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Kris Ballesteros, Teacher - Grade 2

Mrs. Ballesteros has found that there is no greater joy than the joy found in teaching children about their Savior and friend, Jesus. She believes that each child is a precious individual with many gifts and talents and plans her lessons with that in mind. She uses manipulatives, music, technology, books, plays and skits, and a number of other methods to reach her students. Mrs. Ballesteros enjoys the laughter and happiness of children and strives to make the classroom a light-hearted and positive place to learn.

Mrs. Ballesteros attended college at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN and received her degree in Elementary Education with a focus on English. After college she received a call to serve at Our Savior’s Lutheran School and taught 1st and 2nd grades for seven years. After taking some time away from teaching while her children were young, she is now excited to be back in the classroom at Trinity.

Mrs. Ballesteros grew up in Neillsville, WI where she attended St. John’s Lutheran Church and School from grades 1-8. She is married to Adam, has two daughters (Sophie and Gracie), a dog named Reggie, and a bunny named Bun Buns. She enjoys camping, going on vacation to fun places, taking care of her pets, and laughing with friends and family.

Her favorite Bible passage is, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Dan Mansk, Teacher - Grade 7

Mr. Mansk enjoys teaching middle school students. He can't wait to get to school early in the morning. When you pass his room you will often hear laughing and see smiles on his students' faces. Mr. Mansk wants learning to be fun and fulfilling. He wants to motivate students to see beyond themselves and realize how much God loves each of us, not for what we do but for who we are. Middle school students are in a world of childhood and adulthood, it is a confusing time where students just want to fit in and be noticed. They are genuine and that is what he enjoys, knowing that he is fortunate to have the opportunity to teach these students.

At the beginning of the year the class builds community through a variety of activities at the school forest. Another field trip is to Granite Peak to learn how to ski or snowboard. Most seventh grades have never done this before. It is a great community builder, students come to realize that they can accomplish this new challenge and have fun doing it. It brings a smile to Mr. Mansk's face when he hears from former students sharing activities that they remember from their time with him. A hallmark about his class is that he enjoys making learning relevant and memorable.

Outside the classroom Mr. Mansk enjoys reading, going to see his son perform music, getting together with family, watching action hero movies at the Cosmo, watching the Brewers and Packers.

Mr. Mansk grew up in Anoka, Minnesota, received his teaching degree at Concordia-St. Paul, MN, while his wife Ann received her nursing degree at UW Oshkosh. He later received a Masters Degree in Education from Aurora University. Mr. Mansk and his bride, Ann (Litzer) were married here at Trinity. He has a daughter, Sarah and a son, Jack.

It is easy to see God's hand in my life. He has provided everything that I need with the assurance of life everlasting with Him. It is my hope that people see Jesus working through me. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (1 John 1:4) I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. {Philippians 4:13)

Mr. John Burns, Teacher - Grade 8 Mr. Burns is honored to be teaching this year at Trinity Lutheran School. He has a deeply rooted passion for teaching children and aiding them in the transition from adolescents to young teens. He focuses on preparing his students to enter the, sometimes harsh, world that awaits them after eighth grade. He believes that communication with parents is vital to a successful year as their students will be asked to take on more responsibility and ownership of their daily assignments and actions. Mr. Burns is looking forward to many things this year as he will be coordinating the 8th grade class trip, in which the 8th grade class will be traveling to either Chicago or Minneapolis for two days at the end of the second semester. He will also be teaching Physical Education for grades 5K-8. He is bringing many new ideas with him and is looking forward to starting a weightlifting and nutrition unit with the 7th and 8th graders. Mr. Burns will also be teaching English Language Arts to the 8th grade class and has many challenging but fun projects planned. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Burns enjoys coaching football at Wausau West High school, spending time with his family, and cheering on the MINNESOTA VIKINGS. Mr. Burns attended Concordia-Immanuel Lutheran School from K-8th grade in Red Wing MN. After graduating from his hometown high school he went on to study at Augsburg College in Minneapolis with a focus on Pre-Med. He transferred to the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire at the end of his sophomore year and began studying Criminal Justice. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He then went on to become a full time Police Officer with the City of Wausau. After serving the community for one year he realized that he had a deeper passion for working with children than his job allowed time for. He resigned from Law Enforcement and decided to go back to school to be a Teacher. Mr. Burns plans to start online Masters classes through Concordia University-St. Paul in the spring. As a first year teacher, Mr. Burns finds hope—that this will be a successful year—through the words in the 32nd chapter of Psalms: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” This verse has a dual meaning to Mr. Burns as it provides him hope and assurance that the Lord is watching over him this year and also provides him with a definition of what it means to be a good teacher—one that instructs and teaches his students in the way they shall go, to counsel them, and watch over them—as would our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark Schultz, Minister of Music

