Our Faculty and Staff

Pr. Christopher R. Gillespie was ordained into the Office of Holy Ministry on July 25, A+D 2010. He earned a Master 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 ten children. He also enjoys roasting coffeerecording choral and chamber music, and producing media for 1517, Doxology, CPH Music, Lutheran Public Radio, and the LCMS.

Mrs. Marla Kipp is a 2001 graduate of Concordia University, Wisconsin, with a B. A. in Lutheran Elementary Education and a minor in Adaptive Education. In 2011, she earned her M. Ed. in Special Education from Grand Canyon University, Arizona. Mrs. Kipp taught at St. Peter-Immanuel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 17 years from 2002 until 2019. For most of that time she was the resource teacher for all grade levels. She also taught in the middle school department: 7th grade homeroom, Religion, Science, as well as middle school Math and Art. In the fall of 2019 Mrs. Kipp started her ministry at St. John as the 3rd & 4th grade teacher. During the 2020-2021 school year Mrs. Kipp was then called as the school administrator at St. John. Mrs. Kipp is a Kohl’s Teacher Fellowship nominee. When not at school, Mrs. Kipp can be found spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren,  tending to her garden, or in the barn with her horses. 

Ms Zirtzlaff received her bachelor’s degree from Lakeland College in 1999 and her master’s degree in administration in 2012 from National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois. She has taught in both public and private schools with most of those years at Christ Child Academy in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She has taught K – 8 Spanish, Math, Health, Social Studies, and Literature. Beginning in 2013 Ms Zirtzlaff was a substitute teacher in many different schools. She has also worked as a Special Education Assistant at Fairview School in Plymouth, Wisconsin until 2017. In her free time, Ms Zirtzlaff enjoys boating with her boyfriend and spending time with her adult children. In 2023, her faith and love for teaching brought her to St. John, Sherman Center, to teach children about God and how He works in our lives.

Ms. Bulin was born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Her family owns and operates a beef, sheep, and crop farm. She enjoys helping on the farm and being outside with the animals. Ms. Bulin’s other interests include gardening, hiking, painting, reading, and traveling. After graduating from Plymouth High School, she attended Marion University, majoring in Education and Human Relations. She then attended Silver Lake College for her elementary and adaptive education teaching certification. Teaching has always been her passion. Most of Ms. Bulin’s teaching experience has been in third through fifth grade. She taught in several parochial schools. She also taught Gifted and Talented as a substitute and special education aide. For the past three years, she has been an Activities Director for Cedar Grove Gardens, but God called her back to teaching and guided her with his hand on this journey.

Mr. Bichler is a 1991 graduate of St. John Lutheran School, Sherman Center, and a 2006 graduate of the University Wisconsin-Green Bay in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mr. Bichler has a degree in English. Before becoming a teacher, Mr. Bichler worked at several factories – Bemis in Sheboygan Falls and Stecker Machine Company in Manitowoc. In his free time, Mr. Bichler likes to practice his artistic talents of painting and drawing.

Mrs. Jackson Is a 1987 graduate of Concordia College in Mequon, Wisconsin, with a B. A. in Lutheran Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood. She started her ministry in 1987 as a childcare teacher and an assistant director at a childcare center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She held this position for 6 years, working with various age groups from infants through teens, and also did assistant director duties. She then received her first teaching position in 1993 as a Kindergarten teacher at Christ Memorial Lutheran School in Milwaukee, where she remained for 5 years. In 1998, St. Peter – Immanuel Lutheran School in Milwaukee then called her to become their 4K teacher which she did for 1 year, and then became their 2nd grade teacher for 20 years. For the last 4 years at St. Peter – Immanuel, she taught 5K. In 2023, St. John, Sherman Center called Mrs. Jackson to be their 4K/5K teacher. Mrs. Jackson resides in West Bend, Wisconsin with her husband, Steve, and their black lab dog, Tilly. She enjoys reading, doing puzzles, coloring, drinking coffee, camping, beaches, and watching the Packers, Brewers and Bucks play. 

Mrs. Backhaus lives with her husband and 8-year-old son in Plymouth, WI. She’s worked with children for the last three years as an infant room lead teacher. She has received her credentials in early
childhood education from the Early Education Station and a few credits in Infant and Toddler
development from UW Platteville. Her favorite part of teaching young children is watching them
blossom and grow into their own personalities. In her spare time, Mrs. Backhaus enjoys going to
concerts and spending time with her family and friends.

Mr. Jim Bichler
Child Care

James Bichler has a BS in elementary education from UNLV and an M.Ed from Lesley College. He taught for 27 years in the Clark County School District in Nevada.  He enjoys reading, especially history, walking, hiking, and running. 

Ms. Anya Vander Waal
Child Care

Anya is a Junior in high school. She is working in the infant room and after-school care. She loves to learn about God and his creation, so she often goes on hikes. She is also involved in archery as a competitive sport.

Mr. Luke Gillespie

Luke Gillespie is homeschooled and will be a 2024 high school graduate. He has been working as a janitor since 2021. He is a 1st-degree black belt in WTSD and is interested in teaching it. In his free time, he enjoys doing Karate, playing games, and making home improvements.