SFLS Staff


Mrs. Tia Esser - School Administrator/Principal


Tia-Esser.gifYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I "officially" started in 2010 as the Administrator.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I most enjoy the nurturing aspects of my work with students and teachers alike. Internally, I frequently ask, "How can I help this person discover and achieve God's will for his/her life?" Additionally, I enjoy "working the crowd" when classrooms of children line up outside of my office for PE, lunch, restroom breaks,etc.—it allows me to freely visit with them, and the conversations are priceless!

About you/your family: I am married to Paul and we have 3 children, Liz (married to Ross Owen), Tim (married to Kimberly), and Jacob. We also have 3 granddaughters—Sylvia, June, and Sophie.

Favorite Bible Verse: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2


Mrs. Sarah Sailer - Assistant Director


Sarah-Sailer.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s):Started in the Fall of 1999. Presently, I am the assistant administrator.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Working and serving the students, their families, and the other teachers and staff in this Christ-centered place.

About you/your family: I am married to Scott, LCMS District President. We have three sons: Tim, a graduate student at the University of Houston; Aaron, an accountant in Lincoln, NE; and Dan, a 4th year K-12, Lutheran Music Education student at Concordia University, St. Paul. We also have 2 cats and one golden retriever.

Hobbies: Knitting, reading, traveling to see family, and training to finish 5K’s – half marathons.

Favorite Bible Verse: Matthew 28:20 [Jesus said] “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Ms. Myrth Perry - Administrative Assistant - Finance



Mrs. Kay Herrig - Administrative Assistant – Secretary




Mrs. Mikela Iverson - Recruitment & Outreach Director & Librarian



Year started at SFLS:
 June 2012

About you/your family: I am married to Travis.  We have two daughters: Miah is in 4th Grade and Kenzie is in Preschool at SFLS.

Hobbies: Traveling, being with family, shopping, watching movies, organizing, doing fun projects.

Favorite Bible Verse: Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Mrs. Megan Baedke - Admissions & Communications Director


Year Started at SFLS: November 2016

About You/Your Family: I grew up in Amboy, MN. I graduated from Augustana University in 2013 with a major in Journalism. My husband, Mike, and I are members at Resurrection Lutheran Church. 

Hobbies: Playing the flute with the Augustana Blue & Gold Band, having "Gourmet Cooking Nights" with friends, spending time outdoors, and traveling whenever I get the chance to do so.

Favorite Bible Verse: Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 


Mr. Frank Thuringer - Director of Educational Technology 


1Y01112.JPGYear started at SFLS: 2016

About you/your family: My wife Kim and I have two children. Allyson is a Junior at Lutheran High School of SF and Colin is in 8th grade at SFLS.

Hobbies: Reading and photography

Favorite Bible verse:  Joshua 1:9 "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Mrs. Sandy Tams - Preschool Teacher & Early Childhood Director


1Y01077.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s):I began teaching at SFLS in 1977. I taught preschool then and I still teach preschool in addition to directing the preschool and enrichment. 

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I enjoy the children and their families the most. Being the first to “light the fire of learning” and then hear, “I did it!!” is just the best. 

About you/your family: 
My husband, Jim, and I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren ranging in age from 1 to 16 years old. They all live in Sioux Falls, so we are very blessed to be an active part of their lives. 

 My favorite hobbies are reading and walking. 

Favorite bible verse:
 Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Miss Heather Miller - Preschool Teacher & Fantastic Five's Teacher


1Y11028.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I actually started at SFLS in 1987 as a Kindergartener and graduated in 1996. However, I began teaching at SFLS in 2011 as an Enrichment teacher at Lord of Life and an AOK teacher at the Central location. This year, I will be teaching T-TH AM preschool class and working as an AOK teacher after school. 

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: It is very nice to be able to share the love of Christ with the kids, families, and staff members. I also really enjoy the staff that I get to work with and the children and their families. I enjoy getting to know new people and am looking forward to meeting lots of new people. 

