In his first epistle lesson to the churches of Asia Minor, Peter said, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Through more than 40 years of faithful service, Krista Flory has heeded that message.
“I think she is a great example of what it means to put others before yourself,” VLHS Executive Director Dr. John Brandt said. “Krista has a background in lower elementary education. While she has certainly taught in those areas, she’s also been a principal, a volunteer, and a development associate. “I think, quite often, she’s done whatever is necessary for the ministry to move forward.”
A Bay City, MI native, Flory grew up attending Zion Lutheran before moving on to attend what was then Concordia Lutheran Junior College in Ann Arbor. She earned a Bachelors degree from Concordia Teachers’ College in Seward, Nebraska and a Masters from Saginaw Valley State University.
After a year at Holy Cross in Detroit, she returned home to serve as an elementary school teacher at Faith Lutheran in Bay City for 22 years. Flory then taught youngsters at Zion in Bay City before spending 11 and a half years at Valley.
“I had a passion before I came to Valley, but it has exploded here,” Flory said. “It’s easy to have a passion for a place that embodies such positive values. “I’ve just really enjoyed my time here working with the staff, the volunteers, and getting to know all the donors. They’re so passionate for Christian education. That passion is contagious, and I caught it.”
With Valley, Flory has worked behind the scenes to make sure school events run flawlessly, worked with volunteers to organize and send out mailings, revitalized communications and content for the school’s marketing department, advised students, and much more.
“She volunteers to help give final exams to kids who are in our special needs program,” Brandt said. “She does that as a volunteer, because she’s a teacher at heart and wants to help.”
While there are many to consider, Flory said the memory that is going to stay with her from her time as Valley occurred shortly after she arrived. Organizing a mass mailing of documents, envelopes, inserts, and addresses can be daunting even for experienced hands. After a long day stuffing envelopes, Flory arrived at school the next morning to complete the task only to see stacks completed the night before by a student who wanted to help. That student left her a note that hung in her office till the day she retired and is one of the keepsakes she took home.
“I am grateful that I was able to serve with outstanding leaders and colleagues who desire to maintain Christ as the foundation of this school,” Flory said. “I am encouraged by the students who grow their faith and want to go out into the world and hold to the truths they have learned. I am inspired by the generosity of donors and volunteers who give freely to make sure that our Christian heritage is shared with the next generation and will be sustained. I am blessed to arrive at 40 years of serving in Lutheran schools.”