Alumni 2015-16 News

Welcome home, Alumni! Thanks for visiting!


Let us know where you are and what's new with you. Graduating? Recently married? New baby or grandchild? Exciting job change?

ALUMNI NEWS FORM. Click to share your current information. We love hearing from you!  


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Your high school transcript is requested via Parchment. Click on the link button below. A $3.50 Parchment fee will apply. 

Please keep in mind that your tuition account must be current. If it is not, the transcript fee cannot be returned to you. If you are not certain, you may contact the ALA Financial Office (602-268-8686 ext. 13 or  

Students and alumni over the age of 18 must request their own transcripts.

• ALA 5K (January)
Winter Soccer Alumni Game

Spring Wiffle Ball Tournament

Spring Gala

Golf Classic

May Commencement Concert and Graduation

Volleyball Tournament (June)

Summer Camps — for your siblings or children

• Fall Concert - Sun., Oct. 9, 2016 at 4pm in the ALA gym

Homecoming - October 20 -21

Flag Football Tournament - Sat., Oct. 22 at 10am

• Christmas Concert


• Fall Concert - Sun., Oct. 9, 2016 at 4pm in the ALA gym

Homecoming - October 20 -21

Flag Football Tournament - Sat., Oct. 22 at 10am

Check out the ALA calendar for our complete athletic and concert schedule!


We can help with your reunion!

> We are happy to help with your reunion planning by means of publicity and contact information. Please email Jen Bode so we can assist you as you plan for a successful reunion! (

> Reunions don't have to happen during the summer. Start planning now for Homecoming 2016!

> Let us know if you are planning a reunion for 2016!



You'd be amazed at the number of alumni who volunteer at ALA. Many thanks to the ALA graduates who've assisted this year or in previous years. We love seeing you and we're so thankful for all of you.

For many years now, ALA friends have asked about the possibility of purchasing the vacant 3.6 acre property on the corner of 27th Avenue and Southern—just north of the ALA property line. Read about this opportunity.





In Loving Memory of Mr. Vic Fenske
ALA teacher 1978-2002


Congratulations to Dr. Jesse Mangelsdorf, ALA 2008, who will be the third generation to practice at Mangelsdorf Family Dentist in Kingman, Arizona. Read more.

Jesse shared this with us via social media:
I must admit though if it were not for the faculty and students of this school I would not be the man I am today. Moving from Kingman to Phoenix for high school was no easy venture, but my housing family, friends, and ALA teachers/staff made it home. Arizona Lutheran Academy not only strengthened my faith, but instilled in me a great deal of integrity. I can honestly say that if it were not for this school I would not be where I am today. So I would like to thank ALA, my housing family (Angie and Brad Grass), best friends, and parents, all guided by God, for my success. Go Coyotes!

Dr. Rhoda Wolle, ALA 1985, Assistant Professor of Education and Dean of Student Success at Wisconsin Lutheran College, with a PhD in Psychology (Specialization in Educational Psychology), is teaching a professional development class with 26 teachers in Beijing, China this summer.

Rhoda writes, "Class attendees range from preschool teachers to university professors. Our topics include memory and cognition, differentiated learning, motivation, conflict management, critical thinking, and assessment. Yesterday they were to develop and teach a lesson using multiple modalities (so the learner could see it, hear it, and do it). It's amazing how adults from any culture can immediately become second graders when you put a straw in their hands and tell them to make noise...delightful!"

Josh Hoskinson, ALA 2014, is selected to the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field All-America second team. Read the full article

Photo credit:

BLC News launches, featuring award-winning PSA
Bethany Lutheran College teacher launched a 1 credit practicum course in 2016 for students interested in bringing back campus news. Every week, one of the students created a short newsbreak segment to release online and on KTV, Mankato area community television, which is operated on campus. While these news breaks were fun, quick segments, in May, Anna Meyer, ALA 2015, took the project up a notch by releasing a 20 minute news program. Take a look!

Congratulations to Carissa Henriksen and Andrew Martz, ALA 2012, now ASU 2016 graduates!

Carissa Henriksen, ALA 2012, is graduating with a Biomedical Engineering Degree from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

Leonard Steffen, ALA 1987, writes, "I married my wife 18 years ago, and went to school to be a truckdriver. 18 years later, I have 6 kids. My last daughter is a junior that loves art and is awesome at it. I have six grandchildren. I'm extremely blessed."

AZUSA, Calif.  The Point Loma women's track & field team is excited that the PacWest Championships were back after a one-year hiatus and they showed it with their performances over the two-day meet. This included Janie UnkeferALA 2013, who grabbed six points for the Sea Lions in the 400m hurdles when she placed third with a time of 1:05.62. It was a career-best time for the junior from Phoenix, Ariz. Read full article.

Photo credit: Point Loma Athletic News

J.D. Uhlhorn, ALA 2012, was named the Martin Luther College men's basketball recipient of the 2016 Sportsmanship Award, given to one player on each team who best exemplifies sportsmanship throughout the season. Congrats J.D.! 

We extend our congratulations to Andy Unkefer, ALA 1985, who has been inducted into the Grand Canyon University Alumni Hall of Fame! Read the citeria and list of GCU inductees.

Andy writes, "GCU produced a promotional video and was kind enough to provide it to me. In the video, you will also hear mention of Amy [also ALA class of 1985]. Since we are both Coyotes first and foremost, we thought you might find a use for this to show how ALA prepares folks for life."  

We are proud to be a part of your story, Andy, and we love seeing how God has blessed our alumni! Watch the video


The Colorado School of Mines men's track & field program has finally claimed its first ever conference title as they came from behind to defeat host Chadron State to claim the RMAC Indoor Track & Field Championship on 2.27.16. Josh Hoskinson, ALA 2014, contributes. Read the full story.


