Ms. Gonski has served as principal of St. John since 2004. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University in Indiana, and her Masters of Education from the University of New Orleans. Ms. Gonski has a wide range of teaching experience in both Lutheran and public schools and is proud to be a native New Orleanian.
Tonya is the face and the voice of St. John whenever you stop by the office or call on the phone. She is a valuable link between church and school and we are pleased that she came to serve with us in the summer of 2020. If you ever have any question about St. John, Tonya will either know the answer or will find it very quickly and let you know what you need to know.
Ms. Wood attended Concordia University in Austin, Texas and Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education/Early Childhood. She has been teaching for over 40 years and loves teaching kindergarten. Ms. Wood has two married children and three grandchildren!
Ms. Watson received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education: PK-Third grade from Louisiana State University. She also has a Certification in Early Intervention: Birth-Five from Southeastern Louisiana University. Ms. Watson has taught in East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish School Systems. She has also taught at Trinity Lutheran Preschool in Baton Rouge. Ms. Watson feels God has called her to teach at St. John Lutheran.
Ms. Steele grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education: PK-4th grade from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In addition to teaching elementary school, Ms. Steele has taught English to elementary school students in Taiwan, a variety of subjects to troubled teens, as well as GED courses and computer skills to adults. She moved to New Orleans 8 years ago because of her love of the history and culture of the area. She has an adult daughter that lives close by. Ms. Steele loves spending time with her dog, Kovy, and volunteering with many different organizations.
Ms. Theibert graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She grew up in a large family and was always "The designated teacher". She knew from a young age that she was going to be a teacher, and her she is many years later, teaching at St. John Lutheran School in a third grade classroom.
Ms. Theibert is looking forward to the new school year and meeting her new students!!!
Ms. Sukstorf received her B.A. in English with a minor in History from The University of Northern Colorado in 1994. She received her Master of Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1998. After her husband completed his M.B.A. and M.Div. they received their first call in Olathe, Kansas, where Ms. Sukstorf received her LPN certification from Johnson Country Community College. Ms. Sukstorf and her family have lived in Southold, NY; Lincoln, NE St. Joseph MO; Greeley, CO; St. Louis, MO; Olathe, KS; and New Orleans, LA. Her children are grown now. Her daughter, Katie, is married with a stepson and a daughter (her grandchildren). Her son is married (with a grand CAT only), and her youngest daughter is finishing her degree at the University of Nebraska.
Ms. Sukstorf has experience in all grades from Pre-K to high school Seniors, and has worked as a self-contained classroom teacher in grades 4-6. Ms. Sukstorf loves to read, and paint, and enjoys playing with her cats and grandchildren (whenever possible).
Growing up in Iowa, Ms. Bowman attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa attaining two Bachelor of Arts degrees; she received one degree in Elementary Education (K-6) with an endorsement in Language Arts and another degree in English with an endorsement in Secondary Education (6-12). In 1994, this was Ms. Bowman's way of specializing in middle school when there were no middle school credentials. Ms. Bowman has taught mostly middle school English/language arts in several Chicago Lutheran, parochial, and private schools. In 2009, Ms. Bowman earned her colloquy from CUEnet, and in December of 2021, Ms. Bowman earned her master's degree in Education from North Park University with endorsements in middle school social studies and Learning Behavior Specialist I (Mild to Moderate 5-21 YO). This will be Ms. Bowman's 29th year teaching and is looking forward to getting to know and serving all of St. John Lutherans' students and families. Ms. Bowman has two grown children, Rebecca and Aaron, and her favorite Bible verses are Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 29:11, and Acts 20:24.
Mr. Lopez received his Bachelor's degree in History from the University of New Orleans. He has a Master's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in K-12 leadership, both from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. This is his 15th year in teaching. Mr. Lopez's last assignment was at St. Paul Lutheran. Mr. Lopez is currently the Athletic Director, basketball coach, football coach, and a middle school teacher at St. John Lutheran.
Mr. Henschen is beginning his eleventh year of teaching at St. John. After graduating from Concordia University, Nebraska, Mr. Henschen obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Level Education. Prior to that, he completed his student-teaching in Shanghai, China! He continues to teach math, religion, English, and serves as the technology coordinator.
Mrs. Stibrich grew up in Chester, Illinois, where she attended St. John Lutheran School and Chester High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia Teachers College (now Concordia University) in Seward, Nebraska, and her Masters of Education Degree with an emphasis in Reading Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She has taught in Lutheran Schools in Kansas, Texas, and in the New Orleans area for over forty years. She has two sons and two grandchildren. She has a Christian puppet ministry, for which she writes and directs puppet skits that are performed in some of the Lutheran churches in the New Orleans area as well as at chapels for St. John Lutheran School. She loves being part of St. John Lutheran School's Christian family, substituting in the various grades from Kindergarten through Seventh Grade, organizing "Lutheran Group Nights" for Pelicans games, and working with the Sixth and Seventh graders to present puppet skits for chapels twice a year.
Miss Koester graduated from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After teaching for two years in Okarche, Oklahoma, she accepted a position at St. Paul-First English Lutheran School in New Orleans where she taught for 37 years. She has taught various grade levels ranging from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade. She is delighted to be a part of the St. John family.
Mrs. Forest graduated from The University of New Orleans with a B.A. in Elementary Education and is certified in grades First through Eighth. This will be her eighth year teaching but her first year at St. John Lutheran. Her first teaching job was at Faith Lutheran in Harahan, so she is thrilled to be back in the Lutheran School System. She and her husband reside in New Orleans and have 2 grown daughters. Mrs. Forest is looking forward to a magical year here at St. John Lutheran.