Staff

 

 

I have been serving as lead pastor at Saint Peter Lutheran since March 2019.  The opportunity to work with a youth & school pastor, a staff minister, and so many talented and committed staff and lay people is exciting.  Here is a summary of my previous pastoral ministry: My initial call out of the seminary was as a traveling evangelist for our Wisconsin Synod Home Mission Board in 1986-87.  Next I was a university campus pastor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (6 years).  During most of the 1990's I was a mission pastor in Terre Haute, Indiana (7 years).  And prior to coming to Saint Peter I served a smaller parish and school in Zion, Illinois (18 years).
 
Saint Peter Lutheran offers a ministry climate that is caring, inviting, and dedicated to the Word of God.  How can a person not be thrilled to work in this kind of environment?  Whether visiting at nursing homes, leading a school chapel service, counseling Christian couples, comforting families that are grieving, or just talking to a new prospect while shopping at the HyVee, it's all a blessed joy.  Perhaps my favorite joy is planning and leading a Sunday worship service that clearly and boldly delivers the gospel of Jesus Christ and encourages God's people to respond in praise and glorious music.  It's a foretaste of heaven's glory!
 
I live here in Saint Peter with my wife, Cari, who substitute teaches and serves our church and school in many volunteer roles.  Cari has a degree in psychology and human development and is an awesome teacher in my book.  We have three grown-up children and two grandchildren, all living in Wisconsin.  My hobbies include my dog Riley, bow hunting, hiking, listening to music (pipe organs!), and Michigan sports teams.

I am the principal and 6-8th grade teacher at Saint Peter Lutheran School.   I graduated from Martin Luther College with a degree in Elementary Education in 2008.  Before serving in my current role here at Saint Peter Lutheran, I was a principal and upper-grade teacher at Living Word Christian Academy in Mission Viejo, California, a principal and upper-grade teacher at Saint Paul Lutheran School in Bloomer, WI, and a 2-4th grade teacher and athletic director at King of Kings Lutheran in Maitland, FL.  I currently am about 2/3 of the way through earning my Master's degree in School Administration through Martin Luther College. I hope to complete that degree sometime in 2021. 

I am passionate about my work as both a principal and a teacher because I know what a tremendous, eternal impact hearing and being encouraged in God’s Word on a daily basis has on the lives of children.  I want all the children that attend our school to see themselves as purposeful, loved creations of their Heavenly Father.  I want them all to know that their Heavenly Father loved them so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life in their place and die on the cross for their sins.  I get excited to share with them the most important thing they will ever learn in their life - the fact that, through faith in Jesus, they are fully forgiven in God’s eyes and have an eternal home waiting for them in heaven!  This truth gives us true and lasting confidence and peace to face any challenges that come our way in this life.  My goal as a principal and as a teacher is that all students learn to see Jesus as the central, most important part of their lives!

My wife, Bethany, and I were married in 2008.  We are blessed to have 4 children - Kayla (9), Mason (6), Elianna (4), and Aiden (1).  We are expecting our fifth child in late January.  I am excited to have our three oldest children all attending SPLS this school year.  Outside of school, I enjoy working with technology, playing soccer, and spending time outdoors with my family. 

Hello!  I am Mrs. Voss, and I am excited to serve here at SPLS as the 4th/5th Grade Teacher and Athletic Director for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  Here is a snapshot of who I am, and how my journey to become a teacher is unique.  As many of you may know, I grew up in WI, therefore I am a Packer fan.  Do not worry, I still welcome Viking fans into the classroom!  My family and I live in North Mankato where my husband serves as a Staff Minister at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. We have four children: Madalynn 13, Brayden 11, Brynn 10 and Jonah 7.  It was my joy to stay at home with my children as they grew up. Now that they are all in school, I felt God was calling me to finish up my teaching degree.  Back in December 2006, I graduated from MLC with a 4-year degree in Education but soon became a busy mom.  Last fall I was privileged to do my Student Teaching here at SPLS in the K-2 classroom with Ms. Yotter.  This experience reminded me of the joy the children bring to the classroom!  I am humbled to be called back here to serve as a full-time teacher. 

 During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family around the campfire, bike riding, walking, hunting, interior painting or simply reading a good book. I grew up playing softball, soccer and volleyball, so I look forward to teaching Physical Education to grades 4-8 this year as well. 

I look forward to meeting with many of the families here at St. Peter and sharing the love of Jesus with your children.

I am originally from La Crosse, WI. I was inspired to become a teacher because many of my family members teach, including my mother, Penny, and my father, Paul. While at MLC, I participated in Forum and enjoyed being in many shows including The Ugly Duckling, Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music, and Camelot. I also participated in College Choir for four years and played the clarinet in Wind Symphony for three. I completed my private school student teaching at Fox Valley Lutheran High School where I directed the choirs and First Lutheran School in Elkhorn, WI where I taught 1st and 2nd grades. Following student teaching, I graduated from Martin Luther College in 2019.

