Teacher Biographies

Mrs. Laura Biesterfeld is from Minnesota and graduated from Doctor Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mrs. Biesterfeld began teaching at Illinois Lutheran in 1998.  She teaches 5th grade math and  is the 6th grade homeroom teacher.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, ” I love seeing the ‘lightbulb’ when kids understand something they’ve been working towards.”

When not at school she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Biesterfeld and her husband have four kids at ILS.


Mr. John Dorn grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mr. Dorn serves as our Technology Coordinator and teaches 8th Grade Science, 9th Grade Biology, and Computer Applications. He also coaches girls’ basketball and assists with the baseball team. He has been here since 2008.

When asked what he most enjoys about teaching here, he said, “I love getting to know all these students with such different personalities. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. God has given me such a great opportunity to share His love with the teaching ministry. Watching these young souls grow in faith is my greatest joy.”

When not at school Mr. Dorn enjoys taking pictures (even though his kids hate it).

Mr. Dorn and his wife, Mary, have five children, including three ILHS graduates.


Mrs. Mary Dorn is from St. Joseph, MI and graduated from Doctor Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mrs. Dorn teaches kindergarten and coaches junior high volleyball and has been at ILS since 2008.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “I love the simple faith the children have in their Savior. Also, all the inquisitive questions they have. It often gets us off on a tangent, but they in turn learn so much more that way than what is just in the lesson plan.”

When not at school she enjoys riding bikes and spending time with her family.

Mr. and Mrs. Dorn have five children, including three ILHS graduates.


Miss Wendy Fischer is a Fremont, WI girl. She graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 2001.

Miss Fischer teaches 2nd grade and coaches the junior high cheerleading squad. She also oversees the grade school yearbook.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “I love helping children develop a love for learning and a most importantly a love for their Savior.”

When not at school she enjoys taking pictures, scrapbooking, and gardening.


Mr. Nate Hinz is from Wisconsin and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mr. Hinz teaches Christ Light for 8th grade, Language Arts and Physical Education for 7th, 8th and 9th grade. He also is an assistant coach for high school soccer and softball and head coach for junior high boys’ basketball. He has taught here since 2002.

When asked what he enjoys the most about teaching, he said, “Bringing the Gospel to people who may be hearing it for the first time and watching them grow in their connection to Christ.”

When Mr. Hinz is not at school he enjoys camping with his family in the tri-state area and playing golf whenever possible.

Mr. Hinz and his wife, Ginger, have two children, Mollie, and Hannah, who is an ILHS graduate.


Mr. Mark Kjenstad is from South Dakota and graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN  He also holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Mr. KJ teaches 9th Grade Old Testament and 10th Grade New Testament. He also serves as the Athletic Director at ILS and coaches varsity boys’ basketball and baseball. He has been at Illinois Lutheran since 1999.

When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, he said, “Sharing and discussing God’s Word, teaching my students lessons about life, and helping students enjoy Illinois Lutheran. ”

When not at school Mr. KJ enjoys being with his family, playing golf, working in the yard, and following the world of sports.

Mr. Kjenstad and his wife, Jessica, have two children: Ryen and Reah.​


Mrs. Sandra Knoblock grew up in St. Charles, Michigan. She graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mrs. Knoblock teaches first grade. She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 1998.  

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said “I love sharing God’s word with little people.  To be able to see the evidence of faith growing in a child is so amazing and such a privilege.”

When not at school Mrs. Knoblock enjoys baking, reading and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Knoblock and her husband Karl have two grown children: Ben (a 2006 graduate of Michigan Lutheran Seminary) and Malory (a 2007 graduate of Illinois Lutheran High School).


Mr. Nate Krug grew up in Wisconsin and then moved to Illinois. He is a graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. He has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 2008.

Mr. Krug is our 5th grade homeroom teacher and also teaches social studies and science in 6th grade. He is the drama director for our high school plays in the fall and spring and also plays piano for school concerts. Mr. Krug holds his Illinois Professional Educator License and is currently seeking his Middle School Endorsement.​

When asked what he likes most about teaching, he said, “I really love when students get excited about what excites me. Illinois Lutheran offers the unique opportunity to not only share my enthusiasm for learning, but also my faith and how it relates to every subject we teach.”

When away from school, Mr. Krug likes to perform on the stage, and has been involved in several local productions in the past few years.


Miss Elizabeth Kuschel grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1998.  She then went on the graduate from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Miss Kuschel was assigned to ILS in 2001 where she taught 6-8 and Language Arts for 3 years before becoming the 3rd grade teacher.  She also coaches 5th-6th grade girl’s volleyball and junior high basketball.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “I love being able to share the stories of the Bible with children at an age when they can begin to apply it to their lives and understand the truths and teachings on a deeper level.  I also love watching students as they become more independent and responsible.”

