Alumni Stories: Terry Katsma ’76
You graduated from Sheboygan County Christian High School in 1976. What’s the first thing that comes to mind, or your favorite memory from your time enrolled at SCS?
When I was a freshman in 1972, it was the first year in the new building on Greenfield Ave. There were 66 students in the school. There was some event where each student took a book of the Bible. Sports were important in my life back then. The entrepreneurial principal, Dick Ravenhorst, talked local baseball enthusiast Denny Moyer into coaching our baseball team, supplying the bats and balls, lining up assistant coaches and using the old Legion Field. Denny drove the bus to away games. Freshmen through seniors played because we had a shortage of players. Jack Theune was our JV basketball coach and moved up to Varsity when I was a junior. One day at practice we were messing around “dunking” the basketball by taking a running jump off a folding chair. My brother Tom shattered the new glass backboard with a thunderous dunk. I remember my mother getting the bill for a new backboard.
How do you feel SCS prepared you for graduation, college/career, and life?
SCS very adequately prepared me for life after graduation. Adolescence and high school years begin the times one’s faith is formed and faith is challenged. I’m thankful for teachers and mentors like Art DeJong who challenged me and encouraged me. I’m also thankful for solid friends around me during the high school years.
You serve in the Wisconsin state legislature in the assembly’s 26th district and you sit on the powerful Joint Finance Committee. Those are big responsibilities! How did your time at SCS help prepare you for life in public office in a leadership role?
Many years and many life experiences have come and gone since my time at SCS. The education at SCS has been foundational to me. The perspective that SCS began developing in me made it clear that Jesus Christ must be honored in all areas of life and all spheres of society. We are called to worship and glorify God every day, in everything we do or say, including the world of business and politics.
What do you love about SCS?
I’m thankful my wife and I were able to send our children to SCS. I’m proud of their impact on society and the decisions and choices they have made. I love to see where the alumni of SCS are serving Jesus Christ, whether laying concrete, advising on insurance solutions or faithfully serving as a stay at home mom or dad.
How did your faith grow as a result of your time at SCS?
After the untimely death of my father after a short term illness, I watched my mother sacrifice and work hard to provide Christian Education for her 4 boys. Rather than turning my back on God for allowing this devastating impact on my family, the SCS community supported me and my family. This is one of many faith formation texts:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
What advice would you give to current SCS students?
Take in as many experiences as you can. Try out for the school play, join the choir, play on a sports team, sign up for a class that challenges you. Understand your teachers want nothing more than to see you succeed. Make good decisions and seek out good friends.
What would you say to a prospective family considering enrollment at Sheboygan Christian School?
The time and influence of K-12 education can not be understated. Visit the school, while it is in session preferably, and witness the community between the students and teachers. Talk to the administration and teachers and ask them why they do what they do. The Parental School Choice program in Wisconsin seeks to empower parents to choose what educational option is best for their children.