After I graduated, I received a call to fill a vacancy in Tacoma, Washington for one year. While I was there, I taught 7th and 8th grade. The Pacific Northwest was a beautiful place to spend the year- even during quarantine! I enjoyed the coffee, hiking in the mountains, and the many friendships I made there.

My husband, Carl, and I just got married this summer. While restrictions on gathering significantly altered our plans, we loved our little backyard reception. This year, Carl will be studying instrumental and vocal music education at Martin Luther College.

I am looking forward to serving you and serving our Savior this year at St. Peter!

Let me introduce myself to you!  My childhood years began in Tomah, WI where I went to St. Paul's Grade School and  high school at Luther High School in Onalaska, WI.  After high school, I attended Doctor Martin Luther College in New Ulm  and graduated in 1983.  I served on the Travel Canvas Witness Team (an outreach mission program hosted by WELS Home Missions) from July, 1983 until June, 1984.  My husband served during his vicar year for the same program and cupid struck!  My first teaching call was to Fond du Lac, WI where I taught grades 1 and 2 with 35 students.  We were married in 1985 and he served as pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Winneconne, Wi for 8 years and then took a call to serve Christ Lutheran Church, Eagle River, and St. John Lutheran Church Phelps, WI, serving there for 24 years.  Since graduation from DMLC, between public school and WELS school teaching I have taught for over 30 years. I have spent a good share of my ministry in the K4 and Kindergarten classroom.  I especially enjoy working with special education students and remedial children.
  My husband, Pastor Phil Gieschen and I have been blessed with two children.  Our daughter, Julia, and her husband David live in Lexington, Kentucky where she is a health and fitness coach in a medical clinic.  She also coaches cyclists and triathletes for Trainright. David is an equine veterinarian and surgeon in Lexington. Our son, Ben, lives in Studio City, California with his wife Rachael.  He is a sound editor for Boombox Productions and NBC Universal.  His wife, Rachael, is an interior designer (CAD) for commercial properties in Pasadena.  We love to travel to see our children as often as possible.  They both live in beautiful parts of our country.
  What do I like to do when I am not in the classroom?  I love gardening, quilting, reading and cooking.  We also enjoy traveling, camping, hiking and kayaking. Our bucket list is checking off the National Parks.  20 down-many to go!
  I look forward to teaching the second and third grade students at St. Peter Lutheran in the morning.  You will also find me two afternoons in the sixth-eighth grade classroom for principal release time for Mr. Gurgel.   Please stop by and check out the new classroom for second and third grade.  It is indeed a privilege to assist the parents in training their children in the ways of God's truths. 


I am excited to be teaching kindergarten and first grade here at Saint Peter Lutheran. Before coming to St. Peter, I previously taught first graders at Mt. Lebanon Lutheran School in Milwaukee, WI and third graders at the Kasson-Mantorville School District in Kasson, MN. I received my bachelor’s degree from Winona State University in 2004 and completed WELS synodical certification in 2006. In 2015, I completed my master’s degree in education with an instructional emphasis from Martin Luther College and added a special education emphasis in 2020.  

I enjoy reading, playing piano, and visiting with family and friends, especially getting to spend time with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces at their dairy farm near Lake City, MN.

Hi my name is Candy Siewert and I am excited to start my 5th year as the classroom aide at St. Peter Lutheran School!
I grew up in a small town not far from here, called Sleepy Eye, and attended the WELS school there for grades K-8. I graduated from Sleepy Eye High School and went to SMSU in Marshall, MN, and graduated with a double major in Physical Education and Health, with a coaching emphasis in five sports.
Over the years, I have taught and coached many sports; including teaching physical education here when our school first opened!
My husband Jim and I got married in 1979 and we have three grown children. Jim is a semi-retired band director who teaches at Mount Olive in Mankato, two days per week.
Our oldest son, Tim, is the bad director in Detroit Lakes and his wife, Kaitlin, is a dental therapist. They have one son, John, who is nine months old. Our second son, C.J., is the Sports Information Director at Gustavus Adolphus College, and his wife, Kayla, works at Thrivent Financial in St. Peter. They have two sons; Theo, who is almost six and will be a kindergartner here at SPELS, and Max, who is three years old.
Our daughter, Chelsea, is a kindergarten teacher in Seattle, Washington. She will be married next summer to her fiance' Andrew, who is a high school teacher. We enjoy visiting them whenever we can.
As you can see, teaching runs in the family!
During my free time, I love to spend time with our grandsons, read, go to movies and theatre productions, and enjoy time with family and friends. We are big baseball fans, so we attend Twins games as much as possible.
I am looking forward to working with our wonderful staff and getting to know all of the students here. I will be helping in the lunchroom and also on the playground for recess each day. What a blessing it is to have this awesome opportunity!

Hi my name is Melissa Voigt. I  am starting my sixteenth year as the Little Lambs Preschool teacher. My husband John and I live on a small farm between St. Peter and Cleveland. We have two children. Our son David and his wife live near Le Center in the country. They have a little boy Milo. Our daughter Laura and her husband Derek live in Mankato . They have a little girl Evelyn and will be welcoming a little boy to their family in October.
Spending time with my family and grandchildren is my greatest joy, blessing and pastime