Average Years of Full-Time Teacher Experience
Percent of Full-Time Teachers with Master's Degrees
Number of Full-Time Teachers
Gretal Ehrhard - Pre-Kindergarten Age 3
The 2023/24 school year marks Mrs. Ehrhard's second year as St. John's PreK-3 teacher! She holds a BA in Theology with a concentration in Family Ministry from Concordia University in River Forest, and earned a Director of Christian Education Certification in 2005.
Before joining the St. John's community, she founded and directed a preschool at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Dwight, IL for four years.
Mrs. Ehrhard has also held various roles in the New Haven, MO school district. These include, Early Childhood Home Visitor, Substitute Teacher, and School Secretary.
Mrs. Ehrhard has been involved in the St. John's community since 2019 when her husband, Pastor Jacob Ehrhard, became the St. John's Church Pastor. They have a daughter, Anna, who is a Kindergarten student at St. John's Lutheran School.
What is Mrs. Ehrhard's favorite Bible verse?
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
What does Mrs. Ehrhard love about St. John's?
"The smaller school environment gives students and families a chance to get to know each other and form friendships outside of school. It is great to experience this firsthand as I have made friends with some of the other moms in my daughter's class. I also love the Christian aspect of the school as students learn about Jesus everyday."
What other roles does Mrs. Ehrhard have at St. John's?
"I play the handbells and sometimes the flute at church and will occasionally play during school chapel as well. I became very involved with the PTL during my first year as a parent in the 2021/22 school year, and I have been an active PTL leader since then."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Ehrhard?
"Bryson is excited to be in Mrs. Ehrhard's class this year!" - Michelle R.
"I’ve got one future scholar who can’t wait for school to start with Mrs. Ehrhard!" - Susan Y.
Mrs. Ehrhard - Pre-Kindergarten Age 3
Christina Yerkes - Pre-Kindergarten Age 4
Mrs. Yerkes has over 19 years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities, and has been a teacher since 2011. This is her 7th year at St. John's. Prior to St. John’s, she worked as a preschool teacher at Concordia University Chicago's Early Childhood Center. She is a graduate of Concordia University Chicago and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching Early Childhood certification.
What is Mrs. Yerkes’s favorite Bible verse?
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
What does Mrs. Yerkes love about St. John's?
"I love that St. John's is spreading the word of God and teaching God's love throughout all aspects of learning."
What other role does Mrs. Yerkes have at St. John’s?
"I help organize Lutheran Schools Week activities."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Yerkes?
"My son was so painfully shy and scared of school. Mrs. Yerkes made him feel so secure and loved. It was a great year for him (and me)!" - Jennifer S.
"My son is blessed to have Mrs. Yerkes as his teacher this year!" - Andria G.
Mrs. Yerkes - Pre-Kindergarten Age 4
Michelle Wo - Kindergarten
The 2023/24 school year marks Mrs. Wo's third year as St. John's Kindergarten teacher! She earned her Degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University Chicago and has been teaching for 30 years. Over the years, she has taught PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade. Mrs. Wo has two children in high school and her husband is a retired police officer.
What is Mrs. Wo's favorite Bible verse?
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100
What does Mrs. Wo love about St. John's?
“I am fairly new to St. John's and I love how the staff welcomed me in and are so friendly and helpful! I also love teaching Kindergarten as the students are curious and love learning!”
What are families saying about Mrs. Wo?
"Owen LOVED his experiences in Mrs. Wo's classroom!" - Karen N.
"My daughter has been blessed with such wonderful teachers! Thank you, Mrs. Wo and Mrs. Mette, for helping Julie grow and overcome her fears!" - Irena K.
Mrs. Wo - Kindergarten
Lisa Schuemer - 1st Grade
Mrs. Schuemer has completed 33 years of teaching experience in Chicago area schools and the 2023/24 school year marks her fourth year at St. John's. She is a graduate of Concordia University Chicago where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Reading Specialist.
