School Faculty and Staff
Mr. Nathan Landskroener-Principal
Welcome to St. James Lutheran School, a Christ-centered education center in the Quincy, Illinois community for over 164 years. We strive to provide the best quality education possible, and we couple that with a Christian emphasis.
I have been blessed throughout my lifetime. As a child, I grew up in a home with four brothers and strong Christian parents who saw the value of attending Lutheran schools. Three of my brothers are in Lutheran ministry and my late father was a Lutheran pastor for many years. I have spent 35 years in Lutheran schools as a teacher or principal. It has been my privilege to serve as principal of St. James Lutheran School, Quincy, Illinois for the past eight years.
As family has played an integral part of my life, our school family is very important at St. James! Through God’s continued grace, we learn together what it means to live a life as a believer in Christ and would love to share this with your family too! If you need more information about our school, our mission and who we are, please contact me. I would be happy to speak with you.
Mrs. Sherry Strackeljahn-Assistant Principal
I have been blessed to teach/work at St. James for almost 34 years. I have taught combined seventh and eighth grade classes, along with sixth grade, second grade, and first grade, which I taught for over twenty years. I retired from teaching after the 2015-2016 school year was over and now serve St. James as Assistant Principal. I have also served as a staff member working in both the church and school office.
St. James School is a very dear part of not only my life but my family's as well. My husband, Dale, serves as the Technology Administrator for the church and school. My children, Laurie Ann and Bryan, are graduates of St. James. My granddaughter, Sydney, is a PreK3 student. Her sister, Emma Jean, will join the school family for the 2017-2018 school year. I have also been privileged to teach my nieces and nephews who have attended our school as well.
God has truly blessed me in this wonderful ministry! I look forward to continue working with so many of my former students and their children as well as working with the newest members of our school family!
Mrs. Kellie Dietrich-School Secretary
After receiving my B.S. in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Truman State University, I held positions in several businesses in Quincy. Then I was blessed to stay at home with each of my boys when they were born.
My family first became acquainted with St. James when my oldest son began Kindergarten 19 years ago. We felt so comfortable here; we then became members of St. James Church two years later. I became a frequent volunteer at the school and then was asked to become an employee. This was ideal for me since both of my sons went to school here. I still find myself at St. James, twelve years later because of my love for the children at St. James.
My husband, Todd, and I have two sons. Mitch graduated from Augustana College and lives in Davenport, IA. Garret is still at home and is a sophomore at Quincy High School.
I have been so blessed to be a part of the children’s lives that attend St. James School.
Mrs. Amy Means- PreK-3 Teacher
My name is Amy Means and I am the Pre-K 3 teacher. During my free time I love to bake, have family and friends over and spend time with family. I have taught Pre-K 3 and 4th-8th grades. I taught my first two years in China. I had a great experience teaching in a foreign country and I learned so much. When I moved back home from teaching overseas, I met my husband, Allen. We have been married for almost 9 years and have 3 wonderful children, named Micah (6), Brady (4), and Alexah (almost 2). After having our first son, I was blessed to be able to stay home with him for the first year. We attend church at The Crossing where my husband and I teach Pre-K 3-4 during church twice a month.
Pre-K 3 is all about learning through play. We learn through center time, crafts, and other activities. In class we will have carpet time which will include jobs, reading, singing, and prayer. We also have small groups to work with kids on their numbers, letters, shapes, and more. We have recess, chapel, gym, snack, and center time. We allow lats of play time for kids to learn how to interact with each other. I am looking forward to working with you and your student.
Mrs. Ashley Hudson-PreK-3 Aide
My name is Ashley Hudson. I am the aid in Pre-K 3 at St. James. My family and I have been with St. James for three years now and we absolutely love it! I am married and have a five year old son. We love to go bike riding and camping on the weekends and during the summer!
