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Steve Augustyn ‘02: Weathering Life’s Storms with Faith and Gratitude 

Steve Augustyn ’02 spent his high school years at Skutt Catholic playing basketball, participating in National Honor Society, and honing his writing skills in the Creative Writing Club. Many would say Steve was one of the kindest, friendliest, and most gracious students walking the hallways of Skutt Catholic.  If you were in a class with Steve, you could bet on the fact that he would be holding the door open for you as you entered the room. Yet, everything is not always as wonderful as it appears on the outside. Steve endured six knee surgeries during high school, which often led to him being on crutches – putting a damper on his basketball career. He also fought through a verbal stutter that would silence most others. At the time, Steve had no idea that the health issues he faced at Skutt Catholic were just the beginning of a longer journey.

Steve admits that he struggled with his health problems in high school. He was angry with God for what he perceived was suffering that God inflicted on him for reasons he didn’t understand. Every night for 20-30 minutes, Steve would go outside his home and “let God have it.” He would yell to the point of tears, asking why he had to endure these challenges. And every time, in His own way, God reminded Steve to focus on the part of his prayers where he would thank God for the many wonderful people in his life. Showing gratitude for what he had, instead of focusing on what he did not have, made Steve feel so much better. He began to incorporate gratitude into his daily life, not just his prayer time.

Former Skutt Catholic math teacher Candy Higgins remembers Steve “as one of the nicest young men I had in class. He was a bit on the shy side but had the biggest heart and was always willing to help other students. His faith was obvious even then as a high school student and was something I always admired about him.”


After high school graduation, Steve earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in atmospheric science from Creighton University. During his time at Creighton, Steve met his future wife, Jeanette, while working at the Children’s Respite Care Center. The two hit it off in 2003 and were married in 2006.

Equipped with his college degrees and newly married, Steve embarked on his career as a meteorologist at Offutt Air Force Base. There, he revolutionized the base’s approach to predicting dangerous convective wind gusts, which are responsible for numerous aircraft incidents and casualties. His contributions included developing forecasting tools, authoring meteorology textbooks, and completely revamping the prediction methods.


Around 2010, Steve learned that his six high school knee surgeries were due to a very rare inborn error of metabolism called hypophosphatasia (HPP). This is a genetic disorder which has a broad spectrum of influence. Since that time, Steve has had 20 additional orthopedic surgeries, in addition to nine other operations related to other rare diseases that have appeared since that time. That’s a total of 35 surgeries since 1998. Through all the trials and tribulations, Steve tries as best he can to “keep the faith,” even when things seem insurmountable.


Though Steve’s health issues have caused him to retire from his formal role with Offutt, he still likes to forecast the weather in his free time. Steve has quite the following of Skutt Catholic alumni on Facebook who look to him for advice on severe weather, winter storms and the probability of schools closing due to weather. Steve doesn’t mind the large following he’s amassed; he puts a lot of effort into his forecasts and wants others to use them. 

Steve has also been known to spread Jesus’ good news and his positivity on Facebook, hoping that his inspirational message reaches others who may be going through a difficult time as well. Follow along with Steve’s forecasts and inspirational thoughts on Facebook at @Stephen Augustyn.

A few of Steve’s life lessons that he likes to share online include:

  • There is never shame in admitting you need help.  
  • There is incredible power in positive thinking.  We have the choice to think about something else to stop a downward spiral of negative thoughts.  All it takes is one positive thought to stop the mind from being overwhelmed by negative energy.  
  • Your life is not defined by your career, material belongings, or achievements- it’s defined by your relationships.
  • Never, ever give up.  You are more powerful than your circumstances.  
  • It is necessary to advocate for ourselves in all things and not be afraid to step out of our comfort zones to do so if necessary.    
  • God does not make mistakes, even if what we’re enduring at the time seems like a colossal failure on His part.  His plan for our lives is beyond our comprehension, and He knows what is best for us far more than we do ourselves!  
  • Find little things to look forward to each day, no matter how “insignificant” they may seem.  Take the day one hour at a time if necessary.
  • Spend time helping others.  (Steve is an active volunteer in the national HPP group called the “US Soft Bones Foundation,” where he provides advice, comfort, and recommendations to other patients around the world.)  It’s therapeutic to spend time helping others, and makes you feel valuable, as if you’re making a real difference.         

Fellow 2002 Skutt Catholic classmate Lisa McEvoy Schoenberger said, “The most refreshing thing about my continued friendship with Steve is that he has lived a lot of life since 2002, but remains virtually identical to the 18 year old who towered over many of us in his green robe on graduation day. He’s navigated highs and lows, triumph and defeat, sickness and health, but through it all he has remained someone who gives his all to care for others. There has never been a shred of doubt that Steve is a genuinely good person, outstanding husband and exceptional dad. And he’s my most trusted source for severe weather predictions, without exception.”



Steve and Jeanette have two daughters, Catherine, 15, and Alexis, 13.  These three are the foremost reasons why Steve fights as hard as he does.  

Steve truly embodies the SkyHawk spirit, MAKING A DIFFERENCE in the lives of others each day, and we are proud to call him a Skutt Catholic alumnus.


SkyHawk Alumni Spotlight content provided by Laura Larson ’02, SC Director of Alumni Relations.

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