Middle School Faculty
Katy Shields (click any name or photo to email a staff member)
Eighth Grade Homeroom, Middle School Social Studies & History
As an educator Miss Shields believes that middle school is a time of transition and allows her students opportunities to practice independence as well as responsibility. She loves to connect with students through a variety of means, especially helping them unlock the stories of the world around them that they may find interest in the past and the world in which they live. Through building relationships, incorporation of technology, and a fun practicality, Miss Shields creates an environment in which students have every opportunity to learn Social Studies and be empowered to find topics of personal interest within the subject area.
A typical day in Miss Shields’ class includes daily geography exercises and trivia related to the topic the students are studying at the time. She likes to mix technology with cooperative learning as well as including more traditional educational strategies to provide students with a well- rounded experience and prepare them for life outside of First Immanuel. She also uses a variety of projects and guest speakers to give students ownership and new perspectives of Social Studies.
In addition to teaching Social Studies, Miss Shields will also be coordinating the seventh and eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. As a huge proponent of experiential learning and travel she is thrilled to take her students to one of her favorite places to explore and learn.
Miss Shields is a native of Pontiac Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. She is a 2014 graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a degrees in both Education and History. She currently lives in Cedarburg Wisconsin with her Saint Bernard, Winnie, and loves being a part of the First Immanuel family. Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling to historical places, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers, and the University of Michigan Wolverines.
In 2016 Miss Shields was awarded the South Wisconsin District Elementary Educator of the Year.
“As a Christian educator and student of history, it is my goal to model Christ in all that I do, live in the grace and mercy of my Heavenly Father, and direct my students to the marvel of how God works in the course of the story of humanity, and our own personal stories.”
Seventh Grade Homeroom, 6th Grade Math, Foreign Language & Writing Coach
Ms. Klenz leads our 4th - 6th grade Duolingo Foreign Language Program making sure that students are progressing well and staying on task. In her role as writing coach she is really focused not just on making the kids stronger writers, but on helping her students develop the same love of writing that she has. She also works on expanding their vocabulary with a “Word of the Day,” and helps them become better proofreaders by giving extra credit to kids who find spelling and punctuation errors in newspapers, signage and other printed materials.
Students can tell right away that Ms. Klenz genuinely enjoys spending time with middle school students, and she really appreciates the enthusiasm of First Immanuel’s student body. She works on making her classes fun and focuses on building up kids’ self-esteem in a world that can often try to tear kids down. Mrs. Klenz’s secret weapon? She is very talented at reading lips – a fun and handy skill to bring to a middle school classroom!
Mrs. Klenz received a BA in elementary education from Concordia University Wisconsin in 1990. She has 8 years of teaching experience, having previously been at Hales Corners Lutheran School and Mt. Calvary Lutheran in Milwaukee. She had a very diverse childhood, including living in Japan for 6 years while her dad served as Principal at The American School in Japan. She can’t remember a time that she didn’t want to teach … maybe that is because her dad was her junior high and high school principal, and then her college advisor! She also spent growing up years in Long Island, NY, and Rockford, Ill, before settling down in Milwaukee as an adult.
When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Klenz enjoys movies, board games, crafts, spending time with family, and keeping up with her pets: 2 dogs, 2 cats and a tortoise. She has 5 children: Carli, who attends First Immanuel; Joshua, Alexander, Ryan and Stephanie; and several grandchildren.
Seventh Grade Homeroom, Middle School Science
Mr.Nelson was born and raised in Racine, WI. He began his Lutheran education in the 7th grade at Trinity Lutheran in Racine. He attended Racine Lutheran High School, and his history teacher there, Mr. James Bartz, encouraged him to become a teacher and attend Concordia College in Milwaukee. He graduated form Concordia University Wisconsin in December 1984 with a BA in Elementary Education.
Throughout his career Mr. Nelson has answered God’s calling, servinging schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, and Missouri. He has taught everything except music and served as an athletic director and coach for most of his career. Over the years Mr. Nelson has found he especially loves teaching about God's creation through his Science classes and being outdoors and communing with God in nature.
As a teacher he enjoys watching my students engage in science and participating in the natural wonders that He has blessed us with. Hands-on/project-based experiences are a preferred methods of creating a learning environment. Mr. Nelson believes that education should be enjoyable so that students will want to be life-long-learners. He believes that mistakes and failures make us stronger; there are no perfect people, just forgiven.
As an active individual who would rather be moving than sitting, and you are likely to see Mr. Nelson moving about the classroom engaging with students.
In his freetime, he enjoys weight training, hiking, biking, running, and sports.
Sixth Grade Homeroom, 6th Grade Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra, 8th Grade Math
Mr. Everts is the kind of teacher that makes learning fun. He has a great rapport with students throughout the school, but is a particularly good mentor to middle schoolers. He meets middle school angst with lightheartedness, and helps kids not take themselves too seriously. He believes that it is just as important to teach life skills as it is to assure his students’ math proficiency.
Some of the interesting things that go on in Mr. Everts’ math classes include a simulated stock market project in which kids try to grow their “fortune,” and a statistics project which requires students to gather and compile polling data and present their analysis to the class. And, once you know Mr. Everts, it comes as no surprise that he starts every class period with “jokes of the day.”
Mr. Everts also serves as First Immanuel’s athletic director and coaches cross country, boys’ basketball and the track team. His Wildcat Basketball Camps for grades K-8 are the hottest summer camp ticket in Cedarburg, because they are so well run and teach sportsmanship and basketball skills in equal doses.
Mr. Everts has a BS in Secondary Education - Math, from Concordia University Wisconsin. He has over 17 years of teaching experience all but one of which have been at First Immanuel. He and his wife, Jamie, have two children, Mason and Lily, who are students at First Immanuel.
