Sharing the life-saving Word of God with the children and their families is the school’s most important mission. Bethesda’s school, preschool, and child care staff are committed to the school’s mission, and they do so faithfully and with excellence.

Teacher – Grades Kindergarten through 3rd:  Mrs. Marianne Allen

Education:  Concordia Teacher’s College, Seward  Ne;  Bachelors in Elementary Education at University of North Dakota, ELL certification in postgraduate school at UND

Experience:  5 years at Grand Forks Christian School (Elementary Social Studies,  Math, and Music teacher).   3 years at Manvel Public School (K-8 elementary school migrant English Language instructor, Special Education curriculum coordinator).  9 years at Bethesda multi-grade classroom.  Marianne received her Colloquy from Concordia in 2009. 

Philosophy of Christian Education:  I believe that if we put “first things first” loving God, learning His Word and His ways, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves then we will have a safe and caring learning environment in which students will excel as disciples and citizens that make a difference in our world.  


Reading Teacher and Librarian: Mrs. Susan Decker

Education: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater BBA in Marketing and Business Administration. Chadron State College BS in Business Education and Educational Media Specialist, BA in Public Library, MS Reading Specialist. 

Experience: Nineteen years in Hot Springs Middle and High School teaching English and reading.  Served as the High School Librarian.  Three years librarian with Bethesda Lutheran School and two years teaching second grade and third grade reading.

Philosophy of Reading Education: Reading and writing are difficult and complex skills.  Every child can learn to read and write when given the right materials using a systematic and logical approach while in a kind and loving atmosphere.


Preschool Teacher: Ms. Justine Gricius

Education: Corning Community College, Corning New York, A.S. Elementary Education; Keuka College, New York; B.S.-Environmental Science

Experience: 3 years at Bethesda Lutheran School, Preschool and Junior Kindergarten.   Ms. Gricius has a vast background of experiences to draw upon in her teaching.  She has worked with YMCA Childcare, assisted with forestry & wildlife, researched sea turtles in Campeche, Mexico, and educated youth about nature and wildlife.  She also has worked as a volunteer firefighter and has professional CPR, First Aid and Open-water Lifeguard Certification.  Her experiences entail more than can be listed for this young mother of three.  Ms. Gricius brings the joy of learning to all of her students in an energetic, creative way.


Preschool Teacher: Ms. Darlene Jackson

Bethesda’s Little Shepherd’s Preschool Teacher has taught 18 plus years in the rural schools of Nebraska. She has taught all grades (K-12) in various combinations. Ms. Jackson is an education graduate of Chadron State College and also is endorsed in Special Education.


School Principal: Dr. Kenneth Palmreuter

Education: Concordia University Chicago B.S. in Education 1962; University of Michigan M.A. in Educational Administration 1968; Concordia University Nebraska Doctor of Laws 1993

Experience: 1962-1987 Principal – Calvary Lutheran in Lincoln Park, MI and Principal of Lutheran High School West in Detroit; 1987–2014 Principal of Denver Lutheran High School and Lutheran elementary schools in metro Denver. Dr. Palmreuter brought his experience in school leadership to Bethesda in 2017 when the school began its successful re-accreditation self-study and properly completed the requirements of becoming a licensed Child Care center through the South Dakota Department of Social Services.


Administrative Assistant: “Lynn Michelle” Mason

Education: Northern State University Aberdeen, South Dakota, B.S. Music Education 1981; Cottey College, Nevada, Mo. A. A Fine Arts 1978

Experience: K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Music, Kindermusik studio; Music Studio (Piano, Instrumental, Vocal), The United Churches Choir Director

Volunteer Work: “Build the Library” group, PEO officer (philanthropic educational organization), Arts and Crafts Festival supporter and Community Concert board member


Volunteer Teaching Assistant: Linda Johnson


Child Care Staff

Jean Brooks

Kendra Finn

Kendra comes to us from the colorful state of Colorado. Currently working on her business degree with a focus on mental health, she is also a doting mother to two boys. (14 and 8) With twelve years working in the nursing field and her years as a lead teacher at a daycare in Wyoming, Kendra is a wonderful addition to the staff at Bethesda. She embraces a passion of sharing the life-saving word of God with each child she meets.