About » Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Shaun Luehring
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 three children live in Milwaukee.
Nicole SchmidtNicole Schmidt is the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for LUMIN Schools. She leads our network of schools to implement academic programs that lead to student success. Her primary role is supporting school leaders in executing the LUMIN model of curriculum, assessments and instructional practices.
Nicole has worked in education for the past 10 years as teacher, middle school lead teacher, instructional coach, and director of curriculum and assessment.  She is most proud of her six years in the classroom as an elementary school teacher, and considers herself a lifelong educator.
Nicole has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin and a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Alverno College – Milwaukee via the Burke Fellowship Program. Nicole currently holds a Wisconsin Lifetime Teaching License, Administrator (Principal) license and Director of Curriculum license. Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband, Ryan and children, Vera and Theo.
Renate Hougard

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.