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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

University Christian High School is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS).  It is governed by an association of Lutheran Churches.  The representatives of these association churches elect the UCHS Board of Directors.  Elected members of the board serve a two-year term and can serve only two terms consecutively.  A majority of the BOD members (4) must be members of LCMS congregations. Other BOD members include a chaplain, a representative from Lenoir Rhyne University, and an ex-officio member from St. Andrews.  Board members are not compensated for their time and duties.  If you wish to email the UCHS Board of Directors, please click below.


Michael Gerken, Chair

Mr. Gerken is a parent of a UCHS student and a Thrivent Financial Advisor.  His Thrivent office is located in Newton, NC.  He brings knowledge of accounting and financials to the board as well as a parent's point of view.  Michael is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Conover. 

David Reitzel, Vice Chair

Mr. Reitzel is the CEO of Community Bank Real Estate Solutions, LLC.  David returns to the Board from his earlier years with UCHS as a former chair and former UCHS parent.  David was the key driver in the actual creation and development of UCHS.

Samantha Beerli, Secretary/Treasurer

Mrs. Beerli is a founding partner of Seenkea, a printing company located in Hickory, and the parent of two UCHS graduates. She has served on the Marketing Committee for the past five years and brings a business perspective to the Board.

Rev. Shea Pennington, Chaplain/Member

Pastor Shea is the Associate Pastor at St. Stephens Lutheran Church & School and the pastoral representative on the UCHS Board.  He is here to serve and support the holistic well-being of students and staff at UCHS.

Laura Crawley, Member

Dr. Laura Crawley is the inaugural vice president for mission, engagement, and innovation at Lenoir-Rhyne University and represents LR on the board. Laura is a lifelong Lutheran who attends Chapel services on campus and is a member with her family at St. John’s Lutheran Church - Atlanta.

David Janisko, Member

Mr. Janisko is a retired Lutheran School Principal with 43 years of experience in Lutheran schools in New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina.  He received the National Distinguished Lutheran Principal Award from the Lutheran Education Association and was named a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals in 1992.  His knowledge of Lutheran education is a great benefit to the UCHS Board of Directors.  David is now a member of St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Hickory. 

Brock Long, Member

Brock Long is the Executive Chairman of Hagerty Consulting (a nationwide Homeland Security firm) and the former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  He has over 25 years of both public and private sector leadership. Brock is a school safety expert and a Deacon at Corinth Church in Hickory. 

Pastor Christy Lohr Sapp, Ex Officio

Rev. Dr. Lohr Sapp is the pastor of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church and serves as adjunct faculty at Lenoir Rhyne University. She is delighted by the partnership in ministry between UCHS and St. Andrew's.

Meaghan Texer, Ex Officio

Mrs. Texer is a former board member and parent of two UCHS graduates. She recently served on the Principal Search committee that brought Mr. Barrett to UCHS, and currently serves on the Marketing Committee and coaches the Swim Team. Meaghan is an active member of First Presbyterian Church, Hickory NC.

Wally Zahler, Ex Officio

Dr. Zahler is a retired teacher, principal, and central office administrator in the Catawba County School System with forty years of experience.  He brings to the UCHS Board of Directors a vast knowledge of education.  Wally is a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hickory.