Meet Our Staff

Teachers at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School are certified by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as required by Wisconsin state law. In addition, the majority of our teachers are certified by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which holds teachers to a higher standard both in educational requirements, and in their calling as a Christian educator. Many of our teachers also have a Master’s degree in education which is two years beyond a Bachelor’s in education degree. Teachers often have responsibilities within the church including choirs, youth leaders, celebration worship leaders, Bible study leaders and many more responsibilities which enhance our church life and help build the Kingdom.

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” -Martin Luther

  • Kristi Collins


    Kristi Collins received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Concordia College River Forest, Il. Ms. Collins taught for two years at Hope Lutheran School on the south side of Chicago from 1984-1986. She then taught 5 years at Bethel Lutheran School on the North side of Chicago. She then stayed home several years raising her four children, all who attended and graduated from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School. From 2003-2016 Kristi taught in Genoa City, WI. In 2006 Kristi became a National Board Certified Teacher, and recertified in 2015. In 2016, Kristi answered the call to serve as the second principal of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School.

    Phone ext. 1100

    My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10

  • Danielle Strom

    School Secretary

    Mrs. Strom serves as Our Redeemer School’s Secretary, and is also a member of the Church Tech Team. Mrs. Strom is the primary contact for general school information or questions.

    Phone ext. 1110

    When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:18-19

  • Heather Finnegan

    Pre-Kindergarten 3 & 4

    Mrs. Finnegan teaches both PK 3 and PK 4. She received her Bachelors degree from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois. She is originally from the Chicago area, and taught preschool at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Munster, Indiana for 6 years before staying home with her children. Mrs. Finnegan re-entered the workforce as the program coordinator and parent educator for the Parents As Teachers program at St. Paul's before moving to Wisconsin. She joined the Our Redeemer family in 2015. She will graduate with her Master’s Degree in Special Education, with a focus on Autism, at UW-Whitewater, in December 2020. Mrs. Finnegan and her husband also teach the junior high Sunday School class, FBI.

    Phone ext. 1120

    But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17

  • Kate Grabow


    Mrs. Grabow teaches Kindergarten. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stout and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She earned her colloquy through Concordia University – Chicago in 2001. Mrs. Grabow is a 2020 Crystal Apple Honorable Mention Award Winner. The Crystal Apple Awards are the community's opportunity to recognize excellence in education by honoring those who make a significant impact in the lives of children.

    Phone ext. 1130

    Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

  • Melissa Wallen

    1st Grade

    Melissa Wallen teaches 1st grade. Melissa attended and graduated from Concordia University, Wisconsin in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Her minor was Adaptive Education. Melissa has 9 years of teaching experience in multi-grade classrooms. She joined Our Redeemer in 2016.

    Phone ext. 1140

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  • Laura Hillman

    2nd Grade

    Miss Hillman teaches 2nd grade. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 2009 from Concordia University, St. Paul in Elementary Education with a minor in Music and a specialty in Middle Level Math. She has taught in Lutheran schools in Iowa and Florida before accepting the call to Our Redeemer. Laura also enjoys sharing her love of music to praise the Lord.

    Phone ext. 1150

    The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exalt over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

  • Kirsten Kramer

    3rd Grade

    Ms. Kramer teaches 3rd and 4th grade. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University at River Forest, Illinois. Ms. Kramer has been at Our Redeemer since 1991.

    Phone ext. 1160

    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

  • Kelly Stech

    4th & 5th Grade

    Mrs. Stech received her Bachelors degree from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. She taught at St. Paul, Austin in Chicago. Moving to Wisconsin in 2004, she taught at Agape House in Walworth. Mrs. Stech is an Adult Services Librarian at Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn, WI. She will teach Language Arts and Social Studies at Our Redeemer beginning in Fall 2020.

    Phone ext. 1170

    Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour our your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8

  • Robyn Ritter

    6th Grade

    Mrs. Ritter joined the Our Redeemer staff in 2016. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a certification as a Director of Christian Education from Concordia University-Nebraska, and is currently working on her Wisconsin teaching license for 1st-8th grade general education and 5th-12th grade math. She is the 6th grade homeroom teacher and also teaches 7th grade Religion, middle school Math, Science and Art.

    Phone ext. 1210

    Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

  • Jasmin Turner

    7th & 8th Grade

    Mrs. Turner received a Bachelors degree in Education from Western Illinois University. She is a certified middle school teacher and has a double concentration in Language Arts and History. She also has an endorsement in Physical Education. She taught for a few years in area public schools in Lake Geneva and for a year at Our Redeemer Lutheran School. She then stayed home to raise her seven children. She has been substitute teaching for the last three years, and she is excited to join the ORLS staff in Fall 2020 as the homeroom teacher for 7th & 8th grade.

    Phone ext. 1180

    He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

  • Rebecca Penniman

    Music Teacher

    Mrs. Penniman teaches general music for grades PK4-5th, directs the Day School children’s choirs, directs the Gabriel’s Choir for grades 6-8 and is the coordinator for the church’s Praise and Worship services. In addition, Mrs. Penniman is our new Resource Room coordinator. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in music from Concordia University at River Forest, Illinois and earned a Master’s degree in Special Education specializing in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    Phone ext. 1200

    Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

  • Stephanie Freitag

    Spanish Teacher

    Mrs. Freitag teaches Spanish to Kindergarten through 8th grade. She graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a French teaching degree and taught French at Jefferson High School before becoming a stay-at-home mom. When her three children were in school she began teaching Spanish at St. Andrew Parish School in Delavan, where she taught for three years. Mrs. Freitag is joining the staff at Our Redeemer beginning in Fall 2020.

    Phone ext. 1190

    You may not understand now what I am doing, but someday you will. John 13:7

  • Chester "Chet" Schotanus

    Band Director

    Chester teaches band and band lessons to students in 5th though 8th grade. Chester received a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1995. He spent two years as the director of bands at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point, WI. During that time he felt a passion for working with younger students, and accepted a position as a beginning and middle school band director in Lake County, IL at multiple schools. During that time Chester performed with the Antioch Community Band, College of Lake County Concert Band, as well as serving as director and performer for the Round Lake Symphonic Winds.

    This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24