TEACHERS & STAFF
What a joy and privilege to bring the Gospel of Christ to the wonderful people of God at TLO Church and School community. I am blessed to be a pastor and share this restoring and renewing Good News - the message of God's love in Christ - every day. I'm married to Lynn and we have three children. I especially enjoy studying the New Testament Bible in Greek, spending precious time with my family, playing board games, playing tennis and taking in a great cup of coffee with friends.
Mrs. Kathy Jones begins her first year as principal and middle school teacher this year. Previously, she served three Lutheran schools in Texas, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
Years of experience: 34
Education: B.A. in Elementary Education, School Music- Concordia Univ., St. Paul;
M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction- University of Minnesota;
LCMS School Leadership Project Certificate
Ms. Amanda Vaudt has been teaching at TLO for 4 years. She has taught in various settings in PreK, K, 1st, and 2nd grades. Teaching in a Lutheran school gives her the privilege of sharing the good news of the Gospel as part of the everyday curriculum. Her hope for each child is that they develop a love of learning and excitement for school!
Years of experience: 17
Education: BA in Elementary Education - Concordia Univ., St. Paul;
Minor in Outdoor Education
This is Mrs. Heather Bielec's first year at TLO. She has spent her entire career in Lutheran early childhood. Teaching in a Lutheran school gives her the privilege of sharing the love of Jesus with her students-- some of them for the first time. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing that "a-ha!" moment on a child's face when they truly begin to understand a new letter sound or how much Jesus loves them!
Years of experience: 14
Education: BA in Elementary Education - University of Sioux Falls; Commissioned Minister- Concordia University, St. Paul
Grades 1 & 2
Mrs. Amy Zenda-Johnson has been teaching at TLO for 7 years. Although an avid Packer fan, somehow she has spent her entire career teaching in the land of the Vikings and chooses to make this frigid state her home. During the course of her teaching career, she has taught all ages and grades from preschool through eighth grade, and has been a preschool co-director, conference presenter, and parent educator. She believes in being a life-long learner and enjoys taking continuing education courses. She feels it an honor to be able to share not only her love of learning, but also the message of Jesus with her students and their families.
Years of experience: 26
Education: BA in Elementary Education, Minor in English - Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN; Colloquy - Concordia Univ., St. Paul; MA in Education - Concordia Univ., St. Paul
Grades 4 & 5
Mrs. Jenny Brewer has been teaching at TLO for 5 years. Previously, she taught upper elementary classes in Illinois. Mrs. Brewer began teaching at TLO serving as the middle school Language Arts teacher, and then she transferred to 4th grade. As the fourth graders continue to progress in their development, Mrs. Brewer aspires to create an environment in which students can strengthen their love of learning. Students continue to grow in their faith, and strive to meet or exceed the state standards in all academic areas. They begin to develop specific skills aimed at making them more proficient studiers and learners, helping them to grow academically, socially, and spiritually. Overall, Mrs. Brewer wants her students to see their intrinsic value as children of God!
Years of experience: 11
Education: BA in Elementary Education - Concordia Univ., Chicago;
Minor in Sociology
Having a mother as a Lutheran school teacher means that Miss Katarina has spent practically her entire life in Lutheran schools. She is so happy to get to work in an environment where she sees God at work every day in the lives of students, staff, and their families.
Mrs. Rachel Symmank has been teaching at TLO for 9 years. Before accepting God's call to serve at TLO, she taught in parochial schools in Nebraska and Kansas, teaching children from preschool through middle school. She has also served as Director of Early Childhood. For ten years, Mrs. Symmank was a Parent Educator in the national Parents as Teachers program. She is an educator who loves to teach children about God’s amazingly complex and organized world. Mrs. Symmank enjoys fostering a love of life-long learning in her students.
Years of experience: 16
Education: BS in Elementary Education - Concordia Univ., Nebraska
Mrs. Pinky Seeman has been teaching at TLO for 10 years. Before accepting God's call to serve at TLO, she taught grades 2-4 in Indiana and Richfield, Minnesota. She is an educator who is excited about teaching students the love and faith in our Savior. She enjoys teaching students how to become more independent learners. Mrs. Seeman especially enjoys making history a more realistic concept for students in Social Studies.
Years of experience: 17
Education: BA in Elementary Education - Concordia Univ., St Paul
Middle School, Music Education
Mrs. Stephanie Vallin has been teaching at TLO for 17 years. Previously, she was a third grade teacher and band director at a Lutheran school in Missouri. She has directed the band program at TLO since 2001 and also taught middle school language arts from 2004-2012. Currently, she teaches 7th and 8th grade and PS-8 music. The most exciting part of her job is seeing students’ growth in God’s gift of music, and interacting together as a musical team.
Years of experience: 20
Education: BS in Elementary Education - Concordia Univ., Nebraska;
BS in Secondary Education - Concordia Univ., Nebraska
Mary Jane Weierke
This is Mrs. Mary Jane Weierke's second year at TLO. After retiring from her accounting job of 43 years, Miss Mary Jane found her second calling in childcare. She has spent the last nine years working in preschool and childcare programs. Currently, Mary Jane helps with the before school care program and aides in the preschool room during the day. Mary Jane's greatest joy in working at TLO is watching the expressions on the faces of little ones as they hear, talk, sing songs, and ask many questions about our God.
Mrs. Linda Flannery is a teachers’ aide and has been working at TLO for 11 years. Previously, she worked at United and Children’s Hospital for 32 years. Having been baptized, gone to school, confirmed and married here, TLO has always been an important part of her life. Sharing God's love with the students and hearing them tell how God has blessed them is enjoyable and exciting to her!
This is Mrs. Julie Casby's second year at TLO. Previously, she had been a classroom teacher, educational coordinator, director of a Lutheran preschool, plus many other jobs within preschools or day care settings. Currently, Mrs. Casby works with the preschool in the afternoons and during after school care. Julie's passion for working with children is best described by the Air Supply song, "In the Eyes of a Child": “In the eyes of a child, there is joy, there is laughter, there is hope, there is love, a chance to change the future. For the lessons in life there is no better teacher than to look in the eyes of a child.”
Years of experience: 30+
Education: BA in Early Childhood Education - Concordia Univ., St. Paul
Mrs. Peterson enjoys working with the administration, teachers and staff of Trinity Lone Oak, as well as school families and prospective families who want to know more about our Christ-centered school. She loves TLO because we offer quality academics structured within a loving Christian environment.
Mrs. Nilan has been serving TLO as a school nurse since 2007. She works through District 197 to serve us and other area private schools. Mrs. Nilan is on-site once every week to address students' health needs, keep school records in order, run any health screenings, and educate teachers on the health needs of their students. Mrs. Nilan helps support the health goals of the school and works to keep students' bodies in good working order so they can continue to be a blessing to God and others.
Education: Bachelor's of Science in Nursing; licensed school nurse