Illinois Lutheran Schools Administration

Senior Administrator, Junior High & High School Principal – Mr. Joe E. Archer is the Principal of Illinois Lutheran Junior High and High School. He has over 40 years of administration and teaching experience and began his current position at Illinois Lutheran High School in 1995. He has served as school system administrator and currently serves as Senior Administrator, as well as principal of the high school and junior high. Mr. Archer provides spiritual leadership and works closely with boards and committees to develop and implement programs and policies that are in keeping with the school’s strong Biblical foundations, goals, and objectives.

Mr. Archer says, “Our school provides a unique educational opportunity. We offer an academically challenging Pre-K through 12th grade curricula firmly founded in God’s Word. We strive to provide a family atmosphere where parents, teachers, and students work together as a community of learners to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities and grow in our faith. We stand ready to provide any additional information you may need about our program. Please feel free to contact us at any time.”

Mr. Archer teaches 8th Grade Earth Science
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 105 – Email: jearcher@ilhs.org

Grade School Principal – Mr. Jeffrey Falck grew up in Tomah, WI and is the son of retired Pastor Daniel and Judy Falck. After attending Lutheran Elementary schools through 8th grade, he attended Luther High School in Onalaska, WI before finishing at Martin Luther Prep School in Prairie du Chien. Mr. Falck received his undergraduate degree in education and Social Studies from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. He has also earned a Masters degree in educational leadership from Martin Luther College.

Mr. Falck has taught a variety of grade combinations in grades 4-8 at schools in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado. He brings over 18 years of teaching experience and 12 years of administrative experience to Illinois Lutheran and is excited to work with the families of Illinois Lutheran.

Mr. Falck is married to Karena and has four children: Ava, Brady, Ida, and Max. He enjoys music (especially playing the organ for worship) and college football. He also enjoys traveling the country with his family and exploring new places.

Mr. Falck teaches 5th & 6th Grade Social Studies and 6th Grade Religion
Phone: 708.672.5850, ext. 225 – Email: jfalck@illinoislutheran.org


Elementary School Vice-Principal – Mr. Scott Sievert is a 1983 graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. He has been a principal for over 30 years. As a servant-leader, he encourages the faculty members to grow in their educational techniques and professionalism while also growing their faith and service to the Lord.

Mr. Sievert says, “I am honored to serve here. As we share God’s Word with our students and families, I am inspired by God’s grace. I am amazed how each of us grows in our personal faith as we hear and learn God’s Word.”

Mr. Sievert teaches 5th Grade, as well as 6th Grade Science
Phone: 708.672.5850, ext. 414 – Email: ssievert@illinoislutheran.org


Dean of Student Life – Mr. Phil Adickes was born in Fort Atkinson, WI. His family moved to Arizona in the late 70s when his dad was Called to Arizona Lutheran Academy. Mr. Adickes attended Phoenix College and also worked with a professional photographer during those years until he decided it was time for a change. He enrolled in Martin Luther College in 1993.

In 1997, Mr. Adickes was assigned to California Lutheran HS as a dorm supervisor for one year. Then in 1998 he was assigned as grades 6-8 teacher, Athletic Director, and Principal to Faith LS in Tacoma, WA. They spent 16 years there until 2014 when he accepted a Call to Zion in Denver.

Mr. Adickes and his wife, Anne, have three children: Leah, Levi, and Grace. In his free time, he loves listening to music, being outside, working in the yard, riding his bike, skateboarding, playing basketball, and working on his 1978 Convertible Volkswagen Super Beetle. His favorite pastime is cheering on the Packers.

Mr. Adickes teaches Pre-Algebra, Health and Physical Education
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 121 – Email: padickes@ilhs.org


Dean of Academics – Mr. Jeff Spiaser holds a BS from Dr. Martin Luther College, Graduate School Madonna University, Eastern Michigan University, Concordia University Seward, NE. He has served Illinois Lutheran since 1994.

Mr. Spiaser says, “Illinois Lutheran is a small school that offers a strong college-prep program to its students. My role as a teacher is to prepare students for university-level science classes. As guidance director, I guide them toward the college that will best fit their needs.”

Mr. Spiaser teaches Chemistry and Physics
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 122 – Email: jspiaser@ilhs.org


Dean of Spiritual Life – Mr. Tim Rimpel is a 1978 Graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. He holds a Masters of Social Sciences from Governor’s State University and a Masters of Arts in Religion from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI. Mr. Rimpel has been teaching in Crete for over 35 years. He currently teaches Junior and Senior Religion. As Dean of Spiritual Life, Mr. Rimpel is responsible for all aspects of spiritual life and oversees all worship opportunities for our students.

