Pastor Carl came to Trinity in 2008 after earning his Master’s of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. He was ordained into the pastoral ministry on July 22nd, 2008 at St. John Lutheran Church, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pastor Carl served his vicarage at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois. In 2004, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education, mathematics from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois and student taught at Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park, Illinois. His ministry experience includes coaching basketball at both the grade school and high school level, as well as three summers of service at Camp Lakeview in southern Indiana, where he served for two years as a counselor and one year as summer program director. Since 2013 he has served Trinity in the role of senior pastor. He loves to spend time with his wife, Katie, and his five children (Lydia, Esther, Elizabeth, Ruth, and Silas). His interests also include camping, reading, playing basketball, and do-it-yourself projects around the house.
Pastor Chris joined the Trinity team in 2019 upon earning his Master of Divinity Degree from Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis. He was ordained and installed at Trinity on July 28th, 2019. Pastor Chris served his vicarage at Living Savior Lutheran Church in Fairfax Station, VA spending much of his time doing campus ministry with international students at George Mason University. His college career began at Concordia College New York studying New Media before transferring to Concordia University Chicago to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2014. His ministry interests include community outreach, care ministry, preaching, teaching, and cross-cultural ministry. Pastor Chris loves spending time with his wife, Bridget, and enjoys history, computers, do-it-yourself projects at home, and meeting new people.
Brian Axtman joined Trinity in the summer of 1998. Brian graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1988, and went on to pursue a B.S. in Communication with an concentration in Radio, Television, Film & Computer Animation at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. His time in Chicago was spent producing, directing and acting in various theatrical, television, live sports and film projects. After college, Brian spent 20 years in the media business, starting, managing, developing, merging, buying and selling companies in Mequon, Milwaukee, Chicago, Tampa, Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Rochester, New York City and Charlotte. Brian is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Organizational Management at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. In addition to his current role as Executive Director and School Choice Administrator, here at Trinity, he also is part of the contemporary worship team. Brian serves on the Board of Directors for Living Word Lutheran High School, the annual Christ For Africa mission auction, and is an Executive Producer and Board member for Congo Unites, an international relief organization fighting genocide and child slave trafficking in Eastern Africa. He is married to Angela, and they have 5 children (Jonathan, Daniel, Michael, Matthew and Emily), all graduates of Trinity School. Outside of work, Brian enjoys golf, managing investments, commercial real estate, writing and public speaking. Future goals include teaching at the college level, and developing financial literacy curriculum.
Sam Seefeld joined the Trinity family in the summer of 2018. Sam graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 2003 and went on to pursue history and pre-seminary studies at Concordia University St. Paul. He later earned a teaching certificate at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW). Following the completion of the program at CUW, Sam worked as a teacher, coach, and class mentor at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, NV from 2009 to 2013; he completed a master’s in education in 2010. While in Nevada, Sam began doctoral studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas; this led to an internship and position at CUW where he worked from 2013 to 2015 with disability services and institutional research. In 2015 Sam accepted a Call to serve as the Dean of Students at Milwaukee Lutheran High School where he also coached varsity golf, and focused on growing the chapel program by starting a student-led worship team. He completed his Ph.D. (leadership competencies) in May of 2016.
As a Principal and educator, Sam uses a culture-first approach while also driving best-practices, data-driven instruction, and high standards. Outside of Trinity, Sam serves on the board of directors for Camp LuWiSoMo and on the Committee for School Quality with School Choice Wisconsin. He enjoys spending time with his family (wife Hannah, son August, and daughter Elena) along with golfing, reading, and playing in area worship bands.
Rick came to Trinity as a third grade teacher back in the summer of 1984. From 1984 through 1998, teaching third grade for four years and fifth grade for ten years. He also coached football, basketball, softball and track. In 1999, Rick transitioned into the position of Director of Youth and Family Ministry. When Trinity needed an interim principal in 2007, Rick moved into that role while continuing to oversee youth and family ministry. When Trinity called a full time principal in 2010, he transitioned to his current role as Director of Discipleship.
