Mrs. Kate Thoelke is principal and teaches the core subjects in Kindergarten, 1st, and second grades this year. She graduated from Concordia University in River Forest with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Director of Parish Music certification. In addition to teaching all elementary grades and all grade levels of music in the past, she has previously been a full-time music director and organist. She and her husband, John, have three daughters. She homeschooled their daughters in Classical Conversations, serving as a Foundations and Essentials tutor and tutor trainer and has served as the 2015 speaker for St. Louis Parent Practicums.
Mrs. Dawn Schnare teaches the core subjects of grades 3rd-5th. In the afternoon, Mrs. Schnare teaches the "New Grammar" curriculum to grades K-5, and Grades K-3 History, Science, and Presentation along with Kindergarten Art. Her husband, Zach Schnare, is the art teacher and drama director at MELHS. They have six children; four girls and one son at St. Paul’s day school and on son who spends the school days at home. She is a 2007 graduate of Concordia University-Nebraska with a BS in Elementary Education with a history emphasis, a minor in theology and a Lutheran Teacher’s Diploma. She served as a substitute teacher at Trinity-Edwardsville for many years and the 3 year old preschool teacher for two years. She classically homeschooled her children for two years prior to joining the SPLS staff.
Mrs. Crystal Wagner teaches Pre-Kindergarten. She graduated from SIUE with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and an English minor after being honorably discharged from the Army. She received her colloquy from Concordia University-Chicago, IL in May, 2018 . She has been teaching for 22 years. She taught pre-school at Zion, Bunker Hill for 16 years prior the joining the SPLS staff. Mrs. Wagner is married to her husband, Scott, and they have two children and one beautiful granddaughter.
Pastor Benjamin Ball teaches catechism to all grades in our school. He has served as Senior Pastor of our congregation since 2012 and previously served St. Paul Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Illinois, which also operates a Classical Lutheran School, and St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Dedham, Massachusetts. Pastor Ball is a graduate of Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He lives in the parsonage with his wife, Serena and their children Sophia, Alethea, Elijah and Irene.
Pastor William Gleason has served St. Paul as Associate Pastor since 2010. During his 30 years as a Lutheran pastor, he has served churches in Texas, Missouri, Iowa, and So. Illinois. Pastor Gleason graduated from Concordia College, Ann Arbor with a degree in Fine Art. He attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, graduating in 1984. He teaches Old and New Testament catechesis to grades 3 through 8. He and his wife, Cindy, live in the Teacherage.
Janet began her service as our Kantor in the Summer of 2017. She has previously served Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Concordia Lutheran Church, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She holds a BS from Concordia University, Portland, Oregon and the MA in Organ Performance and Church Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She has served on the Synod's Commission on Worship as well as a sub-committee for the Lutheran Service Book.
Mr. Gerth teaches our core subjects for grades 6-8 and teaches History and Science for grades 4-8. Joseph grew up in the small town of Horicon, WI and attended St. Stephen Lutheran School and was confirmed at their church. After going to a public high school, he went to Concordia University Wisconsin to acquire his Bachelor’s Degree. He served the Lord in Pennsylvania for the six years, teaching high school and middle school math, science, PE, and Theology. It was there that he met his wife – also from Wisconsin – and they were married the summer of 2017.
Mrs. Elsa Gerth is the Pre-K aide for her second year. She assists Mrs. Wagner's classroom and drives students to and from the St. Paul Early Childhood Center in Hamel. She is married to the upper grades teacher Mr. Joe Gerth. They were married the summer of 2017.
Miss Wagner is our Physical Education teacher. She has a degree in Exercise Science from SIU-E. She will be marrying Mike Stacey this fall.