Mr. Mark Schultz helps students learn to use their God-given musical talents in ways pleasing to our Lord. He works with students individually at their level of ability, and encourages them to perform, giving God the glory!

Mr. Schultz attempts to teach each student at his own ability level in music. The band program includes individual lessons with each student. Our handbell choirs are small enough so that individual help is given there as well.

When Mr. Schultz is not teaching, he enjoys watching sports and singing in the Wausau Lyric Choir. He is also in charge of the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists and performs recitals with them.

Mr. Schultz has over 30 years of experience in Lutheran elementary education. He has an elementary education degree from Concordia University in St. Paul, with an emphasis in music. He also has a Graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater in music education. He and his wife, Ramona, live in Wausau. They have two daughters who live in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

"Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary, praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise him with trumpet sound, praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals, praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150: 1,3-6)

Jodi Langenhahn, Choir and Music

Mrs. Langenhahn teaches music class, choir, and music appreciation at Trinity. She gets to work with every student that attends Trinity and loves to teach them about Jesus through music and song. Mrs. Langenhahn hopes that all children can learn to use their voices as a tool to spread the word of God, here at school and beyond!

Mrs. Langenhahn loves teaching at Trinity because everyone is so kind! The music room is a place where students can have fun while learning and praising their Lord. Music class and choir are also places of respect, where all voices are allowed to be heard. Everyone is encouraged to do their best and learn from their mistakes.

There are many exciting musical activities that happen all year long. The students get to go caroling in winter, either on site or on tour! We do a Christmas worship service that involves singing and some acting. In the Spring, we put on a musical that had a tradition of being quite the extravaganza! In addition to these large events, all students will spend class time learning songs to be sung in Sunday worship services throughout the year. We also work with technology, instruments, and games to learn music in the classroom during weekly music classes.

When Mrs. Langenhahn is not teaching, she can probably be found at home on the farm! Family and friends are very important to her and spending time with them is a top priority! She also likes to read and craft, as well as do just about anything musical. Mrs. Langenhahn grew up in the tiny town of Marathon, not so far from Wausau. She attended school there through high school, and then attended college. She has a Bachelor of Music from UW-Stevens Point, and this will be her second year teaching at Trinity. Mrs. Langenhahn also teaches band at a parochial school in Marathon and band at WLVHS.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

Pastor Todd Van Ryn - Spanish—Grades 5K-8

Pastor Van Ryn was raised in a missionary family that served the Lord for ten years in Puerto Rico. His love and passion for God and presenting and studying the word of God began when he was 16 years old. Todd has served at Bible Camps, Retreats, and Conferences as a counselor and teacher throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. He has been married for over 25 years to his wife Sherry. They have five children, now all adults. Todd has a BA in Accounting, MBA from Concordia Wisconsin, is a CPA and spent over 17 years with a Fortune 500 company in various capacities in the US and Caribbean. He is active in Good Tidings Publishers, a ministry focused on communicating the Word of God in a variety of formats: literature, radio, youth retreats. He has been called to the ministry of 5 Loaves & 2 Fish, with bookstores in Wisconsin and Illinois.

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