You can often find Miss Kuschel in the gym cheering on the Chargers or helping out with the scorebook or clock.

When not at school Miss Kuschel enjoys walking, reading, and baking.


Miss Beth Schuppe is from Memphis, TN and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Miss Schuppe teaches American History to 8th graders, World History to freshmen,  American History to juniors and Government/Economics to seniors. She also coaches the ILHS Scholastic bowl team and assists in the Jr. High Battle of the Books. She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 1987.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “Being with the students. They bring such joy to my life. They are my family here in Crete. I love sharing with them how God directed history to further His plan of salvation because nobody explained that to me when I was younger.”

When away from school, she enjoys  visiting the older folks in nursing homes so they can pet Crusader with the Trinity group called Paws with a Purpose. She also enjoys playing her guitar for fun, and also in church for the blended services.

Miss Schuppe lives at home with her 4-legged, furry, 14-year old German Shepherd/Border Collie mix named Crusader.


Mrs. LuAnn Spiaser is from Minnesota and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN and later added a Master of Arts in English from Governors State University, University Park, IL.

Mrs. Spiaser teaches English 10, junior and senior English electives, and junior high art. She also coordinates Academic Intervention and leads a Bible Class for girls. She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 1997.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, Mrs. Spiaser said, “One of the many things that I enjoy about teaching is helping today’s youth make good, God-pleasing decisions.”

When away from school, Mrs. Spiaser enjoys reading novels, traveling the world with Mr. Spiaser, making jewelry, and watching the Cubs.

She and her husband, Mr. Jeff Spiaser, have two girls who are ILHS graduates: Allison and Katie.


Mrs. Tanya Tomfohrde is from Nebraska and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. She earned her Illinois State Teaching License in 2012.

Mrs. Tomfohrde teaches 7th Grade Math, Algebra 1B, Algebra 2, Geometry, Statistics, and Calculus She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 2007.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, Mrs. Tomfohrde said, “I like helping students develop and gain confidence in all the different talents and abilities that God has blessed them with, both in and out of the classroom.”

When away from school, Mrs. T enjoys spending time with her children, reading, watching movies, and traveling.

She and her husband, Matt, have three children: Kaylee, Aaron and Nathan.


Mr. Jeff Uhlenbrauck is from Appleton, Wisconsin and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mr. U is the Dean of Student Life. He teaches 7th grade Christ Light, Health, Geography, Current Events, Foreign Affairs and Physical Education. He also directs the ILHS Student Council and coaches junior high soccer and JV basketball. He has taught at ILHS since 1994.

When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, he said, “Spending time with young Christians and watching them mature.”

When not at school Mr. U enjoys spending time with his family, camping, golfing, and playing tennis.

Mr.U and his wife, Monica, have four school aged children: Noah, Madison, Jonah, and Hannah.


Mrs. Monica Uhlenbrauck is from Crete, IL and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mrs. U is an Illinois Lutheran graduate and taught for several years in our grade school. She teaches Pre-Algebra.

Mrs. U currently serves as an academic tutor for many students including our international students. She also serves as a frequent substitute teacher and coaches basketball for the elementary school.


Mrs. Amanda Ventura is from Wisconsin and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mrs. Ventura teaches all levels of Spanish which includes Honors Spanish and AP Spanish. She also supervises the yearbook staff. She has been teaching at Illinois Lutheran since 2009. She earned her Illinois State Teaching License in 2014.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “Helping students to converse in a foreign language and helping them to become more culturally aware”.

When Mrs. Ventura is not at school she enjoys playing with her children, watching movies, and weeding her flower garden (which she learned to enjoy from her mother).

Mrs. Ventura and her husband, Luis, have three children: Luis Manuel, Angely and Mark.


Mr. Donovan Zastrow grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.

Mr. Zastrow serves as the Assistant Activities Director, the Adopt-A-Highway coordinator and a faculty advisor for student council. He teaches Honors Pre-Calculus & Trigonometry, Algebra, Business and Personal Finance, and a junior high computer class. He has been at Illinois Lutheran since 2009.

When asked what he most enjoys about teaching here, he said, “the opportunity to share my faith with the students that I interact with on a daily basis as well as helping them to achieve a greater understanding in academics (especially mathematics)!”

When not at school Mr. Z enjoys watching good movies, reading, and from time to time he’s been known to chase a small white ball back and forth on the golf course.