About Us » Retirement Recognition

Retirement Recognition


After a combined 64 years of service, Mrs. Ruth Hirschfeld, Mr. Jim Buege, and Principal Jim Grasby are retiring.

Mr. James Grasby, LLHS Principal for 19 years.
Mr. James Buege, 28 years at LLHS in various teacher and Choir Director roles.
Mrs. Ruth Hirschfeld, 17-year Director of the LL Extended Learning Center (ELC)
Retirement Recognition for the student body took place during chapel on Wednesday, May 11. Watch that chapel service (with a comforting message from PH, who is also leaving this year) and then check out the slideshow.  
They will also be honored at a reception on Sunday, May 22. You are welcome to join us! It begins at 3:15 in the West Gym, or shortly after the finale of the public 2 p.m. LL Commencement Concert. 
Can't make it in person? Livestream the concert. 
Cards or well wishes may be sent or brought to the office:
Attn. Missy McKenna
Lakeside Lutheran High School
231 Woodland Beach Road
Lake Mills, Wis. 53551
Please indicate on (or inside) the envelope to whom (Grasby, Buege, or Hirschfeld) your card should be directed.
On Graduation Day, we will also be recognizing their service to us. That will take place on May 29 at 2 p.m. Livestreaming available.
Read more about each of them:


Jim Buege

I have been privileged to serve 28 years at Lakeside, the majority of those as the director of choirs. The great joy of my ministry is taking the A Cappella Choir out to the various congregations in our federated area. Seeing the choir express their faith in song and actions is so spiritually uplifting. Coupling that with the other opportunities I have at Lakeside -- working with students in the classroom (Choir & Composition) and working shoulder to shoulder with a dedicated staff -- I consider myself truly blessed.

I grew up at Garden Homes Lutheran in Milwaukee and attended Wisconsin Lutheran High School. After completing three years at MLC, I taught social studies (Civics / US History/ Economics) at St. Croix Lutheran High School (1973-74); then finished  my senior year at MLC (1974-75).  I then was assigned to tutor at NPS (now LPS) for one year - dorm supervision, 9th grade English and coaching tennis. Lorraine and I were then assigned to start Trinity Lutheran School in Minocqua. We served there for 8 years, seeing our original 1st graders graduate in 1984. In 1984 I accepted the call to Zion/Columbus to teach 7-8 and serve as principal. In addition I directed junior choir and coached until trading coaching for senior choir.

I was initially called to Lakeside to teach Grade 9 &11 English and coach Freshman basketball and softball. Years two and three at Lakeside saw me pick up sophomore choir. Late in the 1996-97 school year, Jim Wade (Choir and Spanish) took a call. Lakeside was unsuccessful in calling a replacement, and I volunteered to give it a whirl. I am completing my 25th year of giving it a whirl.

The biggest change in teaching over the years has been in the technology sector of teaching. Shocking, I know.  From filmstrips, overhead projectors, and paper gradebooks (adding and dividing numbers; weighting tests vs. assignments on the  cutting edge technology of a calculator that could add, subtract, multiply, divide, and work with percentages all for a magical price of $75 that you might spend $2 on today...) to weighting your assignments, quizzes, tests quarter grades, exams all within an online gradebook program. The movie, filmstrip, and overhead projectors are long gone.  Now projectors are hooked up to your computer with a seemingly limitless ability to bring in information.

My wife Lorraine and I have three daughters Melanie, Adrienne, and Katie (all graduates of Lakeside) and five grandkids (Joseph, Lia, Kaeden, Josiah & Jack). In my spare time, I enjoy following the Brewers, Packers, Bucks and Badgers and doing projects around the house. I am currently serving as Church President at Immanuel in Farmington. Outreach in Johnson Creek, watching my grandkids do their activities, sub teaching, and announcing Warrior football games (love those complimentary Warrior Club steak sandwiches and the best seat in the house) God-willing will occupy my future.

Grasby Jim Grasby

I have served as Lakeside Lutheran’s Principal since 2003.

