CA Announces New Innovation Lab
An imaginative dream that has been in the works at CA is now becoming a reality. We are thrilled to announce that CA has unexpectedly been given a lead gift that will provide an opportunity to create a new and dynamic learning experience for our students. This experience will be centered in the creation of a new “Innovation Lab” at CA.
This unique lab will provide a perfect compliment to CA’s traditional college prep curriculum by offering students the opportunity to participate in rigorous, student-selected, student-designed, project-based learning experiences.
Students will be able to acquire skills such as command-line computer programming, 3-D printing and design, and molecular manipulation, while at the same time developing higher-level aptitudes such as sophisticated questioning, perseverance, and thinking with clarity and precision.
Projects might focus on prototyping, micro-controllers, digital video, molecular gastronomy, wearable technology, fashion, architecture, and app design, to name just a few possibilities.
Before the official launch of this new initiative next semester, we are seeking the input and support of our current and future parents. CA parents are invited to attend two upcoming meetings to view a presentation about this new program, ask questions, offer input, and help chart the course for this new initiative. The meetings will be held on November 18 and 24 at 6:30 pm on both nights.
Plan now to attend on one of these nights and discover how CA plans to equip students to innovate, create, and explore.
Volleyball Team Takes 2nd In State
Congratulations to the Concordia Academy Beacons, who finished in second place in the 2015 Minnesota State Volleyball Tournament!
After sweeping their first two matches, they fought hard against Belle Plaine in the championship, but were ultimately unable to come out with the win.
Following the match, Erin Fallert and Elisabeth Tramm were named to the Wells Fargo All-Tournament Team.
Thanks to the Beacons for a truly amazing volleyball season! We’re incredibly proud of you!
CA Welcomes Bob Wolf as Teacher & Football Coach
Concordia Academy is excited to announce that Bob Wolf has accepted a call to join the CA faculty as a teacher and coach. He will be teaching PE and health classes and will also serve as the new head football coach for the Beacons.
Mr. Wolf has actually taught at CA before; he did his student teaching at Concordia Academy in spring of 1993 under Mr. Steve Dickhudt. From 1993 to 2005, he taught and coached at Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Michigan. Since 2005, he’s been on the faculty of Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, where he has taught senior theology, physical education, and health and has served as a wrestling coach, golf coach, assistant track coach, and head football coach. His football record in the last four years is 28-11, and in 2012 he was named the Phoenix Coach of the Year.
With Bob Wolf now on board, Brian Brown, who has coached football at CA since 2008, has decided its the ideal time to transition out of coaching so that he can devote more time and care to all of CA’s sports in his role as athletic director.
Concordia Academy offers a huge “thank you” to Coach Brown for his years of football leadership and a huge welcome to Coach Wolf! We’re excited to have him on board as a Beacon!
CA Says ‘Goodbye’ to Keith Esala & Steve Dickhudt
Next year, Concordia Academy won’t be quite the same. Mr. Keith Esala and Mr. Steve Dickhudt, who have taught at CA since the late 1970s, will not be returning in 2015-2016.
Mr. Esala began his teaching career at CA while still in college, teaching band from 1975-1977 while finishing his studies at Concordia College. He returned to CA in 1980 to teach band, choirs, and religion. He also taught music appreciation, 9th Grade English, Journalism, Yearbook, and Speech. Those who were students in his 9th Grade English probably remember the class going to the gym and acting out the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Esala coached track, baseball, cross country, and wrestling (including 22 years as head coach) and served as the trainer for the football team. Directing the pit orchestra for CA’s musicals, leading the marching band in numerous parades (including Disney World in 1988), working with a jazz band, and directing the pep band are other memorable roles that Mr. Esala took on at CA.
He has been married to Beverly, a CA grad, for 37 years. They have three children (who all graduated from CA) and six grandchildren.
Mr. Esala plans to continue to teach at Bethany Academy in Bloomington and King of Kings Lutheran School in Roseville.
Mr. Steve Dickhudt’s connection to CA goes back to 1962, when he lived down the street and would play on the dirt piles as St. Paul Lutheran High School (which would later become Concordia Academy) was being built. His parents were founding members of King of Kings Lutheran Church.
As a freshman, he attended the first year of the combined “Concordia Academy” and “Saint Paul Lutheran High School” and was part of the first graduating class of “Concordia Academy, A St. Paul Lutheran High School.”
In 1978, he returned to CA to teach Senior Bible Class, Sophomore Health and Physical Education, Freshman Physical Education, and Advanced Physical Education. Over the years, Mr. Dickhudt also taught 9th -12th grade Bible classes, Sophomore Health, Basic Physical Education, Resistance Training and Personal Fitness, Dynamic Health and Human Movement (for Concordia University), and Psychology
Coach Dickhudt has also left his mark on CA’s athletic program, having been a coach for JV football, wresting, baseball, girls basketball, softball, and volleyball. As the Beacons volleyball coach, he took the team to the state tournament eight times.
Another one of his notable accomplishments at CA happened in 1991, when he pierced his ear and wore a pony tail in the building for first (and last) time. More notably, in April 1992, he married his wife Candy on the same day as the Foreign Dish Dinner here at CA. He made the right choice by skipping the dinner to attend his wedding ceremony.
Mr. Dickhudt is looking forward to retirement, when he can travel and spend more time with his grandchildren.
Keith and Steve have both been deeply woven into the fabric of Concordia Academy, and their absence will definitely be felt. Their legacies of service to their students, their colleagues, and their God laid the foundation on which the next generation of servant-teachers will continue to build.
Thank you Mr. Esala! Thank you Mr. Dickhudt!
Do you have memories of Mr. Esala and Mr. Dickhudt and/or words of gratitude that you would like to share with them and the whole CA community? Then please go to www.concordiaacademy.com/alumni/memories. On that page, you’ll be given an opportunity to share your comments and upload photos!
Kim Duis Returns to Head Volleyball Coach Position
Concordia Academy is excited to announce that Mrs. Kim Duis has been named the Beacons volleyball head coach. Coach Duis has extensive ties with the program. She was the varsity assistant volleyball coach from 1995-2000 under Steve Dickhudt. She became the head coach in 2001 and took teams to the state tournament in 2001 and 2002, where they finished 3rd both years. After the 2006 season, she stepped down with a career record of 110-71. Kim recently returned as a varsity assistant coach for the 2013 and 2014 season and now will step back into the head coaching position for the 2015 season.
Coach Duis, a Concordia Academy alum, was a three-sport athlete at CA and was a member of the 1987 State Volleyball Championship team. She went on to play at Division I Montana State where she earned many accolades; she was inducted into the Montana State Hall of Fame in 2007. Last fall, Kim was also inducted into the Concordia Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Robotics Team Advances to World Championship
Concordia Academy’s Robotics team is heading to the World Championship after placing first in the State Tournament. Read all about this impressive accomplishment in the CA Blog.
Watch the video from Fofana’s “Behind-the-Scenes” Award
Lusiene Fofana, CA’s custodian, will be honored with a Behind-the-Scenes Story Award by the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) on May 13, 2014. This prestigious award recognizes individuals, schools, and/or programs modeling outstanding service to students, the school and the school community. Nominations were accepted from all private and independent schools in the state. MISF will be presenting four Story Awards highlighting the work, outcomes and struggles that take place along the way. Download the nomination submission here.
CA’s principal, Pastor Berner, was interviewed by Paul Ridgeway on AM980KKMS in January 2014 about the importance of Christian education. Click here to listen to his comments.