OUR STAFF SERVING THE LORD

 


Gordon Kennedy
Interim Principal
 

Favorite time is with family doing "things".  My interests are skiing, golf, outdoors, working in yard, reading, learning new ideas.

 

B.S. - Northern Michigan University
M.S. - Eastern Michigan University
Ed Sp candidate - Wayne State University

 

 

Philosophy: 

Psalm 118:24 - "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."  It just gets your day going in the right perspective!

 

 

 


 

Julie
Julie Kowalke
Assistant Principal

Fun Fact: I LOVE MATH!! l enjoy coaching volleyball & softball and golfing with good friends.  I like to “hang-out” outside to read a good book and play with my dog. These things are impossible without the saving grace of my Savior.

B.A. – Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
M.Ed. Leadership - Saginaw Valley State Univ.
          23 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6  I strive to share the Gospel message with my students daily.  I want learning to be relevant to my students’ lives.


Students begin to take ownership of their faith walk through the study of Luther's Small Catechism.  It is exciting to watch these young people grow in their knowledge of God's Word and put God's Commandments into action through servant events and personal decisions. What a wonderful privilege it is to help students grow in their faith.

 

Beth
Beth Olah
Assistant Admissions Director

On a personal note, I enjoy time with my family, singing, gardening, writing, getting together with friends, crocheting, and talking with the elderly.

 As the Admissions Director, I help direct and connect new famiies who are considering Trinity for a Christian faith-based education for their children.  Our families are such a gift and our mission of Sharing Christ's story with Love not only includes helping new families connect with the proper staff, but retaining current families and bringing new enrollment to our school.  Some of the most interesting aspects of my position are:

The most interesting things that I do in my position are:

1. Talking with prospective families about our awesome school.
2. Helping new and current families connect with each other.
3. Gathering materials and information from our talented staff at Trinity to further His work by giving them to new interested families.
4. Writing short articles and communicating to new and current families how I see God working at Trinity.


School Secretaries

  Our school secretaries are here to assist the parents staff and students. They are the first smiling face when you come into our school.

        

   

            

 

         Monica              Robin

        Monica Rynearson                  Robin Morgan

 

        Jayne              Lynn

        Jayne Blohm                       Lynn Sapadanis

Katie
Katie Lindhurst
Kindergarten  
FUN FACT: I love to quilt!  I have taken home several ribbons for quilts at the Armada Fair.  I love spending time and traveling with my family.  My favorite place to visit is our family's cottage in Sugar Springs.

B.A. - Central Michigan University
          2 years of teaching experience
Additional Endorsement in Mathematics - Oakland University
M.Ed. - In process at Wayne State University
Philosophy of teaching - I believe that all students can learn.  It is my job as a teacher to take students from where they are to where they need to be.  Children learn best by the hands-on approach because they are doing what they need to learn.  Teaching and learning is fun!

The three most interesting things my class does are:

1.Make "Thankful Books" 
2. Leading their first Chapel Service.
3. Making a book about their mom for Mother's Day.

 

Lisa 
  Lisa Towne
Young Fives

 

Trinity Lutheran Young Fives Program is designed to provide a bridge for the children who do not meet the cut-off date of Sept. 1, children whose parents and teachers have recommended a growth year for the child or parents who want more than part-time preschool.  A young fives child is much more about their individual developmental path.  Mrs. Towne is an early childhood teacher with several years of experience and has additional training in developmental delays and autism.  Her love for her Savior brings joy to her teaching and love to her students.


 

 

 Brigid
Brigid Snyder
Kindergarten

Fun Fact: Mrs. Snyder did her student teaching in England.  She is also certified to teach Drivers Education.

