. Weil has also taught at public schools in suburban Chicago. Among her joys in ministry to students, Weil says, is “to see them succeed and apply their knowledge. I love watching my students profess their faith and make positive choices based on what we teach them every day.” She adds, “My mission is to unconditionally support each one of my students and to guide them into becoming positive and faithful lifelong learners.”
Daniel Sterling BA ’86, a teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School in Des Peres, MO, was named Distinguished Lutheran Middle School Teacher. Sterling is active in his congregation and community, and has served as athletic director at the school as well. He has 35 years of ministry experience, having previously served at River Roads Lutheran School in St. Louis. “My greatest joy is to share the Gospel every day and point students, families and my players to Christ,” Sterling says. His personal mission statement is “To teach Christ crucified and risen in every subject I teach and to serve students to eternity.”