- Executive Director,
taught: Theology, Biblical
Mr. Duensing graduated in 1991
from Concordia University,
Seward, Nebraska, earning a
Bachelor of Science degree in
Education with endorsements in
History and Theology. He
continues his graduate work in
through Concordia University,
Prior to coming to
Christ Our Rock, Mr. Duensing
began his teaching career at
Springfield (Illinois) Lutheran
High School in 1992, and served
there until 2011. In his twenty
plus years of service he taught a
variety of classes, coached
several sports, and served as
Freshman Counselor and Special
Needs Coordinator. He was
appointed principal in 2007 and
served at that post until he
accepted the call to Christ Our
Rock in 2011.
Mr. Duensing and
his wife live in Hoffman with
their three children. They are
members of Trinity Lutheran
Church in Hoffman.
“Your word is a lamp to my
feet and a light to my path.”
taught: American History, Comparative Religions, Church History, Western Civilization; National Honor Society advisor; Student Leadership Team co-advisor; WYSE coach; faculty assistant,
L.I.F.T. mentoring program.
Mr. Pennington holds a Bachelor of Art degree in History and Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Southern Illinois University, and a Master of Arts in Education degree from Greenville College. He completed the LCMS Colloquy program and became a rostered Lutheran educator in February, 2010.
Mr. Pennington is noted for turning his classroom into an extraordinary "museum" of historical
realia. His ability to make history come alive makes his classes unique.
Prior to education, he spent over 15 years working for the Morning Sentinel daily newspaper. In addition to serving as a news photographer, he wrote feature articles.
Mr. Pennington resides in Centralia with his wife Michelle and daughter,
Trecie. They are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Centralia.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Cole - Director Student
taught: Civics & Citizenship, Geography,
Christian Leadership, Modern U.S. History, Sociology, Psychology,
Co-Advisor Student Leadership Team, Co-Advisor L.I.F.T. Peer
Miss Cole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Eastern Illinois University. She is also certified in
Social Studies, and has an English/Language Arts endorsement.
Prior to coming to Christ Our Rock,
she taught at Centralia Junior High School and substituted at various local schools.
In her classroom, critical thinking, creativity and
hands-on learning activities are emphasized. For example, in
Civics the students create their own political parties and hold mock
elections. She uses her passion and sense of humor to bring the
information to life.
Miss Cole resides in rural Centralia. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoffman where she teaches Sunday school.
Her overall goal is to help the students achieve a positive relationship with Christ, encourage them to think critically and to lead them on the right career path.
A verse Miss Cole lives her life by is...
looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with
God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
Curt Fischer was born in Jamestown,
ND, raised in California, and graduated from Concordia Teachers College, Seward,
NE, and earned his MA from St. Cloud State.
He has coached baseball,
softball, boy's basketball, girl's basketball, football, and track. He has
been an administrator for 22 years, 15 as head administrator of a school.
Mr. Fischer has dealt with many calls and accepted several in his efforts to spread
Lutheran secondary education. Schools at which Curt has served include the following:
Concordia Academy, St. Paul, MN, 1969-1974, Valley Lutheran HS, St. Charles, IL 1974-79,Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School, Sheboygan, WI, 1979-1991; First
Lutheran School, Ft. Smith, AR, 1991-92; Mayer Lutheran High School, Mayer, MN,1992-1996; Christ Lutheran High School, Buckley, IL, 1996-2000;
Heartland Lutheran High School, Grand Island, NE 2000-2008; Lutheran High
School, Springfield, IL 2008-2011; Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School 2012-present.
Mr. Fischer has been
married to his wife Jean for 40 years. Curt and Jean have two sons, Adam, 27, of Grand Island and Paul,25, of Springfield.
“Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do
not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.”
Edler - School Secretary
School receptionist, does
payroll, bills, maintains
attendance, lunch and tuition
records, does the ordering,
filing, mailings, copying and
Edler's smiling face is the
first thing most people see when
they enter Christ Our Rock, and
her voice is the first one heard
when calling the
She has been a part
of the Christ Our Rock team for
nearly 6 years, and has been an
active member of the Auction
committee during that
time. Prior to working at
CORLHS Mrs. Edler worked
as school secretary at Sandoval Grade School.