B.S. – Central Michigan University
Master of Arts – Central Michigan University
          22 years of teaching experience
Completed Colloquy Program through COncordia U. in the Fall of 2010

Philosophy of teaching:
Children learn and develop at different rates.  They are all special and bring their own unique gifts and talents to the classroom.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Meeting with our prayer partners for several special projects throughout the year.
2.   End-of-the-year Kindergarten Program which includes plays, songs, and rhymes performed by the children
.
3.  Leading a chapel service for the first time.

Susan
Susan Kirchoff
Kindergarten Aide - Full Day 

 

The three most interesting facts about my position as Kindergarten aide are:

1.  Assist children with Center activities.
2.  Help children at rest time by setting up cots, playing soft music, and "tucking them in" with their comfy blankets after lunch each day.
3. Assemble photo memory books for each child so they can remember all the fun times they had in Kindergarten.

 Donna
Donna Brunk
First Grade

Fun Fact: Enjoys long distance biking, working out, reading, sewing, and baking.  Sells purses, totes and wristlets that she makes to financially support overseas missions.

B.A. – Concordia, Seward, Nebraska
M.A. – Saginaw Valley State University
          37 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
To be a master teacher as Jesus was.

The three most important concepts taught my class does are:
1.   To love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul.
2.   To love each other as ourselves.
3.   To love reading for adventures that it can take us on.
 

 

 

 

 

 Val
Valerie Harris
First Grade

B.S. – Concordia, River Forest, IL
M.A. – Saginaw Valley State University
          30 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
Love the kids!  School should be a safe place where kids can grow academically, emotionally and spiritually.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Memory Verse Boxes.
2.   Swap Hats.
3.   Autumn Adventure.
 




Kathryn Allore
Second Grade

Fun Fact: Some of my hobbies include: coaching and playing volleyball, playing the guitar, following the Detroit Tigers, and spending time with my friends.

B.S. Elementary Education -
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Philosophy of Teaching - As an educator, it is my job to help students discover their gifts, and guide them to use these gifts to their fullest potential for the glory of God.  Together as parents, administrators, and teachers, we can create a loving community where God's love shines through ourselves and our students.

 

 

 
Susan Lockhart
Second Grade

Fun Fact: I enjoy spending time with my family, vacationing up north, reading and gardening.

B.S. Education - Wayne State University
Elementary Endorsement - Wayne State University
Lutheran Teacher Diploma, Concordia, Ann Arbor, Mi

Philosophy of teaching:
To create a grace-filled classroom environment that will accommodate individual students and their needs keeping Christ at the center ofall we do and say.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1. Grow in our prayer life and faith walk with Jesus.
2. Become great readers!  Books can take us places we've never been before.
3. Have fun while increasing our knowledge of science and math through interactive, hands-on experiences.

 



Rachel Garrabrant
3rd Grade

Fun Fact:
I have a passion for Lutheran education and love spending time with my family, reading, and completing jigsaw puzzles.

Bachelors in Elementary Education and Lutheran Teacher Diploma - Concordia University Ann Arbor

Working on: Masters in Elementary Education with emphasis on literacy

Christian Education Philosophy: 
I believe in achieving academic excellence while surrounding my students with the love and forgiveness of Jesus.  I believe in helping each student reach their full potential and develop a stronger relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.







Dawn 
Dawn Harris
Third Grade 

B.S. Michigan State University
Teacher Certification - Saginaw Valley State University

Philosophy of Teaching:
"I would like to share my passion for teaching children, apply my creativity, interpersonal and classroom management skills to an elementary school position.  I would also like to share my passion for Christ to help the students develop their faith."

 

 

Karen
 Karen Delmotte
Fourth Grade

Fun Fact: I love to travel and have been all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and Germany.  ALso, 2012 Michigan Teacher of the Year.
 

 

 

B.A. – Concordia Lutheran College
M.A. – Saginaw Valley State University
          25 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
To continually seek new and creative ways to inspire, motivate, and educate each child, so every child entrusted to me can grow academically and spiritually.  By maintaining open communication, parents and teachers can work together to be advocates for each child.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   “Lab with Dad” Dads are invited to do a science experiment with their child in the science lab. 
2.   “Checking Accounts” Students learn simple, basic money management.
3.   Students spend a morning at Gleaner’s Food Bank sorting food for homeless shelters.
 

