Preschool Staff

Mrs. Kristy Bridges - AOK Director & Early Childhood Director 

Kristy-Bridges.jpgYear started at SFLS: 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

Mrs. Sandy Tams - Early Childhood Director & Preschool Teacher 

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 now. 

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

: Husband - Jim;  3 children - Jeff, Brad (& Deb) and Amanda (& Brian); 7 grandchildren - Dylan, Tori, Lucas, Sydney, Jace, Kade & Cale and dog, Sugar.

Education: BA in Elementary Ed from Wayne State University. Colloquy from Concordia University and Masters in Administration from University of Sioux Falls. 

Hobbies: My favorite hobbies are reading and walking. 
Favorite Bible Verse: "Be strong & courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Miss Heather Miller - Preschool & Fantastic Fives Teacher 

id000112.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. 
Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I enjoy sharing the love of Christ with the kids and their families.  My students are so exciting to work with, always make me smile and laugh, and are so curious.  It is fun to get to learn with them and watch them as they grow physically, emotionally, and most especially spiritually.  I also really enjoy the staff that I get to work every day.  It is a joy to work with other people who share my faith, whom I can learn from and pray with. 

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 young cousins who I enjoy spending time with.

Education: I have an Elementary Education degree from Dakota State University and a Masters degree from Concordia University Portland.  I also got my Colloquy from Concordia University Seward.    
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. Tina Lenz - Kids Day Out Director & Fantastic Fives Teacher


Year 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:  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!
Education: I 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. 

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 (16), Sam (13), Ben (11), Katie (8)

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

Mrs. Brooke Aker - Kids Day Out Preschool Teacher & EA


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

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: 

About you/your family: Husband, Corey, 4 children, Alyssa, Ethan, Andrew & Ella

Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary & Special Education. With endorsements in Middle School Language Arts & Social Studies from Black Hills State University. 

Hobbies: Reading, singing, handbells, camping, golf, playing cards. 
Favorite Bible Verse:



Mr. Bhrett Baney - Preschool Educational Assistant 


Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 1997 Preschool Educational Assistant 

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry:

About you/your family: wife, Peggy; Daughter Emily and Son Ryan and daughter-in-law 

Education: BS from SDSU

Hobbies: bowling, sports

Miss Carrie Congdon - Enrichment Teacher 


Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2008

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Most enjoyable aspects for me are building relationships with the children, parents and my coworkers.  I love teaching in our Christ centered environment and watching the children grow, learn and develop.

About you/your family: Mom, Brother & Sister-In-Law, Sister & Brother-In-Law and 2 nieces and 1 nephew.

Education: BS Early Childhood Education

Hobbies: traveling, spending time with family & friends, reading 

Mrs. Lesa Harr - Preschool Educational Assistant


Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2012

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I enjoy seeing the kids mature and the excitement they express when they complete a project.

About you/your family: husband Craig; Lucas is a Freshman in high school & Levi 3rd grade at SFLS. 
Education: MS in Counseling/Human Resource Development and BA English Speech Drama. 

Hobbies: reading, singing, playing piano, camping. 

Mrs. Pamela Herman - Preschool Educational Assistant & AOK 


Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2009

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: My most enjoyable part of the ministry at SFLS is helping the children to learn and grow in their knowledge and faith. 

About you/your family: husband Guy; 3 children Charysh, Miranda & Garrett and 6 grandchildren.
Education: Presho High School

Hobbies: Camping, crafts, traveling 

Mrs. Janelle Henry - Preschool Educational Assistant


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

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: 

About you/your family: husband Justin, 2 boys Taten (14) and Cohen (11)
Education: Washington High School

Hobbies: I enjoy shopping and spending time with family, attending all sorts of sporting events from football, hockey and baseball. 

Mrs. Heidi Klein - Enrichment Teacher 


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

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: The most enjoyable part of my teaching ministry is watching how the kids grow both emotionally and academically throughout the year.  I love it when a child goes from saying "I can't" to "I can do this all by myself"!

About you/your family: husband, Amos; children Elijah (5th) , Aurora (3rd) & Elise (2nd) at SFLS 

Education: BS in Exercise Science

Hobbies: Dance (especially ballet) 

Tiffani Meier - Kids' Day Out Educational Assistant 





Mrs. Jill Nikolas - Fantastic Five's Educational Assistant 

1Y01094.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2008

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: The most enjoyable thing about my work is being with the children and being with faith filled coworkers.

About you/your family: Husband Roger; children Allie, Joseph & Micah
Education: 2 years at Northern State University

Hobbies: reading, gardening, crafts

Mrs. Susan Olson - Preschool Teacher

1Y01237.JPGYear started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2016
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: Ethan is in 6th grade, Luke is in 2nd, and Joshua is in 1st all at SFLS.  Benjamin is in preschool at SFLS.  Darren and I have been married for 17 years.  Darren is currently serving as the Executive Secretary of the South Dakota LCMS District.  Prior to this position he served at St. John's Montrose and Zion Lutheran in Canistota for 8 years.  I also grew up on a farm in Truman, MN.  I attended St. Paul Lutheran School in Truman MN and Martin Luther High School in Northrup, MN.  

Education:  I have an Elementary and Middle school education degree from Concordia University in Seward, NE and I have a Masters of Education in Early Childhood from the same place.  
I taught middle school language arts 1 year at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Jackson, MO. Then taught 1 year of 5th grade at Christ Community Lutheran School, St. Louis, MO.  Then I taught 7th grade at Immanuel Lutheran School in Bay City, MI.  Then back to Christ Community Lutheran School in St. Louis for 2 years of 4th grade.  (The different places due to my husband being at the Seminary and on vicarage.)  Then I took the call to Zion Lutheran Preschool in Canistota, SD as the head teacher and director.  I served there for 8 years. 

Hobbies: Reading, shopping, traveling, spending time with friends, hanging out with my four boys!

Favorite bible verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phillipians 4:13

Mrs. Brenda Paulson - Enrichment & Preschool Educational Assistant 


Year started at SFLS and present teaching responsibility(s): 2013

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: It is rewarding to watch the preschool children develop basic social and academic skills throughout the school year.  Getting hugs from the kids is best reward.

About you/your family: Husband Loren; children Sara, Marisa and Jessica. 9 grandchildren, Austin, Hailey, Cade, Kennady, Maiya, Grady, Brady, Corbin and Kaleb
Education: Accounting background

Hobbies: reading, gardening, spending time with family.