Faculty and Staff

The St. Paul Faculty models joyful learning and exemplifies love for God, His word, and His world; there is nothing more true, good, or beautiful than learning about our Savior. We are truly blessed to be able to share Christ with the St. Paul Lutheran scholars each and every day!


Rev. Benjamin Ball

Pastor Ball teaches catechism to all grades in our school. He has served as Senior Pastor of the St. Paul Lutheran congregation since 2012. He 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 four children.

Rev. William Gleason

Pastor 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 Illinois. Pastor Gleason is a graduate of Concordia College, Ann Arbor with a degree in Fine Art and a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He teaches Old and New Testament catechesis to grades 3 through 8. He and his wife, Cindy, live in the Teacherage.

Kate Thoelke

Mrs. Thoelke is principal and teaches the core subjects in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. 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.

Joseph Gerth

Mr. Gerth teaches the core subjects for grades 6th-8th and History and Science for grades 4th-8th. He 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. He is married to the Pre-K aide, Mrs. Elsa Gerth.

Dawn Schnare

Mrs. Schnare teaches the core subjects of grades 3rd-5th, the "new grammar" curriculum to grades K-5, history, science, and presentation for grades K-3, and Kindergarten Art. Her husband, Zach Schnare, is the art teacher and drama director at MELHS and together they have seven children. 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.

Crystal Wagner

Mrs. 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.

Janet Muth

Kantor Muth teaches all of the arts, including violin, choir, and fine arts. She 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.

Elsa Gerth

Mrs. 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.

Erin Stacey

Mrs. Stacey is our Physical Education teacher. She has a degree in Exercise Science from SIUE. In addition to teaching PE, she has a third-degree black belt in taekwondo and teaches martial arts for ActivStars in Missouri and Alton Family Martial Arts in Alton. She and her husband, Mike, live in Maryville.

Joanie Mertz

Mrs. Mertz is a lifelong member of our congregation and has served as our school secretary since 1993. She and her husband, Tom, are the parents of two and grandparents of four.