Accounting Experience Leads Sailer to Career at Lutheran School
When Aaron Sailer, SFLS class of 2003, studied accounting at Concordia University Nebraska, he never expected to use his degree at a Lutheran school. In 2016, however, he joined the team at Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha as the director of finance.
“The ‘small world effect’ among Lutherans is uncanny,” Sailer said. “Concordia Omaha’s Head of School, Rob Cooksey, had been principal when I was at SFLS, and he knew I was a finance person, so he contacted me all of those years later when Concordia Omaha had a need. It was a good opportunity to learn some new skills while serving in a place with a great mission.”
Similar to SFLS, Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha are owned and supported by an association of 16 congregations affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The schools serve approximately 600 students in grades K-12.
Sailer’s responsibilities as director of finance include preparing financial reports for the Board of Directors, accurately tracking accounts and balances, processing payroll and paychecks, managing the annual audit, and more.
“My favorite part about working in a Lutheran school is having that common goal of sharing Jesus with students and those in our community,” Sailer said. “This position suits me well, as I prefer to be more behind the scenes and I enjoy finance, yet I’m still able to work towards that goal. There’s a wonderful sense of shared purpose at Concordia Omaha, whether you’re behind the scenes, at the front of a classroom, volunteering in the lunchroom, or however you’re serving.”
Before joining the team at Concordia Omaha, Sailer spent two years working in public accounting and three years teaching accounting classes at Concordia University Nebraska.
While Concordia University Nebraska and Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha share similar goals of teaching and preaching the gospel while preparing students for work in the church and world, Sailer said that his roles at each school have provided two very different experiences.
“I enjoyed teaching; it was fun and challenging to try to develop interesting ways to teach accounting, but here at Concordia Omaha the challenge is to manage money in a very non-theoretical way,” he said. “I like to learn about finances and help people manage them, and both experiences have done that in their own interesting ways.”
Ironically, Sailer’s connection to Cooksey isn’t the only SFLS tie he found upon arriving at Concordia Omaha. Former SFLS teachers Myron and Sandy Reick were both working at Concordia Omaha when Sailer joined the team in 2016. In addition to teaching Sailer at SFLS, Mr. Reick also served as his basketball coach.
“My most fond memories [of SFLS] are playing basketball, especially the trips to Faribault and Rochester, MN,” Sailer recalled. “It was great fun to be on a good team with good friends and to hang out at the hotel pool with everyone on those trips. Beating the Rochester Lutheran team to win first place in 2003 turned out to be even more interesting, as the best man at my wedding in 2015 was on that opposing team!”
In addition to basketball, other SFLS memories that stand out for Sailer include having his own mother—Mrs. Sarah Sailer—for a teacher in 8th grade, meeting new buddies who remain close friends today, and receiving a warm welcome from his new teacher after moving from St. Louis with his family in 4th grade.
“Mrs. Ann Herther had a great impact as my fourth grade teacher since SFLS was all new to me,” Sailer said. “She was so kind and welcoming.”
The hospitality Sailer experienced as a new student at SFLS continued throughout his elementary and middle school career. Ultimately, the relational atmosphere of the school played a key role in equipping him for high school, college, and the workforce.
“Transitioning to a large public high school was a challenge,” he shared, “but my time at SFLS helped me to be confident in my faith in Christ and also helped me make friends with people who had different beliefs than my own. I think it’s quite important to make connections with all types of people! And I do think my teachers at SFLS helped foster the idea that it’s ok to be different, whether that applies to myself or others.”
Sailer currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife Lisa, who teaches kindergarten at a local public school. In their free time, the Sailers enjoy watching baseball and Husker football games, playing with their dog Linus, and spending time with family.
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