Before coming to Lakeside, I served at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (1993-2003), Jackson, as the school’s Choral Director. My duties involved directing the school’s Concert Choir, the Echoes (show choir), the Echoes Too (show choir), teaching Freshman Music, and Honors Music Theory. During my years at “Kettle,” the choral groups were blessed with growth and success. They earned numerous “I” and “I*” ratings in district competitions, and “I” ratings at state. The Echoes also competed in competitive show choir events, placing in two competitions. I also taught sophomore Religion. During these years, I earned a Master of Arts in Religion from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon (2000) and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Marian University, Fond du Lac (2002).

Prior to KML, I taught at Winnebago Lutheran Academy (1981-1993), Fond du Lac. Here I served as the school’s Choral Director and also taught freshman Religion. In addition to conducting the school’s choral groups and teaching 9th grade Music and Religion, I also taught Music Theory and Advanced Placement Music Appreciation and Literature. For three years (1983-1986), I directed the Band. One semester, I was even asked to teach Typing. The truth is that I don’t know how to type! Nevertheless, I was able to follow the curriculum and teach my students the art of typing. Perhaps my most famous student in that class was Mr. Todd Jahns, currently Lakeside’s Activities Director.

I was assigned to Bethany Lutheran School, Kenosha (1976-1981). Here, I taught 7th and 8th grade and also served as the congregation’s Music Director. I was a mid-year graduate from Dr. Martin Luther College. I will always recall graduating from DMLC on a Wednesday evening and being in the classroom by the following Monday. Indeed. I made it through the first half-year of teaching by the grace of God and the awesome support of one of Bethany’s veteran teachers and his wife. At my first choir practice in 1976, there were six choir members. Within two years, there were 35 singers in choir. During my years in Kenosha, I earned a Master of Church Music degree at Concordia University-Chicago (1980). Here, I had the privilege of studying under Dr. Richard Hillert and Dr. Carl Schalk, both prolific composers of church music. Many of their compositions are used in Lutheran churches today.

I grew up in LaCrosse and I graduated from Luther High (Onalaska) in 1972. During my middle school and high school years, I marched with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. In addition to the extensive summer travels for various competitions, I was given the opportunity to direct the music ensemble at times when the adult instructor was not able to be present. To this day, I believe that the Lord may well have used these experiences to prepare me for future service in the Church. I also marched in the first Drum Corps International competition at UW-Whitewater in August 1972. The Blue Stars took 2nd that evening.

My love is serving God’s people in ministry. I currently teach an Old Testament course to 9th graders. My first love is still music. I use and enjoy music whenever I have the opportunity. I frequently adjudicate for the WSMA at solo-ensemble festivals, judging vocal solos and small ensembles, along with occasionally adjudicating at a large group festival. I have judged at state on at least 25 occasions.

The thing I love most about Lakeside is its people: the students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, supporters, and people of the federation. Among the various places of ministry I have served, the support of Lakeside’s people for this school is phenomenal. Every morning, I stand outside the office to meet and greet the students who enter through the main entrance. This interaction with several hundred students daily gets my day off to a great start. I will truly miss this!

Following retirement, my wife, Nancy, and I plan to remain in this area. We hope to travel, especially visiting our two children and their families in Iowa. We hope to attend the school events of our three grandchildren aged 10, 7, and 10 months and become more involved in their lives.

Many ask whether work in the public ministry has changed over the past 40+ years. To that, I would respond yes and no.

Yes, it has changed in response to education (in general) and society (in particular). The demands to prepare students for post-secondary education (e.g.: college, technical school, on-the-job training, etc) mean that students must be trained in ways that were not expected decades ago. Although the subject matter remains much the same, its delivery and application are sometimes as important as the learning itself. Over the past several years, teachers have needed to become more adept at the use of technology because students (and occasionally teachers) were unable to attend school due to illness. Opportunities to learn outside the classroom through field trips and other off-campus experiences have not existed. This forced teachers to plan creatively and collaboratively to effectively deliver instruction. At the same time, society has developed expectations that students should be able to connect their classroom learning with real life experiences. Areas like technical education, computers, and STE(A)M are based on the assumption that the learner is able to “connect the dots” between rudimentary skills/understandings and more advanced ones. Today, the successful high student is one who is well-rounded in all the core areas and yet is focused on a particular discipline.