Rick is native to the Milwaukee area, having attended Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church and graduating from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1980. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1984) as well as his Master of Science degree (1989) from Concordia University Wisconsin.
Rick has been married to Kathleen since May of 1984, and has been blessed with three children – Robin Michael (30) Hannah Margaret (28) and Andrew Curtis (25). Robin and his wife (Hannah Audrey) gave Rick and Kathy a grandson, Richard Luther, (Ricky) in November of 2017. In his spare time, Rick enjoys golf, following the Milwaukee Brewers, and working in his yard.
Cindy Mollwitz was welcomed to the Trinity team in the fall of 2013 after retiring from her role of Director of Business Technology Services at Robert W. Baird & Co. where she served for just shy of 25 years. Prior to her time at Baird, she worked for 2 years at WITI TV6 in Milwaukee. Cindy graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree, majoring in Broadcast Communications. Her ministry experience at Trinity and a previous congregation includes Sunday School teacher and superintendent, Vacation Bible School teacher and director, evangelism committee and director, stewardship committee and director, financial secretary and treasurer, as well as leadership roles in various capital campaigns, missions, auctions, and children’s events. Cindy, her husband Fred and daughter Katy have been members at Trinity since 2005. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, reading, finishing DIY projects, and playing a challenging game of Scrabble. Her focus as Ministry Coordinator is to work collaboratively across the organization to pursue and bring excellence to all areas of ministry at Trinity.
Stefanie Herbert grew up in Muskego, WI and graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in 2004. After traveling to Mexico on a mission trip, she fell in love with children and teaching and went on to get her degree in Elementary Education at Wisconsin Lutheran College. While attending WLC, Stef interacted with a non-profit Christian organization called the Center for Urban Teaching which lead her to her first classroom, teaching First Grade at Garden Homes Lutheran in Milwaukee. After teaching and coaching there, she moved on to teaching K3 at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Muskego. After her two kids were born, she began instructional coaching for the Center for Urban Teaching as well as directing an extended care program for their church and school in New Berlin. Throughout her career, Stef has also coached many sports including volleyball, basketball, and track. Stefanie is graduating with her Master’s in Leadership and Innovation in 2019 and excited to use all she has learned over the past 3 years in the program. She loves spending time with her family (son Nolan, and daughter Addie), playing volleyball, reading, traveling, warm weather, and DIY projects.
Amanda joined the Trinity team in the Fall of 2019. Originally from Oostburg, WI, Amanda attended Concordia University Wisconsin where she studied special education. Prior to Trinity, Amanda served as a 4-year old kindergarten teacher in Sheboygan Falls, along with additional teaching and administrative roles in various Sheboygan and Ozaukee county areas. She has a passion for working with children, particularly watching them hit developmental milestones. Amanda brings a strong Christian background into her classroom experiences.
She is married to her husband, Derek, who teaches at Milwaukee Lutheran High School. Together, they enjoy hiking, spending time with family, and cheering on the Brewers.
Melissa Appleby grew up in Mequon, Wisconsin where she attended Calvary Lutheran (present-day Christ Alone Lutheran) and then Homestead High School. From there, she graduated from UW – La Crosse with an Elementary Education major and an Early Childhood minor. After graduation, Melissa became a 4K teacher at Building Blocks Christian Learning Center in Mequon. She taught for six years at BBCLC, as well as coached cheerleading and assisted with coaching volleyball at Calvary. In 2017 Melissa had the exciting opportunity to join Trinity’s staff as a 3K/4K teacher. Trinity has been a wonderful place for Melissa to educate God’s young children and to share her love of learning with students.
When she’s not at school Melissa can be found spending time with friends, family, and her English Bulldog Winston. She loves health and wellness activities including working out, preparing healthy meals, and participating in her local running club. She also enjoys taking art and craft classes at local shops.