In addition to teaching in Lutheran schools, she has also taught as an adjunct professor in the English department at College of DuPage. She has experience coaching various sports teams as well as directing school musicals. She has been married to her husband for 30 years and together they have two sons.
What is Mrs. Schuemer's favorite Bible verse?
“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:14
What does Mrs. Schuemer love about St. John's?
“I love that the St. John's community puts great importance on the children and their futures. St. John's sees the potential and gifts in all children, and it's a safe place for them to learn and grow academically and spiritually."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Schuemer?
"What a blessing it is to have Mrs. Schuemer teaching the 1st grade class here at St. John's! She is kind and thoughtful and encourages the students to do their best at all times. Her dedication to growing their minds and faith is felt and much appreciated!" - Heather B.
"Mrs. Schuemer has been such a wonderful teacher for our son. She has taught him so much and he loves going to school to learn from her." - Rachel B.
Mrs. Schuemer - 1st Grade
Veronica Gahgan - 2nd Grade
A second-career teacher, Mrs. Gahgan holds a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Reading Education, both from Concordia University Chicago and is in her 11th year of teaching. She previously taught in the primary grades at Lutheran Unity/St. Paul-Canfield, and also taught 3rd through 8th grade English at Bethesda International Academy. The 2023/24 school year will be her fifth year of teaching at St. John's.
Mrs. Gahgan has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 27 years, and they have three daughters and two grandchildren. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys reading and cheering for her beloved Cubs!
What is Mrs. Gahgan's favorite Bible verse?
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
What does Mrs. Gahgan love about St. John's?
"More than just a school, St. John's is truly a family in which you see evidence of God's work and His love reflected through His people in ways both big and small. We know His presence in our lives each day by the people He surrounds us with to remind us of His mercy, grace, and unfailing love. It's a joy to serve at St. John's and to share the good news of our salvation through Jesus with the children and their families, as well as with others both in and outside of our St. John's community."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Gahgan?
"Mrs. Gahgan is AMAZING. Both of our children loved their time in her classroom." - Cheryl S.
"Gabriella loved having Mrs. Gahgan as her 2nd grade teacher! She is so kind to the students!" - Rachel B.
Mrs. Gahgan – 2nd Grade
Bonnie Mayrens - 3rd Grade
Ms. Mayrens has completed 38 years in the Lutheran teaching ministry, 19 of which have been at St. John's. She is also a graduate of John's! Ms. Mayrens received her Bachelor's Degree in elementary education with concentrations in psychology and English literature, and holds a Master's Degree in reading instruction from Concordia University Chicago.
What is Ms. Mayrens’ favorite Bible verse?
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
What does Ms. Mayrens love about St. John’s?
“I love St. John’s because it’s my home away from home. I attended St. John’s as a student from 1968-1977. I was blessed to attend school in a place where I was reminded daily of God’s care for me. Now, as a teacher here, I have the joy of sharing that faith with others. I love that this is not only a school, but a community.”
What other role does Ms. Mayrens have at St. John’s?
“I serve as the
faculty advisor for the Lutheran Junior Honor Association."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Mayrens?
"My son, Wesley, had a great time in Mrs. Mayrens' class. She is a fun loving teacher and very willing to meet her students where they're at and encourage them to do their very best!" - Amy T.
"Mrs. Mayrens is yet another amazing teacher at St. John's! My son absolutely loved being in her class. The way she worked with his individual needs shows how much she genuinely cares for her students!" - Jennifer S.
Ms. Mayrens - 3rd Grade
Amanda Yamate - 4th Grade
Mrs. Yamate lives in Chicago with her husband, Doug, and has served for 13 years as a Lutheran educator in the Northern Illinois District. She has taught in elementary and early childhood classrooms and has served as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education at North Park University. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Lutheran Elementary Education from Concordia University Chicago in 2010 and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University Nebraska in 2014. The 2023/24 school year marks her 4th year as the 4th grade teacher at St. John's, but she is also a St. John's alum! Mrs. Yamate was one of two recipients of CLEF's Above and Beyond Award in 2022.
