SFLS Staff

 
 
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 tesser@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Tia Esser - School Administrator

Year started at SFLS: 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

 
 
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bbernard@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Brenda Bernard - K-8 Academic Principal

Year started at SFLS: 2019

Thing you are most looking forward to about joining the SFLS team: I am really looking forward to actively working with teams, including children, families, and staff, on a daily basis. Currently my office and much of my work is in an administrative building; I dearly miss being in a school assisting children, working alongside staff, and developing relationships with families. When I was offered the position at SFLS, I celebrated by purchasing a warm “recess” coat!

About you/your family: My husband Jim and I have one daughter named Leah.

Favorite Bible Verse: “…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” —Micah 6:8

 
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kherrig@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Kay Herrig -
Administrative Assistant – Secretary

Year started at SFLS: 1987

Most enjoyable aspects of your job: I love having an office job, but what makes it that much better are the people I get to work with and all of the children.

About you/your family: My husband Al and I have two daughters, Sarah and Jennifer, both of whom attended Sioux Falls Lutheran School.

 
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mperry@sflutheranschool.com

Ms. Myrth Perry -
Administrative Assistant - Finance

 
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mbaedke@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Megan Baedke - Admissions & Communications Director

Year Started at SFLS: 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: “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.” —Colossians 3:12-14

 
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 miverson@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Mikela Iverson - Outreach Director & Librarian

Year started at SFLS: 2012

About you/your family: I’ve been married to Travis for 15 years. We have two daughters, Miah and Kenzie, at SFLS.

Hobbies: Traveling, being with family, kick-boxing, shopping, watching movies, organizing, doing fun projects with my girls.

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

 
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fthuringer@sflutheranschool.com 

Mr. Frank Thuringer - Director of Educational Technology

Year started at SFLS: 2016

About you/your family: My wife Kim and I have two children named Allyson and Colin.

Hobbies: Reading and photography.

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

 
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kbridges@sflutheranschool.com 

Mrs. Kristy Bridges - Early Childhood Director

Year started at SFLS: 2007

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

About you/your family: My husband, Mark, and I have two boys named David & Eli.

Hobbies: Reading and watching movies.

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

 
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elarson@sflutheranschool.com

Ms. Elizabeth Larson – 2-Year-Old Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2017

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I have always loved working with young children. Watching them develop and learn on their own, with my guidance, brings me great joy! When a child is working on a new skill, I will be their cheerleader. 

About you/your family: I graduated from Northern State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, a minor in early childhood education, and endorsements in kindergarten and middle school language arts, social science, and natural science. After college, I taught 1st and 2nd grade for the Midland School District before taking time off to raise my five children and run a day care. I have served at Sioux Falls Lutheran School since 2017 as an educational assistant, an after school care provider, the summer program director, and now as the full-time 2-year-old teacher.

Hobbies: I enjoy going to my children's events and doing things with them. All five of them used to figure skate, so I also took lessons with them (they were much better than me)! We also enjoy going to Stampede hockey games together. Before I had kids, I enjoyed cake decorating and quilting. 

Favorite Bible Verse: I really don't have one favorite, because each moment of my life requires a different verse. When it comes to working with 2-year-olds, Matthew 19:14 comes to mind: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”

 
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akusie@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. April Kusie - Kids Day Out Teacher (am) & Educational Assistant (pm)

Year started at SFLS: 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: My husband, Jim, and I have four children: Emma, Sam, Ben, and Katie.

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 

 
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baker@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Brooke Aker - Kids Day Out Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2014

About you/your family: My husband, Corey, and I have four children: Alyssa, Ethan, Andrew and Ella.

Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary & Special Education, with endorsements in Middle School Language Arts & Social Studies from Black Hills State University.

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, singing, handbells, camping, golf, and playing cards. 

 
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hmiller@sflutheranschool.com

Miss Heather Miller - Preschool Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I started at SFLS in 1987 as a kindergartener and graduated in 1996. However, I began teaching at SFLS in 2011. This year, I will be teaching 3-year-old preschool.

