Principal Stephen Schultz

Ascension Lutheran School
Sarasota, Florida
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Stephen Schultz
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,

Stephen Schultz

MEET OUR ASCENSION FAMILY OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATORS
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Stephen Schultz

Principal 

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth... so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire..." (Isaiah 55:10.11)   

 

I chose this passage because I get the privilege to share God’s Word.  Like rain and snow make the plants grow, so God’s word waters the hearts of the students I teach.  Just as I do not see the plants grow each day, I do not know how the children’s hearts are being affected by the Word of God.  But, I do know that God’s Word is working.  That gives me joy in teaching.

My Education and Experience:

I have been educated in Lutheran Schools from 1st grade through college.  I attended grade school at St. Paul’s, Mt. Calvary (Fond du lac) WI and St. Paul’s, Algoma, WI.  I attended high school at Manitowoc Lutheran and graduated from Winnebago Lutheran in 1973.  I received my bachelor’s in elementary education from Martin Luther College (DMLC) in 1978.  A Master of Arts in Elementary Teaching was obtained from Saginaw Valley University in Saginaw, MI.  I have had the privilege to teach for one year as an emergency teacher at Emanuel, West St. Paul, MN from 1976-1977.  I have served as principal and upper grades teacher at the following schools:  St. Paul, Plymouth, NE, 1978-1983; Zion, Chesaning, MI, 1983-1995; St. John, Juneau, WI, 1995-2006; Faith, Antioch, IL, 2006-2017, and (Bethany) Kenosha Lutheran Academy, Kenosha, WI, 2017-2021.

 

My Classroom Approach:

Each day I look forward to teaching the precious lambs of Jesus the truths of his word.  I try to motivate each student to live for Christ through the Word, and to strive to be the best student they can be academically.  These precious children will be our future leaders. So loving them like Jesus does is the only way to teach.  Using love and logic techniques in discipline helps the students control themselves.

 

More About Me:

 I come from a long line of teachers.  My grandfather graduated from Martin Luther College in 1909.  From his descendants there are at least 50 pastors and teachers related to him.  My wife was a nurse for 40 years.  God blessed us with 4 children and 10 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, and 2 step-great grandchildren.  My wife and I love to camp and travel across the country.  We have even been to Canada, Mexico, and Tanzania.  Hunting and fishing are past-times that I love.  My favorite job in retirement is working at a golf course.  I have been golfing regularly my entire adult life. 

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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!

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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 Sarasota Chapter of FLAEYC (Florida Association for the Education of Young Children)

 

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. Some things I strive for in my classroom are a sense of community togetherness and accountability to each other and to God. This helps foster healthy social relationships that strengthen their emotional and spiritual growth. Most importantly, I am grateful to have the privilege of helping them know their need for a Savior. As we learn about who Jesus Christ is, and what he had done for us, we can then go and share the Good News with others!

 

More About Me:

My family moved from Illinois to Sarasota in 1971. I have lived here in Sarasota most of my life and have three grown children, Jonathan, Christa, and Matthew, and two grandchildren, Theo and Amadeus. I have been a member of Ascension Lutheran Church since 1992. I also began my teaching career here at Ascension Lutheran Preschool in 1998 as a part-time Teacher Assistant. A few years later I became a preschool teacher at Ascension in 2001, then in 2008 I was called to be the Preschool Director & Teacher. In my free time I enjoy music, reading, spending time with my family and being outdoors in this beautiful place we are blessed to live in!

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Brooke Carbon

Kindergarten - 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!

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Troy Yerks

My Education and Experience:

 

My Classroom Approach:

 

More About Me:

1st - 2nd Grade Teacher

Psalm 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God."

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Suzanne Hough

3rd - 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

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Cassandra Anklam

5th - 6th Grade Teacher

Hymn #790 Day by Day

"Day by Day, your mercies, Lord attend me, bringing comfort to my anxious soul. Day by day, the blessings, Lord, you send me draw me nearer to my heavenly goal."

"This hymn is what I can easily find comfort in, knowing that God is always there to help me and guide each and every day."

- Miss Anklam

My Education and Experience:

I graduated in the spring of 2020 from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota and have completed my first teaching school last year(20-21).

 

My Classroom Approach:

I like my students being allowed to move and feel comfortable. Providing a Christ centered learning environment allows students, to grow academically and in their faith. My goal is to answer questions and encourage students to be inquisitive with their learning. Along with that, I do not like a quiet classroom. Music is played almost the entire day of school at a low volume that can only be heard when everyone is staying on task. I encourage students to ask each other for help on before coming me to allow them social interaction and communication with their peers. With a special emphasis in physical education, I understand the importance of human movement and the need middle school students have for moving around. I do my best to incorporate any movement into the school day so students retain and stay engaged for entire lessons.

 

More About Me:

I was born and raised in the state of Michigan where my entire family still lives including my five wonderful nieces and one nephew. Besides enjoying all the Florida sunshine and beaches I am one of those people that loves winter and snow! I love exploring new areas and things to do. Playing basketball is one of my all time favorite games to play. I played from fifth grade all through college and still miss playing everyday. In my free time I enjoy practicing photography, biking hiking and finding something new to try.

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Stephanie Cares

7th - 8th Grade Teacher

Isaiah 41:10

"So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

"Life is hard. What a comfort we have in knowing that God and his all-knowing, almighty strength are there to care for us through all that we go through.

My Education and Experience:

4 years teaching grades 3 through 8 in various subjects in Kiel, WI

1 year teaching Creative Writing, Public Speaking, and Remedial Biological Science at Kettle Moraine High School in Jackson, WI

1 year teaching grades 7 and 8 at David's Star in Jackson, WI

1 year teaching fifth and sixth grade teacher at Grace in Falls Church, VA

B.S. of Education with a minor in English 2005 from Martin Luther College

 

My Classroom Approach:

I love having the opportunity to share Jesus’ love with my students every day. Our classroom is founded on grit, grace, and giggles. We work hard, learn from mistakes, and have grace with ourselves and others. Sometimes that can’t help but add up to a case of the giggles. I especially enjoy integrating what we are learning in individual courses with each other and applying it to real-life experiences to make it more meaningful to students.

 

More About Me:

I grew up in a small community in Wisconsin with my two younger brothers. My husband, Jeremy and I met in college and  have two children who are proud Ascension Eagles. We moved to Florida when Jeremy accepted a call to The Shore, a mission church in Parrish. I enjoy reading, exercising, and spending time with my family.

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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 Lead 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.”
 

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Tina Lange

Preschool Assistant 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 Director of Childcare Credential with VPK Endorsement

State of Florida Staff Credential

All State of Florida-required coursework to teach Early Childhood Education

Board Member of the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children - Sarasota Chapter

 

My Classroom Approach:

Each child who enters the 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 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 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 (33) and Jeff (29), as well as Heather (40), Martin's daughter and my step-daughter. Melinda is currently living in Japan with her husband and two children, and Heather lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children, bringing our number of grandchildren to five! 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. We 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 with my husband.

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Belkis Bolanos

Preschool Assistant Teacher

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

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Denise Mielke

Office Admin. / Preschool 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?"

"This verse assures me that I can trust God in any and every circumstance." - Mrs. Mielke

My Education and Experience:

Associate Degree in Finance from Madison Area Technical College
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. 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. In 2004 God led my husband to accept a call to serve here at Ascension in Sarasota. We have been blessed with four wonderful children - Sierra (married to Jonah Schlomer), Jarrett & Jayden (twins) and Martin. In my free time I enjoy taking walks, playing games, baking, traveling and spending time with my family.

“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."