Richard A Heinz

The Rev. Rich Heinz has completed 19 years in the Office of the Holy Ministry, five of which have been here at St. John’s.  He graduated with a B.A. from Concordia University—River Forest (Chicago), majoring in theology and minoring in communication/theatre.  After earning his M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1995, he served Mt. Greenwood Ev. Lutheran in Chicago and St. John’s Lutheran in Lanesville, Indiana.  His continuing education interests are in the areas of liturgics (worship) and catechesis (teaching the faith.)

Pastor Heinz is also involved with Higher Things, a Recognized Service Organization of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that serves youth.  He has served as site chaplain for two years, and is in his second year as Worship Coordinator for the annual conferences.

Pastor is an avid Disney and Star Wars fan.  He enjoys theatre, film, music, and tea.



Douglas Markworth

Mr. Markworth's  "Welcome back to school, 2014/15" letter

Mr.Markworth has completed 35 years in the Christian Ministry, 15 of which were here at St. John's. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska with an emphasis in Religion, Math and Science. He has earned a Masters Degree in Elementary Administration from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He has served as the Chair of Math & Science at Luther High School North (now Luther North College Prep), Teacher/Principal in Hannibal, Missouri and as a counselor at Lutheran Camps in Springfield, Illinois and Schyler, Nebraska.


Henry Knueppel, Teacher Emeritus

A native of Maywood Park, Illinois, Mr. Henry Knueppel attended high school at Concordia Teachers’ College in River Forest (now Concordia University – Chicago.)  He then earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers’ College (now Concordia University) in Seward, Nebraska.  During his tenure at St. John's, Mr. Knueppel also completed his Master of Arts at Concordia (Chicago.)

Mr. Knueppel accepted the call to teach at St. John’s in 1952.  Teacher, coach, referee, Walther League director, and mentor, Mr. Knueppel has touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives through St. John’s Lutheran Church and School.

Mr. Knueppel is married to Judy (nee Millies), who gave up teaching at Luther North to be a homemaker, and volunteer.  They have been blessed with a daughter (Rebecca), a son (Paul), and five grandchildren.

After a blessed tenure of 42 years as teacher at St. John’s, Mr. Knueppel continued to serve as our director of parish care.  Now, although officially retired, Mr. Knueppel stays active volunteering for St. John’s “behind the scenes.” In 2011, honoring this retired servant, St. John’s completed its plan of dedicating and renaming our gymnasium “The Henry P. Knueppel Gymnasium.”


Early Childhood

Pre School (3-year-olds)

JoAn Markworth

Mrs. Markworth has completed 28 years in the Christian teaching ministry, and this is her 5th year at St. John's.  She is a graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, with emphasis on primary grades, music and math. The focus of her teaching experience has been in the primary grades, but JoAn has taught in all of the elementary grades as well as preschool and kindergarten. She now teaches pre school children and is the grades 1-5 computer instructor at St. John's.  In July, 2013, Mrs. Markworth completed her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Pre School News


Pre Kindergarten (4-year-olds)

Kristi Heinz

Mrs. Kristi Heinz has completed 19 years of teaching in Lutheran education. She graduated from Concordia University in River Forest in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with concentrations in reading and music. She began work on her Master's Degree at Indiana University Southeast. She has spent time in 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms at St. John's, Algonquin, Illinois, and St. John's, Lanesville, Indiana. While teaching in mainstream classrooms, she has also taught music from preschool through senior high school. After teaching music to the entire student body of St. John's in recent years, she is thrilled to return to the classroom full-time!  In her free time she plays in the Handbell Choir and sings in the Adult Choir at St. John's.

Pre Kindergarten News



Leslee Johnson

Mrs. Johnson has completed 36 years of Christian teaching, 35 of which have been at St. John's. Mrs. Johnson graduated from Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She specialized in English, Speech and Drama and has a minor in Early Childhood Education. In addition to teaching Kindergarten, Mrs. Johnson is the coordinator for chapel families, the school yearbook, reading day, and the LWML Angel Tree. She is also a member of the church picnic committee and the Board of Christian Education. Mrs. Johnson was the 2001 recipient of the CLEF Good News Teacher Award in Early Childhood Education.