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. My brother recently got married, and I have several 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: “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.” —Matthew 5:14-16

 
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stams@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Sandy Tams - Preschool Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I have been teaching preschool at SFLS since 1977. 

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 hearing, “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. 

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

Hobbies: My favorite hobbies are reading and walking. 

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

 
 
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rbult@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Rachel Bult – Preschool Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2019

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Young children have always brought me Joy. I love the way they learn and explore their world. In addition, it’s exciting to work with some of the early childhood teachers I look up to. I student taught with Mrs. Tams in 2004, and I knew then that I wanted to be a part of this wonderful teaching team.

About you/your family: I graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education and a Lutheran Teaching Diploma. I have eight years of experience as a head preschool teacher for ages 3-5, as well as experience working with infants. My family and I are members at Faith Lutheran Church, and my husband, Derek, serves as the principal at Lutheran High School of Sioux Falls.

Hobbies: I love to read, garden, bake, and spend time with my family.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” –2 Corinthians 5:17

 
 
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jfjelstad@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Jade Fjelsad – Preschool Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2019

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: Preschool children have so much love and passion for learning everything about their world. I love being able to share their love for learning and help them grow—those aspects of my job are what led me to preschool. In addition, special education has always been very near and dear to my heart. One of my best friends in high school used a wheel chair. Learning of her struggles in life encouraged me to work with special needs students to have a chance to make a positive influence in their lives. Finally, I absolutely love sharing the love of Jesus with children! I love having the opportunity to openly teach about Jesus and watch children grow in their relationship with the Lord.

About you/your family: I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Black Hills State University. Since then, I’ve spent 15 years working in preschool and elementary special education classrooms. My family and I also attend Resurrection Lutheran Church, were I serve as a Sunday school and vacation Bible school.

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, riding bike, camping, watching my boys play baseball, and scrapbooking.

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

 
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tlenz@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Tina Lenz - Fantastic Fives Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I was called to help start grades K-3 at SFLS from 1979-1991. I returned in 2006, and I am currently teaching Fantastic Fives.

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 also 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 their lives to serve 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). After 40 years in education, he recently retired from his position as the educational administrator for Children's Home Society. We have two married daughters. Andrea and Steve have three children and live in Wichita, KS. Ashley and Derek have one son and live in Des Moines, IA. Our four grandchildren are the lights of our life!

Education: I received my BA in Elementary Ed from Concordia-St.Paul, MN, and my Master's in Early Childhood from Concordia-Seward, NE. I have taught in South Dakota and Iowa.  

Hobbies: I love to shop, especially at places where items have been refurbished. I 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

 
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hjohnson@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Hiedi Johnson - Kindergarten

Year started at SFLS: I started at SFLS in 2018 as an educational assistant in kindergarten. I will begin my role as kindergarten teacher in the fall of 2019.

Thing you are most looking forward to about joining the SFLS team: The thing that I am looking forward to the most is the people. I enjoy teaching the students, meeting the parents and working with the staff. Everyone has made me feel welcome since the day I walked through the doors at SFLS. My goal is to make my kindergarteners and their families feel as welcome and important as I have since I arrived here. I am excited to be a part of this community!

About you/your family: My husband Scott and I have three children: Aliyah, Annabelle, and Brooks.

Hobbies: One of my biggest passions in life is running. In fact, my passion for running is the same as the passion I have for teaching. It is the fuel that drives me to accomplish my goals inside and outside of the classroom. My passion for running has taught me how to work hard and persevere, and I will use those skills to help my students become world ready and faith secure. I also hope that my passion for teaching will be visible in the classroom and make a difference in the lives of my students.

 
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MRS. JANELLE HENRY - KINDERGARTEN EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT

Year started at SFLS: 2015

About you/your family: My husband, Justin, and I have two boys named Taten and Cohen.

Education: I graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls.

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

 
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bvercruysse@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Britney Vercruysse -
1st Grade Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2017

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: The most enjoyable thing I get to do every day is telling and sharing the little children about the love of Jesus.