Wendy 
Wendy Hawkins 
Fourth Grade

Fun Fact: 2010 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award - I lived in St. Louis for 15 years.  I enjoy reading, walking, traveling, and making cards. 
 

B.A. – Concordia University, River Forest, IL
          17 years teaching experience
M.A. - Masters from Saginaw State University

Philosophy of teaching:
Teaching and learning is FUN!  Together we can solve problems and discover new things while increasing our knowledge and faith in our Lord.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Our class volunteers at Gleaner’s Food Bank.
2.   Study people and places of Michigan.
3.   Learn more about God and His Word in religion class and throughout the day.
 

 

Mark

Mark Faszholz
Fifth Grade

Fun Fact:  I love sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, etc.).  I enjoy hunting, fishing, and spending time with my family and friends.


B.S. in Education, Concordia University, Seward, NE

 

Philosophy of Teaching:

I would like to share my passion of teaching, love of learning, motivating, inspiring, and growing spiritually with my students and staff.

 

 

 

 

 David
David Heck
Fifth Grade

Fun Fact:  Favorite things to do are: exercising by bicycling and running; photography and visiting National Parks.

 

B.S. – Northern Michigan University
B.S. – Oakland University
Teaching Certificate, Lutheran Teacher Diploma – Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI
M.A.I.T. Candidate – Saginaw Valley State University.
          6 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
Teaching is the act of sharing information with a student who gains knowledge from the encounter. As a teacher, with a Christ centered focus, you do whatever you can to get your students to learn what you are teaching.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
 1.   Squid Dissection.
 2.   Create an ABC book and share with preschool children.
 3.   Mackinac Island trip.

 Chris
Chris Bean
Sixth Grade

Fun Fact: Huge Red Wings Fan!  Would like to get another Master’s Degree, but in psychology.
 

 

 

 

B.S. Elem. Ed. – Oakland University, Rochester, MI
M.A.Ed. – Marygrove College
Colloquy – Concordia, Ann Arbor, MI
          11 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
My mission, as a Lutheran teacher, is to create high expectations and an environment in which ALL students feel safe to take risks in their learning.  With the help of God, enable each student to possess the skills that it takes for them to achieve academically, socially, and emotionally so that, they may reach their full potential, come to know Christ, and recognize THEIR purpose according to God’s will.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Read a novel and do a skit, diorama, or other project that goes with it.
2.   Latin American PowerPoint project.
3.   Classroom debates on controversial topics for English.

Tim
Tim Siekmann 
Sixth Grade
Athletic Director

Fun Fact: Loves to play sports and enjoys time with his family!!

B.S. – Concordia University of Chicago, Riverforest
M.A. – Saginaw Valley State University
          28 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
My philosophy is that all people need to come to know Christ.   Therefore, it is my intent to nurture the faith in each child so that they may be prepared for their Christian walk of praise and service to the Lord and ultimately reach their final destination – HEAVEN!   

The two most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Mission to Mars Project.
2.   Outdoor Education.
                      
 

Brenda 
Brenda Havers
Seventh Grade

Fun Fact: My hobbies include upland bird hunting with my English Setters (Daisy and Tres), bow hunting whitetails, fishing, running, and golfing. 

Link to classroom website
 

B.A. – Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI
M.A. – Central Michigan University
          28 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
I believe learning is a process rather than an outcome and that all students can learn and be successful. As a teacher I provide opportunities for my students to actively engage themselves in the material they are presented with.  Learning does not end with school, but continues throughout one's life.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   7th graders dissect earthworms, perch, crayfish, starfish, frogs and fetal pigs.
2.   8th graders research and build 
rollercoasters for a physics unit.
3.   7th graders take a charter bus and spend a day in Lansing touring the State Capital and learning about Michigan history.
 

