Setting an Example of Service

Bethlehem Lutheran alumnus recognizes school’s role in shaping future

Lindsay Wright spent the last three and a half years serving our country in an unusual way—by working with the four-legged creatures called military dogs in the Army. But Lindsay’s story begins long before she became a veterinarian.

Her story starts at Bethlehem Lutheran School in Ossian, a small school located in the middle of cornfields and quiet country roads. Lindsay attended kindergarten through 8th grade gaining the building blocks she needed to be successful in veterinary school and the Army.

Lindsay’s class only had five students who not only grew close, but became like family. Because of the small school atmosphere, the teachers were able to invest personally in Lindsay, pushing her to reach her potential.

“My experience here at Bethlehem Lutheran helped prepare me for the future,” she says. “The teachers knew how to push me to be the best I could be.”

Since they place high value on personal attention, teachers adapt their techniques based on students’ learning styles. The results were impressive: Lindsay graduated with honors from high school and earned a full ride scholarship to Purdue.

“The teachers here are phenomenal,” she states. “And they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure your child succeeds. They care about each of the students who walk through the door. They have a lot of pride seeing children going from kindergarten through eighth grade.”

It’s this pride that motivates the community of parents, staff, and church members to support Bethlehem Lutheran School students.

Two of Lindsay’s former teachers, Rich Brinkley and Judy Moehring, have fond memories of this star student.

“She was a great student who worked hard at school work,” Mr. Brinkley notes. “I’m extremely proud of her.”

Mrs. Moehring, Lindsay’s 2nd grade teacher, remembers how Lindsay’s mom was concerned that she was having trouble with reading. Through hard work and the help of a caring teacher, Lindsay made big improvements that year.

Through close connections between staff and parents, the school creates an environment where student needs are well supported. It’s this individualized approach that helps students succeed in the classroom and in life.

“That’s what’s nice about a school like this,” Mrs. Moehring notes. “When a school is small, teachers can get to know parents well. You hear what their children are doing after they leave here. I get invitations to their weddings or when they have a baby. My former students ask, ‘Are you going to be here when my baby starts school?’”

Lindsay finds the supportive community one of the things she misses most. After serving in places like Afghanistan and South Korea, the welcome she receives when she returns home is a testament to the supportive community of Bethlehem Lutheran.

“I went to church this Sunday and met people who don’t know me, but took the time to send me things,” she adds. “It’s one of the things that makes Bethlehem Lutheran so special.”

On one brief visit, Lindsay volunteered at Bethlehem Lutheran School by doing a program on service dogs and bite awareness. By bringing her own four-legged pal, Lindsay taught students how to approach and care for dogs, as well as avoid getting hurt around unfamiliar animals.

Although she enjoys sharing her love for animals, the real joy is serving a community who invested so much in her.

“I think of nothing but fond memories at Bethlehem Lutheran. That’s part of what makes it special. I loved it here.”