The third installment in our continuing search for Loveland’s kindest, sweetest people and what they’re made of. What is our DNA match?
Loveland, Ohio – Define love. Is it the moment you first look into your child’s eyes, is it when you see you mother and father gently graze each other’s hand or is it when you lock eyes with the person you know you were truly meant to be with for the rest of your life? We all have an idea of what love is, based on how we were raised or what society has taught us, so why do we find it so hard to truly express love towards the ones we care for the most? Why is it often so hard to say “I love you?” I couldn’t think of a better person to ask these common questions to than Loveland’s newest Valentine Lady, Kathy Lorenz.
Growing up, Lorenz, who was born and raised in Pennsylvania, was taught to love many things; three of them being education, reading, and learning. Lorenz ran with those three passions and ended up developing a love for teaching.
“I wanted to be a French teacher, but at the time I graduated, there was no use for French teachers. I worked in HR, Greetings Cards, and I was an Editor for a Magazine for a while,” Lorenz said.
When Lorenz’s children were 2 and 4 she moved to Loveland with her husband where she finally got the chance to teach at UC in the Romance Language Department as a French Teacher. Lorenz spent 25 years at UC inspiring one student after another to reach their highest goals while still enjoying life’s most treasured gifts. One of those gifts being the ability to travel and see the world.
“While I taught at UC I got to take students to France,” Lorenz said, “I took about 10 trips with students to France. I always thought wow this is the best job in the world, I get to make memories, teach my students, and travel!”
After Lorenz received her Doctorate in 1991 she decided she wanted to extend her love for education into Loveland by becoming a part of the school board. Lorenz has been on the school board ever since! She is the current Vice-President of the Board and has been elected President several times. She has served for the past 18 years as Loveland’s representative to the Great Oaks Board of Directors. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and a former member of the Governor’s Task Force Ohio. Lorenz was named Rotary Northeast 2017 Educator of the Year.
“I am passionate about education, which is why I have been on the school board so long. Public education doesn’t get the respect it deserves and isn’t considered by a lot of people the necessity I think it is,” Lorenz explained, “I think if you don’t have public education it’s pretty hard to have a democracy. I want to have the best public education we can have in Loveland for the kids. We have really great families and really great kids. Parents in Loveland truly care about getting their kids educated.”
Over the years Lorenz has made the quite the impact on her students and the people of the Loveland community, which she says is easy to do when you have such good people surrounding you.
“I’ve always tried to be a good citizen of the Loveland area because I know so many people who are. I have such good examples of people who have done good things,” Lorenz explained, “I have been willing to say I will do this or do that especially being on the school board. I think this is how people can have an impact on Loveland. The school board has really given me a voice which has allowed me to impact the community.”
Although Lorenz has a clear passion for education, many people know her best for being a huge advocate for spreading love and its meaning all around Loveland. In December, Lorenz was nominated by 2015 Valentine Lady Suzanne Lundy to be Loveland’s 33rd Valentine Lady, a position that is highly coveted in Loveland.
“My daughter asked me if I wanted to go to The Works for dinner. She was a part of arranging the whole announcement thing,” Lorenz said, “The Valentine’s Ladies showed up for the dinner and brought me flowers and balloons and told me I had been selected to be this year’s, Valentine Lady. I did not expect it at all! I always admired Valentine’s Ladies and how they represented Loveland and I always thought wow I want to be a part of that group. I was very surprised and very honored.”
The duties of a Valentine Lady typically consists of going to the local schools, Pre-K through 3rd grade, and sharing with them the history of the Valentine Lady and how they can send Valentines from Loveland around the world. The kids also get involved in a coloring contest as well as a poetry contest. Lorenz also plans on adding on to the Valentine Lady agenda by spending time talking to the kids about love and how you can find it in the most ordinary places.
“I would like to tell the kids how we find love in all kinds of different places. You find love at home, with your friends and at school so I created a book with photos of hearts that you can find all over the place,” Lorenz said, “I have a rock that’s shaped like heart, a picture of a spider web that looks like a heart and I also have picture of a horse with a white spot on his head in the shape of a heart. I want to talk to the kids about where you find love, what it means and how you say I love you. We love all kinds of people for all kinds of different reasons,” Lorenz explained, “When my children were born I knew finally what the word love totally meant. Knowing that I could have those children and that I could help those children become the people they are and knowing that they looked at me in a certain way has made me be a better person. Love is unconditional and complete. Love is this connection we have with people. I try to say I love you to the people that truly mean something to me in my life because I don’t think we say it enough.”
Inspired by her words and actions, many people among the Loveland community claim Kathy Lorenz is not only one of the kindest people in Loveland but is truly What’s In Loveland’s DNA.