Before coming to Immanuel, Pastor Esget served at Bethel Lutheran Church, DuQuoin, IL, where he was ordained in 1998. He attended Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, IN) where he earned the Master of Divinity degree (1997) and the Master of Sacred Theology degree (2005). His STM thesis was a comparison of the doctrine of original sin in Patristic and contemporary Eastern Orthodox theology.
Pastor Esget is the Sixth Vice-President (East-Southeast Region) of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He also currently serves on the Missouri Synod's Sanctity of Human Life commission and is the District Life Coordinator for the Southeastern District of the LCMS. He has presented papers at Concordia Theological Seminary's Good Shepherd Institute, the Concordia Catechetical Academy's annual symposium, the Rocky Mountain District's convocation on woship, the Higher Things youth organization, the St. Michael Liturgical Conference, the LCMS Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, and Church Music, and the Infertility Ethics Symposium at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as chaplain/worship leader for the LCMS Life Conferences, Lutherans for Life annual March for Life events, Higher Things, and the LCMS Worship institute. His sermons and exegetical work have been published in several periodicals. He is a 2015 Washington Fellow of the National Review Institute.
Born and raised near Minneapolis, MN, Pastor Esget pursued his love of music with classical piano studies at Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota, acquiring his undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude) from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) in 1993. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing the piano.
The daughter of a Lutheran pastor, and graduate of a Lutheran elementary school, Julia Habrecht possesses an earnest zeal for classical education, and the mission of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School. Ms. Habrecht earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Toledo. She also has a strong background in non-profit management, project management, and fundraising. Ms. Habrecht put those skills to work while teaching philanthropy and community leadership with a youth and leadership organization in Toledo. Prior to joining the Immanuel staff, Ms. Habrecht worked as Head of Exhibitions, as well as Director of Major Gifts, at the Toledo Museum of Art for twelve years. During her time there, she managed five of the top ten best attended exhibitions at the museum, including the Michelangelo and Van Gogh exhibits.
Ms. Habrecht enjoys serving the Immanuel congregation through participation in the church council, choir, and altar guild. She also serves as a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Board for National Mission. Ms. Habrecht contributed a chapter to He Restores My Soul (Emmanuel Press, 2018). She lives in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria with her husband Matthew and their son.
Molly Barnett, Lower School Lead Teacher, 4th Grade Teacher
Molly (Leithart) Barnett graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and minoring in Spanish. She completed the Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute for English Language Arts (grades 4-12) through the Ohio Department of Education. Mrs. Barnett previously taught middle school language arts at Grace Christian School in Blacklick, OH. She earned her M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis.
Mrs. Barnett enjoys teaching piano students of all ages and singing in the church choir. In 2010 she worked with missionaries from the United States to conduct an English Speaking Camp for children of the Lanka Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka.
Mrs. Barnett has a passion for classical education sharing her love for language, music and Lutheran catechesis in her role as our Lower School Lead teacher and 4th grade classroom teacher. She has joined her ILS colleagues in presenting on Self Governance: Myth or Reality for the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education. Mrs. Barnett lives in Alexandria with her husband, ILS Upper School teacher Shawn Barnett.
Mr. Barnett joined the ILS faculty in 2017 as Upper School Latin and History teacher and serves as the 6th grade homeroom teacher. He previously taught 5th grade at Seven Oaks Classical School in Ellettsville, IN, where he also sponsored and led an after-school chess club.
Earning his Bachelor of Arts in Theological Languages at Concordia University Chicago, Mr. Barnett discovered his passion and talent for learning languages, including German, Dutch, Latin, Greek, French, Scandinavian languages and Biblical Hebrew. He used these chiefly in the service of the study of theology, in which he also earned his Master of Arts from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. This further opened-up the world of European literature and history. His proficiency in various languages, classical and modern, familiarity with literature and history, and capabilities in both quantitative and verbal logic are indispensable assets in his teaching in a classical, Christian setting.
Mr. Barnett has written a number of publications and presented on a variety of subjects, including a recent presentation at a conference for Confessional Lutherans in Europe (Corpus Christi) on the basis for church fellowship.
