Teachers

Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson

— Head Teacher, Paideia I, Psychology
Jocelyn grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, attending Lutheran school through 8th grade. She has a B.A. in English-teaching and an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. She also completed three and a half years of doctoral work in Educational Psychology with emphases in Technology and Education and History/Foundations of Education at the University of Iowa. She loved teaching English and coaching many sports at the high school level before returning to school full time. Jocelyn lives in Chatfield, MN, with her husband, Justin, and their four children—Asher, Malachi, Ephraim, and Miriam.
In her free time, Mrs. Benson enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching sports (especially college football), and spending time outside.

Rev. David M. Juhl

— Chaplain
Pastor Juhl grew up in Du Quoin, Illinois. He has a B.A. in Radio and Televison from Southern Illinois University. Before attending seminary, Pastor Juhl was a radio disc jockey, working for WDQN Radio in Du Quoin, IL and volunteering at WSIU/WUSI/WVSI Radio in Carbondale, IL while a student at SIU. Pastor Juhl has a MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.
Pastor Juhl shepherds Our Savior Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Momence, Illinois. He lives in Momence with his wife, Rebecca, daughter, Catherine, and three sons, Matthew, Christopher, and Timothy. His hobbies are reading, the Internet, listening to music, as well as golf and bowling (when time and money are available).

Rev. Eric N. Andersen

— Paideia I Theology
Pastor Andersen grew up in the Chicago area. He received his BA from Concordia University-Chicago and his MDiv from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He shepherds Zion Lutheran Church in Summit, Illinois and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hodgkins, Illinois. He and his wife, Tiffinie, live with their children in Summit, Illinois.

Vicar Adam P. Barkley

— Theatre
As a pastor's son, Mr. Barkley grew up all over- he was born in Arizona, later moved to Oregon, and spent his middle and high school years in a north Chicago. He now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wife, Sarah, and children, Seth, Abigail, and Ezra. Mr. Barkley received his Theatre degree from Concordia, Ann Arbor, he studied characterization and speech at Eastern Michigan University, and studied Shakespeare, art, and British political science at The London Center in England. Mr. Barkley currently attends Concordia Theological Seminary and will begin his vicarage in June 2015.

In his free time, Mr. Barkley loves to sing. He also enjoys watching movies and playing with his son. Mr. Barkley, when asked why he is excited to teach Theatre for Wittenberg Academy said, "Many times, educational institutions are bound by two-dimensional instruction that leaves no room for students to critically think and process the material they are learning. I'm excited to instruct with a Christ-centered approach that will allow students to retain and hopefully apply their knowledge of the arts beyond their years at WA."

Rev. Larry L. Beane

— Paideia IV
Pastor Beane grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He received a Certificate in Computer Programming from Cleveland Institue of Technology, a BA in History from Thomas Edison State College, and a MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Beane, his wife, Grace, and son, Leo, live in Gretna, Louisiana, where he shepherds Salem Lutheran Church. He enjoys reading, writing, languages, economics, and motorcycling.

Mr. J. Justin Benson

— Vocation and Stewardship
Mr. Benson grew up on a farm near Hurley, South Dakota. He has a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering with a Chemistry minor from South Dakota State University. He and his wife, Jocelyn are raising their family, Asher, Malachi, Ephraim, and Miriam, in Chatfield, Minnesota. They are members of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatfield, where he serves on the Board of Elders. Mr. Benson is employed on the management team with Hormel Foods.
In his free time, Mr. Benson enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, church activities, and watching sports.

Rev. Jason M. Braaten

— Logic
Pastor Braaten grew up in New Lenox, Illinois, a small community southwest of Chicago on I-80.  He has a BA in Theological Languages and Philosophy from Concordia University Chicago, an MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, with part of his instruction taken at Westfield House, Cambridge, England, and is working toward a STM in Historical Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.

Pastor Braaten shepherds Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tuscola, Illinois.  He lives in Tuscola with his wife, Lauren, and three children, Oliver, Jonathan, and Wilhelmina (Willa). 

In his free time, he enjoys gardening and reading.  When asked why he is excited to teach for WA, he said, “It’s exciting to be part of an opportunity to give Lutherans both Classical and Lutheran education at the high school level via the Internet.”

