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9931 Foley Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN  55433
Our Faculty
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, Principal 2017-2018


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.
Mrs. Amy Lauria
Project & Administrative Coordinator


Amy grew up in St. Paul, MN in the Como Park area and graduated from Roseville Area High School in 1994. She has worked as an office manager/bookkeeper for 20 years. Her husband Mark and three children; Kyle, Jordan, and Angel have been members at Cross of Christ since 2005. Her children attended school at Cross of Christ and in 2010 she became the Administrative Assistant for Cross of Christ Church and School. She truly enjoys working with all ages and being able to serve our Lord while helping others learn and grow in their knowledge of his sacrifice for us.
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 for the Girl Scouts and her free time is spent as a volunteer committee chair member for the Mid States Camp Conference and as Team Manager for Samantha's hockey team. 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.  All three of her children attend Cross of Christ Lutheran School. She is currently a part-time teacher in the 7-8th grade classroom, and also works in the school office.

Mr. Brandon Gierach
6th Grade Teacher


Brandon grew up on a farm in Brownsville, Wisconsin. He graduated from Winnebago Lutheran Academy in 2010. After graduation, Brandon attended the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for one semester going for a degree in sports management. In January 2011, Brandon transferred to Martin Luther College double majoring in Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Education. He graduated in May 2015. In June 2015, Brandon married Sarah Sherod, a math and science teacher at West Lutheran High School in Plymouth, MN. He moved to Plymouth and received the call to teach 5th and 6th grade at Cross of Christ in July of 2015. Brandon enjoys reading books about just about anything and watching Star Wars with his bride.  
Mr. Nathan Menges
5th Grade Teacher, Athletic Director

Background info to come.
Mrs. Jonnica Mayer
3rd & 4th Grade Teacher


Jonnica grew up on a farm outside St. Peter, MN. She graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. There she met her husband, Josh Mayer who serves as pastor at Redeeming Grace Lutheran Church in Rogers, MN. She taught in the Sibley East Public Schools for three years before moving to the metro area and substitute taught in the area school districts for two years. She received a call to teach 3rd and 4th grades at Cross of Christ in May 2017.
Aimee Panek
3rd & 4th Grade Part-Time 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, are looking forward to welcoming their first child in December. Mary loves serving Christ by teaching His little lambs at Cross of Christ!
Mrs. Julie Cison
Kindergarten Teacher


Julie grew up in East St. Paul and attended Divinity Lutheran Church. After high school graduation, she continued her education at Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. She received her Bachelors Degree of Science in Education and was called to teach 3rd and 4th grades and develop a Music Curriculum at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac, WI. In 1980, she married Thom Cison and they have four children. Julie has accrued 29 teaching years in both the parochial and public schools with experience in grades Pre-K through 7th grade. She currently teaches Kindergarten at Cross of Christ. She loves teaching the little ones and her very favorite subjects to teach are reading and music. Her philosophy of education is straightforward: Teach children everything you can with and under the influence of God's Word and make their learning individual, special, and fun.
Mrs. Kirsten Duin 
Preschool Director & Teacher
Licensed - Early Childhood Education
Kirsten attended Luther Preparatory High School in Watertown, WI and graduated in 2008. It was there that she met her husband, Kent. She then attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN and graduated in 2012 with a Minnesota State Licensed Early Childhood Education degree. She and her husband moved to the Coon Rapids area after she received the Divine Call to be the Preschool Director and Teacher at Cross of Christ.
Mrs. Ramona Petersen
Preschool Teacher

Background info to come