Article by Kayla Hubbard (originally published in the February 2016 Spirit of One, school newspaper)
What do Luke Skywalker, barbeque karaoke, and following God’s will have to do with one another? The answer: all were topics covered by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in his visit and lecture to the students of Valley Christian School.
On January 8, 2016, the efforts of teacher Tom Winkels to book Governor Walker for a visit to VCS paid off. Governor Walker talked with the fourth through twelfth grades about his background, family life, life in office, and, most importantly, his personal walk with God.
Winkels said, “My hope [for the visit] is that it inspires students to run for political office so we can keep Christians involved in the political process.” Through his talk, Walker made his faith apparent in his words to the students. Winkels described him as “an example of someone who is comfortable and confident in his faith.”
In words that revealed a heart for community as well as the Lord, Walker summed up his line of work in a question. He said, “Ultimately, it’s about how do I serve?”
His faith in God was apparent throughout his talk, even when he talked about his beginnings. He also came off as very relatable, describing his early experiences at a small school much like Valley Christian, and how he worked minimum wage jobs, much like many of the high school students.
Holly Simpson, a freshman at Valley, said it stuck out to her that “…he started off working at McDonald’s, and eventually worked his way up to state governor.”
Indeed, hearing how Walker rose to the position of governor of Wisconsin through a series of opportunities was a motivating story. Regarding his journey to office, and the value of the work he put in prior to his election, Walker said, “One of the most important things… about washing dishes and working at McDonald’s isn’t just the paycheck, but the dignity that comes from work.”
Junior Mimi Nelson said, “There’s a lot of potential for kids out there, even to be governor.”
Administrator Brad Dunn agreed that hopefully the words of Governor Walker would inspire students to work hard at what God has designed for them.
Governor Walker challenged students to ask themselves the question, “How can I be the best at what I’m called to do?” He also encouraged students to get up every morning and pray—to ask of God what His will for them is each day. When asked what they hoped Governor Walker’s impact on the school would be, the majority of staff replied that they hoped that students would be encouraged to pursue God and His will in all they do.
“It maybe will spark an interest in our students to follow whatever dreams God has put in their hearts,” said Dunn. Governor Walker also urged students to take hold of opportunity, and said that in his own life he had seen some of the seemingly negative events turn out to be the most impactful.
While the visit of Governor Walker earned Valley Christian recognition throughout the Oshkosh community, the focus of the event was to provide encouragement for students.
“You’ve got tremendous opportunities!” said Walker. “But don’t forget where you’re grounded…If you can do that, the sky’s the limit.”