Insights @ Faith Lutheran

New Faces at Faith

Posted by Mai Choy on Aug 7, 2018 5:30:00 AM

The first day of school is almost here!  Meet our new teachers in middle school and high school and learn about why they are awesome.


Jostes - Picture (1)

Mr. Steve Jostes will teach Biology and Marine/Desert Biology and coach in the Football program.  He moved to Las Vegas with his wife Jordan and two dogs, Mason and Trudy.  Previously, Mr. Jostes lived in Concordia, Missouri where he taught at Saint Paul Lutheran High School.  “If any of my new students were to visit Concordia, they should definitely eat at Cree-Mee Freeze, a quintessential small town fast food place.”  Mr. Jostes attended Concordia University in Seward, NE where he studied Biology, Geography.  He returned after graduation and earned his degree in Secondary Education.  “Many of the professors I had there loved what they were teaching but also made it a point to get to know their students.  They also taught in a way that made learning the course content fun.  The way two of my professors taught in particular led me to return and get my teaching degree.”  “I enjoy hunting, fishing, watching sports (mostly football but I'm already a Knights fan!).  My wife and I enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, rock climbing, and trying new food."  When asked what he looked forward to in Vegas Mr. Jostes said, “I'm just excited to be a part of the Faith Family!  There's also a lot of Asian restaurants here and opportunities to get outside, which is pretty neat.”

IMG_4474-682220-editedAly Ivins

Ms. Aly Ivins comes to us from Lincoln, NE where she taught at Lincoln Northeast High School last year.  “I absolutely love football season in Lincoln.  If you ever visit you need to go to a Cornhusker football game, there really is nothing quite like it.”  This year she will teach Geometry, Algebra 2, and Math Lab.  She attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL) and received a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Math Education and just received a Masters of Arts in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education.  “One of the biggest influences on my life during college was my professor Lorraine.  She has really shaped my beliefs about teaching and allowed me to explore into all different solutions to help students become the best they can be.  I wouldn't be the teacher I am today without her influence.”  Ms. Ivins loves to travel!  She backpacked across Europe right after college and this past summer went to Thailand with her sister and parents.  She has been to over 30 states and hope to get to all 50 at some point.  Another fun fact about Ms. Ivins was that she was a competitive ice skater growing up and coached ice skating in Lincoln for the past six years!  “I'm looking forward to being part of Lutheran education again.  I grew up in a Lutheran church and attended a Lutheran elementary/middle school and then a Christian high school.  Going to a public university and teaching at a public school has been a great experience for me, but I can't wait to get back into the Lutheran community.”

SUSI LEASuz Lexi cropped

Ms. Susi Lea will teach Spanish 1 and Spanish 3 for Faith Lutheran this year.  Her oldest son James is a Faith Lutheran grad and her son Matthew is now a Faith Faithful in the making.  Her passion for language began at home as her father spoke four languages at that time and had mastered seven by the age of seventy.  With a degree in Spanish through University of Madrid, Spain, and an additional major in Communication from University of Maryland, she traveled the world as an international business specialist, working with the Spanish Consulate in Spain, the New York City Board of Education, the French art world, and Japanese corporate and media spheres to enhance commerce and industry for all four countries.  “My passion for teaching was ignited when my own children were born.  I have taught in many exciting settings since then, and have dedicated my life to paying forward the incredible instruction and creativity that I was given throughout my life to my students.  I am deeply involved with our Las Vegas community families as well...especially those in the Spanish/Hispanic communities.”  Ms. Lea likes growing and changing.  She is always seeking out wisdom, deeper philosophy at church, and growth through her kids, students, and work team.  “I love Faith Lutheran, and I am excited to be part of this forward-thinking and dynamic school.  I have been an involved parent for five years now.  I am close to many of my boys' teachers and look forward to getting to know them better.  My life has been devoted to children.  I hope to inspire them and share with them this incredible portal to creativity, happiness, and creativity.” 


