Three Longtime Faculty Members Retire

On Wednesday, May 24, over 150 people gathered in the Wittrock Gymnasium at Lutheran West to celebrate the long careers of three amazing educators: Mrs. Deb McDonnell, Ms. Jill Shimek, and Mr. Mike Becker.

The appetizers and dinner buffet at the event were made by Lutheran West Culinary Arts students under the direction of Mrs. Elizabeth Greco. Thank you to all of the students and to Mrs. Greco for time and effort you spent in making the food for this event!

Mr. Dwayne Jobst, former Lutheran West Principal, traveled back to Lutheran West to speak about all three of the retirees. With a large silver bell perched on a table on the stage next to him, he spoke about the training endured by Navy SEALs, and that trainees ring a bell to signify that they have reached a point in their training where they just cannot go on. He thanked Deb, Jill, and Mike for not ringing that bell throughout their careers — for the longevity of their service God’s children at Lutheran West and for their dedication to the school and students.

Deb McDonnell served at Lutheran West from 1989-2023 as a math teacher, math tutor, coach, Resident Educator Mentor, and Academic Rally Coordinator.

Jill Shimek served at Lutheran West from 1992-2023 as a math teacher, coach, and Math Department chair.

Mike Becker served at Lutheran West from 1984-2023 as a science teacher, coach, and Science Department chair.

All three were loved, respected, and appreciated by the thousands of students who passed through their classrooms. Not only did these three educators make a significant difference in the academic paths of so many students, but they were impactful Christian mentors, helping their students and their colleagues to grow in faith.

Lutheran West sincerely thanks Deb, Jill, and Mike. We ask that the entire Lutheran West community join us in praying for health and happiness for many years to come in their retirements.

multiple images of people gathered for a retirement celebration