In his spare time, Mr. Barnett enjoys cycling, running, reading literature and watching Cardinals games. He lives in Alexandria with his wife, ILS Lower School Lead Teacher Molly Barnett.
Carissa Davis, Upper School Lead Teacher
Carissa Davis earned a degree in Classical Liberal Arts, with an emphasis on Literature, from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. After graduation Miss Davis moved to Seoul, South Korea, to teach English to Kindergarten and grade-school students. She also taught North Korean refugees on a volunteer basis and led an a Bible study for the English-speaking women. Miss Davis passionately learns about the world through travel and education.
Miss Davis serves as ILS Upper School Lead Teacher, as well as 7th grade homeroom teacher. She also teaches 6th through 8th grade literature, logic, and writing/grammar. She enjoys inspiring the imagination through good literature and sharing her love of learning with students. Miss Davis has helped to lead a session on Self Governance: Myth or Reality at the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Annual Conference.
Miss Danielle Davis joined the ILS faculty in 2018 as Upper School Science and Math teacher and serves as the 8th grade homeroom teacher.
After graduating cum laude and with departmental honors earning a Bachelor of Science, Biology from Hillsdale College, Miss Davis completed her Master of Health Science at Grand Valley State University. Miss Davis previously served as a Laboratory Assistant and Histology Teaching Assistant at Grand Valley State University and worked as a Biology Tutor at Hillsdale College. She also taught an ILS Upper School elective on the structure, function, and modern use of DNA, as well as worked as a tutor and ILS Lower School Aid.
Miss Davis’s scientific publications include:
Influence of Fatty Acid Structure on Endothelial Cell Inflammation. Davis, D. & Kurjiaka, D.
Fatty Acid Receptors Regulate Endothelial Cell Connexin43 Expression. Booms, A., Grider, K., Holloway, T., Scott, C., Stevens, A., TenHoor, A., Sowers, A., Davis, D., & Kurjiaka, D.
Effects of Joint Administration of Bacteriophage and Antibiotics on growth in Gram-Negative Bacteria. Davis, D. & Steiner, F.
Miss Davis believes that an ideal education is found in the classical Christian model, which provides students with a wide base of knowledge, problem solving skills, virtue, and knowledge of God, preparing students to be good Christians and good citizens. She loves teaching, engaging with students in the hard work of cultivating knowledge and virtue, and marveling together in the beauty of God’s creation.
Grace Egger, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Grace Egger serves as Kindergarten teacher at Immanuel. Mrs. Egger earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hillsdale College, where she majored in English and minored in Classical Education, studying topics including classroom management, master teachers of the western tradition, and communication skills.
While at Hillsdale, she served as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Department and was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, women's national music fraternity.
Mrs. Egger loves working with students and served as a substitute teacher at Granite Classical Tutorials in Columbia, MD, where she taught fourth through seventh grade Latin classes and managed classes of up to 25 students. She has also worked as a Youth Intern at Presbyterian Church of the Atonement, working with middle and high school students, teaching Bible study and Sunday school, and developing course studies.
Mrs. Egger and her husband, Andrew Egger, are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Marie Greenway, Music Teacher
Mrs. Marie (Landskroener) Greenway serves as music teacher teaching students from Jr. Kindergarten through 8th grade, including our Upper School handbell choir. Additionally, Mrs. Greenway manages the ILS after-school music lesson program.
Mrs. Greenway graduated from Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Emphasis in Education) and completed the Apprenticeship Program at Hillsdale Academy. While attending Hillsdale College, she served as Orchestra Librarian, Music program leader, and as Service Accompanist at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. She has also interned at Concordia Publishing House, where she assisted at the LCMS Institute on Preaching and Church Music. She plays the organ, piano, and french horn.
Miss Gabriel Fickenscher joined the Immanuel Lutheran School staff in 2018 as the Operations Assistant. In this role, she is the primary point of contact for current families or visitors to the school and provides administrative support to ensure smooth operations across the organization.