In addition to teaching, Mrs. Yamate has enjoyed serving as a Vacation Bible School supervisor, cheerleading coach, and member of the NID Teachers Conference Committee.
What is Mrs. Yamate's favorite Bible verse?
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs: 3:5
What does Mrs. Yamate love about St. John’s?
"I have deeply loved St. John's since I was six years old, and I thank God every day for the faculty, staff, and families I have met. This place is filled with warmth and a common dedication to strong academics and servant leadership. I'm always excited for every new school year!"
What are parents saying about Mrs. Yamate?
"My daughter loved being in Mrs. Yamate’s class! In her own words, “Mrs. Yamate really listens to us.” As a parent, I appreciate the communication and updates she provides. It doesn’t take long to realize she loves teaching!" - Sharon R.
"My daughter loved being in Mrs. Yamate's class. She had fun while learning and looked forward to going to school." - Erica M.
Mrs. Yamate - 4th Grade
Linsey Baldridge - 5th Grade
Mrs. Baldridge is from Chicago and currently lives with her husband, Michael. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from Dominican University in 2015 and obtained her Master’s Degree in Teaching from Louis University in 2017. Mrs. Baldridge is entering her 7th year of teaching.
Mrs. Baldridge loves playing video games and watching movies with her husband!
What is Mrs. Baldridge most excited about at St. John’s?
"I am excited about the family-feel community at St. John’s and look forward to helping my students become lifelong learners!"
What is her favorite Bible verse?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Mrs. Baldridge - 5th Grade
Rachael Franklin - High School Prep Science & Social Studies
Mrs. Franklin completed 3 years of teaching in Danville, IL before coming to St. John’s, and is in her 12th year of teaching at St. John's. She graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, and received a Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Concordia University, Wisconsin. She teaches 6th-8th grade science and social studies and serves as the 6th grade homeroom teacher.
What is Mrs. Franklin’s favorite Bible verse?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
What does Mrs. Franklin love about St. John’s?
“I love St. John's because the teachers, staff, congregation, and parents are all so supportive of the school. It is wonderful to be in a place where a good, Christian education is valued by everyone.”
What other roles does Mrs. Franklin have at St. John’s?
"I assist in coaching track & field and set up technology throughout the school--like the new ELMO Boards!"
What are parents saying about Mrs. Franklin?
"Mrs. Franklin is awesome! The entire High School Prep floor is amazing!" - Jen F.
"She's a fantastic teacher who both of my kids love." - Harold W.
Mrs. Franklin - 6th Grade Homeroom
7th Grade Homeroom Teacher
Jeremy Benedict - High School Prep English & Language Arts
Mr. Benedict is in his 15th year teaching and this is his 12th year at St. John’s. Mr. Benedict graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin. In addition to his own teaching, his wife works as an Administrative Assistant at Lincoln Middle School in Schiller Park. His children, Gabriella (5th) and Kade (2nd) can often be seen with him before and after school. He currently teaches 6th-8th grade ELA and Physical Education.
What are Mr. Benedict’s favorite Bible verses?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Why does Mr. Benedict love St. John’s?
“I love teaching at St. John’s because of the family environment. This environment spans not only the student and teacher relationships, but also the relationships I have with my teaching peers, the parents, and the church congregation members. It is the welcoming aspect that makes my family excited to be here.”
What other roles does Mr. Benedict have at St. John’s?
“I serve as the Athletic Director and I coach 7th & 8th grade boys’ basketball.”
What are parents saying about Mr. Benedict?
"Mr. Benedict is passionate and funny. His teaching has advanced my kid's writing skills greatly!" - Melissa W.
"Mr. Benedict always makes things fun for kids of all ages at St. John's. And I'm grateful that my daughter no longer hates reading because of him."
- Karin W.
