Our Faculty

  Our Faculty  
    Pastor Joel Free
  • Joel Free graduated Martin Luther College  in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He continued his education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and graduated in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree. 

    During his time at WLS, he served as a vicar under Pastor Luke Were at Peace Lutheran Church in Sun Prairie, WI from 2009-2010. On July 24, 2011 he was installed and ordained as a pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church, in New Lisbon, WI.  He served there from 2011-2017. 

    In August of 2017 he was installed as pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Ixonia, WI and currently serves there. 
    Principal Jon Lindemann
  • Jon was raised in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin as part of a pastor's family.  A graduate of UW-Whitewater in 1986 and DMLC in 1990, Jon has taught at Bethany Lutheran School in Hustisford and at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Ixonia.  Coaching and athletics have been important elements throughout his 29 years in the public ministry.

    Jon is married to Barbara Ann; they have four children.  In his spare time, Jon enjoys coaching and watching his children compete in their own sporting events.
    Benjamin Springer
  • Benjamin has been teaching in the WELS and ELS since 2007.  After graduating from Martin Luther College, he was assigned for one year to Holy Cross Lutheran School in Madison and then to St. Stephen Lutheran School in Adrian, MI.  Benjamin served for seven years in Michigan before being called to St. Paul's.  He holds a Master's degree in educational technology from Martin Luther College, and he is presently enrolled at Concordia University Chicago in the Educational Leadership Doctorate program.

    Benjamin is married to Michelle; they have three children.  The family enjoys travel, board games, and video games.
    Katie Donaldson
  • Katie was born and raised in Oakley, Michigan.  She graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in 2007, and Martin Luther College in 2011.  After graduation Katie spent two years teaching English in the Dominican Republic.  Upon return, she was assigned to teach 3rd and 4th grade at St. Paul's, Ixonia, WI.  Katie completed her Master's degree in Special Education from St. Joseph's University.

    Katie enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
    Jeanne Kionka
  • Jeanne Kionka has been teaching in WELS schools for more than 34 years, graduating from Dr. Martin Luther College in 1979.  Her first call was to teach grades 4-6 and then grades 3-5 at Mt. Calvary, Waukesha, WI.  She has taught grades 1-2 at St. Paul's for the last 25 years, also being involved in the music, forensics, and performing arts programs at St. Paul's.

    Jeanne is married to Dave, a photographer.  They enjoy traveling, hiking, photography, and being with their two married children and five grandchildren.
    Michelle Springer
  • Mrs. Michelle Springer was born and raised in southern Michigan. She graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in 2001. From there she studied both elementary and secondary education at Martin Luther College and graduated in 2006.

    Her first call was to teach at 7th and 8th grade at Trinity Lutheran School in Kaukauna, WI. She then received a call to teach Kindergarten and 1st grade at Zion Lutheran School in Toledo, OH and later to serve as an assistant preschool teacher at Jesus Loves Me Learning Center in Jackson, MI. In 2017, she received the call to teach Kindergarten and Jr. Choir here at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Ixonia.

    Michelle is married to Benjamin, who teaches 5th and 6th grade at St. Paul's. They have been blessed with three children: Ezekiel, Malachi, and Hope.

    In her spare time Michelle enjoys playing board games with her family and friends, crafting, and painting.
    Joni Rupnow - Remedial
  • Joni Rupnow is a remedial and enrichment teacher who works with students to help them reach their fullest potential.  After five and a half years of full-time classroom teaching and 13 years of substitute teaching, Joni has learned about some of the many issues to watch for and ideas on how to help the students.

    Joni has worked full time at St. John, Baraboo, for one year; St. John, Waterloo, for four years; and St. John, Milwaukee, for one half year.  She spent seven years substitute teaching in all grade levels from K3 through high school in the Milwaukee area.  She has also substitute taught for six years in the Greater Watertown area in grade levels K-eighth grade.  She is currently teaching part-time as the remedial and enrichment teacher at St. Paul's, Ixonia.

    Joni holds a B.S. in education from Martin Luther College.
    Cate Free - Principal Release
  • Caitlyn Free (nee Zarling) attended Martin Luther College and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education.  She was assigned to St. Paul's Lutheran School in St. James, MN.  She taught fourth and fifth grade for two years at St. Paul's before resigning to marry Joel Free.

    From 2010 to 2011, she taught sixth and seventh grade at Trinity Lutheran School in Caledonia, WI, as a part-time principal release teacher in a departmentalized setting.  She specifically taught reading and literature to grades 5-8.

    After taking some time off to have children, she resumed teaching part-time at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Tomah, WI, from 2014 to 2017.  She was the principal release teacher and taught American history, science, art, computer, and writing for grades 7-8.

    In 2017, she accepted the call to teach as remedial/enrichment and principal release teacher at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Ixonia, WI.  She currently serves as principal release teacher, teaching English, literature, writing, and spelling for grades 7-8.