Taylor Kirkpatrick, Preschool Teacher

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Kathy Gau, Child Care Director

My name is Kathy Gau. I have been married to Raymond Gau for 28 years In June. We have a married 25 year old daughter who attended LIFE! Lutheran School for 9 years. I began working at LIFE! School as a child care teacher and teacher's aide at that time. I have been employed as the child care director for the last three years and thoroughly enjoy it! I will be celebrating my 20th year at LIFE! School in September.



Kris Tanke, Educational Assistant/Teacher

I graduated from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon with a BA degree in Elementary Education, a Lutheran School endorsement and an emphasis in Early Childhood education. I married my husband, Jay, and moved to Eugene, Oregon where I taught at Messiah Lutheran Preschool and eventually became the director of the program. When my children started arriving in 1989, we made the decision for me to stay home until my son was in school full-time. I eventually became the Child Care Director at LIFE! School and stayed in the position for the next eight years. After a brief hiatus, I returned to LIFE! to help Miss Heinz and assist Mrs. Gau in the Child Care. I am currently working 15 hours a week teaching the 7th graders Literature, History and Geography and helping Mrs. Gau in the Child Care.

My husband Jay and I recently celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary last June. I have three children; Jessi (26), Emily (23) and Josh (18). It has been a blessing in my life to serve at LIFE! Lutheran School through the years and work with all the children and staff.



Heidi Blair, Teacher K-1st

Hi! My name is Miss Blair. I am the kindergarten and first grade teacher here at LIFE! Lutheran. I have been teacher here for three years and I absolutely love it. I am originally from the state of Washington, born in Spokane and raised in Seattle. I have very supportive parents and three sisters all spread out along the west coast. I went to Concordia University in Portland, and received my bachelors in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. I also received the Christian Education "Graduate of the Year" award. I feel called to be a teacher and am so blessed that God directed my path to Eugene. In my spare time I love to read, cook and enjoy coffee with friends and family. I also enjoy traveling and seeing the beautiful world God created.


Erika Way, Teacher 2nd-3rd

I am Mrs. Way and I am the second and third grade teacher here at LIFE! Lutheran School. I was born in Minnesota but grew up mostly in Beaverton, Oregon. I graduated from Linfield University but also attended WOSU and SPU. This year I have completed the Lutheran Colloquy program and I have accepted my call to LIFE! Lutheran School. I currently live in Pleasant Hill, Oregon with my husband Brent and son Collin, who is a freshman at PHHS. I have a daughter who works at the PH Animal Hospital and a son studying engineering at OSU. We enjoy most outside activities like fishing, hunting, and quads. I love being able to teach academics in a small setting, while also teaching God's Word and love.


Amy Manton, Teacher 4th-5th

Hi! My name is Mrs. Manton. I have spent the last 4 years as a second grade teacher at international schools in Morocco and Uganda, and before that taught Kindergarten at LIFE! Lutheran for 3 years. I currently live in Eugene with my husband, and we now have a 7 month year old daughter. I enjoy playing the piano and spending time with my family, friends, and enjoying God’s creation.
I am a third culture kid. My parents were missionaries in Ethioipa and so I spent my years in between Canada and Ethiopia, and later went to high school in Kenya. I received my BA/BEd from U of L (Canada) and my MS from the U of O.
I am excited to be back as the 4/5 grade teacher at LIFE! Lutheran School for this upcoming school year.

Pastor Dan

Pastor Dan Suelzle, Religion Teacher

Rev. Dan Suelzle has been the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church since July, 2011. He teaches religion class to the upper grades at LIFE! and also leads the chapel services on Wednesday mornings. He grew up in North Dakota, received his B.A. in psychology from Concordia University, Nebraska, and earned his M. Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Arla Mae

Arla Mae Luther, Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper

I started my career as a secretary/bookkeeper in my hometown of Litchfield, Illinois at Zion Lutheran School and Church.  After I married my husband, a Lutheran Pastor, we moved to Austin, Minnesota and later to Springfield, Oregon.  With each move, I found myself working in a Lutheran church and school. I started at LIFE! in 2004 and love coming to work each day to see the students and families as they grow in knowledge and faith. My hobbies include camping, making craft and sewing projects, motorcycle riding and taking trips with my husband to see our children and grandchildren. Together we have taken mission trips to India, Canada, and Hong Kong.

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Shar Heinz, Principal

Miss Heinz has been involved in Lutheran education since 1977.  She attended Concordia University in Portland for two years then transferred to Concordia in Seward, Nebraska where she completed her BS degree in Education.  Miss Heinz took her first call to Memphis Tennessee, followed by calls to Clover Trinity Lutheran School Buhl, Idaho, and Immanuel Lutheran School, Twin Falls, Idaho, returning to Clover Trinity Lutheran, before her first call to LIFE! Lutheran School as a teacher and then later as principal.  She received her Masters degree in Education Administration from Albertson's College of Idaho.  She enjoys friends, the country, the outdoors, animals, and especially her dog Charlie. Her favorite part of any day is being at school where she can freely share the love of Christ with those around her.