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, three sons, Matthew, Christopher, and Timothy, and daughter, Bethany. His hobbies are reading, the Internet, listening to music, as well as golf and bowling (when time and money are available).

Rev. 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, Rev. 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 five children, Oliver, Jonathan, Wilhelmina (Willa), Simon, and Marguerite (Maggie). 
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 are expecting a son in October. They live in Tucson, Arizona, where Kurt serves as pastor of Faith 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, and son, Aaron, Jr.

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.

Rev. David A. Kind

— Paideia II Theology, Christian Worship: History and Theology
Rev. David A. Kind has served as campus pastor of University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 2001. In this role he serves as the sole pastor of a regular congregation of about 140 souls and as campus pastor to numerous students from the University of Minnesota, Concordia St. Paul, and other colleges and universities in the Twin Cities area. He loves working with students and opening to them the riches of Christ’s Word and grace. During his time at University Lutheran Chapel, Rev. Kind also became involved in youth work through Higher Things Inc. He has served as a chaplain, worship coordinator, plenary speaker, sectional speaker, a member of the Board of Directors, and as Vice President of the organization. Pastor Kind is the author of two books, Oremus: A Lutheran Breviary (2015) and About Our Liturgy: History, Meaning and Practice (2003), and contributed to the book Ethics of Sex: From Taboo to Delight (CPH 2017). He currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents of Concordia University St. Paul; and has been a teacher at Wittenberg Academy since 2012.
Rev. Kind has been married for more than 20 years to his lovely wife, Dana, whom he met while serving as a vicar in Cleveland, Ohio. They have one child, Andrew (a junior in high school), who has been home-schooled since the second grade. Kind enjoys making fine furniture and woodcarving, classic jazz music, gardening, home improvement, and enjoying good food, drink and conversation with friends and family.

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 daughters, Breslyn and Eve.
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. Jonathan P. Mayer

— Art
Mr. Mayer was born and raised near Omaha Nebraska. He enjoyed drawing from a young age, and went on to recieve his BA in studio art from Bethany Lutheran college, where he took a special interest in painting and art history. He began working as an illustrator after graduation, and obtained an illustration MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. He returned to Nebraska, teaching art history and fundamentals as an adjunct at Concordia in Seward. He now works as a liturgical artist under the pseudonym Scapegoat Studio, where he helps to beautify Lutheran churches. He lives in Seward with his wife, Emily, and their four children, and enjoys teaching them good hymnody.

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, daughter, and son in South Dakota and works full time as a Software Engineer. Mr. Meyer is also an accomplished musician and plays piano and organ.

Mrs. Rebecca D. McCreary

— Arithmetic, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
Mrs. McCreary lives in England 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. Erika E. Mildred

— Life Science, Physical Science, Anatomy & Kinesiology
Mrs. Mildred lives in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She receives Christ’s gifts at Faith Lutheran Church in Plano. Erika earned her B.A. and Lutheran Teachers Diploma from Concordia University, Chicago, IL. Over the years, she has been privileged to work with children of all ages as a classroom teacher for grades 7 – 12, a high school girls’ varsity basketball coach, a personal and group tutor, an online educator, a day school principal, and a home school mom of two girls. Mrs. Mildred has been involved with the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education (CCLE) since 1999, has served on the CCLE board since 2013, and has been the board’s treasurer since 2015. Most recently, she has completed the requirements to obtain her Classical Lutheran Educator Certification through the CCLE. Her favorite parts of teaching are those “aha moments,” when a concept clicks or a connection is made. She states, “Building confidence and a love for learning in students are gifts to them that last a lifetime; it is a privilege from God to impart those things to His children.”

Miss Emilyann Pool

— Grammar
Emilyann Pool currently lives in Moscow, Idaho where she works at a castle that looks like Hogwarts. She recently graduated with her degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on literature and American history from New Saint Andrews College. Miss Pool is excited to teach at Wittenberg Academy because the classical tradition and Reformation theology are congruous disciplines. Both classical education and robust Lutheran doctrine return to the source and recognize the necessity for the foundation of absolute truth. Miss Pool is blessed to have two faithful Lutheran churches to attend, Augustana in Moscow, Idaho, and her home congregation of St. John in Clinton, Iowa. She enjoys reading, writing, and reading about writing. Miss Pool plays guitar, composes, and sings her own songs, often about her favorite literary characters, and occasionally performs at her favorite coffee shops. Miss Pool anticipates returning to the Midwest to be near her family in eastern Iowa and hopes to eventually enroll in the deaconess program at Concordia Theological Seminary (but will always be a Northwestern-er at heart.)

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 Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In December of 2010, he was married to his wife Becky. They have three children: Leah, Nathanael, and Andrew.
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 second granddaughter! (They relocated to Austin, TX to be near their wee ones.)
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, Isaiah, and Elizabeth.