About you/your family: My parents and younger brother all live in Sioux Falls, so I get to see them often. I am single, as is my brother, so I don't have nieces and nephews to spoil, but I do have cousins who I enjoy visiting and playing with. 

Hobbies: I like to read, listen to music, watch movies, hang out with family and friends, and visit my grandpa's farm. 

Favorite bible verse: There are so many good ones to choose from. Currently, one of my favorites is: Matthew 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Mrs. Susan Olson - Preschool Teacher


1Y01237.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2016, 3 year old Preschool on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons.
Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: My favorite thing about teaching at Sioux Falls Lutheran is sharing Jesus with all of her students.

About you/your family: Husband, Darren and kids Ethan, Luke, Joshua and Benjamin. 

Education: Concordia University. I previously taught for eight years at a variety of grade levels from fourth to eighth, before serving as the Preschool Director in Canistota, SD.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Mrs. Tina Lenz - Fantastic Five's Teacher & Kid's Day Out Director 


Tina-Lenz.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 1979--1991 (Called to help start grades K-3), Returned in 2006-present).  Currently I am currently teaching Fantastic Fives and are one of the Early Childhood Directors.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I love the children in my class as if they were my own children.  I want them to not only learn, discover, create  and use their imagination but to know that Jesus loves them and will always be by their side.  I enjoy seeing the children, I've taught over the years, and learn how God is using them in their own lives in service to others. Seeing and talking with previous students warms my heart!  God has truly blessed my years as an Early Childhood Educator.  

About you/your family: Received my BA in Elementary Ed from Concordia-St.Paul, MN and Master's in Early Childhood from Concordia-Seward, NE.  Have taught in South Dakota and Iowa.  I am married to Rod Lenz (college sweetheart).  He is the Educational Administrator for Children's Home Society.  We have 2 married daughters.  Andrea/Steve have 3 children and live in Wichita, KS and Ashley/Derek have 1 son and lives in Des Moines, IA.  Our 4 grandchildren are the lights of our life!

Hobbies: I love to SHOP especially at places where items have been refurbished, love to decorate our home, make crafts, go boating, visit with long-time friends and spend as much time as possible with our our grandkids!
Favorite bible verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

Mrs. April Kusie - Kids Day Out Preschool Teacher & Discovery House Educational Assistant



Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2014

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry:  I love watching the kids learn and grow.  One of my favorite things is watching the “I can’t” turn into an “I did it!”

About you/your family: Husband, Jim; children Emma (15), Sam (12), Ben (10), Katie (7)

Education: I graduated from the University of Sioux Falls in 2000, where I majored in Elementary Education and Early Childhood.  I have taught preschool for the last 15 years and I have also taken care of infants and toddlers for the past 14 years, as the Nursery Director at my church.

Hobbies: When I am not teaching, I am a Soccer Mom, traveling on the weekends to tournaments; I also sell Usborne books.  If there is any time left, I enjoy reading, watching football (GO PACKERS!) and watching Netflix.
Favorite Bible Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11


Miss Dana Miller - Kindergarten


1Y01135.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 1994, just kidding that was when I was in Preschool.  2016, Kindergarten. 

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I love encouraging children to learn about God and apply it to their lives. 

About you/your family: I have a golden retriever dog, Addy. She is 4 years old. 

Hobbies: canvas painting, going on adventures, running/walking with my dog, attending Bible Studies, camping, and attending Sprint Car races. 

Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 12:10-13- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

Mrs. Kristie Hoyme - 1st Grade Teacher


Kristie-Hoyme.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I started in the Fall of 2005. I currently am the first grade teacher.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Watchingthe young children grow in Christ and knowledge.

About you/your family: I have been married for 34yrs to my husband Larry. We have three children, Lisa, Jennifer, Rob and five Grandchildren. Reese, 17, Ethan, 16, and Cheyanne 14are Jennifer's kids, Lisa has Karis who is 5, and Rob has Caden who is 10 years old. We have 3 dogs and 1 cat at home.

Hobbies: Running and step class

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 118, vs. 24 Today is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Mrs. Ann Herther - 2nd Grade Teacher


Ann-Herther.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I started at SFLS in 1998 and taught 4nd grade in the Fall of 2013.