Mrs. Emily S. Cockran

— Philosophy, Paideia B
Mrs. Cockran is a proud Michigander and Ann Arbor native. Mrs. Cockran earned her B.A. in History from Hillsdale College with secondary concentrations in Philosophy and Spanish. She went on to earn her M.A. in Religion from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana while completing her second year of graduate studies in Cambridge, England. Emily and her husband Kurt have one daughter and they live in Conroe, Texas, where Kurt serves as vicar of St. Mark Lutheran Church. Mrs. Cockran is excited to combine an appreciation of classical education with her love of all things Lutheran while teaching for Wittenberg Academy. She is an avid lover of learning, baking, cooking, C.S. Lewis, and the Detroit Red Wings.

Rev. Heath R. Curtis

— Latin, Greek
Pastor Curtis grew up in southwestern Nebraska and received his BA in theology from Concordia - Seward. While attending Concordia Seminary - St. Louis, he also attained his MA in Classics at Washington University. During his last year of seminary, he also taught beginning Greek and after ordination he served as an adjunct professor of theology at Concordia University - Chicago.
Pastor Curtis keeps his Latin and Greek sharp by translating and editing for Concordia Publishing House's efforts to get more of the works of Martin Luther and Johan Gerhard into English.

Mrs. Sarah J. Fenker

— Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy
Mrs. Fenker received a Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, with a Chemistry Minor, from Montana State University- Bozeman. She also received a M.Ed from Montana State University- Billings. Mrs. Fenker currently lives in Bremen, Kansas with her husband, Rev. Aaron Fenker, and their daughter, Eva.

Miss Christina R. Harman

— Paideia II, Paideia III
Miss Harman grew up in the great state of Iowa. She received a B.A. in Music with minors in Religious Studies and Sociology from Bethany Lutheran College. She lives in Mankato, Minnesota and attends The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in North Mankato, Minnesota.

In her free time, Miss Harman enjoys laughing with her family and friends, enjoying God's creation, reading non-fiction, and composing random songs.

Mrs. Minte Irmer

— Progymnasmata Writing Course
Mrs. Irmer grew up reading and writing. She received her B.A. in English from Hillsdale College, where she also studied art history and classical education. Though she was raised in the Midwest, she now lives in Japan with her husband, Mitchell, who serves as an officer in the United States Navy. Mrs. Irmer is thrilled to work with Wittenberg Academy because she and her students can pursue beauty in reading and writing while learning and growing alongside other Lutherans. She loves to travel the world and have adventures, but she also loves to cozy up at home with her hedgehog and a good book.

Mr. Jonathan P. Mayer

— Art
Mr. Mayer has a BA in studio art from Bethany Lutheran College and an MFA in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. He and his family live in Seward, Nebraska where he runs Scapegoat Studio.

Rev. David A. Kind

— Paideia II Theology, Christian Worship: History and Theology
Pastor Kind grew up in Wisconsin. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. He received his MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Kind lives in Minnesota with his wife, Dana, and son, Andrew. He shepherds University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In his free time, Pastor Kind enjoys his family, making fine furniture, working in his yard, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

Rev. Jesse E. Krusemark

— Music

Pastor Krusemark grew up in Pittsfield, Illinois. He has a B.A. in Music and Physics from Luther College, studied Music Theory at the graduate level at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he was also a visiting lecturer in Music Theory, and received an MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.
Pastor Krusemark shepherds St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hollandale, Minnesota and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waltham, Minnesota. He lives in Waltham with his wife, Elizabeth, sons, Jude and Ian, and daughter Breslyn.

In his free time, Pastor Krusemark enjoys time with his family, fishing, and gardening. As a teacher for Wittenberg Academy, Pastor Krusemark is excited for the opportunity to teach young Lutherans something about their music.

Kantor Thomas E. Lock

— Music

The Reverend Thomas E. Lock was born and raised in Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Music [Music Education – Instrumental] from Millikin University and a Master of Church Music [Composition] from Concordia University – River Forest. After serving as a Church musician in parishes in Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin, he entered Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2002. He has served as pastor in Minnesota and Indiana. In 2010, he earned a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Concordia Theological Seminary; his area of primary study was preaching and worship/liturgy. A number of Kantor Lock’s compositions have been performed and recorded by the CTS Kantorei. His setting of “We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God” has been used in many parishes within America. Recently, he has written articles for the soon to be released book, Hymnal Companion to The Lutheran Service Book, and written Bible Studies on select Hymns of the Day [also soon to be released]. Kantor Lock and his wife live in Denver, Colorado, where he serves as Kantor at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Mr. Kirk M. Meyer

— Precalculus, Calculus
Mr. Meyer graduated from Bethany Lutheran College with a religious studies concentration and a mathematics minor. He lives with his wife and daughter in South Dakota and works full time as a Software Engineer. Mr. Meyer is also an accomplished musician and plays piano and organ.