Mrs. Jennifer Altgilbers-PreK 4 Teacher
My name is Mrs. Jen Altgilbers. My husband, James, and I have three children, Callie, Cruz, and Cassidy. I am delighted to be a teacher this year at St. James Lutheran School. This will be my sixth year working with our school and I am also a St. James alumni. I believe that a good parent-teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school success. Throughout the year I will communicate with you through notes, telephone calls, e-mail, report cards, and parent-teacher conferences. You are welcome to visit our classroom at any time. I can always use an extra pair of hands and another smiling face when working with the children. Some general goals for Pre-K4 learning are: learning about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, developing social skills through play, self-independence/confidence, and the desire to be a kind and caring child of God, and a love for school and learning. I am honored to be a part of the ministry here at St. James and look forward to a wonderful year!
Mrs. Lori Schwedes-PreK-4 Aide
Mrs. Kristi Scott-Kindergarten Teacher
My name is Kristi Scott. It is truly my joy and pleasure to teach kindergarten at St. James. I began my teaching career in 1996 after graduating from Quincy University. My husband and I have been married for 25 really wonderful years and we have 2 amazing boys: a 19 year-old named Caleb and a 15 year-old named Ethan. We enjoy many activities together including camping, cooking, and attending sporting events.
Mrs. Ann Altenhein-Kindergarten Aide
Hi! I'm Ann Altenhein. I've been married for 31 years to my husband Jim. We have one daughter, Hannah, who was married in October of 2015. I just recently moved back to Quincy. Previously, I worked for 8 1/2 years at St. James and I am excited to be back, working with Mrs. Scott and the St. James family.
Mrs. Jennifer Huntley - 1st Grade Teacher
My name is Jennifer Huntley. I am so honored and blessed to be part of the family here at St. James; teaching students not only academics, but also about Jesus. I graduated from MacMurray College in Jacksonville in 1992 and have been teaching ever since. Teaching is truly what I feel God has called me to do. My husband Darin and I have 3 sons: Benjamin, Daniel, and Caleb. My son Benjamin is in the Airforce and married to Shelby. They live at Whiteman Airforce Base. Daniel is graduating from QHS this year and plans on heading to John Wood's Agriculture Program. Caleb is our youngest and attends QJHS. I enjoy spending time with my family together, traveling, and reading.
My goal for all first graders in my class is to develop a love for learning that will last a lifetime. Our classroom is a very active place. I like to make learning fun, interesting, and hands on. I feel first grade is about each child learning how to learn and developing skills to become a successful student. I want each of them to gain confidence in themselves and be excited to explore every opportunity to learn soemthing new. I strive to create a classroom environment that shows the love of Jesus through our words and actions in all that we do.
Mrs. Renee Mitchell - 1st Grade Aide
Mrs. Denys Stark- 2nd Grade Teacher
My name is Denys Stark and I feel truly honored and blessed to be teaching at St. James. I began my teaching career just four short years ago here at St. James. During my first year, I taught 4th grade, and for the last three years I have been teaching 2nd grade. I attended John Wood Community College where I received my Associates Degree. I then continued my education at Quincy University. I graduated in the spring of 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education. In October of 2011, I married my husband, Nick. I have been blessed with a family who is involved and supportive of my career. I am grateful to be teaching at St. James, where I am able to share the message of Jesus everyday with my students. In my free time, I enjoy photography, traveling, crafting, and going to sporting events.
Mrs. Renita Mohr-3rd Grade Teacher
My name is Renita Mohr. Lutheran Schools have been a big part of my life. I attended grade school at Zion Lutheran School in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. After high school, I attended Concordia College, River Forest, where I received my teaching degree. I have taught at St. James for over 25 years. It is a privilege to work at St. James where our mission is to "See Jesus and Cause Him to be Seen".
Mrs. Hayley Harvey-4th Grade Teacher
I am a Quincy native, a former St. James Lutheran student, and Quincy High School graduate. I graduated in 2009 from Quincy University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and middle school endorsements in social studies and language arts. I began teaching in 2009, and have been teaching at St. James since 2015. St. James Lutheran School was a great place for me growing up, and I am excited to be back as a teacher to inspire students and to help them grow in their faith, as my former teachers did for me.