Stacy Gehrke joined the Trinity Family in January 2003. Stacy Graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2002 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Administration. She was called to the Trinity Family to serve as Child Care director and quickly took on more roles including preschool teacher (for 14 years), yearbook advisor, and spent some time working with the youth group. While Child Care director Stacy focused on making it a center rather than wrap around care and extended services to include Infant and Toddler care. After the birth of her first child in 2010, Stacy stepped down as director and focused on teaching. In 2012 Stacy graduated with her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University Wisconsin, where she focused on the importance on keeping play in the classroom. She has served on the South Wisconsin District Early Childhood team for six years, two of them as director. In 2017 Stacy moved from teaching preschool at Trinity to Kindergarten and that is where God is using her currently and she continues to focus on meeting high academic needs with appropriate approaches for young children through free play, game play, and hands on centers (or guided play). She enjoys being with her family (husband Jason, daughters Emmaline and Annabel), crafting, online scrapbooking, and being outside in God’s creation.
Sarah Knuth joined the Trinity Freistadt family in 2006. Sarah graduated from Cedarburg High School in 2000 and then attended Concordia University, Mequon. She graduated from CUW with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2005. Sarah’s first call was to teach full day Preschool at Immanuel Lutheran in Palatine Illinois. In 2006, she was called to teach here at Trinity as a 3rd grade teacher. In 2018, she made the switch to 1st grade. She loves all the exploring, reading, and laughter that happens in the classroom. Outside of school, she loves crafting, reading, bowling, nature walks, and a good detective show. She also enjoys spending time with her husband (Robert) and her daughters (Kaylee, Brianna, and Jillian).
Kathy joined the Trinity family in August of 1984 when her husband, Rick, began teaching 3rd grade. Kathy graduated from Oconomowoc High School in 1981 and then entered Concordia University Wisconsin to study elementary education. She married Rick in 1984 and graduated from CUW in 1985. Kathy then received a call to teach 2nd grade at Trinity. She taught for 3 years before taking a 7 year hiatus to have 3 children.
In August of 1995, Kathy went back to teaching part time at St. John’s Glendale. She taught 4th grade Social Studies, 5th grade Math, and 6-8 grade Language Arts. After 1 semester at St. John’s, the 2nd grade position at Trinity became vacant and Kathy was asked to rejoin the staff and she has been here ever since.
Kathy loves teaching 2nd grade and also enjoys playing in Trinity’s Handbell Choir, accompanying Trinity’s Mixed Choir, and giving piano lessons. She also participates in Mission Trips from time to time, teaches Sunday School, and attends T3 and small group Bible study. When not at school, Kathy enjoys reading, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with her family.
Kelsey Charron grew up in Winona, MN and graduated from Cotter High School in 2014. Throughout her high school career, Kelsey volunteered at several Christian summer camps, and God used those experiences to instill a joy and passion within her heart for supporting, encouraging, and teaching youth. Kelsey went on to explore that passion by studying at Concordia University Wisconsin (2018), where she earned her BA in Lutheran Elementary Education with minors in Youth Ministry and English/Language Arts. Kelsey continued to serve at Christian summer camps throughout college, and, in 2018, she received her first call to serve as a program director at Camp Lone Star in La Grange, TX. Kelsey is excited that God is now calling her to the classroom and the wonderful community at Trinity Lutheran.
Kelsey describes herself as goofy, tenacious, and a lifelong learner. Her “go-to’s” in life are iced coffee, Kid President videos, and sunscreen. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and laughing around a campfire with family and friends.