Mr. Benedict - 8th Grade Homeroom Teacher
Katrina Jurica - Music (Preschool-8)
Katrina Jurica lives in Chicago with her husband, John Michael, and has served as a Music Teacher in many Lutheran schools over the past 9 years. This will be her 8th year at St. John’s Lutheran School, where she teaches general music, serves as the chapel coordinator, directs ACTS (the chapel drama group), organizes the Christmas programs, directs the musicals, directs handbells and the student choir, and works to offer many other opportunities for students to showcase their musical and dramatic talents.
Mrs. Jurica graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. She has since gone on to become a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher through Vandercook College of Music’s Orff Levels Program and is a certified First Steps in Music teacher and Conversational Solfege teacher. She is a certified Level 1 and Level 2 Google Educator. She is currently working on her Masters in Church Music from Concordia University Chicago.
What is Mrs. Jurica's favorite bible verse?
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
Why does Mrs Jurica love St John’s?
"I love that I get to be in a school where I get to sing about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus every day! I have the joy of hearing my students confess their faith in the Lord Jesus in our time in chapel as well as in our discussions of the hymns that we learn to sing. I also love that I get to teach every single student in the school and have the opportunity to learn about them."
What other roles does Mrs. Jurica have at St. John’s?
"I also offer private piano, guitar, ukulele, and voice lessons to students at St. John’s and to children in the community. These lessons are conducted during and after school."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Jurica?
"Mrs. Jurica is an awesome music teacher! She clearly loves what she does and is great at it!" - Jennifer S.
"Our kids have developed a love for music thanks to Mrs. Jurica. She brings a wonderful love for music to her classes that really shines through when she teaches. Our kids also enjoy taking piano lessons with her and we are so proud of how far they’ve come!" - Jen F.
Mrs. Jurica - Music
Andria Green - Art (Grades 1-5)
The 2023/24 school year marks Mrs. Green's fourth year as the art teacher at St. John's! Prior to joining the St. John's staff, Mrs. Green was an art teacher at a fine arts organization in Maywood for about three years.
What is Mrs. Green's favorite Bible verse?
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-29
What does Mrs. Green love about teaching at St. John's?
"I love seeing each of my students let out their creativity, and become more proud and confident in their work throughout the year. Art can be a little intimidating sometimes, since there is no right or wrong answer, but seeing the kids express themselves through the art they create is so rewarding. And I know they have a great time doing it!"
What are families saying about Mrs. Green?
"Mrs. Green makes learning art fun. She is just so cool. From cutting and pasting to chalks and painting, she makes learning art so much fun." - Isabella N, student
"Mrs. Green is a kind and talented teacher who allows my children to explore their own creativity through art. She has inspired them both to be more artistic at home and to have pride in the artwork they produce." - Jennifer N., parent
Mrs. Green - Art
George Bryant - Spanish (Grades 1-4)
Mr. Bryant entered the teaching profession in June 1971. He received his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Belize Teachers' College. Upon completion, Mr. Bryant received an endorsement certificate in Elementary Education from the Joint Board of Teachers Education at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He also holds a degree in Sociology/Welfare from Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Mr. Bryant has worked in various capacities in education and has taught both at the elementary and secondary levels. He has served as both a teacher and a principal.
What is a favorite Bible verse of Mr. Bryant's?
"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you, I have learned from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you." Psalm 71: 5-6
Why does Mr. Bryant love St. John's?
"Our dynamic principal, remarkable faculty and staff, and great students and parents make St. John's "numero uno". What a privilege it is to be a part of St. John's Lutheran School. I give God the glory for ushering my footsteps to this community of believers."
What are families saying about Mr. Bryant?
“I like Mr. Bryant because he is great at teaching Spanish and he shares his gift with us. He is from Belize and has shown me that we have similar interests that connect us all to each other even though we are from such different places.” - Matthew N, student
"Mr. Bryant is a special teacher who makes learning Spanish fun by praising the students and giving rewards when they do well." - Jennifer N., parent
Mr. Bryant - Spanish
Anne Mette - PreK-4 Teacher Aid
Mrs. Mette is in her sixth year of working as a Teacher Aid at St. John's Lutheran School. She has also previously worked in the After Care Program. She holds her BA in Psychology from North Park University.
