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. Larry L. Beane

— Paideia IV
Pastor Beane grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He received a Certificate in Computer Programming from Cleveland Institute 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 two sons. 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.

Miss Eleonore M. Mumme

— Tragedy
Miss Mumme grew up in Waterville, Minnesota, where she was homeschooled. She attended a year of classes at Wittenberg Academy before continuing her studies at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN, where she majored in English and minored in Western Philosophy. Miss Mumme continues to write both academically and creatively. She also currently serves as an Admissions Counselor at Bethany Lutheran College. Reading and discussing Russian Literature, theology, and old world recipes are her primary hobbies, and she rarely can be seen without a coffee mug.

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.

Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier

— Paideia I Theology, Hebrew
Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier received his B. A. in Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico in 1995. He received his M. Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in 2005. On June 26, 2005, he was ordained into the Office of Holy Ministry at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He served as the Associate Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Mission Planter in Los Alamos. In 2008, the mission in Los Alamos became a sister congregation of the LCMS. At that point, he was called to serve as the first pastor of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, NM. He is a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. and author of the book Reading Isaiah with Luther.

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.

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 in 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 is now designing stained glass windows for Willet Hauser Architectural Glass in Winona, Minnesota, working part time as a liturgical artist under the pseudonym Scapegoat Studio. He lives in Cochrane, Wisconsin with his wife, Emily, and their four children. He enjoys church architecture, food, and good hymnody.”

Mrs. Rebecca D. McCreary

— Quadrivium A, B, C, I, II, and III
Mrs. McCreary currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, Matthew, and daughter, Abigail, after growing up in Wyoming and spending a few years in the United Kingdom while her husband was completing an assignment. She received her B.S. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her M.Ed from the University of Cincinnati. In her free time she enjoys knitting, reading, and dancing. Mrs. McCreary feels truly blessed to be able to share her love of mathematics with her students.

Mrs. Erika E. Mildred

— Life Science, Physical Science, Anatomy & Kinesiology, and Faith & Science
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.”

Mrs. Liz J. Ekblad

— Grammar I, Grammar II
Liz grew up in Sheboygan, WI, where she attended Trinity Lutheran School and Sheboygan Lutheran High School. She then went to Concordia University Wisconsin and graduated with a B.A. in Classical Lutheran Education after switching from the School of Education because of her passion for the Classical Method of education. She was the second person to graduate from CUW's Classical Ed. program and was the Student Commencement Speaker. Since graduating, she substitute teaches and occasionally works in the childcare program at Trinity where she grew up. She also is a private tutor for many subjects for students in middle and high school. Mrs. Ekblad currently lives in Grafton, WI, with her husband Anders and her son Johannes, who was recently born this past Spring. She loves baking cupcakes; cooking; reading philosophy; studying languages; playing bassoon, flute, cello, and piano; and is an avid Milwaukee Brewers fan. She is also an aspiring hymn writer, debuting her first hymn at her wedding.

Mrs. Holly M. James

— Paideia A, Paideia III
Mrs. James is a born-and-raised, corn-fed Nebraskan. She graduated from Hillsdale College, earning a B.S. in English with minors in Greek and Chemistry. After teaching for a year in New Mexico, she now lives in Israel with her husband, John, and works as a freelance writer. When Mrs. James is not working, chances are she is either out jogging or snuggled up with a strong cup of coffee and a good book.

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 Hays, Kansas, with her husband Ben, and their children Samuel, Ruth, Isaiah, and Elizabeth.

Mrs. Brianna K. Woelmer

— Progymnasmata
Mrs. Woelmer grew up in Eudora, Kansas and was homeschooled from sixth grade through high school graduation. She earned her B.A. in History from Hillsdale College and graduated summa cum laude. After moving back to Kansas, she worked in communications and legislative affairs for the administration of Governor Sam Brownback. She and her husband Joshua married in September of 2017 and welcomed twin daughters the following year. They live in Vassar, Kansas, where Joshua serves as the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church. In her free time, Mrs. Woelmer enjoys sketching, reading, baking, and walking the trails near Vassar. She is excited to bring her love of language to the classroom for Wittenberg Academy.