 6709_10154003037844684_1474860505446272535_nMelissa Sundquist

Mrs. Melissa Sundquist will teach Faith I and Faith 2 in the high school!  Her family includes Emma Jane, Cosette Michelle, Amy Jo, Dug a black lab, Nico a black cat and her husband, Pastor Bob.  She attended Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School from 7th grade (before Faith offered 6th grade) through her senior year.  “Mr. Fogo was my Biology and Anatomy teacher and one of the most memorable moments was when he had us jump rope with a cat's intestines during our dissection.  Ms. Krafft taught me how to tackle an essay (she truly made college SO much easier to get through).  Ms. Heimlich gave me a love for literature (notice all three of my daughters are named after literary characters).  Mr. Nagel gave me an appreciation for history, especially the importance of current events.  Mrs. Washington helped hold my hand throughout school and was a force of encouragement and strength.  Mrs. Harper taught me geography and always had a tough-love-no-nonsense policy that demanded respect and made you feel truly cared for and safe.  To name all the teachers who impacted my life would need multiple volumes.”  She attended Concordia University in Irvine, CA and studied Theology and earned a Masters Degree in Education from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO.  Some fun facts about Mrs. Sundquist are that she is a self proclaimed nerd that reads at least one-two books a week.  She LOVES hockey and the Golden Knights and also LOVES the University of Kentucky Wildcat's basketball.  “Being at Faith is a culmination of coming home and arriving at the place I've been working to get to since graduate school.  I swore I would NEVER be a teacher, but when you grow up in Faith Lutheran's ministry the pull is too great not to give back what others have inspired in you to give...I don't take myself too seriously; however, the passion and dedication I pour into my students is immeasurable.”

 Bob Sundquist

Pastor Bob Sundquist will teach Old Testament in the middle school.  You might also recognize him from Faith Community Lutheran Church!  He has three wonderful daughters one dog and one cat and one awesome wife!  Pastor Sundquist grew up in Arizona but has most recently moved here from Coeur d'Alene Idaho.  He attended Concordia University Irvine and also Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  Some of his favorite activities include spending time with his family, reading books,  going to art galleries, and listening to music.  (Ask him about his home library!)  Pastor Sundquist is most excited about reading the Bible and talking about its perspective on things with each student.  His favorite pastimes usually involve singing obnoxiously loud in the car.


Bernie Preston

Mr. Bernie Preston is most excited about teaching at a faith based school.  He earned a Secondary Ed/Mathematics major and minor in Vocational Education from UNLV, MED in Technology in Education from Lesley University, and MED in Secondary Ed Administration from Jones International University.  This year he will teach Graphic Design, Computer Science Fundamentals, and Explore Pre-Robotics.  For the past 30 years, Mr. Preston has served in the CCSD at Palo Verde High School.  He enjoys drawing, working with micro-controllers, going to the gym, walking/hiking, and spending time with his wife Maria Preston.  Mr. Preston served in the US Air Force and has coached women's soccer for 12 years in both club and high school programs.  His best soccer memory thus far was when he coached Centennial High School to two regional final games and one undefeated season earning State Champions in 2007.  


Christian and Caitlin Egger_storage_emulated_0_Pictures_Christian_received_10211978353600639-861387-edited

We welcome Mr. Christian Egger and his wife, Mrs. Caitlin Egger to Faith!  Many will remember Mr. Egger as a student teacher last year in the middle school.  He joins us this year for high school Biology and Chemistry.  Mrs. Egger comes to us from Trinity Lutheran School in Hoffman, IL and will teach Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.  They both attended Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska and graduated with degrees in Secondary Education and Lutheran Teaching.  Mr. Egger received an endorsement in Science and a minor in Spanish and Mrs. Egger received an endorsement in Math.  Their favorite things include working out, playing video games, and hiking (Mr. Egger) and watching movies, crafting, and baking (Mrs. Egger). You can find them both playing and watching sports!


Mike Bartholomew

Mr. Mike Bartholomew comes to us from Oak Creek, Wisconsin with his wife, Diana.  They have two sons, Beau (26) and Brett (23) and their Australian Terrier/guard dog, Thor.  To those wanting to visit Oak Creek, he recommends going to Kopp’s Frozen Custard or Leon’s!  Mr. Bartholomew graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 1986 with a degree in Education.  He will teach Finance and Investing in the high school.  Mr. Bartholomew enjoys anything to do with football as he has coached for the last 34 years.  By moving to Las Vegas, he looks forward to the new chapter and adventure in warm weather!


image_6483441-657163-editedEMILY SMELTZER 

Ms. Emily Smeltzer joins us for 8th Grade Physical Science this year after teaching science at an all boys high school in Warren, Michigan just outside of Detroit.  She attended Concordia University Ann Arbor where she earned a degree in Secondary Education for Science.  One of her best memories from that time was a trip to London with her class.  She enjoys watching movies, traveling, reading books, ice skating, playing volleyball and pretty much anything that involves being outside!  "I am very excited to get to know the Las Vegas area and discover all the fun things it has to offer.  I am also very excited to get to know and teach the students of this wonderful establishment!"




Melissa Wandelimage1-880755-edited

Mrs. Melissa Wandel will teach Language, Literature, and Social Studies for our 6th grade students.  She is married to Robert and has two children: Robby and Christian.  They also have a sweet golden retriever named Luke!  Mrs. Wandel was born and raised in Las Vegas and received her undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and her master's degree from UNLV.  “I love to read and spend time with my family and friends and I am looking forward to being back in Lutheran ministry where I can praise Jesus everyday.”  Mrs. Wandel’s favorite color is red and she cannot live without her morning cup of coffee!



