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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)

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 Washington D.C. for seven 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 has started his work toward an online Master’s degree through Concordia University-Portland.

As a third 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.

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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