John
 John Lucas
Seventh Grade

 

 

 B.A. Secondary Education; Concordia University, Ann Arbor with a Lutheran Teaching Diploma from Concordia

 

Philosophy of Teaching:

I want to create a learning environment where students can meet and exceed their expectations in education and in life.  My classroom will be fun, safe, and most importantly, Christ-centered!

  

Paula
Paula Myers
Eighth Grade

Fun Fact:  I once kissed a pig, on the lips, to raise money for the school library.

 

 

 

B.A. - Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI       

       24 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of Teaching:
I believe that God created each child as a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating environment in which to grow and mature spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially.  It is my desire as an educator to help students reach their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites the sharing of ideas and their faith.

The three most interesting things I do as a teacher are:
1. Made in Michigan research project.
2. Day of the Noteables Project - MLA research paper, presentation board, "Be Their Noteable for the Day".
3. Pen Pals with other Lutheran school students from around the United States. 

Deb
 Deborah Wesenberg
Eighth Grade

Fun Fact: She and her husband are both actively involved in choir at Trinity and enjoy traveling in their motor home.

 

B.A. Upper Elementary Education - Oakland University
M.A. – Oakland University in Special Ed
Lutheran Teacher Diploma from Concordia University,
Ann Arbor, MI
          40 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
God has endowed all His children with gifts and talents.  If I can help guide my students to use their gifts to God’s glory, then I have fulfilled my promise to God in using my talents to do so.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Map making with coordinate graphing that ties into geography.
2.  Enlarging cartoons using ratio/proportions.
3.  Angle animal art work in 7th grade and 8th grade math tie into computer technology.

 

 

 ART


Michele Grupe
Art Teacher

Fun Fact: Become a fan of Trinity Lutheran Utica - Art Education on Facebook!  Mrs. Grupe makes handcrafted jewelry.  Her company is called One Jewel Designs and
is based off:
Song of Songs 4:9

 

B.S. Elem. Ed. - Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Lutheran Teacher Diploma - Concordia, Ann Arbor, MI
M.A.T. - Saginaw Valley State University
          10 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
To provide a Chirst-centered education meeting a child's academic, spiritual, and emotional needs.

The three most interesting things my class does are:
1.   Students utilize their God-given talents to glorify Him through their art.
2.   Children learn to express themselves and learn the value of visual arts. 
3.   Students use a variety of media including paint, clay, charcoal, collage, yarn, ink, beads, metal tooling, and much more!

 COMPUTERS

  
Mark Fraeyman

Fun Fact:
Father of 3 Trinity students.

 

 

B.S. Electrical Computer Engineering -
Wayne State University
MBA – University of Michigan
          11 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
Hands-on, project based, FUN

Three most interesting things we do each year.
1.   Web design.
2.   Computer gaming.
3.   Business simulation.
     

 MUSIC

Carla
 Carla Hudgens
School Choir Accompanist
Administrative Assistant


Fun Fact: Likes to read, be with family & friends, and loves her job because she gets to make music daily.

Parish Worker Degree - St. John’s College, Winfield, KS
          36 years experience

Philosophy of music:
Sharing the joy of Jesus through music.  Leading children to a better knowledge and love of music, especially of the Christian faith.  Developing talent.

Three most interesting things we do are:
1.   Singing for worship.
2.   Christmas programs.
3.   Spring musicals.

 

Jayne 
Jayne Blohm
Handbells Grade 5-8

Fun Facts: Would like to volunteer at a hospital in the NICU unit & rock babies who need extra-loving care.

A.D. of Sciences – MCCC
          8 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
Music is a gift from God.  It is my prayer that each ringer learns to appreciate this gift by the time they leave Trinity.

