The Valley Lutheran faculty is known for their passion in the classroom and their commitment to the pursuit of learning, both as teachers and as students themselves. That dedication to continuing education is evident with 95% of the faculty holding advanced graduate degrees. “Teachers take graduate classes to challenge themselves, update their content knowledge, learn new instructional strategies, and to model lifelong learning for their students,” notes Dr. Lisa Meyers, Academic Dean. “The needs of students are changing. Through these continuing education degrees, Valley Lutheran remains at the forefront of delivering powerful and relevant learning.”

The latest advanced degree belongs to Valley’s Executive Director, Julian Petzold, who completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago in December 2020. As Dr. Petzold worked on his doctoral dissertation concerning school safety, he gained a great deal of knowledge related to law, research, public relations, collaboration, finance, strategic planning, and policy. While this specific knowledge has certainly helped him fill his new role this year, Petzold feels that, “the greatest benefit was to be challenged daily to consider how to impact the lives of students more effectively.  Students and learning are always the end goals of education, and that is something that can be forgotten.”

Dr. Julian Petzold, Valley Lutheran Executive Director

Congratulations to Dr. Petzold for this academic achievement! As Dr. Meyers notes: “A doctoral degree is a considerable commitment of time and energy that pays off in broader and deeper understanding of educational leadership. I know how hard he had to work to complete the degree and how much Valley Lutheran will benefit from his learning and experience.”