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry: I really enjoy working with the staff, working with and getting to know the students and their families.

Myself/My Family: My husband, Brian, & I have been married 30 years. We have two daughters who are graduates of SFLS. Becca works at Avera McKennan Hospital. Sara is a student at Lincoln High School.

Hobbies: Walking, riding bike, swimming, & going to my daughters' ball games.

Favorite Bible Verse: John 10:10 "...I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance."


Mrs. Katie Mlnarik - 3rd Grade Teacher



 Year started at SFLS and present teaching  responsibility(s): I started teaching at SFLS  in  2015.

 Most enjoyable aspects of teaching  ministry: I'm most looking forward to being in  the classroom to assist students as they  explore  and experience growing into a young  Christian  leaders for our community.”

 Myself/My Family: She earned an elementary  teaching degree with an emphasis in biology from  Concordia University in Seward, NE. After graduating, she served for four years at Trinity Lutheran School in Billings, Montana as their 3rd grade teacher. In 2014, she, her husband, Josh, and their dog, Henry moved to Sioux Falls for Josh’s work as a fixed wing pilot with the Avera Careflight Program. They welcomed a baby boy, Jonah, to their family in November 2015.

Hobbies: Mrs.Mlnarik enjoys playing sports, spending time outside, reading, technology, and traveling.

Favorite Bible Verse: 


Mrs. Jennifer Noble - 4th Grade Teacher & Art Teacher


Jennifer-Noble.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I started teaching in October of 2009. Currently, I teach 4th Grade and Art.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry:
 The most enjoyable aspect of teaching for me is the children. They are so much like a sponge at this early age in their education and I am blessed to help fill that sponge with knowledge, love, compassion, character, joy and the love of Jesus!

About you/your family:
 I am originally from Nebraska. My family and I have lived in the Sioux Falls area for almost 10 years now. I taught 3rd and 4th grade before having children of my own. I stayed home for 10 years with my children who are now 16, 12 and 10. My husband is the owner of Active Data Systems and very involved with the community.

 My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family! I really enjoy being outside, scrapbooking, traveling, playing board/card games, watching movies and reading magazines. 

Favorite Bible Verse: I have two favorite verses... Joshua 1:9"...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." 

And Jeremiah 29:11" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Mrs. Kristy Bridges - 4th Grade & Administrative Assistant


Kristy-Bridges.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2007

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Sharing the love of Jesus

About you/your family: Husband named Mark and two boys David & Eli

Hobbies: Reading, Watching movies

Favorite Bible Verse: Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4



Mr. Jon Pinn - 5th Grade Teacher


Jon-Pinn.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2001, I currently teach 5th Grade.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: The most enjoyable aspect of my teaching ministry is integrating the Christian faith into all learning. It's such a blessing to see God at work in the daily lives of his children and this school.

About you/your family: My wife, Heidi, and I have been married for 18 years and have two sons, Adam (16), and Daniel (12).

Hobbies: We love staying active with our kids activities which include baseball, basketball, running, and competitive swimming.

Favorite Bible Verse: One of my favorite Bible passages is from Colossians 3:1-4 where Paul encourages us to set our hearts and minds on things above.


Miss Christina Sereda - 6th Grade homeroom & middle school English Language Arts


1Y01258.JPG Year started at SFLS and present  teaching responsibility(s): 2015, 6th grade  homeroom and middle school English Language  Arts.

 Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching  ministry: “…getting to know my students, hearing  their stories, telling them mine, and enjoying the  love and blessings of Jesus with them.” 

 About you/yourfamilyShe earned degrees in  English (B.A.) and Education (B.S.) from Concordia University in Seward, NE. Miss Sereda is originally from New Jersey where her parents and older brother and sister still reside. Additionally, she has five nieces, one nephew and “three cute pets.” 

Hobbies: In her free time, she enjoys going to the lake, fishing, reading, and writing, and in the winter, she enjoys snowboarding. 

