Faculty & Staff

Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School

Faculty members at RMLHS are selected with great care. Each person is academically qualified to teach his/her assigned teaching area. All faculty personnel are members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and have (or are working toward) synodical certification. For more information about a particular staff member, please click on their image below.

Rick Lohmiller
Principal
Jesse Nofftz
Assistant Principal
Kelly Presser
Activities Director
Rev. Dan Johnston
International Coordinator
Dawn Punke
Alex Mielke
Kristin Sternhagen
Hannah Sievert
Chelsey Hanel
Dr. Eric Brucker
Kathy Kieselhorst
Administrative Assistant
 

Rick Lohmiller

 

Principal
Religion, Social Studies, & Math

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN
MS Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
Regis University, Denver CO

Rick Lohmiller graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota in 1978. Upon graduation he taught for two years at Northwestern Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin. He then taught for six years at Trinity Lutheran School in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. From there, he accepted a principal position at Trinity Lutheran School in Nicollet, Minnesota. In 2002, he accepted an assistant principal position at Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School (RMLHS) and moved into the principal role in 2009. In addition to administrative duties, he has taught in the English, history, and mathematics departments, directed the Eagle Choir, and coached basketball. He received his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Regis University in 2010.

Growing up in South Dakota, he adopted the Yankees, Packers, and Celtics as his favorite sports teams, but closely follows the Colorado teams. Mr. Lohmiller and his wife Sue have four children who live all around the United States. As a result, in addition to enjoying sports, gardening, and playing games, the two of them now also enjoy traveling.

His favorite Scripture passage is Romans 12:21 - "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Jesse Nofftz

 

Assistant Principal
Religion, Social Studies, & English

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN

Jesse Nofftz is a graduate of Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with majors in both Elementary and Secondary Education and a minor in History. Currently, Jesse is pursuing a Master’s Degree in History through Grand Canyon University.

Jesse grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin where he attended Mt. Calvary-Grace Lutheran Grade School and Luther High School in nearby Onalaska, Wisconsin. Following college graduation in 2015, Jesse was assigned to serve as Principal and Teacher at Divine Grace Lutheran School in Lake Orion, Michigan where he remained until being called to serve as Assistant Principal at RMLHS in 2019.

Jesse’s love for teaching is rivaled only by his love for sports. Born in Minnesota, he is a die-hard Minnesota sports fan. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys keeping up with current events, spending time with friends, reading, and spoiling his Golden Retriever, Mandy!

A favorite passage is Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Kelly Presser

 

Activities Director
Math

BS Math & Computer Science
Colorado School of Mines, Golden CO
MS Secondary Education
University of Phoenix, Denver CO

Kelly Presser has been teaching at Rocky Mountain Lutheran since the school opened in 2002. She began with teaching computer and math. She graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Following her graduation from Mines, she continued to teach at RML while pursuing her Masters degree. In 2006, she received a Masters of Arts in Secondary Math Education from the University of Phoenix. In 2009, she took on the roll of activities/athletic director. In addition to administrative duties, she has taught Math, Physics, Senior Lady’s Bible Class, Physical Education, Computer Applications, English, directed the Band, and has coached Volleyball, Boys and Girls Soccer, and Boys and Girls Basketball.

Kelly was born and raised in Colorado and loves everything about it... the mountains, hiking, skiing, and all the Colorado sports teams. In her free time you can usually find her playing soccer.

Kelly’s favorite Bible passage is found in 2 Corinthians - "For Christ’s love compels us... And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."

Rev. Dan Johnston

 

International Coordinator
Religion, English, & Math

BA Preseminary
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN
MDiv
Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon WI

Dan Johnston grew up in Beverly Hills, Florida where he attended grade school at St. Paul’s Lutheran. Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin became his high-school home for four years. Dan Johnston is a graduate of Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota as well as Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. He has served at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin as a dorm supervisor and instructor. He also served in Blair, Nebraska where he started a new home mission church until receiving the call to serve as International Coordinator. During his time in Nebraska, Dan met and married his wife Hannah (née Helwig).

When he’s not teaching and coordinating the international program, Dan enjoys spending time outdoors hiking with Hannah and their puppy Crosby. One might also find him exploring a new country overseas, reading a good book on his balcony, or trying to cook a new meal.

Dan’s favorite Bible passage is Job 19:25-27 - “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

Dawn Punke

 

Music, English, & Computer

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN

Dawn Punke has been teaching at Rocky Mountain Lutheran since July 2013. She graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Secondary Education. After graduating, Dawn taught part-time at both Trinity Lutheran School in Nicollet, Minnesota and Risen Savior Lutheran School in Mankato, Minnesota. She taught individual instrument lessons and band for both schools. In 2013, she received her full-time assignment from Martin Luther College to teach at RMLHS. She has taught Band, Eagle Choir, instrumental music, and art. She has also taught in the English and math departments. Dawn is working on her Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Dawn was born and raised in Wisconsin and still admits to missing the snow and cold weather occasionally. Dawn and her husband Aaron have two young children and her favorite activity is spending time with her family. She also thoroughly enjoys reading (especially fantasy and sci-fi), arts and crafts, and dabbling in writing music.

Dawn’s favorite Bible passage is found in 2 Timothy 2:8b-10 - "This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus."