Prior to joining the ILS community, Miss Fickenscher taught English as a foreign language in Slovakia and the Czech Republic through the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's Office of International Mission. Through this experience, she taught students in 1st -13th grades conversational and comprehensive EFL courses, creating a curriculum to engage a wide range of ages and comprehension levels. She also worked as a personal tutor in the Czech Republic organized an after-school sewing course for children of the American expat community in Prague. At Indiana University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion design, with Minors in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management and Apparel Merchandising, Miss Fickenscher worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant.
Laurie Honig holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from Longwood College. With previous experience as a preschool teacher, Mrs. Honig is noted for her natural warmth and sincere care for the students, staff and families of Immanuel. She is known for daily encouraging young minds and strong collaboration with parents. Mrs. Honig and her husband are the proud parents of four children, all of whom are ILS graduates.
Mrs. Honig is Immanuel's Junior Kindergarten teacher. She consistently enjoys a course of self-study in classical education, and excels at helping students love their neighbors.
Katherine Kramer has a Bachelor of Arts from Patrick Henry College in the Classical Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Pedagogy, and minor studies in Literature. Ms. Kramer's experience includes working with autistic children, and she has received training in Biblical counseling. As a member of the Society for Classical Learning, she is an enthusiastic advocate for the holistic Classical approach to teaching, and is inspired to see students developing into young men and women who love God and serve their neighbor.
Ms. Kramer leads the professional development for Immanuel’s faculty and has written for the Classical Lutheran Education Journal and presented at the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education’s summer conference. She served previously as Immanuel's lead teacher in the Upper School, where she enjoyed developing the thinking skills and the moral imagination of students through excellent conversations and stories. She is a member of Immanuel Church where she teaches Sunday School.
Anastasia Krumwiede, 3rd Grade Teacher
Anastasia (Murray) Krumwiede grew up in Houston, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from Hillsdale College. She developed a love for nurturing students through classical education while volunteer teaching at Hillsdale Preparatory School. A musician at heart, Mrs. Krumwiede has played the trumpet since childhood. As a continuing language enthusiast, she enjoys writing and reading in Latin. As she models the life of a scholar, Mrs. Krumwiede enjoys her continuing membership with the Society of Classical Learning.
Kristin Malcolm graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Politics. While attending Hillsdale, she was a recipient of the George Washington Fellowship Scholarship, the leader of Hillsdale's Young Life program, a member of Phi Sigma Tau Honorary, and an active volunteer with middle schoolers and the elderly.
Miss Malcom is pursing a Master of Arts in Thomistic Studies from the Dominican House of Studies. She has published a journal article for the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education and presented at their annual conference.
Miss Malcolm is passionate about teaching children to know God and his world so that they can love God and his world. She cherishes the simple joys and average moments that remind her that all of life is God's gift. Two of her favorite things are a good book and a good conversation. She also loves playing volleyball, the piano, and European board games.
Miss Malcolm enjoys singing in the choir at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Stephanie Lange Mekonen, Kantor & Church Office Administrator
Stephanie Lange Mekonen serves as Kantor Church Office Administrator for Immanuel Lutheran Church, in addition to teaching private voice lessons for Immanuel students. Mrs. Mekonen holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In the D.C. area, she performs regularly as a professional singer with the Washington Master Chorale and Church Circle Singers and maintains a private voice studio. She previously served as cantor at The Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda. Mrs. Mekonen has been teaching private voice for eight years to students of all ages and levels, and teaches genres ranging from jazz and musical theater to classical and opera.
Mr. Mekonen and her husband, Yonas Mekonen (ILS Upper School PE Teacher), live in Alexandria.
Yonas Mekonen, Upper School PE Teacher
Yonas Mekonen is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist who has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. He has served as Fitness Director for two fitness centers in NoVa, has competed and won several bodybuilding competitions, and maintains a busy personal training schedule with one-on-one clients. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he is also working to bring knowledge and education of health and fitness to his fellow Ethiopians.
Yonas has been a part of the Immanuel community since 2017 and enjoys working with the children and adults alike. When he is not training clients or working out, he is most likely in the kitchen or playing with his kids. Yonas and his wife, Stephanie, live in Alexandria.