Emily Woelfel joined the Trinity Freistadt family in August 2018. Emily graduated in 2001 from New Holstein High School and then attended Concordia University Wisconsin. She graduated from CUW in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with minors in English/Language Arts and Adaptive Education. Emily’s first call was to teach 5th and 6th grade at St. Paul Lutheran in Fort Dodge, Iowa. While teaching in Iowa, she also worked in the afterschool program at Butler Elementary in the FDCSD. In 2014, she accepted a call that would bring her back to Wisconsin to teach 3rd and 4th Grade at Trinity Lutheran in Oshkosh. 2018 is Emily’s first year teaching 4th grade at Trinity Freistadt. She loves helping students learn new things and loves to help them find books that they will love to read. Outside of school Emily loves to spend time with her family – especially her niece, Ella. You’ll also find her reading, baking, and traveling in her spare time.
Middle School Math, Social Studies and Athletic Director
Meet Rebecca Jahr
Rebecca Jahr joined the Freistadt family in the summer of 2014. Rebecca graduated from AFSA Charter High School in 2010 and went on to Concordia University, NE to study Middle School Education with concentrations in Math and Social Sciences as well as a Lutheran Teaching Diploma graduating in 2014. Rebecca has also taken several professional development courses over the last few years including Math development courses at CUW as well as Tec21 through Concordia, NE. Trinity is Rebecca’s first call after graduation and she will be starting her 5th year of teaching in August 2018. Rebecca is also the Director of Athletics at Trinity. In her free time Rebecca is a member of Trinity’s Bell Choir and she enjoys reading, hiking, and photography.
Middle School Science and Theology, Theatre Director
Meet Brian Brauer
Brian Brauer joined Trinity in August of 2019. His teaching experiences include time at St. John’s in West Bend, Grace in Menomonee Falls, and Shepherd of the Hills in San Antonio. He has served as athletic director, coach, assistant principal, musical director, Spanish teacher, music teacher, pulpit assistant, and more. At Trinity Brian teaches middle school science and religion and leads the middle school drama club.
Brian attended Concordia University Wisconsin, and graduated with a teaching degree in 1996. He earned his masters degree in educational administration in 2011, while in San Antonio.
Brian and his wife Jamie live in Jackson, WI. He has two sons: Ryan and Chris; and two step-daughters: Taylor and Ashley.
When not spending time with family or friends, Brian and Jamie love to travel. His other passions include the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers, collecting sports and entertainment memorabilia, and public speaking – Brian has a passion for care ministry and preaching!
Brian brings an enthusiastic teaching style to Trinity. He believes all kids can learn, and that each child is a special child of God.
Marlene Forshee, Director of Music and middle school math teacher, joined the faculty at Trinity in August of 2004. Marlene has been a life-long student of Lutheran education, attending St. John Lutheran School, Random Lake, Sheboygan Lutheran High School, and Concordia University Wisconsin. Marlene has spent her 28 years of teaching in a variety of settings, with a variety of ages. Her first Call was to teach third grade, play the organ, and direct the church and school music at Trinity, Sauk Rapids, MN where she met her husband, Richard. After returning to Wisconsin, Marlene taught pre-school and was the organist and music director at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Waukesha, WI. After her God-mother’s retirement, she went back to her home congregation and started the kindergarten program at St. John, and served as their organist and music director for 8 years. God then led Marlene to accept the Call to be the Director of Music at Trinity, Freistadt. As the years progressed, Marlene took on more classroom duties, and currently also teaches middle school advanced mathematics. When Marlene isn’t at Trinity, she enjoys spending time with her husband Rich, daughter Amanda (English teacher at Wisconsin Dells High School), and son Tom (recent graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, English major). She also enjoys reading, crocheting, hiking, and card making.
Chris Kapitanski joined the Trinity family in Fall of 2019. Chris was an electrical and mechanical engineering manager for twenty years at a Media/Smart Home company, Building and Grounds Manager at Living Word Lutheran High School for two years before receiving God’s calling and blessing to become part of the Trinity Lutheran Church and School family as a Building and Grounds Facilities Manager (Keeper of the Keys). Chris also has a beautifully talented wife, Kristie, a son, Vincent, and a daughter, April.
