Principal, Ascension Lutheran School

We are honored to have you explore Ascension Lutheran School as a learning environment for your child and family. The decisions regarding your child’s education, both spiritual and academic, are among the most important a parent can make. We're excited to walk with you through this process and look forward to talking with you in person about Ascension Lutheran. I'm sure you'll discover that our Sarasota, Florida school offers a Christ-centered, nationally accredited education with highly supportive, engaged teachers and small class sizes.

As Christian parents and teachers, our focus is one - the upbringing of children so that they can know and love their Savior, Jesus Christ, and in turn share that love with others. Christ’s love flows through everything we do at Ascension, whether it be the respect shown among teachers and students in the classroom, or the kindness shown among students at recess. It is to Christ alone that we give praise and glory as we work together in equipping the children of our church and community for *life* through a Christ-centered education of excellence.


In Humble Service,





Luke G. Beilke

Luke Beilke

Principal Luke Beilke

Ascension Lutheran School
Sarasota, Florida
Pastor Martin Mielke

Church / School Pastor

Deuteronomy 33:27
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

My Education and Experience:

BA from Northwestern College, Watertown, WI

MDiv. from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary

Ongoing education through Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary


My Classroom Approach:

I have studied Dr. Jane Vella's Dialogue Education and appreciate much of what she advocates.  Education excels when participants feel safe, interested, and challenged.  Teaching has become a passion and seeing the light bulb go on for students is a priceless reward!


More About Me:

I was born and raised in Loveland, CO in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The mountains are truly in my blood - it's amazing the perspective on life in God's creation one gains from the top of a 14,000 foot peak. I've been blessed to have seen the world from on top of 3 - Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive, and Long's Peak.  That perspective forever changes a person.  I love cars and traveling, spending time outside, and above all spending time with my family.  Life moves quickly, so seize the blessings God has in store for you and serve Him with gladness!

Sherri Medico

Preschool Director / Teacher

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.”


"This verse has always inspired great comfort in knowing that despite ourselves,   we can rest secure in the truth that God will love us unconditionally and work everything out for our good." - Mrs. Medico

My Education and Experience:

Teaching in Early Childhood Education since 1998

Martin Luther College Synodical Certification in Early Childhood Education

Florida Director of Childcare Credential

State Teaching License / Staff Credential

Board Secretary for the Early Childhood Association of Sarasota County (ECA)


My Classroom Approach:

When you offer developmentally appropriate lessons to help children take the initiative in their learning, it allows them to grow in their understanding of the importance of being inquisitive. When children ask questions about the world around them, they will learn to become problem solvers. 
When they have a sense of community togetherness and accountability to each other and to God, they foster healthy social relationships that strengthen their emotional and spiritual growth. 
These are things I strive for in my classroom. 
Most importantly, I am grateful to have the privilege of helping them know their need for a Savior. By learning who Jesus Christ is, and what he had done for them, they can then go and share the Good News with others! 


More About Me:

I was born in Gibson City, Illinois. My family moved to Sarasota in 1970 from Paris, Illinois. I have lived here in Sarasota for over 30 years. I'm very family oriented and happy that my family is growing! My children: Jonathan Medico (and his spouse, Jocelyn), Christa Gurgel (and her spouse, Phil Gurgel), and Matthew Medico, are now grown...and the grandboys, Theophilus and Amadeus Gurgel are keeping me busy! I have been a member of Ascension Lutheran Church since 1992. My teaching career began at Ascension Lutheran Preschool in 1998 as a part-time Teacher Assistant. I became a preschool teacher at Ascension in 2001, then in 2008 I was called to be the Teacher / Director. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, music, reading and being outdoors in this beautiful place we are blessed to live in. 

Tina Lange

Preschool Lead Teacher

Ephesians 2: 8-9

 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”


"What comfort it is to know that my salvation is not dependent upon anything I have done, or could do, but was bought for me through the perfect life, innocent death and victorious resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus!"