A fun fact about Mrs. Mette is that she loves to raise monarch butterflies in the summer!
What is Mrs. Mette's favorite Bible verse?
"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." Philippians 1:6
Why does Mrs. Mette love St. John's?
"I love that St. John’s Lutheran School provides a safe environment for students, families, and teachers to
learn and live out their faith."
What are parents saying about Mrs. Mette?
"My daughter has been blessed with such wonderful teachers! Thank you, Mrs. Wo and Mrs. Mette, for helping Julie grow and overcome her fears!" - Irena K., parent
Mrs. Mette - PreK-4 Teacher Aid
Miss Kitt - PreK-4 Teacher's Aide
Miss Andrea - Preschool 3 Teacher's Aide
Miss Trisha - Kindergarten Teacher's Aide
Therese Burkle - Title 1 (Rise) Reading Teacher
Mrs. Burkle received her degree from Roosevelt University Chicago and began her teaching career in grades 1 and 2 at Jane Stenson in Skokie. After having her son, she took some time off to be with him and began tutoring various ages. She then started working for Superior Tutoring Chicago at a Catholic school in Oak Park. Mrs. Burkle took another break after having her daughter, but is now happy to be back with Superior Tutoring Chicago and working in the St. John's Rise Program as the Reading Teacher! The 2022/23 school year marks Mrs. Burkle's 2nd year teaching at St. John's.
Why does Mrs. Burkle love St. John's?
"The faculty and families at St. John's are so incredibly welcoming! I love the small classes and close-knit community here. The kids really work hard and want to do their best. They are very well mannered and respectful, and I think that reflects directly on the wonderful families, staff, and leadership."
Mrs. Burkle - Title 1 (Rise)
Kriste Masek - Title 1 (Rise) Math Teacher
The 2023/24 school year marks Mrs. Masek's fifth year of teaching math in the St. John's Rise Program through Superior Tutoring Chicago. She received her Bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College and her Master's in Education from DePaul University. Mrs. Masek taught Kindergarten for 15 years before becoming a Title 1 teacher.
Mrs. Masek is the proud mother of twin daughters that turn 26 this year.
Why does Mrs. Masek love St. John's?
"Teaching at St John's is so special because of the family environment. The students, faculty, and families all support one another unconditionally."
Mrs. Masek - Title 1 (Rise)
Michelle Runge - Principal
Pastor Jacob Ehrhard - St. John's Lutheran Church Pastor
Pastor Ehrhard began serving St. John’s as senior pastor in January of 2019 after serving parishes in Dwight, IL and New Haven, MO. He is a 2003 graduate of Concordia University, River Forest and a 2007 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
Pastor Ehrhard has served the Lutheran youth organization Higher Things as a retreat and conference speaker and as chaplain and liturgist. In 2017 he was part of a choir representing graduates of the two seminaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that toured Germany in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago.
Pastor Jacob Ehrhard
Jenna Scifo - Admissions & Marketing Coordinator and Instructional Coach
Jenna Scifo has worked in Christian Education since 2002. She's had many roles including classroom teacher, school director, resource director, and currently serves as our CLEF Admissions & Marketing Coordinator and Instructional Coach.
Mrs. Scifo graduated from Trinity International University with her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education in 2002 and received her Master's Degree in Teaching & Learning from Liberty University in 2014. She also is about half way complete with her Master's in School Counseling.
Her husband, Dr. Scifo, is a school principal and they have been married for over 20 years. They have 3 daughters, 2 of them have already graduated from St. John's and one is currently in 2nd grade at St. John's.
Her personal mission while serving in Christian Education has always been and continues to be, reaching students and their families with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Mrs. Scifo - Admissions & Marketing Coordinator and Instructional Coach
Mrs. Lawler - Extended Care Director