Our Staff

Rev. Christopher 
Pastor & Catechist

Pr. Christopher R. Gillespie was ordained into the Office of Holy Ministry on July 25, A+D 2010. He earned a Masters of Divinity in 2009 from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has previously served congregations in Indiana and Chicago. Pastor and his wife, Anne, have been blessed with nine children. He also enjoys roasting coffeerecording choral and chamber music, and producing media for Higher Things & 1517.

Mrs. Cassie Makela
Administrator & 4K-K Teacher

Cassandra Makela began her service as School Administrator and Teacher at St. John Lutheran School in July of 2017. She is a 2006 graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a triple major in Lutheran Education, English, and History, at which time she received the Dr. Marsha Konz Student Educator Award and the Moeller Award for English. She earned her Master of Science in Education – Educational Design and Technology (CUW) and is currently enrolled in an early childhood certificate program through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She has over 11 years of teaching experience that spans 4K-12th grade and includes both online and face-to-face classrooms. 

Mr. John Tarr
Assistant Administrator & Gr. 5-8 Lead Teacher

John Tarr earned a B.A. in 6-12 Education with an emphasis on Broad Field Social Studies from Concordia University, Wisconsin. He began teaching middle school in central Wisconsin and then transitioned to Lake Country Lutheran High School, Hartland, Wisconsin where he taught various subjects for nine years. This year will be his 15th as a called Lutheran Educator.

Mrs. Marla Kipp
Gr. 3-4 Teacher

Marla Kipp is a 2001 graduate from Concordia University Wisconsin with a B.A. in Lutheran Elementary Education and a minor in Adaptive Education. In 2011 she earned her M.S. in Special Education from Grand Canyon University, AZ. Prior to beginning her ministry at St. John in 2019, Mrs. Kipp previously taught at a Lutheran School in Milwaukee, WI, for 17 years. While there, she taught children of all grades in a resource classroom, in a general education classroom for the middle school grades 6-8, and most recently grade 5. Mrs. Kipp is a Kohl’s Teacher Fellowship nominee.

Mrs. Elisa Caster
Gr. 1-2 Teacher

Elisa Caster began her service at St. John Lutheran School in Random Lake in July of 2016. She grew up in Oregon and received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Western Oregon State University. Mrs. Caster taught 3K, 4K, first grade, and a first and second-grade blend while living in Washington and Oregon States. She has been married for over twenty years, and she and her husband have been blessed with four wonderful children.

Mrs. Penny Tupper
Junior PreK & 3K Teacher

Mr. Josh Schroeder – Assistant Teacher

Mr. Josh Schroeder
Assistant Teacher

Josh Schroeder is beginning his second year at St. John Lutheran School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University Wisconsin, majoring in theology and minoring in philosophy. After completing a portion of seminary training at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, he served for three years as a deacon under Pastor Marion Hendrickson at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Arlington, WI. He also taught middle and high school at a small independent Lutheran school in Marquette County and is currently working toward a Wisconsin elementary education license. Josh and his wife have six children. Your card is the Jack of Hearts.

Mrs. Nancy Ernst
School Secretary

Nancy Ernst began her service as the secretary at St. John Lutheran School on April 15, 2004. Nancy and her husband Ron have five children and six grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys camping and spending time with her family and friends.

Mrs. Sandy Preder
Church Secretary

Sandy Preder started her service as church secretary in January of 1981. Sandy and her husband Norm have been blessed with three daughters and five grand-daughters.