When he is not teaching or coaching Mr. Everts enjoys a good "power nap", movies, playing games with my family, and cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and San Antonio Spurs.
“I pray that I model a Christian example of how to carry oneself and that my students might be equipped with the tools to go out into the world and use the gifts that God has given them to the best of their ability.”
Eighth Grade Homeroom, Middle School Language Arts
Miss Bertram is one of our newest members at First Immanuel Lutheran School and will be teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English. She is very enthusiastic about learning, energetic, and creative in the classroom, and enjoys getting her students excited about English. She loves working with middle school students and cannot wait to explore the world of literature with them.
In the classroom, Miss Bertram likes to read thrilling, yet challenging books with her students, and is passionate about motivating them to think outside the box while analyzing and exploring different themes and genres of literature. She likes to use creative writing assignments and activities to engage her students throughout the learning process, and she firmly believes that any student can love reading, it just takes the right book. Miss Bertram prides herself in establishing strong, positive relationships with her students, and strives to develop respect and personal growth with each one of her students.
Miss Bertram received a BA in Elementary Education at Concordia University Wisconsin in 2015, as well as a minor in English/Language Arts. In college, Miss Bertram participated in different music ensembles, including the band, pep-band, and choir. Throughout her educational career, Miss Bertram also worked with many different students, including students in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Miss Bertram is a native of Fairmont, Minnesota, and enjoys cheering on the Minnesota Twins. She currently lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and is excited about gaining a new family in Christ at First Immanuel Church and School. In her free time she enjoys traveling the world, spending time with friends and family, reading, watching Netflix, and playing with puppies.
"It is my goal as a Christian educator to motivate my students to cultivate a love for reading and writing, all while growing in their faith in Christ Jesus. I want to introduce my students to new characters, stories, and adventures, traveling to all sorts of places and worlds. Reading is fun! I want my students to love it just as much as I do."
4th - 8th Grade Art
Mrs. Rank teaches art in grades 4-8. Her flexible teaching style is perfect for fostering student creativity. She explains the goals of a project and gives loose guidelines, but let students experiment with how to get to the results they envision. She exposes students to a large range of media, including drawing and painting media, sculpture and pottery, and textiles and knitting.
One of the things that Mrs. Rank is particularly good at is fostering an appreciation for great art, through study of the European masters to very contemporary American artists. To tie the artists they’ve been studying back into their own work, all of Mrs. Rank’s middle school art students choose, develop and present their own quarterly art projects, based on one of the artists they have been studying. In 4th and 5th grade art, the focus is on art from a variety of cultures around the world.
Mrs. Rank has been teaching at First Immanuel since 1996. She lives in Cedarburg with her husband, Scott. She has a grown daughter living in Minneapolis, a daughter who recently graduated from UW-LaCrosse, and a son that recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa.
“God has created a magnificent world and I enjoy sharing my insight into God’s beautiful creations with young artists. All students need to appreciate the aesthetic gifts and talents with which we have all been blessed.”
Middle School Physical Education
Mrs. Kassander is one of the newest teachers at First Immanuel, and she has been impressed with First Immanuel’s supportive environment. In turn, students have been impressed with Mrs. Kassander … especially the way she uses her easy humor and levity to make things fun. But students know she means business too, and she creates clear expectations for her students. The motto in Physical Education is “Attitude + Effort = Success.” Kids leave Mrs. Kassander’s phy ed classes sweaty!
One of the main reasons Mrs. Kassander decided to become a physical education teacher is because of her own terrible experience in P.E. as a student. It is now her goal to make each student’s phys ed experience a positive, safe and enjoyable one. She teaches students that it isn’t necessary to be great at sports, but it is necessary to keep moving and be active, and to take care of your body inside and out. Some of the special things that go on in physical education include ballroom dancing, Parisi Speed School, a tumbling unit, and sessions on health, nutrition and hygiene. She enjoys watching kids progress in terms of their fitness, sportsmanship, attitude and self-esteem.
Mrs. Kassander grew up in New Jersey, moving to Thiensville in 1995. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2007 with a BSE in Physical Education and minors in adaptive education and coaching. She is in her 5th year of teaching, having previously taught physical education in Hartford and Sussex.
While not teaching at FILS, Mrs. Kassander helps her husband Joe, run their business, Cedarburg Storage, and spends time with her three young children: Hailee (who attends FILS), Owen and Charlie.
“The Lord has granted us one body, and I feel blessed to be able to educate my students how to honor what the Lord has given us in all things … spiritually, physically and mentally. An inspiration for me 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.’”
Middle School Support For Success Mentor & Paraprofessional
Mrs. Seban is enthusiastic about engaging middle school students both academically and spiritually as she encourages them to grow as a student and as a forgiven child of God. She graduated from Concordia Wisconsin with a BA in elementary education focusing on middle school and minoring in math. Mrs. Seban has over 15 years of experience working with middle school and high school youth both in the classroom and youth programs, serving at Mt Calvary Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and St Paul’s Lutheran in Des Peres, MO. Recently, as Youth Ministry Assistant at St Paul’s Lutheran, Mrs Seban directed Middle School Ministry activities and developed Root 66 – a program challenging youth to be rooted in the 66 books of the Bible.
Mrs. Seban believes that is important for students to know WHOSE they are as they work on figuring out WHO they are! It is only as forgiven children of God that we can really embrace our identity in Christ reflecting Him in all we do and say.
She is married to FIL Associate Pastor Tim Seban. Together they have one son, Sam, who is in Kindergarten here at First Immanuel. As a family, they enjoy traveling, playing games, watching movies, kayaking and hanging out together.