Established on 10.31.2021 by The Estate of Patricia J. Lehrke †
Patricia J. Lehrke graduated from Concordia in 1964. Patty's choice to attend Concordia was based partly on its fine reputation and small size, but mainly because of the scholarship aid she was offered. This choice proved to be wise indeed because her preparation at Concordia enabled remarkable success in her chosen profession, elementary education, as well as other benefits such as lifelong friendships.
After brief times teaching in Hector, Minnesota, and Camarillo, California, she joined the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon, California, just east of San Diego. She remained there for over thirty-five years.
The Cajon Valley School District has a very diverse demographic. The schools range from upper middle class with students from predominately two-parent households where education is a high priority to very low-income homes with mostly single-parent households. Patty was repeatedly honored as one of the district's outstanding teachers and offered the opportunity to transfer to one of the district's better schools. She declined these transfers until late in her career when she did transfer to one of those schools but lasted only one year before returning to the poorer school. She said the students in the better school would succeed in life without her because their two parents at home placed a high value on education and enabled special lessons and activities to enrich their learning. She believed the students who truly benefitted from her teaching were in the poorer district, and this is where she could make the most significant difference.
Patty never forgot how the scholarship from Concordia changed the direction of her life. She was thankful to be able to remember Concordia in her estate planning so that other students could benefit similarly.
The purpose of this endowed scholarship is to honor the life and memory of Patricia J. Lehrke and to provide educational support and encouragement to future Cobber educators who desire a Concordia education. The Patricia J. Lehrke '64 Endowed Scholarship in Education is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid to one or more students of any class majoring in education, with preference given to students majoring in elementary education. Selection is also based on scholastic achievement and financial need.