Wyneken’s Heritage of Faith and Family

A Rich History Defines School

When Marvin Drier arrived at Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School for his teaching interview, he knew it was a good fit after seeing two things: Mountain Dew and seed corn hats.

“When I taught in Chicago I was an abnormality,” Mr. Drier says. “I have a rural heritage. I liked Mountain Dew and could hardly find that in Chicago back then. I came to interview at Wyneken and half the school board had a Mountain Dew in their hands and many had on seed corn hats.”

Mr. Drier felt at home, but he was concerned that his wife would be known as the “teacher’s wife.”

“It became a special church home for her,” he adds. “There’s a big part of the congregation she has more familiarity with than I have. When I’ve had calls to teach other places, one of the measuring sticks I’ve used is how my wife would fit in.”

Now Mr. Drier recognizes the tradition of faith and family is what keeps him and many other staff here for a lifetime.

“The traditional German heritage in the family, worship and way of life is something I appreciate,” he adds.

This church’s support of Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School has been instrumental for the school’s growth.

“When they built the 1.8 million expansion to the school, it was paid for,” Mr. Drier adds. “There’s a commitment to education.”

That commitment shows up in the pastors’ support of the school as well. Pastor Daniel Brege, who has been at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Preble for 34 years, says his role in the school has changed since he started, but the theme has remained constant. “It’s always been to bring up God’s children in the way of the Lord.”

In addition to their Wednesday chapel with Wyneken students and their kinderchapel for preschoolers, the pastors have added a Word and prayer time for students.

“It’s a time every morning where the entire student body meets together and we have morning prayer from the hymnal, a regular bible story, a catechism review and student prayer requests,” Pastor Brege adds. The pastors also facilitate faculty devotions and Bible studies.

For Pastor Brege, the school is filled with family connections. After sending seven children to Wyneken, he now delights in watching several grandchildren attend the school. His daughter, Julie Smith, is an upper grade teacher for the school and appreciates the heritage of faith that her church and school have given to her.

“When I decided I wanted to get into the teaching profession, I knew I wanted to be in a Lutheran school to teach about God and profess my faith. That was one of my big decisions,” Mrs. Smith says. “Families see the importance of raising their child in the Lutheran faith. A lot of them send their children to public high school, and they want them to develop their faith at a young age.”

These faith and family connections keep people like Marvin Drier and Julie Smith at Wyneken. Along with the rest of the staff and pastors, they are working to pass on the legacy with the next generation, continuing a commitment to Christian education that will impact students for a lifetime.