Pastor Christopher Bushre was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, to a military father (Air Force) and a mom who was a lifelong Registered Nurse, now retired. He also lived in Denver, CO, and St. Louis, MO, growing up, but considers the Detroit, MI, area his hometown.
Pastor Bushre attended college at Concordia College (now University), Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree and a double major in Biology and Religious Studies in 1998. He also met his wife, Julie, while attending there. He then went to seminary at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2003. He served as Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lyons, Nebraska, for five years, and St. John’s Lutheran Church, Geneseo, Illinois, for ten years, before being called to Christ the Life.
Pastor Bushre and Julie have been married for 19 years and have three children: son, Aidan, 17, daughter, Allison, 15, and son, Declan, 10.
In his spare time, Pastor Bushre plays the drums and a bit of guitar. He enjoys reading, watching football, and is an avid griller - Charcoal only! Never gas! :)
Early Childhood Administrator
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 our staff and supporting the work we do together. I have been Called to serve as Administrator and Preschool Teacher, so you will see me in the office, in the classroom, and helping out, wherever I can, in the STEAM Lab. One of my favorite things about Christ the Life is our Nature Center and trails! I'll continue to work at expanding and enriching the learning that is 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).
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.
STEAM Lab Assistant
I am an assistant teacher in the STEAM lab here at Christ the Life and started my journey here May of 2019. I come to work after school, so you will most likely see me when picking up your child in the afternoon.
I was born and raised right here in Waukesha. I graduated from Waukesha West High School and I'm a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, considering a degree in either Criminal Justice or Psychology. Although I am not pursuing a path in education I love being able to share fellowship with the children and enjoy doing crafts and playing with them! I have been a member of Christ the Life since I was born, as are my parents, sister and brother. I enjoy that I am able to have relationships with not only church members but also children and families of our preschool.
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.
Mrs. Van Allen joined the team at Christ the Life in August 2019. She brings with her 17 years of experience in early childhood – both in teaching and administrative roles. In fact, her first teaching position was at Christ the Life in 2002! She now enjoys working ‘behind the scenes’ to keep things running smoothly for both the church and early childhood programs.
Becki earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee and more recently completed the Early Childhood Administrator Credential. She currently lives in Waukesha with her husband, Jeff. Together, they enjoy fishing, boating, and gardening.