26 July 2017, by John Agliata, Digital Marketing Manager
It is three days after a record-breaking windstorm blew through the grounds of Forest Hills Lutheran Christian School, and Jean Faszholz is doing what Jean Faszholz does: Helping.
Nearly an octogenarian, Jean is picking up sticks, some more accurately described as branches, dislodged by the storm that hit the Cornelius, Ore., school – adding them to growing piles that would make a bonfire enthusiast light up.
It’s just another one of the things Jean has done in the nearly 10 years she has served as a volunteer. Other efforts she has tackled include coordinator of the janitorial staff, substitute teacher, project manager for a building renovation and interim principal for the school.
It is that depth of service that earned Jean the 2017 Concordia Plan Services Spirit of Service Award.
RETIREMENT PLAN ‘A REAL BLESSING’
“Jean comes here each and every day. As she walks around the campus, if she sees something that needs to be done, she’ll do it,” says Mike Schiemann, principal at Forest Hills since 2014 and the man behind Jean’s nomination for the Spirit of Service award.
Jean is quick to credit the Concordia Plan Services’ Retirement Plan for giving her the ability to spend her post-teaching career serving in a way that fulfills her and transforms a school community in the process.
“I can remember being at the seminary and told as seminary wives that it would be important for us from the very beginning to plan for retirement,” Jean says. “Having the ability to do that through a service that would give you advice and a plan of how to do this so you’d end up with something in retirement – a retirement wage – has been a real blessing.”
A ROYAL TITLE
A blessing, yes. But nowhere near as important as being crowned royalty. Around Forest Hills, Jean is known as the Queen of the Lost and Found. The Queen frequently finds herself in possession of random gloves, hats, jackets, lunch boxes and sometimes even pants, going from classroom to classroom in search of their rightful owner with Sherlock Holmes-like doggedness.
“I have friends who lose everything,” says eighth-grader Macy Belusko. “They have a very good relationship with Mrs. Faszholz.”
In fact, it seems every student has a good relationship with Mrs. Faszholz.
“(She) is like the grandma of the school. She is loving. She is there for everyone,” Macy says. “Without Mrs. Faszholz, the school isn’t the school.”
For Jean, it’s all about faith in action.
“God presents many ways for you to say ‘thank you,’ to appreciate what He has given you and serve the people who have come to know him or those who are still learning about Him,” she says. “It’s about them seeing somebody who does something rather than just someone who talks about it.”