Amanda Morrison, Kindergarten Assistant
Born and raised in Michigan, Amanda Morrison grew up a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waltz, Michigan, and attended the church's school Preschool through 8th grade. Mrs. Morrison received a Bachelor in Science in Biochemistry from Hillsdale College. There she conducted research designed to isolate and test the activity of an enzyme from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca that could be useful in treatment of gluten intolerance. While attending, she was a member of ACS, Iota Sigma Pi Honor Society, and Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. After her graduation from Hillsdale, Mrs. Morrison was hired by Pi Beta Phi's headquarters, in Chesterfield, Missouri as their Collegiate Financial Support Coordinator. She assisted and advised chapters in financial trouble and mentored students to be effective financial managers for their chapters.
Mrs. Morrison is passionate about her Lutheran faith and is happy to share it with her students as the Assistant Kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Morrison also serves the community as our staff coordinator for special school-wide events. She and her husband, Mike, live in Alexandria.
Miss Reistad serves as Immanuel Lutheran School's 1st grade teacher. Miss Reistad was raised in Austin and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. At SMU, Miss Reistad was an Engineers as Leaders scholar, allowing her to be mentored through the National Science Foundation. She graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Management Science and Mathematics and a minor in Business Administration and received the Magna Cum Laude distinction on the American Classical League's National Latin Exam.
Miss Reistad is excited to share her faith and the joy found in the resurrection of our Savior with her first grade students, and she desires to use her gifts in direct service to Christian families wanting a parochial education for their children. She brings to Immanuel a variety of experiences in training, camp counseling, and tutoring students. In her leisure time, she enjoys singing in the Immanuel church choir and playing the piano.
Jenny Schmick, Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Jenny Schmick studied elementary education at the Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Since 2007, Mrs. Schmick has worked as an Instructional Assistant at Bethany Lutheran Preschool in Alexandria and previously worked within the Department of Defense School System.
Beginning in 2013, Mrs. Schmick served the Immanuel community as an extended care assistant, and began serving as the current Assistant Teacher in Jr. Kindergarten during the 2015-2016 school year. In her current role, she leads our youngest students in the study of God's Word during daily theology lessons.
Mrs. Schmick and her husband Joel have been married almost 30 years and have two daughters. She volunteers as an ESL instructor and is a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria.
Rebekah Stegman, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Rebekah (Reistad) Stegman serves as Immanuel Lutheran School's 2nd grade teacher. Mrs. Stegman attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. During her time leading a team of employees and mentoring interns at the Central Intelligence Agency, Mrs. Stegman realized her passion for teaching. This was also strongly influenced by her mother, a lifelong elementary school teacher, as well as through a variety of teaching opportunities during and since college.
In her spare time, Mrs. Stegman loves playing the piano, particularly duets with her sister Kirstin (ILS 1st grade teacher), crafting, and outdoor activities. As a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church since 2013, Mrs. Stegman is an active participant in the life of the community, singing in the choir and serving on the altar guild. Mrs. Stegman lives with her husband, Jason, in Alexandria.
Mrs. Whitney Work earned a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Virginia and was a fellow at UVA's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. She serves as Immanuel's Director of Advancement, responsible for student recruitment, fund-development, and community relations, along with the marketing and public relations activities necessary to support these priorities.
Prior to working at Immanuel, Mrs. Work was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Independent Schools, a nonprofit member association providing services to more than 1,700 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad. There, Mrs. Work engaged with many of the association's 1,400 independent, private K-12 schools in the U.S. on issues including nonprofit school governance, financial sustainability, admissions, marketing, and student assessments.
Previously, Mrs. Work served on numerous federal, state, and local political campaigns and led two statewide nonprofit advocacy organizations focusing on education and tax policy issues, as well as assisting on the Virginia Governor's transition team on K-12 education. She has a strong background as an effective leader of coalition-building and issue-advocacy campaigns, fundraising, marketing, and communications.
Mrs. Work and her family are members of Immanuel, where she has enjoyed serving the congregation as a Sunday School teacher and the co-chair of the Growing in Grace campaign.