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Board Meeting Minutes

Roger Luersman - 2020 Gene Stechschulte Award


Jan 27, 2020
Category: Administration
Posted by: KahleJ

Congratulations to Mr. Roger Luersman on receiving the 2020 Gene Stechschulte Award. Mr. Luersman taught at Kalida for 34 of his 35 years in education. He and his wife, Nora, have been married 46 years and raised four children in Kalida. In addition to guiding our youth in the classroom all those years, Roger coached at several levels over many years and was instrumental in many coaching ideas still in place today.

Mr. Luersman helped start and coached Junior High Track in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Kalida. He had to get creative in practices, much like today, as there were a lack of proper facilities back then. Despite the challenges, he was able to witness several of his athletes succeed at the county level. Mr. Luersman also coached Little League baseball for several years, helping to create the B teams we still have today. In doing so, many more young boys could play the game of baseball because of the expanded programs. He is also well known for his many years of helping coach Junior High basketball. He was known for stressing fundamentals to his players, on his way to winning five PCL championships at the eighth grade level. Once again, Roger was concerned that not enough boys were getting playing experience, so he worked diligently at getting B teams organized in the county. Some of his proudest moments happened when his B team basketball players stuck it out and played at the varsity level at Kalida. Coach Luersman truly believes in giving every player a chance to succeed.

The rich tradition of soccer in Kalida owes much of its start to Roger Luersman. In an effort to get more youngsters involved in athletics, Roger recalled his own positive experience in PE classes as a smaller boy and wanted to share that passion with others. In 1979, he made goals out of PVC pipe, signed up enough 6-8th graders to form four teams, and taught the basics of soccer. It was through those efforts and his affiliation with others around the county that soccer took off in Kalida. Roger recruited others around Kalida to help promote the game locally. In fact, one of those volunteers was Gene Stechschulte’s son-in-law, Mark Czubik. Mark would eventually get soccer going as Kalida High School’s first varsity coach and he has lead the program since its inception, recently winning his 400th game as head coach. Needless to say, Roger is very proud of his contributions to the growth of soccer in Kalida.

A less known fact about Mr. Luersman is his involvement with foster children. Much like Gene and Mary Jane Stechschulte’s involvement with many foster children over the years, three of Roger’s children have been involved in foster parenting. Roger was, and is, often involved in the lives of those children.

Denny Turnwald, of Kalida, nominated Roger for the Gene Stechschulte Award in 2018. Denny said Roger emulates what Gene Stechschulte stood for. He is a man of character, heavily involved with our youth, and has spent many selfless hours impacting children in a positive manner. Denny’s personal interactions with Roger always gave him the impression that Mr. Luersman cared deeply about all youth, and he wanted them to always believe in themselves.

It is with great pleasure that the committee and the Stechschulte Family recognize Mr. Roger Luersman as the 2020 recipient of the Gene Stechschulte Award.


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