I was born in Springfield, OH, and raised in Troy, OH. I graduated from Troy High School in 1995, and attended Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI. I graduated from Concordia in April of 2000 with a BA in Elementary Education, Music Education with my Lutheran Teacher Diploma. I began my educational ministry career in St. Charles, MO in January of 2000. In June of 2011, I graduated from Western Governors’ University with a Master’s Degree in Education, Biological Sciences, grades 5-12.
I have been blessed to serve all age levels in the classroom from kindergarten through seniors in high school – and now I am adding preschool. I love working with children, and love seeing them learn through exploring and hands on activities. However, MOST of all I LOVE watching children grow in their faith life through God’s word and singing His praises. That is a joy that we are blessed to experience in a Lutheran Christian school.
I am excited to be part of the CTL team, working with the teachers to support the work they do. I have been Called to serve as the Administrator, serving under Mr. Boris and Pastor Bushre. You will see me in the office and filling in wherever else there might be a need. Best of all, I will build off of the work Mr. Boris has done in our Nature Center, expanding the learning that is already happening out there.
And, yes, Pastor Bushre is my husband. We met in college and were married in September of 2001. We have 3 children: Aidan (7/31/03), Allison (10/14/05), and Declan (10/20/10).
Mrs. Stemke joined Christ the Life staff in Fall 2018 after sending her youngest off to kindergarten. She lives in Waukesha with her husband Karl and two sons, Krischan and Karsten, who both attended CTL. Having been a part of the CTL school family for several years, she recognizes the value of the nature-based learning program and outdoor classroom which is a unique offering at Christ the Life. She loves the curiosity of children and appreciates their enthusiasm. Mrs. Stemke is looking forward to helping develop and encourage each child’s curiosity and enthusiasm about learning whether it be in the classroom or outdoors. A graduate of UW-Madison, she is an avid Badger fan and loves to visit Madison. In her free time, Mrs. Stemke enjoys digging in her flower garden, playing sports in the backyard with her family and being outdoors whether it’s hiking, biking, at the beach or having fun in the snow.
I have been amazed by the nature-based program at Christ the Life. The students love to explore our forest classroom and nature trails. The outdoor learning experience is very different from learning indoors. They could spend hours outside, exploring nature and getting their hands dirty! Lessons become much more meaningful when children have the opportunity to be hands-on with their learning. Counting bird nests, sorting autumn leaves, forming letters with sticks and clay, finding real animal tracks in the snow, making bird feeders, raising Monarch butterflies, sprouting seeds…the possibilities are endless.
I also believe in letting children take charge of some of their own learning. Group lessons led by the teacher are important, but giving students the freedom to explore our classroom materials and make discoveries on their own is important as well. I do not begin the school year with every single day planned out. This gives me the flexibility to adapt my plans for my specific students and their interests.
I look forward to getting to know each student in my classes and helping them develop a love for learning!
My husband Bob and I are longtime residents of Waukesha. We have 2 grown children who are married and have families of their own. We have 6 grandchildren ranging in ages from 5 to 21. We spend much of our time attending their various activities and love the opportunity. Our 3 youngest have all been CTL students which is how I came to learn about CTL.
I retired from my full time job in May of 2018 and in the fall of 2018 was given the opportunity to join the CTL staff and become part of this amazing program. I love the kids and all their enthusiasm. It is so much fun to watch them learn and grow.
Since joining the CTL staff I have earned certificates for the Introduction to the Childcare Professional and CPR/AED.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, camping and traveling.
Typical Daily Schedule
8:15am – 8:44am Free Play
8:44am -8:47am Clean Up
8:47am – 8:48am Jesus Time/Chapel Reminders
8:48am Walk Down to Jesus Time/Chapel
8:50am Jesus Time/Chapel
9:10am Song/Movement in Classroom (on carpet)
9:15am Calendar/Weather/Story (on carpet)
9:25am Free Play/Activities/Projects/ Art
10:05am Bathroom Break
10:25am What’s Happening in the Woods?
10:35am Boots On/Outside
10:35am to 11:25am Nature Walk/Outdoor Classroom
11:25am Get Back Inside