She was a stay-at-home mom for 8
years before that.
"I have seen the school enrollment grow from 32 to 80 and can’t wait to see what next year brings!"
says Mrs Edler. "It’s great having a very nice office to work in and nice people to work with."
Mrs. Edler and her
husband Dwayne live near Hoffman with
their daughters Amber and Shannon. Her daughter Amber graduated from CORLHS in 2009, and daughter Shannon
is currently a freshman there.
Their oldest daughter, Mallory, is
married and has one child. The Edlers are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoffman.
“Be strong and courageous. Do
not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes
with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy
all fundraisers and
communications, assists with development
work & serves as
administrative assistant to the
Mrs. Kroeger graduated from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. For 11 years she worked as a Social Worker until she decided to stay at home with her children as a stay at home mom for the next 11 years.
For the past five years, however, she has worked part time as School Custodian at Trinity Lutheran School in Hoyleton which she continues to do while serving as the Assistant at CORLHS.
She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the CORLHS team. She looks forward to watching the school grow and see God’s awesome work with the students, staff, parents and community.
Mrs. Kroeger lives in Hoffman with her husband, Bob, and their two children, Mitchell, a sophomore at CORLHS, and Madylin, a 6th grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Hoyleton. She is a member, and Sunday School teacher, at Trinity Lutheran Church in
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1
Heard - Teacher
taught: English 1-4, Yearbook
Heard teaches all of the English
classes at Christ Our Rock, and
has taught here since the year
the school opened.
She serves as faculty advisor to the
CORLHS Yearbook, and was
previously the coach of the girls' volleyball
She earned a Bachelor
of Arts degree in English from
McKendree University, and a Master of
Arts in English from Southern
Before coming to teach at Christ
Our Rock, Mrs. Heard worked as a
professional Technical Writer in
St. Louis. She also was an Adjunct
English Instructor at Kaskaskia
Mrs. Heard is known
affectionately to her students
for her calm, professional
teaching style. She is
also known for her vast
collection of photos of Christ
Our Rock students and
She lives in Centralia with her
husband, Lyndon, and her two
children, Adam and Nolan.
Nolan will be in the 6th grade next year and Adam will be a freshman at
Christ Our Rock.
be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with
God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality”
Kasten - Teacher, Coach
taught: Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, Life Management, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology
Mr. Kasten is known to students as
Mr. Kasten FT, to
distinguish himself from his
father, Steve, who teaches
part-time (PT) at CORLHS.
He teaches a wide
assortment of classes to
students in all four years of
He is a graduate of Concordia University, Seward,
Nebraska, in 2004, earning a
Bachelor's Degree in Education,
with a minor in Math and
Biology, and his Lutheran Teaching
Mr. Kasten is
respected by his students for
maintaining high expectations in
each of his classes. In
addition to his teaching duties
he assists the students and
administration with numerous
He lives in Hoffman with his wife, Francee, a teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Centralia. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Elena Ferris and Evelyn Grace.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:4-6
Freels - Teacher
taught: Physical Education,
teaches Physical Education and Driver's
Education at Christ Our
Rock. But he is equally
known for the many special meals
he cooks for the special
events at Christ Our Rock and
elsewhere in the Centralia area.
He has a
Bachelor's degree in Education
from Eastern Illinois
University, with a major in Physical Education
and minor in Driver's
Education. He taught at
Centralia Grade School for 3
years, and 29
years at Centralia High School.
Mr. Freels is widely
known for his accomplishments as
a college tennis player and for
many years as tennis coach on
both the high school and Junior
College levels. In 2002 he
was elected to the Centralia
Sports Hall of Fame, and in
2008 to the Kaskaskia College
Sports Hall of Fame.
He and his wife Nancy, a
CHS teacher, reside in Centralia
and are members of Trinity
Lutheran Church, Centralia.
They are the parents of Blake
and Lindsey, graduates of
Centralia High School.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Wicklander - Teacher
taught: Concepts of Art, Art & Society, Portfolio
Mrs. Wicklander graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art with a minor in Communications.
In her art classes she encourages students to express themselves while developing their technical art skills. She encourages them to communicate through images and to present their work in a professional manner.
