Living To Serve Him

Each member of our staff is genuinely dedicated to your spiritual journey. Our emphasis is always on the hope we have in Christ, and on sharing the good news of the gospel in our everyday lives. Our staff includes people of all backgrounds who are connected to our community of believers at Cross and they call us to grow in faith together.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Meet Our School Staff

Susan Lopez


Susan Lopez

-Graduated from Concordia College St. Paul, MN in 1975 with a B.A. in education

-Working on her M.A. in School Leadership from Concordia University, River Forest in 2001

-First call was to Trinity Lutheran Sauk Rapids, MN to teach grade one

-In 1976 a call from Cross to teach grades 1-3 was received

-A new call was issued in 1987 to be principal and teacher at Cross

-Called to full-time principal in 2002

-Sue has served as secretary for NID Principals’ Conference

-Accreditation Visitor Team Member

-Member of the NID Teacher|s Conference Arrangements Committee

-Enjoys traveling

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 

Candy Nolan

School Secretary 

Candy Nolan

-Graduated from Concordia, River Forest in 1984 with a B.S. degree in Computer Science

-Have been truly blessed with a wonderful husband, Jim and two great children, David and Katie

-Been a part of the Cross family since 1997

-Joined Cross staff as part time School Secretary in 2006

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions; it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 

Laura Laesch

School Secretary 

Laura Laesch

-Married Jim in 1971

-Mother of 4, and grandma of 6

-Missionary with Lutheran Bible Translators in Liberia for 13 years

-Joined Cross staff as part time School Secretary in August of 2006

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 

Jeffrey S. Hahn

8th Grade Homeroom Teacher, 5th-8th Math & Athletic Director 

Jeffrey S. Hahn

-Graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI, 1989, with a B.S. in Education

-Joined Cross School Staff in 1989

-Athletic Director and coaches basketball

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16 

Kamela Stone

7th Grade Homeroom Teacher, 5th-8th Grade Science Teacher

Kamela Stone

-Earned a B.A. in Education from Concordia University, Seward, NE, 1998

-Joined Cross in 1998

-Volleyball Coach, Girls Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director

“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. 

Amy Kowalyczyk

6th Grade Teacher

Amy Kowalyczyk

– Attended Cross for grades K-8

– Graduate of Concordia Chicago with a degree in Lutheran Elementary Education in 2009

– Enjoys using technology in the classroom

– Married her husband Derek in 2011

-Taught Kindergarten at St. Paul Lutheran School in New Orleans for 4 years and a 3rd/4th Grade class at St. Luke’s in Montgomery IL for 2.5 years

– Stephen Minister

– LERT Volunteer

– Enjoys volunteering at Caring Hands Thrift Shop and going on mission trips

– In her spare time she enjoys reading reading and working out.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for well-being and not trouble, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

Karen R. Schumm

6th Grade Homeroom Teacher, 5th-8th Grade English Teacher, Spring Musical Director 

Karen R. Schumm

-Earned Associate Degree at Concordia College, Ann Arbor, MI., 1978; B.A. in Education at Concordia University, River Forest, IL, 1981; M.S. Ed. at Northern Illinois University, 1994

-Joined Cross staff in 1980

-Currently involved as Winterim Coordinator, Scripture Reader, and Director of 5th-8th Grade Musical

-Served 3 years as a member of the Peru Mission Team

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

Mary Neyer

5th grade Homeroom Teacher, 5th-8th grade Reading Teacher 

Mary Neyer

-Attended Concordia St. Paul, MN for two years and graduated with a B.A. in Education from Concordia River Forest, IL in 1989 with emphasis in Youth Ministry

-Married to Gary and blessed together with 3 sons, Joshua, Jacob & Jonathan

-Trained Stephens Minister

“He came to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many people.” Mark 10:45 

Sonya Lutze

4th grade Teacher 

Sonya Lutze

-Earned a B.A. in Education from Concordia University, Seward, NE, in 1996

-Taught at Zion (Matteson, IL) from 1996-1999 and St. Luke’s (Montgomery, IL) from 1999-2004

-Joined Cross Staff in July of 2004

-Family Reading Night Coordinator and 3rd & 4th grade Choir Director

-Director of Cross Cares Program

“He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress. I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:2 

Barb Pinnow

3rd Grade Teacher 

Barb Pinnow

-Ms. Pinnow earned a B.A. in 1984 and M.S. Education in 1994 from Concordia University, River Forest, IL

-Joined Cross staff in 1984

-NID Teacher’s Conference Presenter

-Enjoys gardening and quilting

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 

Miriam Ulrich

2nd grade Teacher 

Miriam Ulrich

-Earned a B.S. in Education from Concordia University, River Forest, IL, in 2002

-Joined Cross Staff in August of 2002

-Is the Director of the 1st/2nd Grade and 5th-8th Grade Choir

-Enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family.

