Bethel’s Teaching Staff

  • Proclaim God’s Word as the source of wisdom and knowledge.
  • Proclaim God’s Word as the source of wisdom and knowledge.
  • Portray teaching as a God given calling and ministry.
  • Promote educational excellence as an expression of Christian commitment.
  • Preserve our Christian heritage and values through education.
  • Partners with church and parents.
  • Bachelor of Science in Education, Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN
  • 30 Graduate credit hours from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Central Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University
  • Lifetime Teaching Certificate in the state of Wisconsin Grades K-8 all subjects
  • Lifetime Teaching Certificate in the state of Michigan Grades K-8 all subjects 9th grade in Social Studies and English
  • MTTC Highly Qualified teaching endorsements in English K-9, Social Studies K-9, Math K-8, Science K-8; Elementary Education, Middle School Education
Teaching Experience: 50 total years of teaching, all but two in the upper grades 46 years as principal

Interests: Home repairs and remodeling Politics Physical fitness

Background: Mr. Dast was born and raised in Pigeon, Michigan. His father ran a retail lumber company and was a general contractor. Mr. Dast decided to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and become a Lutheran school teacher. After attending St. John's Lutheran Elementary School in Pigeon, Mr. Dast attended Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan. He attended Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for two years and Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota for his final two years. Mr. Dast received his first teaching call to Zion Lutheran Church in Morrison, Wisconsin. He taught at Zion for ten years and served as principal for eight years. Mr. Dast then accepted a call to Bethel to teach the upper grades and serve as its principal and continues to serve in that capacity. Mr. Dast married Shirley (Schultz) Dast shortly after graduation from college. They have been blessed with three children and seven grandchildren who all live locally. In addition to raising his family, his wife Shirley also served the WELS as a teacher in three different congregations, including Bethel, and is now retired. In addition to spending time with his family and close friends, Mr. Dast enjoys home improvement projects and outdoor activities.
Degrees/Education: Bachelor of Science majoring in Elementaryy Education and Secondary Social Studies Education from Martin Luther College (2016)

Teaching Experience: He has been teaching since 2016.

  • Sports
  • History
  • Outdoors

Background: Mr. Thooft was born in Marshall, MN. to Dean and Michelle Thooft. He has two brothers, Lucas who is a sophomore at Martin Luther Collete and Josh who is a sophomore at Southwest MN State University in Marshall. Mr. Thooft attended Samuel Lutheran School in Marshall for grades K-8 and Marshall Senior High Schoold for grades 9-12. The spring of 2016 he graduated from Martin Lutheran College in New Ulm, MN majoring in Elementary Education and Secondary Social Studies, as well as acquired his Minnesota Education Licenses in those area. Upon graduation, Mr. Thooft was assigned to teach at Bethel grades 3-5, as well as serve as technology administrator and youth group coordinator. June 11, 2016 Mr. Thooft married Kathryn (Marquardt) Thooft at Garden Homes Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI. Kathryn also graduated from Martin Luther College spring of 2016 and was assigned to teach K-4 at St. John's, Hemlock, MI. Together they have one son, Elisha. Mr. Thooft enjoys, sports, especially Minnesota sports and loves baseball. He enjoys talking about sports and history, as well as being outside whenever he can.

Degrees/Education: B.S. Elementary Education, Martin Luther College, 2002 M.A. Applied Linguistics, Old Dominion University, 2005

Teaching Experience: 2005-2016 Newport News Public Schools in Virginia 2016-Present at Bethel Lutheran School

Background: Mrs. Friske has been teaching first and second grade at Bethel since 2016. Before that she lived in Newport News, VA where she taught in the public school for 11 years. She attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN for her undergraduate studies and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA for her graduate studies. She is married to Nick Friske and has three sons, Connor, a sixth grader, Ian, a third grader, and Gavin, a kindergartner. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with my family, cooking, crocheting and playing piano and organ. She also directs the adult choir at Bethel.

Degrees/Education: Bachelor of Science majoring in Elementary Education and emphasis in Early Childhood from Martin Luther College (2004)

Background: After completing my degree I married Pastor Killinger. We raised our four children for nine years out in Martin, SD. While raising my family in South Dakota, I also worked as lead teacher at Little Lambs Daycare, volunteered at the public school as remedial and classroom aide, and taught Sunday School. The Lord lead our family to Gibbon, MN where I where I taught as a 3 and 4 year old preschool teacher, main sub for the Martin Lutheran College Early Learning Center ages between infant to 5, emergency taught kindergarten, and assisted in coaching cheerleading. Now my family has moved back to Michigan where my husband (from Sebewaing) and I (from Hemlock) grew up. I am assistant coach to girls basketball, coach cheerleading, and helped in the preschool room prior to completing my first full year as kindergarten teacher at Bethel Lutheran School. 

I enjoy: 
  • Being a helper
  • Activities with family/friends
  • Cookies and ice cream 
  • Silver Lake College Bachelor of Science in Education 1989
  • Dr. Martin Luther College Bachelor of Science in Education 1990
  • Madonna University Master of Arts in Learning Disabilities 1998
  • Graduate courses taken at Concordia University of Wisconsin in counseling program
  • Teacher Certificates in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan
Teaching Experience:
  • 1991 Nursery School Supervisor Hope Church and Nursery School, Markham, Ontario, Canada Director/Teacher
  • 1991-2002 Lola Park Lutheran School Redord, MI, Grades K-4
  • 2002-2009 Trinity Ev. Lutheran School Caledonia, WI, Grades 2-4, Junior Choir Director, School Music
  • 2009 Gloria Dei Lutheran Preschool Grand Blanc, MI, Teacher/Director
  • 2010-2011 Great Beginnings Christian Child Care and Kindergarten Saginaw, MI, Young Infant Lead Teacher, Preschool Teacher of Age 3 and Teacher School Age Summer Program
  • 2011 - Present Bethel Lutheran Preschool, Bay City MI, Teacher/Director

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