Mrs. Debra Bowles-5th Grade Teacher
My name is Debbie Bowles and I have been the fifth grade teacher for 16 years at St. James. I cannot imagine teaching in another school. My children all attended St. James and I feel it is a wonderful school. My children are grown and I now have two grandchildren. My husband, Mike, and I have been married for almost 30 years and enjoy watching football. I also like to read and take long walks.
In class, I try to balance teaching core concepts with fun, enriching activities. STEM and other science activities play a big part in my class. The students dissect cow eyes and pig hearts, as will as examine a real brain! Christian principles are integrated throughout the curriculum. I encourage all my students to read on a daily basis and reward them with incentives for reaching goals within the Accelerated Reader program. Students will participate in group, whole class, and individual activities to help make them a better-rounded student.
Mrs. Johnna Fuqua-6th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Sarah Gierstorf-7th/8th Grade Teacher
I grew up in Nebraska and attended college there at Concordia University, Seward. I graduated in 2005 with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a Middle School Endorsement and Content Teaching Areas of Science and Health and Physical Education. I accepted my first call into the ministry at Christ Community Lutheran School in Kirkwood, Missouri. There, I taught middle school Physical Education, Science, and Religion. In 2008, I married and moved to Quincy, accepting a call to teach 7th-8th grade at St. James. After starting our family, I took some time off to raise our two children. They are now both ready to be St. James Eagles, and I am excited to be returning to St. James in my previous role! I look forward to teaching the kids here "To See Jesus and Cause Him to Be Seen"!
Mr. Bradley Longcor II-PE Teacher
Mrs. Madeline Hagemann-Librarian
I grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, and met my husband, Quincy native Bob Hagemann, during freshman orientation week at Valparaiso University in 1967. In 1971 I graduated from VU with a degree in Elementary Education. We moved to Quincy in 1972 when Bob finished pharmacy school at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
At a PTL meeting in 1984 Principal Jim Wanagat asked for volunteers to work in the St. James School Library. Four women, including myself, “enlisted.” I have now been working in the library for 33 years. Providing books to keep children interested in reading and learning is my main focus and passion. Over the years the library has grown to hold more than 7,800 titles. There is a selection of group reads for teachers to use in classroom reading and discussion. An art file has also been developed for classroom use. In addition, there is a library for parents and adult church members.
My children, Jennifer and John, graduated from St. James Lutheran School in 1988 and 1992. They live in Portland, OR, and Olympia, WA, and are raising their children to be avid readers also.
Mrs. Dianna Arnsman - Hot Lunch Director
Welcome to the kitchen! I'm Dianna Arnsman (aka "the cooker" by some of the kids here). I have been blessed to be at St. James since 2002 and love every day! My husband Steve and I grain farm east of Mendon. We have 5 grown children and 9 grandchildren. We enjoy many activities together as a family especially big family times.
Mr. Dale Strackeljahn-Bus Driver and Technology Director
As a retired Administrator for the State of Illinois, and a current school bus driver for Quincy Public Schools, I also volunteer my time at St. James Lutheran School where my wife is the First Grade teacher and the Assistant Principal. We have two granddaughters, one who attends the PreK-3 program at St. James and the other who will join her sister there in two years. I also have my great nephew who is in our first grade. My involvement with the School began in the 1980's when our two children attended here. Having had an interest in electronics and technology for a long time, I found myself gradually assuming more and more responsibility for the technology program at St. James. Currently I head the School’s Technology Commitee and do my best to help keep our technology up to date and functioning correctly.
Mr. Aaron Mohr-Custodian
Hello, everyone. I was born and raised in Quincy. I was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church. I am a graduate of the Illinois School for the Deaf and John Wood Community College. My two brothers and my sister graduated from St. James. Now my niece and nephew are following in their footsteps. I started working at St. James in February of 2014. Whenever I am not working, I enjoy taking piano lessons, volunteering at Blessing Hospital, and taking midweek Bible classes with Pastor Tom Phillips from Christ Lutheran Church for the Deaf in Jacksonville. I also enjoy going on vacations during spring and summer breaks.