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CLHS Honors Academy welcomes new students, hears about leadership

Feb. 9, 2018

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Honors Academy at Concordia Lutheran High School recently admitted three freshmen to join the other 41 students in grades 9-12. Those students are (left to right) Jonah Smith, Katelyn Nix and Madeline Dahlgren.

Also, during a special leadership summit this week for the program, Paul Helmke shared his leadership of Fort Wayne as mayor for three consecutive four-year terms from 1988-2000 and as “Professor of Practice” in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs as well as Director of the “Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center” at Indiana University in Bloomington shared his educational background along with his political and legal career pursuits. Helmke challenged the students to be fair, look at all sides of situations, represent all people and do the right thing as a leader.

Luanne Erdos, the Honors Academy director, purposely seeks speakers for the Leadership Speaker Summits talks from various industries and points of the leader’s career. Students have the opportunity to engage with the speakers and learn from their life stories.

In the past four years, students have heard from such local leaders as Josette Rider, CEO of the Fort Wayne Big Brothers Big Sisters; Don Wolf, former CEO of the now Do It Best Corporation; and Jill Nichols, retired CFO for Vera Bradley.

“There is so much value for students to hear career stories and have exposure from the field of finance, non-profit organizations, city governance and more,” Erdos said.

Begun in 2014, the Honors Academy is currently in its fourth year and will be graduating the “first group” to successfully go through the program. The overall program involves academic rigor and discovery, creative processing and research, mentor directed community service and leadership development as well as student bonding and support.

To learn more about the Honors Academy, contact Luanne Erdos at or 260-203-4575 or visit

Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at