The other factor causing change in ministry is the dynamics of society. Whereas society supported the basic tenets of Christianity decades ago, it now challenges them. To society, there are no absolutes. To the Christian, there is the absolute of God and his Word. Society sees human woes as only shortcomings and there is a brighter future if those shortcomings can be minimized or eliminated. God’s people see that sin has not only destroyed their relationship with God, but also their relationships with others. These problems cannot be undone and will worsen over time. It comes down to the question of whether tearing down the time-honored traditions of Christianity will improve society or destroy it. Yes, so much is different from what those a generation or two ago experienced.

At the same time, little has changed. Solomon echoes this by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration on these words: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Today, people are sinners just as they were in Solomon’s time. There is strife, unrest, dissatisfaction, and a general longing for something better due to sin. God provides that which is better. In response to his demand for holiness and righteousness in opposition to sinfulness of humankind, he supplies the answer through his Son, Jesus Christ. He took the load of guilt on himself and paid for it fully with his perfect life, innocent suffering, and death. His resurrection is a further sign of his heavenly Father’s approval that the price is fully paid. We are at peace with God because our sins are forgiven. When God sees us, we stand before him in a white robe of righteousness.

This is what has not changed. This message of law and gospel, sin and grace, remains the core of Christian education. It is a message that is taught, applied, and reinforced every day. It is the primary strand of learning that is taken captive and made “obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This was as true in 1976 when I began teaching as it is today. God willing, his Word will be fully and unapologetically taught in Lutheran schools until the day that Jesus returns in glory.


Ruth Hirschfeld

I was born and grew up in Manitowoc, graduating from Manitowoc Lutheran High School. I received a bachelor’s degree from Dr. Martin Luther College and a master’s degree in education from Edgewood College. I hold a state teacher’s license in education and am licensed in cross-categorical special education with an emphasis in learning disabilities. Prior to coming to Lakeside, I taught 1st and 2nd Grade from 1976-1980 at St. Paul’s Fort Atkinson—and absolutely loved it!

Then from 1980-1999, I stayed home with the kids. I absolutely loved it! I am so thankful for these years! My husband Bill and I reside in Fort Atkinson. We are blessed with four children, Joel (Betsy), Luke (Jenifer), Micah and Anna (Jarred), and five grandchildren, Kayla, Will, Noah, Evan, and Isaac. (If you are ever interested in hearing about them, or seeing pictures, just let me know.) I’m so blessed to have them all close so Bill and I can take in all (most) of their activities!!

Then I spent five years teaching 1st grade at St. John’s Jefferson and absolutely loved it too.

In 2005 I came to Lakeside—and absolutely loved it! 

(It’s true. I’ve always loved what I do.)

As the director of the Extended Learning Center (ELC), I feel so blessed to be part of the Lakeside family. As the ELC director, I identify students who would benefit from the ELC by talking with grade schools and meeting with families. Then I get to help students succeed at Lakeside. My duties include teaching Pre-Algebra and Foundations of English, providing study hall support to those students benefiting from the ELC study hall, and coordinating with teachers so that our students' learning needs are met when they have learning differences that inhibit their learning. That might mean modifying assignments or figuring out testing accommodations.

In addition, I am advisor to the Teens for Christ group here on campus. We’ve created lots of opportunities for students to serve Christ by loving other people. Specifically New Friends has brought me such joy.

I love what I do and will miss it tons, but it’s time. From the relationships with staff and students to the time spent in the ELC itself. I will miss having to use my brain to do Algebra, Geometry, Science, Biology, writing, grammar…I’m afraid it will turn to mush. After retirement, I have nothing set in stone. The Lord has guided my life so far in ways “immeasurably more than I asked or imagined.” I know he will continue to do so to serve His purpose in some way. More freedom for family time. It will be nice to enjoy the seasons. Being able to walk in daylight. The ELC is in the internal part of the building so we have always missed out on the sunshine. I have consistently wanted skylights installed. :) For some reason it was not a top priority in the budget. :) Ideally I would like to spend some time in a warmer climate over winter. Time will tell.