Alex Mielke

 

Religion & Spanish

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN

Alex Mielke graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota in 2014. Once graduated, he served as a dorm supervisor and Spanish teacher for three years at Nebraska Evangelical Lutheran High School. In 2016, he was led to accept a call to teach Spanish at Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School (RMLHS). In addition to Spanish, he has taught Bible 9 and Physics, served as NHS and Children’s Theatre directors, helped out with social media and coached baseball. He is currently working towards obtaining his M.A. degree in Teaching Foreign Language – Spanish from Southern Mississippi University.

Hailing from Wisconsin, he is a brewing cheesehead who fears the dear with sports. He also enjoys playing guitar, going out, travelling, and the occasional video game. Mr. Mielke and his wife Rachel were married in July 2018 and enjoy having dance battles.

His favorite Scripture passage is Joshua 1:9 - "Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with your wherever you go."

Kristin Sternhagen

 

English & Choir

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN

Kristin Sternhagen graduated from Martin Luther College in 1998 with a B.S. in Education. She taught for one year in a one room school in Clatonia, Nebraska. After that, Kristin taught in the English department at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a year. Kristin then moved to the beautiful island of Antigua in 2000 with her husband Pastor Joshua Sternhagen. She took a break from teaching to stay home with their 4 children. During this time, Kristin taught ESL classes to adults, served as a church musician, directed and arranged music for the church's two steel pan groups, and taught piano lessons. In 2016 the Sternhagens moved to Commerce City, Colorado. Kristin began teaching English and Choir at RMLHS in 2017

Kristin enjoys reading, all types of music, and the outdoors. She loves camping and hiking in the mountains. She and her family have managed to hike two 14ers since their move to Colorado. On the music side of things, Kristin has enjoyed attendiing some Colorado Symphony concerts. She was also pleasantly surprised to find a steel pan group in Brighton that she could join.

One of Kristin's favorite Bible verses is Habakkuk 3:17-18 - "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

Hannah Sievert

 

Physical Education & Health

BS Sports & Exercise Science
Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee WI

Hannah Sievert is an alumna of Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School and graduated with the class of 2013. She continued her education at Wisconsin Lutheran College with a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science and a minor in Coaching. She started coaching the Lady Eagles Basketball team in 2017 and started teaching Physical Education and Health in 2018. She is currently pursuing her Colorado K-12 Physical Education Teaching Licensure through Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Hannah has lived in Colorado for most of her life and enjoys all that Colorado has to offer with the outdoors, especially hiking 14ers! She has a passion for strength training from her internships with college and professional athletes. Hannah loves to stay active from any type of sport or activity and is regularly looking for half marathons to run.

She is mostly thankful that she has had the wonderful opportunity of being at Rocky as a student and teacher, a great blessing! One of her favorite bible passages is Isaiah 40:31 - "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like EAGLES; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Chelsey Hanel

 

English

BS Education
Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN

Chelsey Hanel has been teaching at Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School since 2018. She graduated from Martin Luther College in 2007 with a degree in Music Education. During her time as a classroom teacher she accompanied church services and choirs, directed junior and adult choirs, taught piano lessons, and became the music coordinator at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. She resigned from this call in 2012 to stay home with her children. During that time off from teaching, Chelsey opened a music studio and a nonprofit theatre company. Now that her children are older, Chelsey is excited to have the opportunity to continue her teaching ministry at RMLHS. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in English Education and Theatre at University of Colorado, Greeley.

Hailing from the midwest, Chelsey does not miss the intrusive and everlasting winters but instead enjoys the unlimited sunshine of Colorado. She treasures the prolific musical and theatrical culture as well as the varied cuisine that Denver offers. Chelsey and her family continually seek out opportunities to experience Denver’s vibrant and unique life style.

Chelsey’s favorite Bible passage is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Dr. Eric Brucker

 

Science & Math

BA Chemistry
University of Colorado at Boulder
PhD Chemistry
The University of Texas at Austin
NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship
Rice University, Houston TX

Eric Brucker received a diploma from Martin Luther Prepartory School in 1986. He finished his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990. He completed his graduate work in organometallic synthesis at the University of Texas at Austin in early 1995. The National Institutes of Health granted Eric a postdoctoral fellowship, in which he learned protein crystallography at Rice University in Houston. He then moved home to Colorado to spend five years in the biotechnology sector working on a hemoglobin-based blood substitute. Eric started teaching science and math at Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School when the school opened its doors in 2002. The Lord has blessed Eric and his wife Noel, a pediatrician, with three boys.

Eric's confirmation passage comes from Revelation - "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

Kathy Kieselhorst

 

Administrative Assistant

BA History
Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee WI

Kathy Kieselhorst is a 1987 graduate of Northwestern Preparatory School. She earned a BA in History from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 1991. Her and her husband, Pastor Phil Kieselhorst, have served in congregations in Atlanta, Germany, and Oklahoma City before moving to Westminster to serve at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Kathy was born in Wisconsin and moved around with her family to California, Illinois and Michigan. Strong Wisconsin ties remain and therefore she is a Packer, Brewer and Badger fan. She admits to a deep affection for the Colorado Rockies and loves to go to games at Coors Field. She enjoys Colorado and all there is to do: hiking, camping, exploring Denver and the mountains, history, art, and traveling - and reading during any of those activities. She feels blessed to be the administrative assistant to a wonderful faculty at RMLHS, and to interact with the students on a daily basis. The Kieselhorsts have two children; one is currently serving in the US Navy and one is a senior at RMLHS.

Her favorite Bible passage is Jeremiah 29:11 – "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"