ISJ Teachers and Staff
Mr. Alexander was appointed by the Board of Education to serve as Principal beginning the 2016-17 school year. Prior to becoming the Principal, He has served as the Assistant Principal for seven years and our 5th/6th grades teacher for eight years. Mr. Alexander received his undergraduate degree from SVSU and a Master's Degree in School Administration from Concordia University in Ann Arbor. Mr. Alexander and his wife enjoy spending time with family and friends, golfing, and playing softball. He is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Teacher
Ms. Butler is a first year teacher at ISJ Academy this year. She completed her degree in Special Education and Elementary Education at Aquinas College. Ms. Butler has worked at ISJ Academy in the past as an Early Childhood Aide. She is an alumnus of West Michigan Lutheran High and ISJ Academy. Ms. Butler belongs to St. James Lutheran Church. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends. She is very excited to be a part of the ISJ team.
Mrs. Ferrell has a daughter and a son both of whom attended preschool at ISJ. She has a background in Health Science with a Bachelor's Degree from GVSU and Associate Degrees in Occupational Therapy and Dental Hygiene from GRCC. Mrs. Ferrell enjoys gardening, traveling, and attending her kids activities.
Mrs. Hall has been working as the school secretary since 2001. Her favorite part of the job is helping students and parents. Heather and her husband, Jeff, have three children who all received a stellar education from ISJ. When Mrs. Hall is not working in the ISJ office, she enjoys doing fun things with her family, trying to make new recipes, and teaching her dog to do tricks. She is a member of St. James Lutheran Church.
Third and Fourth Grade Teacher
Mr. Ringel has been involved with Lutheran education for over 14 years. He has taught every age level up to sixth grade. He received his undergraduate degree from Concordia University in Ann Arbor. David can be found climbing a mountain in Colorado during thsummer or at the beach in Florida during Christmas break. There is nothing he enjoys more than sharing his love of learning and the Love of Christ with children.
Early Childhood Teacher
Mrs. Spletzer lives in Belmont with her husband, Bruce, and two boys, Nathan and Owen. She is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has worked in ISJ's Early Childhood Program since 2013. She enjoys books and the Detroit Tigers, and hopes to visit every MLB ballpark.
Early Childhood Aide
Mrs. Thielke joined the staff at ISJ in 2017 working in the before and after care program. Today, she is a pre-kindergarten aide. Her and her husband live in Grand Rapids and their grandchildren attend ISJ.
Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Vree has been a teacher at ISJ since 2003. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement from Western Michigan University. She has also done graduate work at Grand Valley State University. Stacey and her husband, Steve, live in Rockford with their three small children all of whom attend ISJ. She enjoys traveling and reading and is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
KindergartenTeacher and Early Childhool Center Director
Ms. Welch has been serving as a Lutheran early childhood educator for over 20 years. She has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. During her career she has taught children from the ages of six weeks to six years old, coached middle school basketball and volleyball. She has served on the Lutheran Education Association's Early Childhood Educators Network Leadership Team for six years and is currently serving the Michigan District as an Early Childhood Consultant and a member of the Early Childhood Cabinet. Ms. Welch is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
First and Second Grade Teacher
Pastor Craig Bickel
Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church
God has been so much better to me than I deserve. I have been blessed to be the husband to Sharon for 29 years, we have been blessed with three children who are amazing young adults, and I wake up every morning new, forgiven, and loved by Jesus. I was born and raised in Frankenmuth Michigan, served churches in Pensacola FL, Shelby Twp., MI and currently here in Grand Rapids. Immanuel is an amazing family of faith, people who want to serve our city in sacrificial ways, and a congregation that wants to see 'God's Kingdom grow' among us. Immanuel is wonderful also because we can team with St. James in sharing God's word, truth and love through ISJ Academy. Two churches that know doing one thing, sharing Jesus with children is beautiful, and we do it together. What are my dreams? To meditate on scripture in the ancient churches of Ethiopia, to sing praise to God in Taize France, and to see my children committing to love and cherish their spouses.
Pastor Tyler Carter
Associate Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church
Pastor Tyler is a disciple of Jesus who is happily married to Natalie and blessed with two beautiful children. He was called in 2016 to serve as the Associate Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran. At Immanuel, he oversees discipleship and family ministry. While at ISJ, he helps lead chapels and co-teaches the 7/8 grade religion class. Pastor Tyler loves spending time with his family, hanging out with youth, and playing games. He would love to grab coffee with you and see how he can help you grow closer in your walk with Jesus.
Pasor Glenn Schaeffer
Pastor of St. James Lutheran Church
Pastor Glenn Schaeffer was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and has spent most of his ministry serving God’s church in Canada.
Pastor Schaeffer has been a child of God since June 18, 1961 when he was baptized as a three-month-old infant in the name of the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Raised in a Christian home, Dr. Schaeffer has been fortunate to always live in the grace and forgiveness of God and to be able say, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
During Pastor Schaeffer’s thirty-two years as a called missionary, pastor, or District leader, he has been involved in birthing several churches; shepherding two congregations; and serving as the Mission Executive and District President of the Alberta-British Columbia District (ABC District) of Lutheran Church – Canada. He is thrilled to be serving as pastor at St. James church and school. Pastor Schaeffer enjoys developing, training, and sending Jesus’ followers as God’s missionary people into their communities.
Pastor Schaeffer has a Ph.D. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in the field of Missions Studies (Missiology). With this degree He has been fortunate to serve the Lord in several ways (in addition to that listed above):
Serving as a sessional instructor at Concordia Lutheran Seminary (Edmonton) and at Concordia University College of Alberta (Edmonton) and has led tours (With his wife) to: Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria;
Teaching courses and/or leading retreats in Nicaragua, Thailand, Cameroon, and Rwanda;
Being a speaker at conferences and seminars; and by
Serving on numerous boards, such as, Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada, Lutherans for Life – Canada, and Canadian Lutheran World Relief.
His treasure, and the love of his life (aside from Jesus!), is his wife, Sandra, to whom he has been married for 36 years. The Lord has granted them four children (Nathanael, Christina, Joshua and Alicia); one son-in-law (Chris); and a granddaughter, Claire, who lives in Grand Rapids.
Please feel free to contact Pastor Schaeffer if you require the services of a pastor. He can be reached by calling 616-363- 7718 (church) or firstname.lastname@example.org.