Mr. Rimpel says, “Illinois Lutheran provides a Christ-centered education that promotes a Biblical mindset to live out what has been learned.”

Mr. Rimpel teaches Religion and History
teaches Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 107 – Email: trimpel@ilhs.org


Activities Director – 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’ 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.​

Mr. Kjenstad teaches Religion and Social Studies
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 114 – Email: mkjenstad@ilhs.org


Technology Director – 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 four ILHS graduates.

Mr. Dorn teaches Biology and Computers
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 115 – Email: jdorn@ilhs.org


Junior High & High School Faculty

Mr. Nathan 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 high school 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, both graduates of ILHS.

Mr. Hinz teaches English, Religion, and Language Arts
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 113 – Email: nhinz@ilhs.org


Mrs. Rebecca Jahns grew up in Watertown, WI, and attended a Lutheran grade school and high school. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mrs. Jahns worked in sales management for several years before turning to MLC and the public teaching ministry.

Upon graduating, her short term assignments took her to Manitowoc Lutheran High School and St. Peter’s, Kekoskee, WI, before spending eleven years at Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac, WI. During that time she met her husband, Jim, and they are blessed to raise their two children: Eliza and Ethan. She then took a break from teaching to focus more on her family, during which time she worked in sales and marketing. She is excited to return to full time teaching.

Mrs. Jahns teaches English and Drama
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 118 – Email: rjahns@ilhs.org


Mr. Jacob Lash was born and lived his whole life in Racine, WI. He is the oldest of three children of Brian and Kim Lash, who have both lived in the Racine/Kenosha area since childhood as well.

Mr. Lash graduated from Shoreland Lutheran High School in 2013 and immediately went to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN the following fall. After spending five years there, he graduated from Martin Luther College in the spring of 2018 with a double major in Secondary Mathematics Education and Elementary Education. Just a few hours after graduation, Mr. Lash received an assignment from the WELS assignment committee to teach high school and junior high math at ILS.

Mr. Lash loves all kinds of sports and is forever loyal to all of his Wisconsin sports teams. Outside of school Mr. Lash will find himself playing soccer or basketball, exploring the beautiful outdoors, or playing some disc golf at any courses he can find.

Mr. Lash teaches Advanced Math
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 103 – Email: jlash@ilhs.org


Mr. Jeff Rick

Mr. Jeffrey Rick grew up in La Valle, WI, and he graduated from Martin Luther College in 2017 with a degree in Elementary Education and Secondary Social Studies Education. Mr. Rick teaches different levels of Social Studies classes at the junior high and high school, and he is the Public Relations Director at ILS. He also coaches seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball at Illinois Lutheran Schools.

When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, Mr. Rick said, “I love seeing the ‘aha’ moments when students understand difficult topics and questions.”

Mr. Rick was married to his wife in July 2017. Mrs. Lisa Rick is a preschool teacher at Illinois Lutheran Elementary School. Mr. Rick enjoys playing and watching sports (mostly football and basketball). He also enjoys hiking and traveling with his family.

Mr. Rick teaches English, Social Studies, and Computers
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 110 – Email: jrick@illinoislutheran.org


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, Crusader.

Miss Schuppe teaches History and Government.
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 106 – Email: bschuppe@ilhs.org


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. Spiaser teaches English, English Electives, and Junior High Art
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 109 – Email: lspiaser@ilhs.org


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.

Mrs. Ventura teaches Spanish and 7th Grade English
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 102 – Email: aventura@ilhs.org


Mr. Josiah Willitz

Mr. Josiah Willitz is Wisconsin born, but grew up in Florida. He attended both Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) and Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN), and holds degrees from both institutions. Mr. Willitz teaches Freshman and Sophomore Music, Study Skills, Junior High Music, and directs the Junior High Band, High School Band, and Concert Choir. He also directs Micahtam and Junior High Drama outside of the school day. Mr. Willitz has been teaching since 2012 and has taught at Illinois Lutheran since 2015.

When asked what he enjoys the most about teaching, he said, “I love helping my students to grow in the knowledge of their Savior, and in the many talents which their God has given to them. It’s a wonderful privilege to witness their development in both capacities.”