CORLHS students have the opportunity to experience a variety of art projects, covering a range of topics such as history, advertising, social issues, and art in the church. She provides them with opportunities to participate in area art exhibits.
Outside of school Mrs. Wicklander is a member of the Clinton County Art Guild, where she takes part in organizing classes, exhibitions and competitions for area artists. She also works at the Angie Siddell Agency of American Family Insurance.
Mrs. Wicklander and her husband Carl live in Nashville, where they are members of Trinity Lutheran Church.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
Griffin - Teacher
taught: Spanish 1-2-3-4, Web
Design 1 & 2, Computer
Applications 1 & 2; IT/Technology Coordinator
Griffin teaches all the Spanish
and Computer classes. He
also manages the school's
technology systems and
coordinates technology training
for the students and
staff. He has a Bachelor's
Degree from McKendree College
and Master's Degree from
Southern Illinois University,
Prior to coming to
Christ Our Rock, Griffin taught
high school Spanish and History
for 29 years in Centralia,
Olney, and Wood River. He
taught evening college classes
for 15 years at Centralia
Correctional Center and 3 years
at Olney Central
For several years
he was a business owner and
worked with orphanages in
Central America. He
currently is owner of Illinois
Websites, a web design
Mr. Griffin and his
wife Judy, a local realtor, live
in Centralia and are members of
Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is the father of 8
children and 2 step-children and
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Kasten - Teacher
taught: Agricultural Science, FFA faculty advisor,
Director of Drama Program
Mr. Kasten (part time), father of fellow CORLHS teacher Ben Kasten (full time), teaches the Agricultural courses, is the faculty advisor to the FFA, and is the director of the school's drama productions. He also teaches 7th and 8th grade science and social studies at Trinity Lutheran, Hoyleton.
Kasten graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1973, with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. For nearly 30 years he worked for the Illinois Department of Agriculture as a Chemist in the Veterinary Toxicology Department at the Animal Disease Laboratory. Following that, he was employed by the Clinton County Extension working primarily in the areas of livestock and environmental issues.
He lives on and operates the family farm near Hoyleton. He and his wife Marge have three children and 6 grandchildren.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Teacher, Athletic Director, Coach
Algebra, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Pre - Calculus, PE;
assistant soccer coach
Mr. Thomack, graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin in 2011, is in his second year of teaching and coaching.
At CUW, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Lutheran Secondary Education Mathematics, and participated in
Concordia's Men's soccer team all four years.
This year at Christ Our Rock he teaches math and physical education. In addition to
his classroom responsibilities he also serves as Christ Our Rock's Athletic Director and assistant soccer coach.
Mr. Thomack was born and raised in Litchfield, IL and lives in Centralia with his wife, Katy, a nurse at Good Samaritan in Mt. Vernon.
Mr. Thomack says this about teaching at Christ Our Rock, "My wife and I feel blessed to serve the Lord here at this wonderful school."
“Have I not commanded you? Be
strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord
your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
- Teacher, Coach
taught: Band, Choir, HSM
Mr. Hunt teaches Band, Choir, and HSM, which is an extra-curricular performing ensemble that rehearses before school. He also teaches 5-8 band at Trinity Centralia, Trinity Hoffman, and TSJ in Nashville.
He graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education.
Prior to coming to Christ Our Rock, Mr. Hunt was the Assistant Band Director and Choir Director at Granite City High School in Granite City, Illinois.
This year Mr. Hunt has
added Assistant Golf Coach to his list
of duties, which also include Assistant
Mr. Hunt lives in Centralia.
“For I can do everything
through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians
Trout - Teacher
taught: Biology, Chemistry
graduated from Southern Illinois
University, Carbondale, in
2011. She earned a
bachelor's degree in education
with a major in Biology.
She has enjoyed science since
she was in grade school enjoys
teaching Biology and Chemistry
at Christ Our Rock.
She was born in
Centralia and grew up on a farm
in Waltonville. She now
lives with her husband and
little boy in Woodlawn.
This is Mrs.
Trout's first year of teaching
and she is looking forward to
being part of the Christ Our
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
taught: Senior Theology
Pastor Scott Niermann was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Following graduation he was commissioned into the United States Air Force. He was on active duty for 10 years and achieved the rank of Captain.
