Join us in welcoming eleven new faculty and staff members for the 2021-2022 school year. These individuals are gifted in their areas of expertise and look forward to serving the SCLA student body. Installation for the new teachers is during the opening service on Tuesday, August 31 at 8:00 a.m. in the chapel. The service will be live-streamed on StCroixLutheran.org/live. To see a list of current faculty and staff, visit StCroixLutheran.org/faculty-and-staff
Phil Bunkowske, activities director. Phil has a masters degree in Sports Administration and previously served as the athletic director, head football coach, and head girls basketball coach at Evergreen Lutheran High School (Tacoma, WA). He is excited to share God's Word with students in the classroom and through athletics. He and his wife Karly are the proud parents of toddler son Harrison and infant girl Emmerson.
Austin Eisenmann, middle school instructor and the middle school activities director. Austin previously served as an instructor, coach, and head of technology at St. Matthew's Lutheran School (Winona, MN). He is excited to teach to a diverse student body, focus on his passions of math and sports, and see his wife throughout the day at work. He and his wife Kayla are the proud parents of a 3-year-old goldendoodle named Blue.
Kayla Eisenmann, upper-level English instructor and coach. Kayla previously served at Luther High School (Onalaska, WI) as an instructor and coach. She looks forward to building new relationships with students and families, diving into a new curriculum, and encouraging students to gain new perspectives and continue to love literature, writing, and learning. She is married to Austin.
Bradley Essig, middle school director. Brad previously served for eight years as the principal and 6-8th grade teacher at Resurrection Lutheran School (Aurora, IL). He is excited to get to know and work with the students, families, staff, and supporters of SCLA. He and his wife Kate have been married for five years and are blessed with their infant son, Luca.
Jamee Kroll, dormitory supervisor and band instructor. Jamee graduated with a degree in elementary education in 2021. She shares, “ I am super excited to be able to teach at St. Croix because it is a great and friendly environment that is focused on praising and worshipping God.” She is married to Jonah Kroll (SCLA dorm supervisor).
Ryan Plath, dormitory supervisor and instructor. Ryan earned his BS in K-12 Education in 2018 and is finishing his MBA from Crown College this fall. He is excited about working with the people at SCLA.
Gabe Plocher, high school math instructor. He has previously served at Illinois Lutheran High School (Crete) as a math instructor and most recently at St. John's Lutheran School (Red Wing, MN) as a middle grade teacher. He is looking forward to being a part of a diverse and growing ministry at SCLA. He is newly married (2020) to Abby (MS instructor).
Maria Reese, dormitory supervisor and instructor. Her experience as a language teacher and counselor both domestically and internationally (Dominican Republic, China, Germany, Malawi) will bless SCLA's diverse dorm family. She is the proud auntie of six nieces and nephews.
Naomi Johnston, front desk receptionist. Naomi has a bachelor's degree in business administration, and a master of arts in library and information studies. She previously worked as a librarian at Dakota County Technical College (since 2019) and is excited to work in a Christian environment. She shares, “I'm also a graduate of a WELS high school, and am very enthusiastic about Christian education.” She and her husband William have been married for seven years.
Jim Julian, maintenance. Jim is an SCLA parent, neighbor, gifted artist, and marketing professional who decided to join SCLA’s top-notch maintenance team after working 25+ years in advertising and design. Jim is married to Tamara, SCLA’s dormitory advisor, and their daughter Moira is a freshman this year.
Lori Kowitz, accountant. Lori has a bachelor's degree in management/marketing and previously worked at Kaman Automation as the District Operations manager for 35 years. She is excited to apply her past work experience to support students and share in a Christian ministry. Lori and her husband Kevin are the parents of three SCLA alumni, Kirsten (‘11), Katelyn (‘12), and Kelsey (‘15).