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9931 Foley Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN  55433
Our Faculty and Staff
Rev. Mark Kaesmeyer
Lead Pastor


Pastor Mark Kaesmeyer grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. His elementary and high school years were spent in Saginaw at St. Paul's Lutheran School and Michigan Lutheran Seminary. His pastoral studies were completed at Northwestern College* and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary where he graduated in 1998. He served as a vicar in both Panama City and Tallahassee, Florida (1995-96); and a year in Horsham, Victoria, Australia (1996-97). His first pastoral call was to serve as a mission explorer in Smyrna, Tennessee (1998-2002), where he helped establish Abiding Faith Lutheran Church. He then served as an associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Burnsville, MN (2002-2008). Most recently he has served First Lutheran Church and School in Lake Geneva, WI.
Rev. Ben Pederson
Associate Pastor

Pastor Ben Pederson is “one of us,” a MN boy who grew up in Zumbrota in southeastern MN. He and his wife Emily, a southern belle from TN and college sweetheart, have five pretty great (most of the time) children. He graduated from Martin Luther Preparatory School in Prairie du Chien, WI and Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. After four years at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, including a vicar-year at in Minocqua, WI, he was assigned to serve God’s people in Sauk Rapids, MN. After five years there he and his family headed south to the sun and sand of Spring Hill, FL. Nine years later, they’re back in MN and excited to be part of the family at Cross of Christ.
Mr. Brian Mensching
Principal / 7th & 8th Grade Teacher

Mr. Brian Mensching was born in Hayward, WI.  Brian attended Northland Lutheran High School in Wausau, WI.  He then went to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.  His first teaching experience was an emergency call to teach 5th grade in Appleton, WI. After graduating from MLC in 2001, Brian was a tutor at Luther Prep in Watertown, WI.  He was then assigned to teach and be principal in Newburg, WI.  He has also served as teacher and principal in Aurora, IL and also Greenfield, WI.   He graduated with a Master of Science in Education in 2012 from Martin Luther College. Brian and Erin (Ekhoff) were married in 2005 and have 4 daughters.  Brian enjoys sports of all kinds and spending time with his family!  He is looking forward to being a part of the ministry here at Cross of Christ.
Mrs. Nicole Roper 
Preschool Director & Teacher
Licensed - Early Childhood Education
Background info coming soon
Mrs. Jeanette Marnholtz


Jeanette grew up in Lakeville, MN.  She attended Inver Hills Community College and then went to the University of Minnesota for Environmental Education. This is where she met her husband, Keith, while they both participated in the U of M Marching Band. During the summer, Jeanette is a Camp Director at Camp Sanderson in Spicer, MN for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines.  Her free time is spent as a volunteering for the Mid States Camp Conference and as Director of Transportation for hockey, dance and whatever other fun things the 3 kids want to try out. She loves to scrapbook, take photos and spend time with her family. Jeanette and her husband have 3 children: Samantha, Grace and Alex. They all attend Cross of Christ School and the family has been attending Cross of Christ church since 2008. 
Mrs. Naomi Boerner
7th & 8th Grade Teacher


Naomi graduated from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in 1997. She then attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After graduation, Naomi married her husband, Russ, and they moved to Michigan. There she taught grades 1-4 at Martin Luther School in Madison Heights, MI. After teaching for two years she chose to stay home and be a full-time mom.  Naomi and her husband have three children: Faith, Bethany, and Isaiah. Naomi is currently a part-time teacher in the 7-8th grade classroom.
Mr. Nathan Menges
5th & 6th Grade Teacher, Athletic Director

Background info to come.
Mrs. Jodi Rowe
3rd & 4th Grade Teacher

Background info to come
Mrs. Lisa Hahn
2nd Grade Teacher

Lisa graduated from Martin Luther College in 2000 with a Bachelor's degree in Education.  After graduation she married Jason Hahn and moved to Yakima, Washington, where she taught grades 3-4. After teaching for two years, she became a stay at home mom. She has been blessed with four children; Jonah, Ethan, Molly, and Chloe, all whom attend Cross of Christ. In 2013, she received a Divine Call to teach 1st and 2nd grades. Lisa enjoys sharing the Savior's love with the children at Cross of Christ.
Mrs. Mary Graber
1st Grade Teacher

Mary grew up in Oconomowoc, WI. She graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a specialty in Mathematics. After graduation, she moved to South Korea and taught English there for 15 months. After returning to the United States, she received a divine call from Dei Spring Academy in Cold Spring, Minnesota to teach 2nd and 3rd grade. In 2013, she received a call to teach Kindergarten - 2nd grade at Petra Lutheran School in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. She received the divine call to teach 1st grade at here at Cross of Christ in 2016. Mary and her husband, Brad, love spending time with their son Benjamin! Mary loves serving Christ by teaching His little lambs at Cross of Christ!
Mrs. Erin Mensching 
Kindergarten Teacher

Erin grew up in New Hope, MN. She attended West Lutheran High School and then went on to Bethany Lutheran College.  After getting an AA degree in 1999, Erin went to Minnesota State University in Mankato.  In 2002, she received her first call to be Preschool Director and Teacher in Okauchee, WI.  Brian and Erin met in 2004 and were married in 2005.  10 years and 4 beautiful daughters later, Erin took a position in Madison, WI as Director of Kids Crossing Early Learning Center.  In 2017, Erin accepted a call to teach 1st grade at St. Jacobi Lutheran School in Greenfield, WI.  Kindergarten seems to be the perfect middle ground for the other experiences that Erin has had!  She enjoys spending time with Brian and the girls.  Erin also enjoys photography.  She is looking forward to being part of the family at Cross of Christ!
Mrs. Ramona Petersen
Preschool Teacher

Ramona graduated from Cumberland Senior High School in 1996 (Cumberland, Wi). She attended The College of St. Scholastica and graduated in May 2000 with a Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies. After graduation Ramona moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and attended Luther Seminary, graduating in May 2002 with Master's Degree in Youth Ministry.  In September of 2002 she married Casey Petersen, they live in Blaine, Minnesota and have two daughters. Nora is a freshman at West Lutheran High School and Bailey is in 3rd grade at Cross of Christ. In her spare time Ramona enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Nicole Klein
3rd & 4th Grade Aide

Bio coming soon
Mrs. Lisha Rand 
Administrative Assistant

Lisha grew up in Blaine, MN and attended Spring Lake Park high school where she met her husband Scott. The Rand family have been members at Cross of Christ since 1968, so it was a natural fit for Scott & Lisha to be married here in 1983 and remain members all these years. After working for a large company for 35 years, an outsourcing event left Lisha looking for part time work. Starting with volunteering as a lunch server, then reception desk substitute, Lisha was asked to join the office staff part time in 2017. She enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and going to Twins games.  Lisha & Scott have two adult sons,  Jerahn & Jordan, Vivianne their dog, a cabin up north, and a really cool car.
Mrs. Miranda Cooper 
Cougar Care Teacher

Bio coming soon
Mrs. Shelley Wolff-Hendersot
Piano & Band Music Teacher

Shelley has a degree in Music Education fron the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire majoring in bassoon with minors in clarinet and piano.  Her teaching career began in WA in 1994 and returned to the Midwest in 1999.  Since then, God has blessed her with a husband, boy-girl twins and a beautiful home in Brooklyn Park.  Much of her career has been spent teaching in public schools, but has been blessed to work in Christian schools in recent years.  Shelley also serves as an organist at Redeemer Lutheran in Maple Grove.  "It is such a joy to share my faith and train young musicians to enhance worship into the future."

Ms. Kathy Wilkins
Preschool Assistant Teacher