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A parent or guardian must complete the LifeWise Program Parent Permission Form in order for a student to participate in the program.


Program Details 

Van Wert Elementary School:  Grades 1-5
Van Wert Middle School: Grades 6-8
Van Wert High School: Grades 9-12 (Pilot Class)
Synergy Learning Center: Grades 6-8


Program Schedule

Elementary School students attend LifeWise once a week throughout the school year.

Middle School students attend every day for 12 consecutive weeks. 

High School & Synergy Learning Center students attend once a week throughout the school year. 

High School classes meet during the PAWS class period.  


Our Leadership Team


 LifeWise Location Director: Sara Spath

Assistant Director & LifeWise Regional Field Director: Jeremy Laukhuf

Volunteer Leader: Sue Arn

Finance Leader: Mike Holliday


Contact Us:

PO Box 702 | Van Wert, Ohio 45891

Meet Our Teachers


Myrna Hamrick began teaching at LifeWise Van Wert in 2017. She holds a B.A. in English Education and an M.A. in Education. Previously, Myrna taught English at Van Wert High School where she was also an adviser for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Myrna and her husband Brent have three grown children: Daniel, Andrew and Alexandra. Myrna enjoys being able to share God’s Word without being restricted by the laws governing public education, and seeing the students at such an early age begin to understand how awesome God is!


Amy Prichard is a familiar face to the Van Wert school system as a retired elementary teacher of 33 years. Throughout her career she also held leading roles volunteering in church ministry, overseeing childrens choir, directing VBS and teaching Sunday School and Kid's Church classes. Amy has met a variety of LifeWise Van Wert needs by subbing and now teaching two days each week in the elementary program. Amy and her husband Jay have two grown children and 4 grandchildren with whom they love spending time.


Juanita Hotmire joined the LifeWise staff in 2013 after retiring from 29 years as an administrator and teacher at the First United Methodist Church Preschool. Juanita loves having the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with LifeWise students, some of whom she taught in preschool. Currently Juanita teaches the after-school middle school class and one day each week in the elementary program. Juanita and her husband Phil have 4 sons and 11 grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with their grandchildren at every opportunity.


Matt Eding has dedicated his life to youth ministry, having worked as a youth pastor prior to joining the LifeWise Van Wert team as the middle school teacher. He holds a Master of Divinity from Winebrenner Theological Seminary and currently attends Lifehouse Church. Matt lives in Convoy, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and a plethora of rescued cats. He enjoys music, gaming, movies, and being outdoors.


Michelle Turnwald was born and raised in Van Wert and holds a BA from Anderson University in elementary education, and MS from St Francis University in special education. Prior to teaching at LifeWise Van Wert, she had the honor of teaching for Parkway and the Van Wert City school systems. Michelle loves having an impact on children’s spiritual journey by sharing her love for God. She also enjoys leading a small group with her husband, Tom, at her church. Michelle and Tom have three children: Tyler, Karli, and Madison. She enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, and appreciates family time at the lake.


Jeremy Laukhuf is the Field Director for LifeWise Academy and the high school teacher for LifeWise Van Wert. He holds an M.A. in Ministry from Luther Rice College and Seminary, a B.A. in Jazz Studies from The Ohio State University, and is a certified Project Manager. Additionally, he is a retired United States Air Force veteran. He lives life with the mindset, “Words Mean Things and Truth Matters Most”, and strives to be an efficient, effective, and authentic leader and communicator in every aspect of his work. He and his wife Cristi have five children: Brooklynn, Cayden, Madalynn, Vivian, and Lillian. Jeremy enjoys reading, writing, running, and Prog Rock.

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Our Programs

Elementary School students attend LifeWise once a week throughout the school year. Christ-centered lessons take students on a chronological journey through the Bible over the course of five years. Over 92% of Van Wert Elementary students currently attend LifeWise Academy.

Middle School students attend LifeWise every day for 12 consecutive weeks. Their study of the Bible focuses on the New Testament and its ability to influence their worldview. In 2019-2020, over 120 Middle School students attend LifeWise Academy.

Our Facilities

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The Putman Building

Elementary LifeWise classes are held in the Putman Building, a two classroom renovated home. Volunteers walk students to and from the facility, about 200 yards from the school.

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The Stoller Building

Middle School and High School LifeWise classes are held in the Stoller Building, a short walk through the school parking lot. The building was constructed in 2017 with a design intended to draw attention to the cross.