After leaving the Air Force he began studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and graduated in 2008.
He was called to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ferrin, Illinois later that year and has served as their pastor since.
Pastor Niermann and his wife Kathy have five children.
“Very truly I tell you,
whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and
will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Shaffer - Coach
Shaffer has served as Christ Our
Rock's head boys basketball
coach for 9 years. He also
coaches boy's baseball, and
became golf coach in Fall 2010.
Mike graduated from
Sandoval High School in
1972. He was a member of
the baseball and basketball
teams all 4 years.
He has coached
various baseball and basketball
teams for over 30
years. In addition, he has
been a basketball and baseball
Mr. Shaffer and his
wife have been married for over
38 years. They reside in
Sandoval where they are members
of St. Lawrence Catholic
They are the
parents of 3 grown children;
Jason, Jill, and Julie.
They have 5 grandsons; Jordan,
Jacob, Jadon, Tristen, and Ethan.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a
man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” Proverbs 27:17
Kleiboeker - Coach
Susan is the mother of
senior CORLHS cheerleader, Bethany, here at COR.
Mrs Kleiboeker has been involved with dance since she was a small child and has taught dance at Studio 50 for the past 18 years.
Mrs. Kleiboeker is also a certified teacher and works as the Agriculture Literacy Coordinator for Clinton and Marion County.
In this capacity she travels to various schools in both counties
to teach about agriculture and conservation of our earth.
Coach Kleiboeker has lived in the area
over 20 years and has 3 daughters. The
oldest daughter, Corinne, a senior at
SIUE, is co-coaching the cheer squad along side her mother.
She has 6 years of experience as a cheerleader and many years of dance training as well.
Susan, her husband Mark and daughters attend church
at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ferrin.
The two Kleiboeker coaches are very excited to be working with the girls on the squad and Christ Our Rock students and staff. It's a great place for everyone to feel the love of God and share it with others.
“People were also
bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the
disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 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
Dunavan served as Christ
Our Rock's assistant soccer
coach until becoming head coach
this year. He has coached
different soccer programs over
the past 10 years, from
kinder-soccer through the high
Dean attended Rend
Lake College and served six
years in the military. For
the past 20 years he has been
employed by Walgreens.
Mr. Dunavan and his
wife Loretta have been married
for 23 years. They have
two children, Mariah, a
sophomore at CORLHS, and
Abigail, a 6th grader at Rome
you do, do it all to the glory
of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
Mrs. Lape, who has served as the coach for the Lady Stallions volleyball team following
Patti Heard’s leave of absence, is passionate about the game of volleyball.
Prior to coaching at Christ Our Rock, Lape assisted the coaching staff at Trinity Lutheran Grade School in Centralia, during which the team won the LSA state tournament. She coached sports camps for several summers at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Coach Lape’s playing experience dates back prior to rally serving, liberos and a plethora of other rule changes. She was a setter and defensive specialist. Her husband lured her into a relationship by inviting her to be on the church league team and with a bag of Oreos constantly in the cupboard.
In addition to volleyball coach, Lape has served as an assistant cook at Trinity Lutheran Grade School in Centralia, a cake decorator and dessert specialist, a cabinetry designer , draftsman and a homemaker. She enjoys her new role, loves the girls she coaches, and has supported Christ Our Rock since its inception.
Mrs. Lape lives with her husband and children in the country near Patoka and attends Trinity Lutheran Church in Centralia. All of her children attended Christ Our Rock LHS.
"Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. Remember that you will get your reward from the Lord. He will give you what you should receive. You are working for the Lord Christ."
Kueper - Coach
Mr. Kueper is making his High School Basketball coaching debut at CORLHS.
He takes over the squad from former Head Coach Chad Knolhoff.
Dan is a 2000 graduate from Carlyle High School and a 2002
graduate of Kaskaskia College. Over the last 13 years Coach Kueper
has headed the youth basketball program in Carlyle, working with grades
3-6. He has also had a brief 2-year stint at Carlyle Jr. High
School before resigning from the position in 2008l
Since 2004 Dan has owned and operated the Carlyle Lake Golf
Course with his twin brother Don.
"As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”
1 Samuel 17:48-49