The three most interesting things we do each year are:
1.   Ringing for our chapel services.
2.   Participating in the yearly Lutheran Schools Music Festival.
3.   Playing in our twice-yearly instrumental concerts.

 


 

 

 

Pearl 
Pearl Jones
Violin Teacher

Fun Fact: She and her family are Civil War re-enactors.

M.A.  Anthropology - University of Texas
M.A. Theology - Duquesne University 
          11 years teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching:
Students come before performance.

Three most interesting things we do:
1.   Concerts.
2.   Solo ensemble.
3.   Play at nursing homes.

 

Brian 
Brian Pollatz
Band Instructor

Fun Fact: Loves his Lord, family, and music. Music is not just a job, but his passion and a part of just about everything he does. 

 

 

B.A. – Concordia College, Ann Arbor
M.S. – Long Island University
          23 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of teaching band:
Music is a gift of God and an important part of our lives. Priorities are to first love, appreciate, and enjoy music, and secondly, progress and achieve excellence.  The appreciation and aesthetic sensitivity of many forms of music will contribute to a more meaningful experience.  God has given us many talents and we should use them to His glory.

Three most interesting things we do are:
1.   Band Festival, preparation and performance can get very intense.
2.   Combining with other grade schools in a 
festival at Lutheran Northwest.
3.   Learning new skills and developing life long musicians.

 PHYSICAL
EDUCATION

Troy 
Troy Marks
Physical Education
Grade K-8

 
 
RESEARCH
CENTER/ LIBRARY
 


 Carolyn Malinowski 
Director Research Center/Library

Fun Fact:  Have a great time bike riding, walking, and traveling with my family.

B.A. – Oakland University
M.A.I.R. Candidate – Wayne State U.
Post Bach studies in Elementary  Ed. -Oakland University
          12 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of education:
Learning is experiential.  One source for information is never enough.

Three most interesting things we do are:
1.   Distance learning and Webquests.
2.   Accelerated Readers Honors recognition event and to find books they enjoy reading.
3.  
Teaching students about how to effectively use libraries and the internet to research to obtain the most accurate information.

RESOURCE ROOM


Linda

Linda Moilanen 
Resource Room Teacher

FUN FACT: My family loves to camp up north on state land in complete seclusion from the outside world.  No electricity and no running water (except for the stream).  Our longest venture has been 10 days.  Silence has never sounded so beautiful (nature makes a beautiful choir), and stars have never looked so close.

BBA - Western Michigan University
Teacher Certification - Oakland University
MATEE - One class remains for program completion and degree.

Philosophy of  teaching:
I believe all students should be treated equally, which means they should be treated differently in regards to their needs and strengths with the overall goal of reaching their unique learning potential as individuals.


 

 

Cristina
Cristina McNeill
Resource Room Teacher

Fun Fact: I am an advanced PADI certified scuba diver.  We make a trip to Hawaii every year to visit my father and DIVE, DIVE, DIVE!  Go VOLS!

 

 B.A. Special Education - University of Tennessee, Knoxville with an endorsement in elementary education grades 1-8.
M.A. Special Education - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
4 years of teaching experience

Philosophy of Teaching: "Flexibility is a life skill".
To help each and every student achieve their own "best".

Spanish

 Jennifer

Jennifer Settimo
Spanish

 

 Philosophy of Teaching: I teach my students to become lifelong learners, confident in their strengths, skills and faith.

3 most interesting things my class does:

1. Communicate in another language!
2. Learn what students across the world are doing in their classrooms, homes and free time.
3. Exerience the beauty of diversity through the study of another culture.

Speech


Karrie Koteles
Speech & Language

Link to classroom website

B.S. - Undergraduate Program in Augiology and Speech Sciences from Michigan State University 
M.A. Graduate Program in Speech Language Pathology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio

Teaching Certificate from BGSU
Endorsement for Teaching English as a Second Language

Philosophy of Teaching:
Enhance students' social and academic lives by improving their communication skills.