Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Lautzenhiser & Thomas Loeffler
We often speak of the Oak Farm Montessori bond; that friendship that binds all graduates and alumni together due to the small class sizes, uniqueness of our campus and the opportunities for learning it affords our students. No matter where you run into someone, there are a few things that almost always come up: the first winter’s snow and sledding, the treehouse behind the red barn and many animal stories from their middle school Erdkinder days. So, when we heard that OFMS Alumni, Thomas Loeffler and Jacob Lautzenhiser, had randomly reconnected, we wanted to learn a bit more about how it all came to be and how it worked out.
Thomas joined the OFMS community at the age of three and attended through 7th grade when he transferred to a local public middle school. His time at OFMS had provided the foundation to help him succeed in his secondary experience. Between his academics and sports, Thomas stayed busy in high school. He knew that he wanted to go into engineering, so Trine University in Angola was appealing for many reasons. “Trine was a smaller college, a little more intimate, a great engineering school and close enough to home to visit, but far enough away for some separation,” he shared.
Jacob began his Oak Farm Montessori journey in the 4th grade and remained at OFMS through his junior year of high school. He was among the first students to attend OFMHS and was able to participate in many of the inaugural events that took place. However, in his junior year, Jacob made the decision to transfer to his local high school. Being new to the school, Jacob used his senior year to focus on his academics and meeting new people.
Fast forward to the summer after high school graduation and both had committed to attend Trine University; each choosing the lottery for matching them with a roommate. Jacob was the first to open the email from Trine that informed him of who his roommates and suitemates would be. Imagine the surprise when the name at the top of the list was Thomas Loeffler, his former OFMS classmate. As Jacob recounts, “After I read the email, I texted Thomas and asked if he was going to Trine. He said, ‘yes. Why?’ Because we are going to be roommates.” While it was a surprise to both, they were happy to reconnect and kick off their freshman year as old friends and roommates.
As they wrapped up their freshman year and we sat down to chat, both agreed the year had been a success, both academically and socially. They are looking forward to the summer and settling back into being at home. Thomas, an engineering major, has an internship with BAE Systems in Fort Wayne. Jacob, a finance major, will work for his dad and plans to travel out west with his family. Both are looking forward to returning to school in the fall where Thomas will continue to live in campus housing and Jacob will live off campus and commute.