President & CEO
Shaun Luehring became President & CEO of LUMIN Schools on January 1, 2019, overseeing more than 150 employees and 1,300 students at six Lutheran schools that serve primarily low-income, minority children in Wisconsin and Indiana. He was hired by LUMIN Schools in 2015 to create a network-wide academic infrastructure that established consistency in school cultures, instructional practices and leadership development. In his first three years of service, standardized test scores increased an average of 27 percent across all LUMIN Schools with its Wisconsin-based schools earning ratings of Exceeds Expectations or Significantly Exceeds Expectations by the Department of Public Instruction.
Before joining the LUMIN leadership team, Shaun spent 16 years serving Lutheran schools as a principal, teacher and executive, specializing in school turnaround, leading change, and serving children and families in low-income urban areas. He led several Wisconsin schools through tumultuous times, most recently Atonement Lutheran, which was considered a failing school when Shaun became principal. Under Shaun's leadership, Atonement became the 2nd highest performing school of all 80/80 schools in Milwaukee, serving 80 percent low income and 80 percent African-American students. Test scores increased by 27 percent, and the student retention rate grew to 93 percent along with an attendance rate of 97 percent.
Shaun also spent five years in California as the principal of Apostles Lutheran School in San Jose where he focused on student enrollment, which increased 15 percent in one year. This role in particular enabled him to work closely with students and prospective families, developing his relationship-building skills that were an essential part of his school turnaround work later in his career.
Outside of his work at LUMIN, Shaun is an adjunct professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College and a leadership coach for the Center for Urban Teaching. He has served on the board of directors for Choice Schools Association and Grace Lutheran in Grenada, West Indies. He regularly serves as a keynote speaker at education-related events and conferences. He is also an active church member at Salem Lutheran in Milwaukee. Shaun and his wife live in Milwaukee with their three children.
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Renate Hougard joined LUMIN Schools in 2006 when her employer, Northwest Lutheran School, became a LUMIN School. Since then, Renate has managed the financials for the steadily-growing network of schools. Now as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Renate manages a collective $12 million budget for all six schools and oversees the information technology, compliance, facilities and food service functions.
Renate grew up in Germany where she received her training in accounting. Early in her career, Renate's husband Don, a Lutheran pastor, received a call that resulted in the family moving to Canada. A subsequent call moved the Hougard family to Milwaukee in 1996 to serve at Benediction Lutheran Church where they still serve today—Don as pastor and Renate on the Board of Stewardship and as treasurer. Renate and her husband have three adult children.
Vice President of Mission Advancement
Steve Dykema was named Vice President of Mission Advancement for LUMIN Schools in 2018. In this role, Steve is responsible for leading a comprehensive donor development plan designed to engage donors and supporters at all levels. He will be at the forefront of future growth opportunities that will enable LUMIN Schools to expand its network in service to more children in urban communities.
Prior to joining LUMIN Schools, Steve held several leadership positions at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, most recently as Vice President of Development & Communications. After spending the first 20 years of his career in publishing with Journal Communications, he made a career change, becoming an elementary school educator in the greater Milwaukee area within both the public and charter school systems. Given this background, he recognizes the value of philanthropy, impactful programming, collaboration and organizational partnerships working together to move the community forward.
Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management & Communications from Concordia University Wisconsin. He serves on the board of Milwaukee Collegiate Academy. He also serves as treasurer and a board member at Vineyard Church and has led several volunteer trips to Belize to build a new high school in an impoverished area. Steve lives in Grafton and has two sons.
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
After serving on the LUMIN Schools Board of Directors for five years, Rebecca Ehlers was named the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for LUMIN Schools in 2018. Rebecca is responsible for developing strategies and tactics to grow brand awareness, deepen family engagement and increase enrollment within LUMIN's growing network. She also supports LUMIN's fundraising initiatives.
Prior to joining LUMIN, Rebecca held a variety of roles that shaped her into a well-rounded marketer with experience in public relations, digital communications, media buying, account management and event planning. She worked for several well-known brands, including Boys & Girls Clubs, Children's Hospital and Health System, Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Hoffman York. In 2016 she was named Chief Marketing Officer of the Year by the Milwaukee Business Journal and joined TEMPO Milwaukee.
Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and History from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She lives in Germantown with her husband and two children and belongs to First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg.
Vice President of Student & Family Services
Caroline Horn joined LUMIN Schools in 2010 as the Vice President of Student & Family Services. In her role, Caroline equips LUMIN Schools and staff with training and resources that help students overcome barriers to learning that often result from poverty and trauma. She has been instrumental in forming partnerships with universities to bring social work, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy practitioners to LUMIN Schools to provide free onsite services to students. In addition, she manages a team that provides social work, special needs and health services to students across all LUMIN Schools.
Before joining LUMIN Schools, Caroline was counseling and teaching students and families at Atlas Preparatory Academy and Gilchrist Christian Academy. Prior to that, she taught math and science for 13 years with most of her time at Eastbrook Academy. Caroline also has 10 years of experience working in the field of accounting and enjoyed 15 years of volunteering with diverse student populations in a variety of secular and Christian organizations
Caroline earned a double major in Psychology and Education from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a Masters Degree in Counseling from Concordia University Wisconsin. She has also acted as an adjunct instructor at Cardinal Stritch University.
Caroline has been married for 31 years and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. She is a member of Fox River Christian Church.
Vice President of Human Resources
Maria Wartgow joined LUMIN Schools in 2014 and was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources in 2018. Maria is responsible for recruitment and staffing, employee relations, performance management, and compensation and benefits across six schools and the LUMIN network office.
Maria held past human resources roles at ManorCare Health Services and Degussa. Her career has been focused on empowering adults to thrive in the workplace, but she has had an equal passion for working with youth, which she has fulfilled through more than 10 years of volunteerism in youth ministry. This includes leading mission trips to Thailand and Nicaragua.
Maria earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a major in Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. She lives in Menomonee Falls with her husband and three children. They belong to Brookfield Lutheran Church.