Catching up with Mrs. Cunningham

Last May, Mrs. Louise Cunningham turned in her bookstore keys and announced her retirement. Mrs. Cunningham, or “Nana” as she was called fondly by many of her students, was part of the LuHi community for 34 years! She served in several roles during her time at LuHi, and most recently oversaw the LuHi bookstore and provided a ministry of love to those that entered its doors each day. Let’s catch up with Mrs. Cunningham as we prepare to celebrate her during our Homecoming festivities this weekend!

What was your fondest memory at LuHi?
What comes to mind for me is the individual accomplishments of each of the kids that grew from their time spent at the bookstore.  And I loved each and every graduation, just to see the proud kids celebrate with their friends and families at the end of their middle and or high school experience.  Oh and I love when the yearbooks come out, just to see the joy in each kid seeing themselves at events and the memories of the events with each other - and of course, signing each other's books.

Your bookstore became a place where many students came to eat lunch, socialize, and spend together (and with you!). How do you describe your bookstore ministry?
I can't really say how it all got started, it just happened one kid at a time and before I knew what happened, at the beginning of each school year they all were there and stayed for as long as they wanted too. It was really awesome to see them reunite with each other in that bookstore.

What makes LuHi special?
No doubt in my mind, it's the people and their spirit of commitment to the job before them. It’s the association pastors, association congregations, Board of Directors, administrators, staff, both school and summer programs, maintenance, cafeteria works, coaches and our parents and guardians who send their children to us. Last, but not at all least, LuHi is special because of our students. Without them, none of the above would be necessary.

Now that you are retired - what are your plans?
That's a question I'm leaving up to the good Lord, who 34 years ago led me to LuHi, where I was supposed to be. I will do the same for the next chapter. Deciding to retire from LuHi didn't come easy. I will miss it very much. 

Anything else you would like to share about LuHi?
It takes a village to raise a child. A village is another name for a big family, and that's what we are here at LuHi  - an extended family for all those that find their way here. It truly was that for me, and I have many “children”, now adults, to prove it. For that, I am so blessed and very humbled at the thought. I thank God for allowing me to have been part of the awesome place called LuHi for these past 34 plus years. The people and the students will be a part of me forever, and I'm taking with me the lessons that my oh-so-many “kids” taught me.
Mrs. Cunningham will be at LuHi's Homecoming Celebration this weekend, and all alumni are invited to a special reception for her at approximately 4:30 PM (following the Crusader football game) in the LuHi cafeteria. Thank you, Mrs. Cunningham, for the years of love and care you provided to the LuHi community!
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School    |    131 Brookville Road, Brookville NY 11545    |   516.626.1700
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School is a Christ-centered, college-preparatory school whose mission is to glorify God by educating young people in body, mind, and spirit.