Concordia University Ann Arbor alumnus Joel Klammer ('85) was selected to receive the Lutheran Education Association's 2018 Distinguished Lutheran Secondary Educator award, announced February 23, 2018.

Klammer, along with his wife Jane, were both individually selected to receive this year’s Lutheran Secondary Educator awards by LEA’s Secondary Educators Network leadership team. Both teach at Concordia International School in Shanghai.

Joel Klammer graduated from CUAA in 1985 with a bachelor’s in secondary education.

Joel Klammer is the marine research coordinator, instructor in physics, engineering and computer science, robotics coach, and serves on the Spiritual Life, Teaching and Learning, and High School Marketing committees at Concordia International School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Lutheran Teacher Education at Concordia University Ann Arbor and his Master of Arts in Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia, New York. Joel’s most recent honor was being the first foreigner elected to the Shanghai Medical Association, serving on the Hyperbaric Medicine Board. In 2015, he was chosen as the National Science Foundation’s “Large Hadron Collider Fellow” to present particle physics to schools worldwide.

Supporting Jane and Joel, the Head of School wrote, “What makes Jane and Joel such a blessing is their level of excellence which is only surpassed by their humility. Each of them serves in such a manner as ‘unto the Lord’ and not unto people. They open their hearts and their home to all people. They approach each day or each task with a quiet energy and passion for using their gifts to point people to Jesus! On any faculty, they would be exemplary models of faithful LCMS educators. It is an honor to serve alongside of them in ministry at Shanghai.”

A colleague commented, “Through the years in Shanghai, Joel and Jane have expanded the depth of learning the students of Concordia-Shanghai experience in their classes on and off campus through the service learning trips both have led. Jane led service trips to India, China, and Thailand, often working with orphanages and other human care providers. Joel took a group of 20 high school students from Concordia-Shanghai to Gansu Province to work with Dr. Hailu You on the largest dinosaur fossil ever found in China…later featured in a program produced by The Discovery Channel. These are a few of the many examples in which Joel and Jane have helped students better understand themselves, their role in the world, and their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Joel’s personal mission statement is, “To serve all of God’s people by sharing the love that He first showed us.” His greatest joy as he works with students is sharing their excitement as they grow and discover new ideas and phenomena. The shared joy of the ‘Aha’ moment when it all comes together and they see farther than they could see without you. When the students take on the mantle of discovery and proceed with bravery and boldness because of the resilience you have created in them.

Additional information on all of this year’s LEA distinguished award recipients can be found at

—Edward Grube, Director of Publications and Communications, Lutheran Education Association ( contributed to this release.


— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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