Chris loves being and father/husband and loves spending as much of his free time as possible with them. Chris’s hobbies are hunting, fishing, playing guitar, being a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, and tinkering with anything he can get my hands on to fix or improve. His favorite bible passage is Luke 23:43
Lisa joined the Trinity team in fall of 2019. She previously worked at Our Redeemer Lutheran School as a teacher’s aide. She writes, “I love working with little ones! Watching their love for Jesus is just amazing. I love helping children learn new things.”
Lisa loves to spend time with her husband Steve, and their 3 children; Ethan, freshman at Homestead, Rachel, 7th grade at Trinity and Megan, 5th grade at Trinity. Her family loves watching the kids in their activities and working on projects at home together. Her interests also include hiking, baking and gardening.
Her favorite bible verse: Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Barbara graduated from Concordia University, Seward, NE in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI in 1995 with a Master of Arts degree in Reading and Language Arts.
In her 30+ years of teaching, she has taught in many Lutheran schools, childcare centers, and early childhood centers. She is currently a caregiver at Trinity’s Infant & Toddler House. Her greatest joy in all of these classrooms has been to share the love of Jesus with her students each and every day!
She married her husband Scott on July 15, 1989 and they have experienced many blessings together over the years. They have a small dog named Buddy, who brings them much joy and love.
Her hobbies and interests include: quilting, reading Christian fiction, singing in Trinity’s mixed choir, attending small group Bible studies, seeking out waterfalls and flower gardens when traveling, being a Winnie-the-Pooh fan, attending craft fairs, and spending time with family members.
Melinda Neuenfeldt joined the Trinity family in the summer of 2019. Melinda graduated in 2008 from Concordia University St. Paul, MN, earning her bachelor’s in education with licenses in K-12 physical education and 5-12 health, along with a minor in Lutheran Confessional Heritage. After graduation, Melinda worked as a preschool teacher at Holy Nativity Christian Child Care Center. In 2010 Melinda took a call to serve at Mount Olive Christian Early Childhood Center as their lead preschool teacher in the Junior Kindergarten Class.
Melinda has a passion for mission work and has a strong Spanish speaking background which has been used to teach Spanish to daycares around the Twin Cities. She has been on several mission trips to Spanish-speaking countries and looks forward to the next mission trip God is going to call her to go on.
As Director of Trinity’s Early Child Care Center, Melinda strives to create an environment where every child has a voice, feels safe, and is cared for by the loving hands of caregivers that teach God’s love and forgiveness. Outside of Trinity, Melinda is getting to know the Wisconsin area as well as the friendly and supportive locals. She is blessed beyond measure with a supportive husband (Scott) and a joyful son (Levi).
Catrina Kagerbauer joined the Trinity family in the fall of 2011. Catrina graduated from Rufus King H.S. in 2002 and went on to pursue an Elementary Education degree form Concordia University-WI and later an Interior Design degree at WCTC. Family and financial difficulties paused the pursuit of both careers.
She began her childcare career when she was still in high school where she worked at St. Peter-Immanuel’s (Milwaukee) after school childcare program. The numerous jobs she held throughout her early twenties prepared her for her leadership role at Trinity: nine years of retail, a teacher in an in-home childcare, a dental office assistant, a landscape grass cutter, a caretaker for her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s and a nanny of three children for five years.
Someone once told her that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. She reminds herself daily that God is ruler over her life and holds dear one of her favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans; but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
Catrina has taught Sunday School and served on the Board of Education at her former church- St. Paul’s Brown Deer and in her youth sang in numerous choirs both at school (gospel) and at church (Joy Noise at SP-I).
As an early childhood leader Catrina focuses on best-practices, organizational efficiency, professional growth, and spiritual care. She enjoys spending time with her family (husband Aaron [who also serves at Trinity as Assistant Facility and IT Manager], son Xavier and daughter Zoe) and closest friends, serving others through various servant projects, reading, the outdoors (hiking, exploring, swimming, boating, etc), crocheting, watching cooking competition and reality shows, and growing closer to God through studying God’s Word and applying it in her daily life. The children call her TiTi.