About You/Your family: I grew up in Madison, Nebraska. I got married on May 26, 2017, to my wonderful husband, Scott. We have a chocolate lab named Dash and a daughter named Mabel.

Education: I graduated from Concordia University–Nebraska in 2014 with a B.S. in Elementary Education, an endorsement in Special Education, and a Lutheran Teaching Diploma. Before coming to SFLS, I taught first grade at St. Rose of Lima in Crofton, Nebraska. I was also a four-year member of the varsity women’s basketball team at Concordia.

Hobbies: I love gardening, traveling, and going for walks with my husband.

Favorite bible verse: “We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” —Hebrews 6:19

 
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aherther@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Ann Herther - 2nd Grade Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I started at SFLS in 1998 and taught 4th grade. I became the 2nd grade teacher in the fall of 2013.

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

Myself/My Family: My husband, Brian, and I were married in 1982. We have two daughters, Becca and Sara, who are graduates of SFLS. 

Hobbies: Walking, riding bike and swimming. 

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

 
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kmlnarik@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Katie Mlnarik - 3rd Grade Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I started teaching at SFLS in 2015.

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

Myself/My Family: My husband and I, along with our dog, Henry, moved to Sioux Falls in 2014. We welcomed a baby boy, Jonah, to our family in November 2015.

Education: I earned an elementary teaching degree with an emphasis in biology from Concordia University in Seward, NE. After graduating, I served for four years at Trinity Lutheran School in Billings, Montana as their 3rd grade teacher.

Hobbies: I enjoy playing sports, spending time outside, reading, technology, and traveling.

Favorite Bible Verse: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” —Isaiah 40:30-31 

 
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jnoble@sflutheranschool.com

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

Year started at SFLS: 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 12 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 18, 14 and 12. My husband is the owner of Active Data Systems and very involved with the community.

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

 
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shofmaier@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Steph Hofmaier - 4th Grade Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I began teaching 4th grade math, science, and social studies at SFLS in 2017.

Most enjoyable aspect of my teaching ministry: I love the connections and relationships that I form with my students. I enjoy helping them discover and develop their God given talents.  

About you/your family: I am a Sioux Falls native! My husband, Adam, and I have three kids: Sophia, Cole, and Will.

Education: I have degrees from Augustana University (Business Administration & Economics) and the University of Sioux Falls (Elementary and Middle Level Education). My past teaching experiences include reading at West Middle School in Rapid City and 7th grade math at Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls. Most recently, while raising our young family, I have subbed, taught online, and tutored. 

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, reading, baking, going to Zumba, biking, gardening, and watching movies.

Favorite Bible verse: “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” —Psalm 118:24

 
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jpinn@sflutheranschool.com

Mr. Jon Pinn - 5th Grade Teacher

Year started at SFLS: 2001

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 named Adam and Daniel.

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.

 
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craaen@sflutheranschool.com

Mr. Casey Raaen - 6th Grade Homeroom & 5th - 8th Grade Language Arts

Year started at SFLS: 2017

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: I enjoy the privilege of watching students grow both in the content area and as individuals.

About you/your family: I grew up in Sioux Falls. My wife, Alison, and were married in 2016.

Education: I received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Augustana University, as well as endorsements in middle school language arts and K-12 athletic coaching. 

Hobbies: I love sports and am a fan of Minnesota sports teams. I also enjoy weightlifting and reading.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” —Matthew 19:26 

 
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mockander@sflutheranschool.com

Miss Marli Ockander - 7th Grade homeroom & Middle School Science

Year started at SFLS: 2003

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 and learning with students.

Hobbies: I enjoy Husker football, soccer, traveling and bird watching.

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

 
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ndeeter@sflutheranschool.com 

Mr. Nicholas Deeter - 8th Grade homeroom & Middle school history - Athletic Director

Year started at SFLS: 2014

Myself/My Family: I grew up in Seward, NE. My wife, Dana, and I were married in 2017 and have a son named Emmitt.

Education: 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.