IMG_0721-721370-editedDarius Chapman

Mr. Dr. Darius "Bo" Chapman will serve in the high school as a Theology teacher for Faith II & III.  He recently moved from Macomb, MI with his wife April of 14 years and daughter Mallory and son Mason.  Mr. Chapman served as the Director of Student Ministries at St. Peter Lutheran Church and School for over 11 years.  He attended The University of Texas at Tyler and received a Doctorate in Human Resource Development and his Director of Christian Education certification through Concordia University Texas.  Having both academic and practical experience from the business sector, as well as, the religious sector, Mr. Chapman is a firm believer that the best of the church has something to offer to the business world and vice versa.  “We can continue to learn from others which helps us to grow both personally and corporately.”  He loves listening to music (especially 80's hair bands) and attending concerts, travel with his family, and enjoys ending the evening with a really good book. “My heart is to be faithful to the calling that God has placed upon my life. Having the opportunity to teach students and impact their lives, as well as the lives of their families with the good news of Jesus Christ, motivates me every day.  It will be a joy to teach, encourage, challenge, and grow spiritually with those all around me.  I'm passionate about serving my Lord and Savior.  I desire to be more like Him each and every day.  You will find that I'm honest, loving, and ... usually walking down the hall humming a random song (out of tune).”


Vince CannitoIMG_1078 (1)-906630-edited

Mr. Vince Cannito will serve Faith Lutheran as the new Intro to Law Enforcement teacher.  He is married and has two daughters who both graduated from Faith Lutheran.  Mr. Cannito attended UNLV where he received a degree in Criminal Justice and is a retired Captain with LVMPD.  He enjoys motorcycle riding and woodworking and looks forward to interacting with students and co-workers in a Christian atmosphere.  Everyone should know that he is a fan of John Wayne and the NY Yankees.




Joshua Bonet

Mr. Joshua Bonet will teach AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and a Trigonometry/Probability/Statistics Hybrid class this year at Faith Lutheran.  He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and cat and working on his tutoring business, Jiu Jitsu and training in the gym, hiking, and talking on the phone.  Mr. Bonet previously taught in Puerto Rico at Equipo Academy Charter School.  He attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus for a Bachelor's in Pure Mathematics and the University of South Dakota for a Master's in Applied Mathematics.   He is most excited by the fact that he will be working with amazing students.  All of his future students should know that he hates cheating, racism, stereotypes and politics.  “I love helping people achieve their own greatness.”  






Mrs. Lyndsay Ermeling joins us from Gilbert, Arizona with her husband Ryan (married 20 years), daughters Lexi (17), Tessa (14), and Grace (5) and Goldendoodle, Luther.  In Arizona she served as the Director of Contemporary Worship at Christ's Greenfield Lutheran Church and the Vocal Music/Theater Director at the school.  Mrs. Ermeling will oversee all middle school and high school choirs and teach Musical Theater 1 and 2.  She is a graduate of Concordia University Irvine where she earned a major in Secondary Music Education with a Choral Conducting emphasis and a minor in English.  “For me, the family atmosphere in my performance ensembles and theatrical productions made a profound impression on me about the COMMUNITY created by the arts: many varied people coming together to create something larger than themselves, something they could not accomplish on their own.  So very much like the body of Christ!”  Her hobbies include any and all time with her family, travel (especially anywhere tropical!), dinner dates with her husband, healthy cooking, working out, any kind of live performance, and binge reading Tom Clancy novels.  “I can't wait to be part of a dynamic arts team!  Faith seems to be a place where, if you dream it, you can do it!  I think that the sky is the limit for the talented students in the Vocal Music Program - Jesus has BIG plans for it!"  All students should know that Mrs. Ermeling loves brussel sprouts (she eats them for breakfast) and that she LOVES Jesus.


5972-504277-editedEfrain Rene

Mr. Efrain Rene has joined the Faith Family to teach Geometry and Math Lab.  He loves his wife and two daughters more than anything in the world.  His youngest daughter is only 7 months old!  Before coming to Faith, Mr. Rene worked at Somerset Sky Pointe as math teacher and Athletic Director.  He studied Mathematics at Montclair State University.  "Someone helped me in life, now I do the same to help others.  I look forward to helping students enjoy math."  Mr. Rene loves to play basketball and going to the movies.  






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Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School strives to be the standard of excellence for Christian schools around the world. In addition, our mission statement is Everyone Prepared! Everyone Saved!  Insights @ Faith Lutheran gives you a glimpse into what we do and why we do it.  Subscribe to learn about our unique programs, best practices, and awesome students.  


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