A daughter, a sister, a friend, an athlete, Kristin Renneker meant so much to those who knew her and loved her. Kristin was born on April 2, 1974 in
Columbus, Ohio . She was the youngest of five children, three brothers and one sister. She lived in
Columbus for the first two months of her life,
Indianapolis for the next three and a half years and then moved with her family to
West Chester, Ohio in February of 1978, two weeks after “the blizzard”. She attended two years of pre-school at Faith Community Methodist church, the next six years at Union Elementary, three years at Liberty Junior and then on to what used to be “THE” Lakota High School”, currently one of the Freshmen schools.
Having attended her siblings’ baseball, football, basketball and soccer games from the time she was three years old, as soon as she was old enough to play sports, she did! She couldn’t wait! Her first team experience was PYO soccer when she was in kindergarten and she played soccer all the way through high school. From about the age of eight Kristin was part of a select team, both with Lakota players and later a combination of Lakota and
Fairfield players. Next came intramural basketball at Union Elementary and
St. John’s until she could be part of the 7th grade team at Liberty Junior.
Kristin was blessed with many super coaches, learned from them all and improved her skills over the years. She was also blessed with a strong work ethic which she applied at home and school, as well as in her sports.
Kristin received a great education from Lakota because of her desire to learn, her strong work ethic and many wonderful, teachers, coaches, and mentors, including her four older siblings. While Kristin was a good student, she had to work hard for her grades. She put in a lot of study time to achieve and maintain her 3.6 GPA.
She was a good friend and teammate and always encouraged others to “be the best you can be” – a motto by which she lived. She led by example and had a warm, friendly smile for all. Being the youngest of five, she was competitive by nature but never had an attitude toward those who were better students or better athletes. She was rarely without a warm, welcoming smile on her face.
In addition to academics and sports, another highlight of her high school years was her involvement with Peer Counseling. At the time Kristin was involved, the Peer Counselors were mentors to the fifth grade classes at the different elementaries. Their message to the fifth graders was “Just Say No to Drugs and Alcohol”. This was a message they also lived as they were required to sign a contract that they would neither drink nor use drugs. And they were there for those students who just needed a friend. The Peer Counselors learned as much as they taught. The Peer Counseling Program continues still today, helping those students in need or at risk at Lakota.
Kristin had very deep and loving feelings for her family and loved to be with all her siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. When she was little, she totally enjoyed spending the night with her cousins. However, as she grew older, she loved competing against all of them as well as her siblings…shooting hoops and dribbling the soccer ball.
Kristin worked at
Island and put in many hours at work as well as on the soccer field, starting with conditioning in July. She enjoyed meeting new kids at
Island and interacting with all the visitors. She was rarely grumpy, but when she was, it was not fun! She was proficient at slamming doors but always got over her frustrations quickly.
Kristin was proud of the Thunderbird awards she won because she was chosen by her peers. Although she thoroughly enjoyed soccer, her real love was basketball. She was excited to make JV as a freshman and thrilled to be pulled up to dress for Varsity mid-year. She was extremely proud to make Varsity as a sophomore and start every game up to the time of her death. One of her big disappointments was that she never made an AAU team; however, she was determined to work hard and show those coaches they had made a mistake not selecting her.
Kristin was part of a class at Lakota that would be considered very spiritual. She and many of her friends attended Young Life and often met at the flagpole in front of school for prayers before classes. Kristin’s faith life was a very important part of who she was.
Kristin was in the process of completing her college applications and visits when the accident that took her life occurred…January 4th of her senior year. She so wanted to receive a scholarship to help pay for her education, and since she never had that opportunity, it seemed fitting that a scholarship be established in her name. The Kristin Renneker Scholarship was started through the generosity of many, spearheaded and supported by the Athletic Boosters, with funds later being moved to the
School District . In 2002 the scholarship fund was transferred to The West Chester/Liberty Community Foundation which has been very instrumental in administering the fund, assisting in the selection process and awarding the two $2000 Scholarships. Hopefully, this will continue and allow Kristin’s spirit and memory to live on. It is the hope of the Renneker family that this scholarship will, in a small way, help to ease the financial burdens of a college education for the winners and their families.
A Kristin Renneker Scholarship will annually help two outstanding young women (one from each of the Lakota High Schools, East and West) to achieve their dreams. The committee hopes that recipients will model the strengths and personal beliefs that were such a part of Kristin, as well as her scholastic and athletic accomplishments.
At the Lakota East soccer stadium a tree was planted in Kristin’s memory along with a memorial plaque donated by her teammates’ families, friends and Kristin’s family. It reads:
“In loving memory of Kristin Ann Renneker 1974 – 1992
Friend, Student, Teammate
Lakota Soccer Team 1988 – 1992 "
While Kristin is not here to realize her dreams, be assured she is looking down from her heavenly home and appreciating the hard work of each and every scholarship candidate and winner, urging each of them to take the gifts and blessings God has given them, use them to the best of their ability and to give back to others as best they can.