When Mr. Willitz is not at school he enjoys playing board games, watching movies, reading Shakespeare plays, and making music. Mr. Willitz and his wife, Anita, are the proud parents of a daughter named Hope.

Mr. Willitz teaches Music, Concert Choir, and Band
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 108 – Email: jwillitz@ilhs.org


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. 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)!”

Mr. Zastrow teaches Math
Phone: 708.672.3262, ext. 112 – Email: dzastrow@ilhs.org


Grade School Faculty

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 children, including one ILHS graduate.

Mrs. Biesterfeld teaches Fifth & Sixth Grade Math
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: lbiesterfeld@illinoislutheran.org


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 four ILHS graduates.

Mrs. Dorn teaches Kindergarten
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: mdorn@illinoislutheran.org


Mrs. Karena Falck grew up in Lansing, MI and attended school at Emanuel First Lutheran. She attended high school at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, MI. Mrs. Falck attended one year of college at Eastern Michigan University to study Interior Design. Her sophomore year she transferred to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. She graduated in 2000 with a degree in Elementary Education. She was not assigned a teaching position and found work as an optician and substitute teacher in the Cedar Rapids, IA school district. Her first WELS teaching position was K-3 at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Cedar Rapids, IA. Mrs. Falck has also taught in Wisconsin and Colorado, and she has teaching experience in the daycare setting up through 8th grade.

Mrs. Falck is married to Jeffrey Falck and they have four children: Ida, Maxwell, Bradford, and Ava. In their spare time they love to travel to National Parks and Monuments. Jeff and Karena were both history majors in college, so they love to take their kids to historic places of interest! Fun fact – she worked as a teen zoo keeper at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI. Her hobbies are CU football, gardening, animals, and art.
Mrs. Falck teaches Fourth Grade
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: kfalck@illinoislutheran.org

Mrs. Jessica Kjenstad grew up in Zion, Illinois and graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. Mrs. Kjenstad teaches second grade. She also coaches junior high girls’ basketball. She has been at Illinois Lutheran since 2002.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “I love sharing Jesus with my students and getting them excited about reading books.”
When not at school Mrs. Kjenstad enjoys being with her family, reading, shopping, and watching sports. Mrs. Kjenstad and her husband, Mark, have two children: Ryen and Reah.
Mrs. Kjenstad teaches Second Grade
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: jkjenstad@illinoislutheran.org

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).

Mrs. Knoblock teaches First Grade
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: sknoblock@illinoislutheran.org


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 Kuschel teaches Third Grade
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: ekuschel@illinoislutheran.org


Mrs. Lisa Rick

Mrs. Lisa Rick grew up in Wisconsin, and she graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota in 2017. Mrs. Rick teaches preschool and coaches fifth and sixth grade girls basketball at Illinois Lutheran Schools.

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, Mrs. Rick said, “I love seeing and hearing the children sing songs about our Savior.”

Mrs. Rick was married to her husband in July 2017. Mr. Jeffrey Rick teaches social studies at Illinois Lutheran Junior High/High School. Mrs. Rick enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Mrs. Rick teaches Preschool
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: lrick@illinoislutheran.org


Mrs. Stacey Sievert graduated from Martin Luther College and received an Early Childhood degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Mrs. Sievert and her husband, Scott, have one daughter.

Mrs. Sievert teaches Three Year Preschool and is the Grade School Librarian
Phone: 708.672.3262 – Email: smsievert@illinoislutheran.org

 


Pastors

Rev. Frank Italiano
Trinity Lutheran Church
fitaliano@trinitycrete.org

 

 

Rev. Michael Schneider
Zion Lutheran Church
schneidermichael@gmail.com

 

 

Rev. Lon Kuether
Zion Lutheran Church
pastorkuether@zioncrete.org

 

 


Staff

Jessica Bushey
Administrative Assistant and Director of Publicity & Marketing
jbushey@ilhs.org
708.672.3262


 

 

Tonya Danielewicz
Financial Manager
financial@illinoislutheran.org
708.672.3262


 

 

Dawn Kernagis
Junior High & High School Secretary
dkernagis@ilhs.org
708.672.3262


 

 

Elizabeth Oestmann
Grade School Secretary
eoestmann@illinoislutheran.org
708.672.5850


 

 

Taryn Oldenburg
International Coordinator
Recruitment Director
toldenburg@illinoislutheran.org

708.672.3262