- Mrs. Lange

My Education and Experience:

Teaching in Early Childhood Education since 1996
Bachelor Degree (BBA) from University of New Mexico
Florida State Staff Credential
Florida State Director Credential
All Florida State-required coursework to teach Early Childhood Education


My Classroom Approach:

Each child who enters my classroom is a unique gift from God, with abilities and potential just waiting to be developed.  My desire is for each child to feel safe, comfortable and loved so that this potential can be realized.  When children feel secure they gain confidence to explore their environment and make new discoveries.  With teacher support and guidance, varied developmentally appropriate materials and activities, and ample opportunities to make their own choices, children will develop emerging skills and gain knowledge about their world.  As the children work and play together, I endeavor to teach them to treat each other as they would want to be treated themselves, knowing that they are equally precious to Jesus.  This approach positively affects their social and emotional development and helps them to develop empathy for one another.  Above all, my desire is for each child to realize he or she is a redeemed child of God who is loved and cherished by our Savior, Jesus.


More About Me:

I married my husband, Martin, in 1985.  We have two children together, Melinda (28) and Jeff (23) as well as Heather (34), Martin’s daughter and my step-daughter.  Melinda is currently living in Japan and Heather lives is New Zealand with her husband, Mike, and our first grandbaby, Benjamin.  Jeff, our only state-side child, currently lives in Sarasota.  Our family moved to Sarasota from Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1996 and I began working in Early Childhood Education that same year.  Our family became members of Ascension Lutheran Church in 2003 and I began teaching at Ascension Lutheran Preschool in 2004.

In my spare time, I enjoy being with my family (which involves more travel these days!), listening to music and going on sunset walks on the beach.

Brooke Carbon

K - 1st Grade Teacher

Proverbs 22:6

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

"This verse is an inspirational reminder to teach children for this world and for the next."

-Mrs. Carbon

My Education and Experience:

Ascension Lutheran School: 12 years as a teacher

Teacher at St. John’s in Two Rivers WI and First German in Manitowoc, WI

Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, Martin Luther College


My Classroom Approach:

My goal is to challenge students and watch them grow to their full potential. In doing this, I am also cognizant of the fact that children are individuals with a diversity of needs that periodically need to be met exclusively.  I strive to offer a classroom where learning is fun and exciting.
Our classroom is a place where children feel safe and comfortable.  I seek to provide an enriching environment full of love and nurture.  In this environment, parents and teacher work together on the same team for the benefit of the child.


More About Me:

My husband and I have two children, both having attended Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, WI. We love to travel and entertain. It has always been my dream to live in the beautiful state of Florida. We love it here!

2- 4th Grade Teacher

My Education and Experience:

19 years at Peace Lutheran in Bradenton, FL

12 years at St. John’s Lutheran in Two Rivers, WI

Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Dr. Martin Luther College


My Classroom Approach:

My goal in teaching is that each child grow spiritually, academically and socially to his or her fullest potential. I want the children to enjoy coming to school. Each student should feel safe and loved.


More About Me:

In my free time I enjoy reading, doing puzzles and traveling. My goal is to visit all 50 states. I have one to go, Oklahoma.

Psalm 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God." 


"What a comfort knowing that God is in control."

- Miss Hough

Suzanne Hough
Brooke Carbon
Luke Beilke

Principal / 5 - 8th Grade Teacher

1 Corinthians 15:58

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

My Education and Experience:

Taught in inner-city Milwaukee, WI for 4 years

Taught in Colombia, South America for 1 year

Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, Martin Luther College


My Classroom Approach:

As a teacher it is my main objective to share the love of Christ with each of my students. Beyond sharing Christ’s love, I strive to ignite a curiosity for learning in each child while also urging each student to learn individual responsibility and show immense care for the people God has placed around them.


More About Me:

I have traveled to 7 Central/South American countries. I have 5 older brothers and a younger sister. My wife and I have a baby girl and are hoping to adopt a child from overseas.


Teaching in Colombia was an incredible experience! Anytime you are able to live abroad, I feel like it is somewhat a life-changing experience. Living in Bogotá was just that. My wife and I taught English at a bilingual Christian all-girls school called Colegio de los Ángeles and we absolutely loved it. The girls were hard-workers. Each day they pushed themselves to learn more English. The other teachers were incredibly helpful and friendly, which made the experience that much better. When living abroad, you can’t overlook the excitement of being a “tourist.” We lived in the La Candelaria neighborhood, which is the most historic part of Bogotá. This allowed us to see many buildings and locations of importance right in our own neighborhood. We also happened to live just 5 blocks from the President of Colombia. The whole experience was incredible. It was a year full of learning, teaching and faith-building. 