 
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lholdorf@sflutheranschool.com

Miss Leanne Holdorf - Middle School Math & Student council advisor

Year started at SFLS: I started at SFLS in 2009 as an AOK worker and now teach middle school and high school mathematics. I am also the student council coordinator and math club sponsor.

Most enjoyable aspects of teaching ministry: There is nothing quite like helping someone achieve an "ah-ha" moment and seeing the progression of self-reflection over time.

About myself/family: My parents, Kurt and Kathy, live here in Sioux Falls. I also have three older brothers, two sisters-in-law, and two nieces.

Education: I received my Bachelor of Science in mathematics, specializing in education, from South Dakota State University along with an endorsement in coaching.

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: “Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” —1 Samuel 12:24

 
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mwood@sflutheranschool.com 

Mrs. Melinda Wood - K-8 Spanish

Year started at SFLS: 2017

About myself/family: My husband, Paul, and I have four children, Noah, Gracie, Sophie, and Ethan, all of whom attend SFLS.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish education from University of Minnesota–Duluth. After my second child was born, I took time away from teaching to raise my family, and returned to SFLS as the Spanish teacher in 2017.

 
 
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mnelson@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Melanie Nelson - k-8 P.E.

 
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kdooley@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Karen Dooley - Music Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I began teaching at SFLS in 1997 as the part-time band director. I now teach music classes for 4th- 8th graders, direct the band and choir, and help with our K-3 violin program and orchestra. I also teach private music lessons for piano, voice, guitar, violin, and band instruments.  

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

Myself/My Family: Quint and I were married in 1990. We have four daughters, all of whom attended SFLS through the 8th grade. 

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

Favorite Bible verse: I have many favorites. One of them is: “...in your hearts honor Christ as Lord, always being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have; yet do it with gentleness and respect...” —1 Peter 3:15

 
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kprouty@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Kristi Prouty - Music Teacher

Year started at SFLS: I started teaching at SFLS in 2014. I currently teach preschool-3rd grade music, as well as private piano and voice lessons.

Myself/My Family: My husband, Jay, and I have two children named Grant and Elyse. They both attend SFLS.                   

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. 

Education: Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northern State University.

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

Favorite Bible verse: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:13

 
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lbiteler@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Louisa Biteler – Suzuki Violin & Orchestra Instructor

Year started at SFLS: 2019

Most enjoyable aspects of your teaching ministry: My favorite part of being an educator is witnessing the moment when students realize their hard work and perseverance has paid off in some way. Many life skills are taught through the learning of an instrument and music! When a student faces a difficult challenge and is diligent in overcoming the adversity one step at a time, the moment they have satisfaction or peace is truly a joy to observe and celebrate. Walking side by side with a student during the process is priceless. As a music educator, I am blessed to witness growth in students over an extended period of time. It is an honor to come alongside my students and their families during their life’s journey.

About you/your family: I helped SFLS launch its Suzuki-based violin program in 2011, while supervising string instructors and developing violin curriculum for the Avera Family Wellness program. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in K-12 music education from Luther College and am also a Suzuki-trained violin instructor. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked in schools across the city of Sioux Falls teaching a variety of K-12 classes including 4th and 5th grade orchestra, high school orchestra, and high school special education classroom music. I’ve also been playing with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and teaching private violin lessons since 1995.

What do you like most about the Suzuki method? Since the age of 14, I have taught private lessons and always used the Suzuki repertoire. After obtaining my music education degree in college, I wanted to learn more about the pedagogy of the Suzuki method and enrolled in my first Suzuki Institute. The pedagogy and philosophy of educating the whole child combined with the idea that EVERY child is able to learn an instrument, regardless of developmental level, spoke to me in a profound way. Working not only with the child, but also collaboratively with their family to form a teacher/student/caregiver team is an aspect of teaching that I value and find important for overall success.

 
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Mrs. “Grandma Carol” Bonine - Transportation Driver

 
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lheyd@sflutheranschool.com

Mrs. Linda Heyd - SCRIP Coordinator

 
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Mrs. Jennifer Hintz - SCRIP

 
 
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Mr. Mike Bakeberg - Head Custodian