Peace Lutheran Academy Sussex, Wisconsin

Staff

Kimberly E. Hughes

Education

B.A. Elementary Education, Concordia College, Mequon, WI
Contact Mrs. Hughes

Kimberly E. Hughes

Headmaster; Teacher, Grades 5-8

Having attended Lutheran schools which have nurtured her faith throughout her own education, Kimberly is adamant about the Christian faith and classical Lutheran education. Baptized into Christ as an infant, she has never looked back. Kimberly understands that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10), so she knows that everything accomplished at the Academy flows from the faith. A day-school teacher since 1986, Kimberly has experience in inner-city and suburban schools. Her training in classical education began at Zion Lutheran Academy in Fort Wayne, IN. She has attended classical teacher-training workshops at Logos Academy, Moscow, ID, as well as various continuing education classes. Intrigued by the strong foundation of Lutheran catechesis and the opportunity to teach classically at Peace, Kimberly began as Headmaster for the Academy in 2002, focusing on curriculum development. Her membership in the Jane Austen Society of North America not only reflects her love of literature, but also her desire to raise young men and young women to take up their God-given vocations in the faith.

Awards and Accomplishments

Lutheran Schools in America curriculum consultant, 2008; presenter for Classical Lutheran Education Conference—Brookfield, IL, 2005, 2006; presenter for the Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education 1999, 2002; Toyota Tapestry Award 2001
Sara J. Kohlmeier

Education

B.A. Elementary Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Professional Educator License: Elementary Teacher Kindergarten-Eight Grade
Contact Mrs. Kohlmeier

Sara J. Kohlmeier

Teacher, Preschool & Kindergarten

Having decided to become a Lutheran school teacher when she was in the third grade, Sara has pursued her dream into reality. Sara taught elementary students from preschool to second grade at Elm Grove Lutheran School in Elm Grove, Wi, for over ten years before coming to the Academy. While maintaining her teaching license with numerous continuing education graduate courses, Sara loves being a wife, mother, and grandmother, with hobbies of cross-stitching and scrapbooking. She truly loves teaching young children about their Savior and about the hymns and liturgy of the church. As she says, "Working with the young children is a joy because I get to watch and guide them as they discover the world around them, and grow mature as Christ's lambs. I am blessed as they freely share their faith, love, joys, and sorrows."
Laura B. Laubenstein

Education

B.S. in Mathematics, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI
Montana Department of Public Instruction Standard Teaching License: Secondary (5-12), Math Endorsement
Whole Brain Teaching, October 2013
Capturing Kids Hearts, August, 2010
Acellus Program, May 2010
Contact Miss Laubenstein

Laura B. Laubenstein

Teacher, Grades 1–4

Like many of our Academy’s alumni, Laura is an icon of the love of Christ, revealing that selfless, sacrificing love that places others above one’s self. Using her giftedness in mathematics, Laura has experienced a breadth of teaching experiences subsequent to her student teaching in the local, Waukesha County area. She taught junior high and high school mathematics through calculus and statistics at Circle Public Schools, Circle, MT. Previously, during her two years at Mandaree High School, a small, reservation school in Mandaree, ND, she worked in math intervention, helping struggling students achieve, fostering relationships with students and their families to attain their good. In returning to the academy as a teacher, Laura exhibits that same love of Christ toward even the youngest of her students at Peace. As Laura explains, borrowing the words of Socrates, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” While no stranger to incorporating technology into teaching, Laura enjoys hiking, camping, and playing with her dogs.

Awards and Accomplishments

Graduated Magna Cum Laude; Delta Sigma Nu Honorary Scholastic Society Award
Elisabeth J. Schneider

Education

B.A. German and Classics—Latin, Knox College, IL
M.A. Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
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Elisabeth J. Schneider

Teacher, Latin

Elisabeth knows the importance of studying foreign language, both modern and classical. Because she so enjoyed learning German, which she has studied since high school, she started studying Latin in college. During her first year, she became captivated by Latin while studying the poems of Horace and Ovid. The language of Rome and classical history so enamored her, she inadvertently ended up with a major in the subject alongside German. Elisabeth’s teaching experience originated as a graduate teaching assistant, planning lessons, lecturing beginning students, and grading exams while working toward her masters. The opportunity to teach a subject she loves at Peace, where Latin is part of an education centered in Christ’s gifts of Word and Sacrament is an incredible, unexpected blessing for her. As she says, “Latin not only provides a stepping stone to other European languages, but it also opens the door to a closer engagement with the Church’s history.” When not taking care of her family, Elisabeth spends most of her spare time reading, from historical fiction to poetry, but she also enjoys playing the cello.
Susan L. Laubenstein

Education

B.A. Elementary Education, Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, IL
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Susan L. Laubenstein

Academy Teacher Emeritus

Having been with the academy since its beginning, Sue’s years of service at Peace was rooted in her faith in the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake. Sue desired to be at Peace primarily to be involved in a church and school that was founded upon the Gospel. She began as a preschool aide and transitioned to preschool teacher. Subsequently, she taught kindergarten through fourth grade. For Sue, teaching is a job that begins in the classroom but continues on through life, so it is fitting that even in retirement, Sue is still involved with the academy as a consultant. Her experience and expertise in teaching phonics and spelling is a valued contribution in curriculum development.  Additionally, Sue’s training in educational philosophy and methodology makes her a respected resource for identifying and correcting reading difficulties. Though as she says, “Teaching is more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. There’s perseverance in setting standards of work and behavior and sticking to them.” Sue was such a well-respected academy teacher that upon her retirement, she was named Academy Teacher Emeritus by the congregation.