Much of what I loved about living in Colombia was being immersed in a unique culture. When I started teaching in Milwaukee, WI, after teaching in Colombia, I received a similar immersion. I was now immersed in the African-American culture of inner-city Milwaukee and I loved it! The students I taught were full of energy. It was during my teaching in Milwaukee when I truly learned that “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It took a long time, for some, years, but once my students knew that I cared for them, then they were really willing to put forth the effort in class. Even more powerful than knowing that I cared about them, was knowing that they had a Savior who cared even more deeply about them. I loved being able to share God’s Word on a daily basis. We created a ‘family' in our classroom. Even though we had both good days and bad, we stuck together, and cared for each other, because we knew that Jesus cared for us.

Susan Bare

My Education and Experience:

25 + years experience working with preschool children ages 3-5

Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, College Park, MD


My Classroom Approach:

To provide a Christ-Centered, developmentally appropriate, environment where the children can grow, love, and learn about God, and engage in activities to help them excel in all areas of development.


More About Me:

My husband Jeff, daughter Kayla, and sons Robert and Chris love to go to the movies and eat out!

Preschool Assistant Teacher

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.”

Denise Mielke

Office Mgr. / Class Substitute

Psalm 27:1

"The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?"

My Education and Experience:

Associate Degree in Finance from Madison Area Technical College - 1994
40-Hour Introductory Child Care Training


My Classroom and Office Approach:

My philosophy of education is to strive to make things run as efficiently and organized as possible whether I am in the office or the classroom. I believe this enables both students and teachers to excel in their own unique ways. I work to the best of my God-given abilities to assist the director in the office and helping the teachers with the students in the classroom.


More About Me:

I was born and raised in Wisconsin (Go Pack!). I met my husband, Pastor Mielke, in 1991 and we were married in 1995. In 1997 we moved to Red Wing, MN where he was assigned his first call as a pastor. We were blessed with four wonderful children while living there - Sierra, Jarrett & Jayden (twins) and Martin. In 2004 God led my husband to accept a call to serve here at Ascension in Sarasota. We miss our families (WI and CO), but truly are blessed to be here and do not miss the cold!  We love to travel, so family vacations are always enjoyable for us (And who doesn’t love spending 20-30 hours in a van driving to Colorado or Wisconsin?!). In my free time I enjoy taking walks, playing games, baking and spending time with my family.

Belkis Bolanos

Teacher Assistant

My Education and Experience:

Associate of Arts Degree

Business Associate's Degree

FCCPC in early children education


My Classroom Approach:

My approach this year is to have a high degree of communication with children, listen to their comments and to engage in conversations about issues they are experiencing in and out of school. I also keep in touch with parents to understand and communicate behaviors. I trust that the Lord and Holy Spirit guide me with every action I take. I “trust on God, our Father, first.”


More About Me:

I love to travel! I also love to invest my time with friends and family, and participate in multiple athletic activities.

“To help people that recquire it is not only a necessity,but brings about great sastisfaction.” “The only worthy autograph of a man is he who leaves written with his works.”

- José Martí, International Cuban Poet


"These words inspire me because the idea of practicing what you preach is an important belief for me. I want to leave artifacts of my teachings in the children; something that they will retain for the rest of their lives and hopefully apply to broaden their horizons." - Ms. Bolanos

Julie Gensmer

Piano Instructor

My Education and Experience:

President of SMTA (Sarasota Music Teachers Association)
Corresponding Secretary of FSMTA (Florida State Music Teachers Association)

Bachelor of Arts degree, Goshen College (piano pedagogy with Marvin Blickenstaff)


My Approach to Music Education:

Making music fun for life is my goal with every student. Learning through games, flashcards, ipad use and other ‘off the bench’ activities keep students engaged and excited while learning. All of my students become part of my ‘Piano Family’ and each child is valued and encouraged to learn and progress individually.


More About Me:

I grew up in and now reside in Sarasota where I have maintained a private piano studio for over 25 years!

Psalm 96: 1-2

"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.”


"I am privileged to make a new song with every student daily. Although I have been asked on more than one occasion to not actually sing with my voice…. I use my fingers and the piano keys!"

-Mrs. Gensmer

“The Christian setting is beautiful in the way that chapel, Bible memory, and Christian concepts are woven into their day. This is a wonderful atmosphere for children to learn and play."