Outstanding South Mountain Community College (SMCC) students Mickey Diamond Diaz, ALA 2014, is one of two students nominated to the prestigious 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team by SMCC President, Dr. Shari Olson. By being nominated, both students are automatically placed on the All-Arizona Academic Team, which awards them with four semesters of tuition waivers to any one of the three Arizona public universities.

Mickey Diamond Diaz was inducted into the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society during the Spring 2015 semester. Soon after, he was elected as Alpha Eta Delta’s Vice-President of Service, where he presided over swearing in new members for the fall Induction Ceremony. In addition to his work in Phi Theta Kappa, Diaz was selected as South Mountain Community College’s Chancellor’s Scholar for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Diaz plans to transfer to Grand Canyon University Honors College this fall, and earn a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He aspires to become an automotive journalist. Read the full article.

Hannah Gray, ALA 2008, a member of the Alethia String Quartet, performed with the quartet at the Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens on December 6, 10, 11, 12, 13.


Josh Hoskinson, ALA 2014, pictured 4th from left, runs Cross Country at Colorado School of Mines. On Nov. 21, 2015, the Mines men's Cross Country team won its first National Championship in school history! Read more. Congratulations to Josh and the Mines XC team!


Emily Neeb, ALA 2013, is featured in the September 24, 2015 edition of Knightwatch Weekly, a publication of Martin Luther College.

Isaac Hayes, ALA 2013, is a student at Martin Luther College, He spent the summer of 2015 on a Summer Ministry Assistance trip.

He writes, My trip began on June 1 and ended on August 17. I was all over the North Atlantic District, or northeast side of the country. I began in Raleigh, NC and remained there for two weeks, then to Long Valley, NJ for a week, then to Watertown, NY for a week, back to East Brunswick, NJ for two weeks, to Virginia Beach, VA (Chesapeake area) for a week, to Sterling, VA for a week, then to Maryland at Elm Neck State Park for a week, to South Attleboro, MA for a week, and finally ending up in Springville, NY as well as Rochester, NY for the final week.

The major things I did throughout the trip were plenty of outreach and canvassing with the exception of two places (East Brunswick, NJ and Maryland). East Brunswick is where I did preparation for a VBS and a campout the first week, and the following week was the VBS where I taught bible stories and dance and also the 2 and a half day campout.
{Look for Isaac showing his dance moves in the East Brunswick video here.}

I also did preparation for a sports camp in Sterling, VA, but did not do the sports camp which was the following week. Maryland was where I was a counselor for Camp Chi Rho for the North Atlantic District Camp. One of the unique places I went to was in Watertown, NY where I helped out with a mission church who had just purchased a church building when I arrived.

However, my trip did end a week early. I was attacked by a dog which bit me in my leg while canvassing. I am doing fine now and super close to full recovery! Thank God he kept me safe!

All the churches were unique and had different cultures and people surrounding them, which offered me different ministries. All the congregations were each distinct and yet each the same in the one true faith in Christ. It was such a nourishing and encouraging experience, and I thank God for the opportunity!


Captain Troy Merkle, ALA 2007, is one of just three elite Army officers that have been chosen to attend the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Virgina. Notable MCWC attendees include Rt. Gen. Colin Powell, Major Gen. Arnold Fields, as well as other Joint Chiefs of Staff. 


Lezlie España
, ALA 2012, studied for a semester in New Zealand. She writes, "Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself getting the chance to explore a place like Hobbiton – even during Mrs. Tierney’s English classes on the Lord of the Rings! I was blessed with an amazing opportunity to spend an entire semester in New Zealand, where I had the ability to explore other LOTR sights, as well as many other spectacular places like Milford Sound, Rotorua, and Glenorchy. It wasn’t all about the touring though, of course! I took two Computer Science and two Psychology courses (to coincide with my double major) at the University of Otago in Dunedin. I came across this opportunity through the Honors Program at WLC, and am incredibly grateful for the experiences and knowledge that I’ve gained, which will hopefully help steer my career – in whatever direction God leads me!"

David Becker, ALA 2011, graduated from Martin Luther College on May 16, 2015, with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree.  He has been assigned to teach at St Paul Lutheran School, Onalaska, WI, grade 6 and athletics.


Kristen Schulz, ALA 2010, graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College on May  16, 2015. She is shown here with Wisconsin Lutheran College President, Dan Johnson, ALA Class of 1984.

Kristen SchulzALA 2010, and senior center on the Wisconsin Lutheran College ladies basketball team (Safford, Ariz.) is the first athlete (male or female) in the history of Wisconsin Lutheran College athletics to have her number retired. WLC Athletics 5.7.15. Kristen was also named 2015 Capital One Academic All-American.  Read more.   
Bethany Unkefer, ALA 2011, and Kristen Schulz, ALA 2010, starters on the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team, win fifth straight Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament championship title. 2.28.15. View photos.


Sam Gray, ALA 2012, won the Drake University School of Business Outstanding Junior Community Service Award and the Undergraduate of the Year award for his fraternity, AKPsi.

Sam is studying actuarial science at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.

Sam accepted an internship with New York Life and spent the summer of 2015 in Manhattan. He will be returning to Manhattan in June 2016 to begin his career at New York Life Insurance Company. 

Adele Koutia, ALA 2011, was awarded a summer internship at a neuroscience research lab in Trondheim, Norway. Adele is studying at the University of Arizona, and worked in the lab of Drs. Edvard and May-Britt Moser, winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. 

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