Kindergarten News

Early Childhood aides: 

Laura Puenner, Kim Nowakowski, Emily Bahr, Caitlyn Wheeler


Elementary School

1st Grade

Matthew Pahnke

Mr. Pahnke has completed two years of teaching serving as 1st grade teacher here at St. John’s. He graduated from Concordia University in River Forest, IL with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education.  In addition to teaching 1st grade, Mr. Pahnke serves on the Marketing Committee and National Junior Honor Society.

1st Grade News


2nd Grade

Debra Mackie

Mrs. Mackie has completed 31 years of Christian teaching here at St. John's. She graduated from Concordia Teacher's College, River Forest, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. She taught 1st grade for eight years and served as the reading teacher. In addition to teaching duties, she serves as: Athletic Director, Coach, Cheerleading Advisor, LSL (Lutheran School League) 7th & 8th grade Basketball 3 Point Contest, Bowling Tournament & Awards Coordinator, Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Coordinator, Clothing Co-Coordinator, Church Coffee Hour and Soup & Sandwich Coordinator.


2nd Grade News

3rd Grade

Bonnie Mayrens

Mrs. Mayrens has completed 27 years in the Lutheran teaching ministry, 8 of which have been at St. John's.  She is a graduate of St. John's and Luther North.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in elementary education with concentrations in psychology and English literature, and Master's Degree in reading instruction from Concordia University, Chicago.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Mayrens serves as art fair director and spelling team coordinator, and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society Committee.
3rd Grade News


4th Grade

Deborah Callaghan

Mrs. Callaghan has completed 16 years of teaching, 10 of which were here at St. John's. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education. Mrs. Callaghan's family have been members here for 29 years. Mrs. Callaghan is excited about implementing strategies she learned in workshops she has taken throughout the year and this summer that were sponsored by CLEF.  She looks forward to using her new SMARTboard.  Mrs. Callaghan also teaches in the Title I program after school.


4th Grade News

 5th Grade

Robin Rocans

Mrs. Rocans has been teaching in Lutheran schools for the past nineteen years. She has taught combined 3rd & 4th grade, 5th grade, and junior high physical education. In addition, she coached various sports and served as the athletic director. She is a graduate of Concordia University in River Forest with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Rocans has been married for thirty six years and is blessed to have a daughter, son-in-law, and twin grandchildren.

5th Grade News


High School Preparatory Program


Social Studies (6th, 7th),  Religion (6th),  and Science (6th, 7th, 8th), Art (6th & 7th), 6th, 7th, 8th Technology

Rachael Kretschmar (6th Grade Homeroom)

Miss Rachael Kretschmar has completed three years of teaching in Danville, IL and is beginning her first year here at St. John's.  She graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education.  She is currently working on her Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Concordia University Wisconsin


6th Grade News


English (6th, 7th, 8th), Reading (7th, 8th), Computer (6th, 7th, 8th girls), Religion (7th), Geography (6th), Creative Writing (6th, 7th, 8th)

Jeremy Benedict (7th Grade Homeroom)

Mr. Benedict graduated from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. His area of concentration was English. Mr. Benedict is teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English and Reading as well as 7th grade Religion and boys P.E.



7th Grade News


Math (6th, 7th, 8th) Social Studies (8th), Reading (6th), Geography (7th, 8th), Physical Education (6th, 7th, 8th girls), Art (8th), Religion (8th)

Michelle Bahr (8th Grade Homeroom)

Miss Bahr has completed her 8th year of Christian teaching here at St. John's. She graduated from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. Her area of concentration was Psychology. She has her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

8th Grade News









Tana Uffenbeck

Mrs. Tana Uffenbeck has completed 4 years of teaching in Lutheran schools. She graduated from Concordia University Mequon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in English/Language Arts. She also holds a Master’s degree in Reading from Concordia University Portland. Mrs. Uffenbeck is thrilled to be sharing this expertise in the library and through her role as Literacy Coach for St. John’s.