Elementary Teachers & Staff

Elementary Principal – Mr. Zach Seeger began serving as Principal of Illinois Lutheran Elementary School in 2023. He has nearly 20 years of experience in teaching and administration having previously served at schools in South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and China. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Education and a Master’s of Science in Education with a leadership emphasis, both from Martin Luther College. He was born and raised in Wisconsin, where he was blessed to receive a Christian education, and he looks forward to talking with you about Christian education at ILS.

Mr. Seeger and his wife Becky have three boys who all attend ILS. He enjoys spending time with his family, running, baseball, and traveling.

Mr. Seeger teaches 5th Grade Social Students and 6th Grade Christ Light
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: zseeger@illinoislutheran.org

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.

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 children, including three ILHS graduates.

Mrs. Biesterfeld teaches 3rd Grade
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: lbiesterfeld@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Pam Brudos grew up in Elkhorn and Kenosha, Wisconsin. She graduated from Shoreland Lutheran High School in 1988, and Dr. Martin Luther College in 1992.

Pam taught in Egg Harbor, WI and Waukegan, IL before marrying Steve in 2001. Soon after their daughter Elizabeth was born, the Brudos family moved to Janesville, WI, where Pam worked at St. Matthew’s as a part time teacher/substitute/aide for 16 years.

In her free time Pam likes to watch movies, read, do needlework, and play board games.

Mrs. Brudos teaches 4th Grade
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: pbrudos@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Laura Cook grew up in Brownsville, WI and attended school at St. Paul’s Lutheran. She attended Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac, WI. She went to Martin Lutheran College in New Ulm, MN and graduated in 2012.

Mrs. Cook met Kendall Cook in college and they got married after she graduated in 2012. They moved to Milwaukee, WI where Kendall attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. They moved to College Station, TX for Kendall’s intern year and moved back to Milwaukee for his last year of seminary. Upon Kendall’s graduation in 2015, they moved to Norfolk, NE to serve a church. While in Norfolk, Mrs. Cook taught part time at St. Paul’s, Norfolk. They moved to Crete in 2019 where Kendall serves as Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Laura and Kendall have four children: Logan, Tristan, Sawyer, and Dani. Laura enjoys raising her children, reading, running, watching football and baseball and spending time with her husband. She is very excited to have her own classroom.

Mrs. Cook teaches 1st Grade
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: lcook@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Megan Deenik grew up in Watertown, WI, where she attended Lutheran grade schools and went on to graduate from Luther Preparatory School in 2015. She came from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin where her mom is a teacher.

In May 2019, she graduated from Martin Luther College with a degree in Elementary Education and a Social Studies emphasis. From there she was assigned to teach 2nd grade at ILS. She also coaches grade school volleyball.

Mrs. Deenik married her husband, Rob, in June 2021. Together they are raising his four children, who all attend ILS. In her free time she likes watching sports, reading, and playing with their puppy, Daisy. She also loves to travel, especially to Disney World.

Mrs. Deenik teaches 2nd Grade
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: mdeenik@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Hannah Schneider is a 2008 graduate of Martin Luther College, with a degree in elementary education as well as secondary Spanish. She was assigned to Loving Shepherd Lutheran School in Milwaukee, and was privileged to serve three years as 3rd and 4th grade teacher there. While following her husband Michael, a pastor, she also taught a combination of grades 3-8 various times in Toledo, Milwaukee, and North St. Paul. She took a few years off to stay home with her two children, but now is excited to be back in the classroom full time.

Some of her interests outside the classroom include hiking, exploring nature, reading, singing and playing music, knitting, crocheting, volunteering at Camp BASIC, drinking coffee, and baking yummy desserts for others to enjoy.

Mrs. Schneider teaches Kindergarten
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: hschneider@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Becky Seeger graduated from Martin Luther College in 2005 with a social studies emphasis. Since then she’s had 11 years of teaching experience with children ranging in age from the K2 (PreK) level all the way through 8th grade. She’s served in Arizona, China, Michigan, South Carolina, and will be teaching 6th grade this year at ILS.  She enjoys meeting new people, trying new things, exploring new places and cultures and sharing Jesus with those around her.

Mrs. Seeger and her husband Zach have 3 boys.  As a family they enjoy outdoor activities, sports, traveling, being creative, reading and music.  They feel blessed to be a part of the ILS family.

Mrs. Seeger teaches 6th Grade
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: bseeger@illinoislutheran.org

Mr. Noah Van Arnold grew up in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin and graduated from Luther Preparatory School in 2017. He began that fall at Martin Luther College to pursue a degree in elementary education and secondary life science education. Mr. Van Arnold would have graduated in 2022, but the Lord had other plans, instead calling him to serve in an emergency position teaching science at Illinois Lutheran High School during the 2021-2022 school year. During that year, he met his wife, Katty, through their shared love of running. They were married in June 2023 after he completed his schooling and received an assignment to return to Crete, now teaching at the elementary campus.

In his free time, Mr. Van Arnold enjoys running, hiking, biking, reading, and playing board games.

Mr. Van Arnold teaches 5th Grade, as well as 6th Grade Science and Social Studies
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: nvanarnold@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Elizabeth Oestmann
Elementary School Administrative Assistant
Phone: 708.672.5969 – Email: eoestmann@illinoislutheran.org


Mr. Rik McGathey
Repairs & Maintenance
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 116 – Email: rmcgathey@ilhs.org