Awards and Accomplishments

Recognition for 25 Years of Service, The South Wisconsin District of the LCMS, 2008.
Peter C. Bender

Education

M.Div., Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
Bachelor of Music Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL
Contact Pastor Bender

Peter C. Bender

Pastor

Peter C. Bender was ordained into the public ministry in 1987, serving the dual parish of St. Paul, Boone, and Trinity, Dayton, IA, from July of 1987 to September of 1991. On September 1, 1991, he was installed as the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church. Pastor Bender has done extensive work in the area of Lutheran catechesis, which he defines as "God's way of teaching the new life in Christ and His forgiveness to sinners. Faithfully teaching the Word of God and passing on the language of our holy faith, so that the baptized learn how to receive God's gifts in the Divine Service, how to pray, how to confess, and how to live where God has called them—in the freedom of the forgiveness of sins, with faith in Christ and love to the neighbor. The goal of all catechesis is faith in Christ." Pastor Bender is the founder of the Concordia Catechetical Academy (CCA). The CCA is a society of pastors and laity who are dedicated to the promotion of faithful Lutheran catechesis in the United States and overseas. Much of the CCA's work consists of the creation of catechetical materials for use in congregations and the sponsoring of an annual symposium on catechesis held in late June. Pastor Bender's studies in Luther's concepts of catechesis contributed toward his desire to start a school where Lutheran catechesis would be the centerpiece. By 1995, the congregation had established a preschool and decided to begin Peace Lutheran Academy.

Publications

General Editor, The Lutheran Catechesis Series and the principal author of a number of volumes in that series, including Lutheran Catechesis: Catechumen Edition—A Guide to Catechesis for the Lutheran Catechumen and Family (Second Edition) and Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition—A Comprehensive Guide to Catechesis for a Lutheran Congregation (Second Edition). Contributor, Lutheran Service Book: Agenda; Contributor, Lutheran Service Book: Pastoral Care Companion.
Matthew W. Gatchell

Education

B.A. History, California State University, Sacramento, CA
The LCMS Lay Ministry Certification, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, WI
Contact Deacon Gatchell

Matthew W. Gatchell

Deacon

Deacon Gatchell's future as a servant of the Church may have been foreshadowed from his youth, in his preparation as an Eagle Scout to his wandering through history in his college years, focusing on the Reformation and Church history with a minor in German language. Matthew is no stranger to fulfilling his duty, serving as a Lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery in the United States Army, stationed in Ft. Bliss, TX, and Germany. After discharge from service, he gained business experience as a restaurant manager before entering the diaconate. He has served at Peace Lutheran Church since 1994. In addition to his Lay Ministry Certification, Matthew has proficiency in Biblical Greek and taken various graduate-level courses in theology.

Deacon's primary service to others is through the administration of the temporal affairs of the congregation and the Academy. He is called upon to perform a variety of duties in his office: promoting the Concordia Catechetical Academy, assisting in catechetical instruction in Pastor's absence, or teaching a Reformation history class in the Academy. Off duty, Matthew spends time woodworking and clock making.

Awards and Accomplishments

Confessional Lutheran of the Year, 2008; presented paper on the diaconate, The Association of Confessional Lutherans National Free Conference, 1992; Army Commendation Medal, 1982; Eagle Scout, 1970
Katherine J. May

Education

B.A. Lutheran Education and Parish Music, Concordia College, Mequon, WI
Contact Mrs. May

Katherine J. May

Director of Cherub and Academy Choirs; Organist

Perhaps Kathy is the person who most clearly embodies the unity between the congregation and the Academy as expressed through the integral relationship between faith, music, and education. Maybe this is because she believes the Scripture: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). Prior to Peace, Kathy has both homeschooled her children and taught in other private Lutheran schools in inner-city and suburban churches where she directed adult, hand bell, and children's choirs.

Kathy has been teaching music, leading children in singing, and directing the string ensemble at Peace, as well as maintaining her private studio of piano students. In true faith, she proclaims, "It is with thankfulness in my heart that I have the privilege to teach the children to sing, to hear them lead the congregation's singing, and to know that we are all being fed the Word of Christ richly through their music. It is a beautifully unique situation to see every child in the school sing with freedom and joy in daily chapel and devotions, choir rehearsals, and ultimately the Divine Service—a true joy in every way!"

Publications

"A Mighty Fortress," audiocassette, 1994.

Brenda K. Greschner

Administrative Assistant

Brenda has worked as the administrative assistant for the congregation since 2006, performing her responsibilities for Pastor, Deacon, Headmaster, faculty, staff, and congregational members as needed. As a good listener, Brenda is called upon to answer questions, take, fill, and mail orders for the CCA, nurse Academy students' sicknesses, and track-down parents. She patiently attends to the concerns of whomever enters the office. Brenda is "Mom" to her own four children, all of whom have graduated from the Academy. While she's not being our mom, Brenda enjoys decorating, cooking, and baking.
George and Sue Kaminski

George and Sue Kaminski

Custodians

We always think of them as one: George-and-Sue. The Kaminskis were members of the congregation long before they began to assist as custodians in October of 1982. No stranger to service, George is also employed as a dental technician, and he has worked as a local firefighter and EMT. His interests include computing, fishing, and hunting. Sue currently works in her home babysitting her grandchildren, some of whom have attended the Academy preschool. Family is important to both of them, whether watching their grandchildren play sports or coming together for their weekly tradition, "Cheeseburger Sunday" lunch.