Janet Lou Kaminske Stechholz – “Teacher Extraordinaire”

Janet Stechholz has always been a teacher. Even in her childhood years at St. Paul Lutheran Elementary School, Oak Lawn, IL, she wanted to be a teacher. She was given opportunities to work with her brother, Norman, in his learning disability, and with other students at a young age. She also taught swimming and was a camp counselor at Camp CILCA near Springfield, IL. Her “formal” career began after graduating from Concordia University-Chicago at River Forest, IL.

Over the next 40 years, Janet taught in classes, ranging from preschool to eighth grade. She has excelled at all of them. When one sets a solid basis for children to learn and grow, to love reading, to seek knowledge, to sing and make music to the Lord, and to hear the sweet Gospel of God’s redeeming love and grace in Jesus Christ, one has followed well the biblical injunction, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Janet has been married to David for 42 years. They have been blessed with wonderful, godly children and sons-in-law: Andrew, Mary (and Joe) Bliss, Sarah (and AJ) Phillips, and three grandchildren: Mia (9), Logan (5), and Kara (1). Janet was an extraordinary teacher to their children in the home, and even now she does birthday or Christmas gift “talking books,” in which she reads with joy and expression for her grandchildren.

Her teaching career had to follow where her husband was called to serve. Consequently, even through the birth of three kids, she has always taught at a school, at least part-time or substituting. Her career as a teacher has included the following:

St. Peter’s Lutheran School, St. Peter’s, IL (1975–1976)                                                              

Our Savior’s Lutheran School, Paramus, NJ (1976–1977)                                                

Bethlehem Lutheran School, Ossian, IN (1977–1978)                                                                  

YMCA Preschools, Penn Hills and Wilmerding, PA; St. Matthew’s Lutheran Preschool, Pittsburgh, PA; Redeemer Lutheran Preschool, Oakmont, PA (1978–1988)                               

St. Phillip’s campus of Valley Lutheran School, Dublin, CA (1988–1991)                                      

Calvary Lutheran School, San Lorenzo, CA (1991–2000)                                                  

West Portal Lutheran School, San Francisco, CA (2000–2006)                                                    

St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Farmington Hills, MI (2006–2007)                                                         

Little Lambs Preschool of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Canton, MI (2007–2015)

Freedom Child Care Center of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, MI (2015–2016)

Ascension Early Child Care Center, Beverly Hills, MI (2016–2018).

This is an extraordinary career of a woman who will never fully retire. She has faithfully volunteered and taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and other child education opportunities wherever she has lived. Janet currently teaches accordion. She also has been on several mission trips (northern Canada with LAMP, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Poland), again teaching children. This Fall, she begins teaching Sunday School at her church.

Parents, church members, pastors, principals, fellow educators, and family members praise Janet for how she incorporates both a Gospel witness to our Lord Jesus Christ and singing into the teaching of the Christian faith and many other subjects. Janet Stechholz, a redeemed child of God and dedicated servant of the Lord, is truly a “teacher extraordinaire.”