“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 

Alissa Bocek

1st Grade Teacher 

Alissa Bocek

-Graduated from Concordia University River Forest, IL in December 2005 with a BA in Elementary Education

-Been a life long disciple of Cross Church

-Married to Josh, and mother to Colin, Liam, Carter & Lainey

-Joined Cross Staff in 2006

-Coached Volleyball

“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers; to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ|| Ephesians 4:11-12 

Jessi Fisher

1st Grade Teacher 

Jessi Fisher

-Graduated from Concordia University, River Forest, IL in 2000 with a double major , B.A. in Elementary Education and D.C.E. (Director of Christian Education)

-Has taught both in the public and Lutheran school systems, with last call being at St. Paul, Chicago, IL

-Joined Cross staff in 2015 , started worshiping at Cross in 2012

-Happily married to Nathan, with three boys: Elijah (2003), Caleb (2005) and Ephraim (2007)

-Enjoys running, exercise classes, spending time with friends and family, and outdoor activities

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 

Karen L. Biermann – Miller

Kindergarten Teacher 

Karen L. Biermann – Miller

-Earned B.A. in Education from Concordia College, St Paul, MN, 1987 and M.S. Ed. from Northern Illinois University, 1992

-Joined Cross staff in 1987

-Children’s Choir Director, Spring Musical Director

-Praise Team Member

-Swim Instructor

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

Alicia Gauss

Preschool Teacher 

Alicia Gauss

-Graduated from Concordia University, Wisconsin in 1999, with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education

-Married husband Erik, in 2000

-Mom to three girls: Isabel (2003), Amelia (2005), and Olivia (2007)

-Taught preschool at St. Mark in Houston, TX.; Grace in St. Petersburg, FL; and directed St. Paul’s Early Childhood Center in Des Peres, MO

-Joined Cross when Erik became Pastor of Discipleship in October 2006

-Praise Team Member

-Serves as Nursery Director

“..neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 

Cathy Schmeckpeper

Preschool Teacher 

Cathy Schmeckpeper

-Graduated from Concordia University, River Forest, IL in 1997 with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education

-Taught second grade in Chicago Heights, IL and preschool in Naperville, IL

-Joined Cross staff in 2015

-Married to Ryan, mother to three boys (Jack, Logan and Maxwell)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 

Hillary Weis

Preschool Teacher 

Hillary Weis

-Graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2002 with a BA Degree in Elementary Education

-Studied at AIU Online and graduated in December 2005 with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction

-Currently spends her days when not here at Cross spending time with her husband, Mike, and four children, Analise, Vivienne, Rainer, and Evangeline

-Joined Cross staff as Part-time Preschool Teacher in August 2016

-Interests are in reading, gardening, and crafting

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 

Kimberly Robbins

Preschool Teacher

Kimberly Robbins

– Graduated from Aurora University with a BA in Elementary Education in 2004

– Married a wonderful husband Ken in Oct. 2005, and blessed with two beautiful daughters, Laci and Emily

– Previously taught Preschool for 6 years at the YMCA.

– Joined the Cross teaching staff in August of 2012

“Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

Jessica Mouis

Special Ed Teacher 

Jessica Mouis

-Graduate from Concordia University in Seward, NE in December 2000 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a Specialty in Special Education

-Called to Lutheran Special Education Ministries (LSEM) of Chicago in January 2001 and placed here at Cross Lutheran School, Yorkville and at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Aurora. During my time with LSEM, I also worked at Bethany Lutheran in Naperville in the fall of 2001 while continuing on at Cross Lutheran School.

-Called to Cross Lutheran School full time in August of 2005

-Coordinator of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for the school

-Married and mother of three

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 

Meet the Church Staff