Manitowoc Lutheran High School Alumni Spotlight
Name (include maiden name if applicable): Heidi Raddatz
Year Graduated MLHS: 2015
Grade School Attended: St. John’s Newtonburg
Where do you currently live: Madison, WI
Current Employer/School: Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
Current relatives at MLHS: Sister, Molly Raddatz
If you are employed what is your position? Assistant Director of Annual Giving
If you are in school what is your major and plan? N/A
How did MLHS prepare you for your future studies or career?
At MLHS I learned what it means to be involved in community and how to balance a variety of different activities. I had the opportunity to participate in many extracurricular activities and learned how to be a leader. This prepared me for a busy four years of college and taught me how to be a leader in the workplace and an active member of my community as a young adult.
How did MLHS prepare you spiritually to go out into the world?
I will never forget sitting in the gym on the red bleachers for yet another chapel service. I has admittedly half-listening to the pastor, half analyzing how I thought I did on the pre-calc test I just finished. Third hour couldn’t come soon enough. In the background of my thoughts, I caught the pastor telling a story about an alum who wrote a letter to MLHS. This alum wrote to the school saying how much they missed chapel services after graduating. I couldn’t help but think, “That will never be me. Chapel is fine, but I will never miss it. I probably don’t even need it. Religion class is enough, honestly.”
Well, here I am, 25 years old, writing about how MLHS prepared me to go into the world. I get it now. I would love to have a designated 12 minutes of worship with fellow believers each day.
Daily chapel services and religion classes were instrumental to my Christian foundation. Even if the messages were only half-absorbed, the theme stuck. Students at MLHS are taught that Jesus loves them. He lived, died, and rose again. They are taught how to live a Christian life and what it means to be God’s child. That is how they prepared me to go into the world. Because the world is hard. But the many messages, hymns, religion classes and Christian teachers make a difference.
After high school I learned that I should have given chapel and religion class a bit more attention. I was asked many difficult questions that I didn’t (and still don’t) have the answer for. Although the hard things aren’t always easy answers, I can fall back on my Christian education because I know who Jesus is. And I know how to tell others of His love. And the Holy Spirit gives the rest.
What is your fondest memory from MLHS?
My fondest memory is of the Homecoming Bonfire during my Freshman year. I will never forget taking pictures with friends after the Pep-Rally. It was a chilly night, but the massive bonfire kept us all very warm. I remember being proud to be a Lancer on that night, and I’m just as proud to be a Lancer today.
What advice would you give to current MLHS students?
I often tell my sister to pay attention to what she enjoys. I ask, “’What do you research on your own time? What kind of podcasts and YouTube videos do you listen to? What classes do you enjoy the most?’ You don’t have to turn your passions into your career, but these interests will guide you. Don’t force yourself to be what others expect you to be. God made you as a unique creation. It would be a shame if you tried to be someone or something else. God will guide your path; you just need to take the steps. And you will.”
I would tell them to be kind to each other. Teenage years are hard, and there’s a lot going on. But if you learn to be kind and a good friend, that will last you a lifetime. Pay attention during chapel, get as involved as you can, and enjoy these four years. Each day might seem like forever, but the years go by quickly!