School Administration

Principal - Bethany Gonski

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.


Secretary - Tonya Neumeyer

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.

School Faculty

Preschool -  J. Calderone

Mrs. Calderone attended SLU where she received her Bachelor's degree. She received her certification in Early Childhood Education through Tulane. This is her fourteenth year teaching, and her fifth year at St. John. 

Pre-Kindergarten -  J. Bedard

Ms. Bedard returns to St. John's early childhood program after leaving the area and directing preschools in Illinois and Florida. She has been a Lutheran educator for over 30 years, with 20 of those as a Preschool teacher and Director. Her BA is in Church Music & Christian Education from Concordia University in Portland, OR. She also completed her MEd in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction with CUP. Ms. Bedard is the mother of 3 grown children who are spread throughout the country. She also has one adorable grandson!

Kindergarten -  P. Wood

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!

First Grade -  A. Watson  

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.


Second Grade -  S. Koester

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.

Third Grade -  P. Meredith

Ms. Meredith comes to us from St. Charles Public Schools with over 20 years of teaching experience. She has 3 daughters and feels like God has called her to be here at St. John.

Fourth Grade -  C. Forest

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.

Fifth Grade -  K. Offutt


Sixth Grade - W. William-Sam

Mrs. Sam has served as an educator in Louisiana for more than twenty years. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University at New Orleans. She obtained her Master of Arts degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. She has completed additional coursework at Xavier University - as a Reading Specialist. She's also completed courses in Educational Leadership at the University of New Orleans and Gifted Education from Southeastern University, in Hammond. Mrs. Sam married her College sweetheart and together they have three wonderful sons - one of whom is a member of the United States Army(Active Duty). Mrs. Sam is extremely excited and thankful for the privilege to continue sharing her love for teaching and learning with the students of St. John Lutheran School.

Seventh Grade -  C. Lopez

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.

Eighth Grade -  J. Henschen

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.

Substitute Teacher -  L. Stibrich

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.