Mrs. Sharon M. Meyer

— Anatomy and Kinesiology
Mrs. Meyer grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and minors in Athletic Coaching and Social Studies from Concordia University Wisconsin. She lives in rural Spring Valley, Minnesota with her husband, Duane, stepson, Jeffrey, stepdaughter, Alyssa, and daughters Kylie and Jessie. They attend St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chatfield, Minnesota.

In her free time, Mrs. Meyer likes to run (especially in local road races), read, spend time with her family (especially playing games, hiking, fishing, ice skating, sledding, and playing hockey, football, and softball), garden, can, and bake.

Mrs. Rebecca D. McCreary

— Arithmetic, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
Mrs. McCreary lives in Schenectedy, New York with her husband and daughter. She received her B.S. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her M.Ed from the University of Cincinnati.

Mrs. Karla L. Reagles

— Grammar
Mrs. Reagles grew up in La Crosse, WI. After two years of living on the East coast, she and her husband, along with their two young sons, moved back home to Mankato, MN, in the summer of 2015. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Karla enjoys being with her family, spending as much time outside as possible, cooking from scratch, and exploring the public library for new and exciting things to read. She is excited to teach for Wittenberg Academy because it enables her to feed her passion for teaching and learning, but also stay at home with her wonderful boys.

Rev. Dave M. Spotts

— Paideia A
Pastor Spotts grew up in Columbia, Missouri, where he spent many years studying music and classical languages. As an adult convert to Christianity he has spent the past thirty-odd years learning to live out the life of redemption provided for him by Jesus his Savior. Since 1987 he has done that with the company of his wife, Martha, and later with the addition of two daughters, Elizabeth and Hannah, both of whom have been mostly homeschooled. Since 1995 he has taught courses in Latin, Greek, literature, and a number of other disciplines, working with students from third grade to graduate school. He served churches within the American Association of Lutheran Churches from 2010-2014 and is now involved in planting a campus ministry at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In his free time, Pastor Spotts enjoys gardening, exercising with his chain saw, and, weather permitting, reading by the fire.

Mr. Jeremy P. Staub

— Biology

Mr. Staub grew up in Woodburn, Indiana. He graduated from Concordia University in Seward Nebraska. He currently teaches at Holy Cross in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In December of 2010, he was married to his wife Becky. They have a daugther, Leah.

In his spare time he enjoys being active outdoors, whether it is landscaping, hiking, surfing, snorkeling or anything else. He also enjoys following Cubs baseball, playing games, reading books and watching movies. He is thankful for the opportunity to share his faith in Jesus with his students in science, music, and everything else in between. He is very excited to take part in this teaching experience. He looks forward to interacting with students across the country in a unique and interactive way. He also looks forward to growing from this experience as the students also grow in their knowledge of science and their Creator.

Dr. James M. Tallmon

— Rhetoric
Dr. James M. Tallmon taught rhetoric at the college level from the time he entered graduate school, for thirty years, until he left the ivory tower to be headmaster of Trinity Lutheran School in Cheyenne, WY. He also taught grades 7 & 8 at Trinity Cheyenne. Dr. Tallmon and his wife, Bonnie, recently welcomed their first grandbaby, Colette, and have relocated to Austin, TX to be near her as she grows and is joined by other wee ones! (Their first function upon arriving in Austin was to attend her baptism!)

Dr. Tallmon, a longtime friend of Wittenberg Academy, served on the Wyoming District High School Task Force, is a popular presenter at the annual conference of and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education. He is also a member of the LCMS Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education. He holds his Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Ethics from the University of Washington (1993) and his web home is the Rhetoric Ring (www.rhetoricring.com).

Mrs. Michelle M. Venteicher

— German
Mrs. Venteicher spent most of her childhood in Nebraska, but graduated from high school in north-central Iowa. She double majored in Spanish and German at CUW. She received her Master's in education from the University of Northern Iowa. She currently lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband Ben, and their children Samuel, Ruth, and Isaiah.

Miss Hannah C. Weaver

— Physical Science, Life Science
Miss Weaver grew up in Brandon, Florida. Her parents homeschooled her, and she looks back on the experience with fondness and gratitude. She recieved a B.A. in Classical Liberal Arts from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. Currently, Miss Weaver lives in Nashville, Tennesee, where she attends Redeemer Lutheran Church with her family.