Princess Anderson joined the Trinity family in September of 2019. She has experience as a lead teacher in childcare and as an in-home nanny. She is married to her husband Dominique and has two children, Ayden (5) and Layla (4); both attend Trinity. In her free time she enjoys writing, painting, sewing, and crocheting.
Princess says that she knew God had a purpose for her because she, “…was blessed with the gift of love and patience.” She believes that surrounding yourself with positive things supports a positive heart. Her favorite bible verse is 1 Corinthians 18:14, “Let all you do be done in love.”
Tiffany has served in the childcare field for 20 years. Tiffany helps facilitate best practices, working with children of all ages and developmental levels. She has participated in professional continuing education and has taken a variety of courses at M.A.T.C. Mequon, including, Valuing Diversity, Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, and Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. She is currently a level nine with the WI State Registry.
Her future goal is to also work with children with special needs, emphasizing on behavioral needs. She loves working with children because they represent hope and the future-to radiate their Christian balanced lives to be of service within the communities. She loves being a witness of so many wonderful “firsts” She loves the responsibility for the happiness of so many others beyond herself and build character of the little ones. She loves to spend time cheering on her children in their various activities.
Pahlee Sayaovong became part of the Trinity Childcare team in Fall 2019. During her college years, she worked as an America Reads Tutor at Maryland Avenue Montessori, La Escuela Fratney, and UWM’s Mini Courses: Saturday Academy. After she graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, she accepted an offer to temporarily work at Easter Seals as a ceramics instructor for adults with developmental disabilities. After she gave birth to her daughter, she did a lot of substitute teaching through Parallel Education. At the same time, she also worked directly at Pilgrim Lutheran School as a substitute art teacher/teacher’s assistant until she accepted a permanent position at Northwest YMCA ECE Center.
After exploring other career paths outside of education, a friend strongly encouraged her to apply at Trinity. One of her favorite bible verses is “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6”
Hanna joined the Trinity ECC team in fall of 2019. She previously worked at Immanuel Lutheran Child Care in Brookfield as an assistant teacher in the infant room and occasionally worked with the school age group. She has also worked at New Berlin Hills Golf Course as a cart girl and banquet server.
She graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School and is currently attending Concordia University Wisconsin studying Rehabilitative Science going into Occupational Therapy. She hopes to work as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist at Children’s Hospital once she has graduated.
Hanna loves to work with children because she enjoys interacting and getting to know the kids. She also likes to be able to play with the kids and help them learn new skills that will help them throughout their lives.
She loves to spend time with her family while going golfing and camping. Her interests also include spending time with friends, babysitting, baking, and going to brewers games.
Her favorite bible verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
Hannah joined the Trinity ECC team in the fall of 2019. She currently attends Concordia University Wisconsin studying to become a Director of Church Ministries. Hannah wants to be able to use this degree to become a camp director because she loves being able to share the hope that we have in Christ with youth.
Hannah is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana where her parents and siblings still live. She has an older brother who is studying Computer Science, a twin sister who is studying Lutheran Elementary Education, a younger sister who is a sophomore in high school, and a younger brother who is in second grade.
In her free time, when she’s not doing homework or working with different clubs on campus, she loves to get together with friends and play her guitar while singing camp songs. She is currently part of a Christian band at Concordia called Haven which is one of her favorite things I do on campus.
She is so excited to be able to have the opportunity to work with the children at Trinity. She said she is truly blessed to be able to work with kids who love Christ just as much as she does!
Lauren joined the Trinity ECC team in the fall of 2019. A current student at Living Word Lutheran High School in Jackson, WI, Lauren maintains excellent grades and participates in volleyball and track. Her goal is to obtain an academic scholarship for college towards the study of education or psychology. She volunteers with a local program that provides English reading skills for elementary school children. Finally, she spends time at church camp in the summer months.
Her favorite bible verse is Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”