Favorite Bible Verse

Miss Marli Ockander - 7th Grade 


Marli-Ockander.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): Started in 2003 and I teach Middle school science, 7th religion, a math course,keyboarding.

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Watching joy fill the hearts, faces, and actions of students who know Jesus as their Savior. Experiencing the "light bulb" moments with the students as they learn. Sharing knowledge andleaning with students.

Hobbies: Husker football fan, soccer fan, traveling and bird watching

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Mr. Nicholas Deeter - 8th Grade Teacher & Athletic Director


1Y01393.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2014 ; 8thgrade homeroom, social studies, and math teacher

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry

Myself/My Family: I grew up in Seward, NE. I spent a year at UNL and then attended Concordia University-Seward where I earned  my Bachelor’s degree in Middle Level Education  with endorsements in math and social studies

Hobbies: I enjoy watching and playing sports and spending time with family and friends

Favorite Bible Verse


Miss Leanne Holdorf - Middle School Math


1Y01265.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I started at SFLS in 2009 as an AOK worker and progressed wonderfully into a full-fledged teacher.

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry: There is nothing quite like helping someone achieve an "ah-ha" moment!

About myself/family:  Although I was born in Colorado, Sioux Falls has been my home for over half my life. My three older brothers, parents, and I moved here when I was in 6th grade. My two oldest brothers, Daniel and Brian, work at Midcontinent and my other brother, Alan, is a high school math teacher in Lincoln, NE. My dad, Kurt, is the graphic artist for Campbell's and my mom, Kathy, is the Administrative Manager at Memorial Lutheran Church.

Hobbies:  I have always loved sports and technology. As a kid, I played baseball and have since moved into slow-pitch softball. And whenever I can, I like to fiddle with technology to see how things work.

Bible Verse: Ever since I was young, I have lived my life by 1 Samuel 12:24 - Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.


Mrs. Amanda Lau - Spanish K-8


Amanda-Christy.jpgYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): I started in 2012, I teach K - Spanish I. 

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: The most enjoyable aspects for me are working with children and seeing them grow as people and in the Lord.

Hobbies: I like to be outside, hang out with friends, read, sew, quilt, and bake.

Favorite Bible Verse: My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


Mrs. Melanie Nelson - P.E.











Mrs. Karen Dooley - Music Teacher


Mrs-Dooley.jpgYear started at SFLS and present responsibility(s): I began teaching at SFLS in 1997 as part-time band director. I now teach music classesto Kindergarten – 8th grade, direct the bands, choirs, and tone chime ensembles. I also teach private music lessons for voice, piano, guitar and band instruments.

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry: I love helping students develop their musical, social and spiritual gifts and abilities.

Myself/My Family: Quint and I were married in 1990. We have 4 daughters – Makayla, Miranda, Mariah and Marissa. Quint works forVerizion, Mikayla is studying Jazz Piano Performance at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Miranda is studying Interior Design at SDSU in Brookings, Mariah is a Senior at Lincoln High School and Marissa is a Freshman at Lutheran High School of Sioux Falls. 

Hobbies: Reading, playing piano, enjoying time with family and friends.

Favorite Bible verse: I have many favorites – one of them is Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!"


Mrs. Kristi Prouty - Music Teacher


Year started at SFLS and present responsibility(s):2014

1Y01151.JPGMyself/My Family: My husband, Jay and I have two children.  Grant is in 5th grade and Elyse is in 2nd grade.                                                  

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry: I enjoy being able to share my love of music with the children at SFLS.  And it is such a blessings to be teaching in the Christ-centered school where my own children are. 

Hobbies: Reading, spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and playing golf. 

Favorite Bible verse: "I can do everything through him who give me strength."Phillippians 4:13


Mr. Jim Wosje - Facility Building Manager


1Y01039.JPGYear started at SFLS and present responsibility(s)2016, building maintenance 

Myself/My Family: After spending twenty-eight years in the United States Navy, Jim worked twenty years in a maintenance position at O’Gorman Catholic Schools. 

Hobbies: golfing, hunting, and fishing

Favorite Bible Verse: