Faculty and Staff

The faculty members of St. Matthew’s Lutheran School are all trained educators that continue to learn and grow professionally in their various fields of expertise. Each member of the faculty is evaluated annually according to accepted state teaching standards, and each teacher submits annual plans to the school’s administration for continued professional growth. All teachers are also certified through the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) to serve as gospel ministers in the congregations and schools where they are located.

You will find the members of St. Matthew’s faculty to be dedicated and hardworking, with a desire to serve not only the children in their classrooms but the families of those children as well.



Tom Plitzuweit, Principal
tplitzuweit@smls.org  | Watch My Video

When I think about St. Matthew’s, one of the first things that comes to mind is that it is a church and school that cares. First and foremost, it cares about being faithful to the Word of God.


Beth Plitzuweit, 3K / Early Childhood Director
bplitzuweit@smls.org |  
Watch My Video

It is a blessing to teach Jesus’ precious little lambs. I love their curiosity and excitement for learning.  It is a privilege to teach them about our Savior and His love for them.


Elizabeth Schmidt, 4K
lizschmidt@smls.org

I am thankful for the opportunity to teach God’s Word to the 4K students of St Matthew’s. Their genuine joy for life, and excitement to learn, is contagious and energizing!


Beth Ziel, Kindergarten
bziel@smls.org

I have been blessed to serve as the kindergarten teacher here at St. Matthew’s for the past twelve years. I also have had experience teaching grades 4K-6 during the 29 years of my teaching career…


Amy Mamerow, First Grade / Reading Specialist
amamerow@smls.org

I believe that first grade is where the action is! I greatly anticipate watching them grow, both spiritually and academically. It is certainly a privilege to be able to share the message of God’s love with His little lambs.


Kessia Boche, Second Grade 
kboche@smls.org

I am very excited to start teaching second grade at St. Matthews!  Our children started attending St. Matthews in 2018.  We have felt very welcomed and we love the strong Christ-centered atmosphere of the school.



Katie Schlomer, Third Grade / Forensics Coach
kschlomer@smls.org

I’m thrilled to be in the classroom at St. Matthew’s teaching and preparing children for future lives of service for God.


Joy Elowski, Fourth Grade / Music Director
jelowski@smls.org

It is such a blessing and privilege to help my students discover and develop their God-given gifts and abilities so that they will be able to use those gifts to serve God and others throughout their lives.


Amy Vannieuwenhoven, Fifth Grade
avann@smls.org

It is such a privilege to share God’s Word and world with the 5th graders of St. Matthew’s Lutheran School and to serve the families of the Oconomowoc area!


Justin Wiechmann, Sixth Grade / Athletic Director / Coach for Basketball, Softball, and Track
jwiechmann@smls.org

I have enjoyed my time teaching here at St. Matthews. My favorite aspect is the opportunity to share God’s Word with His children every day.


Eric Paulsen, Seventh Grade / Technology Director / Coach
epaulsen@smls.org

Seventh grade is a year in which students undergo tremendous changes and it’s such a privilege to work with them as they grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I’m excited to see this continued growth and to watch our young people grow into adult servants of our Lord and Savior. 


Eric Ziel, Eighth Grade / Coach
eziel@smls.org

I love working with the Christian young people in our school as they grow in their understanding and appreciation for what God has done for them and as they develop their abilities to serve him with their lives.


Pastor Philip Bigelow, Resident Missionary
pbigelow@smls.org |  Watch My Video

Our family loves the friendly atmosphere of the Oconomowoc community and the surrounding area. I’d love to have the chance to get to know you and have the opportunity to share God’s love with you in Jesus Christ.


Pastor Steven Hillmer, Coordinating Pastor
shillmer@smls.org |  Watch My Video

Allow me to share with you one of my favorite passages – a “go to passage” in a world of constant change, a world of frustrations, hurts, and sadness… Through the Prophet Isaiah we hear these clear and calming words, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10) I look forward to sharing God’s message of perfect peace and sure hope through Jesus Christ with you!”


Pastor Daniel Schmidt, Spiritual Growth Pastor
dschmidt@smls.org |  Watch My Video

Serving as Spiritual Growth Pastor, I am truly thankful and humbled that the Almighty Lord of the Church has chosen to use me to carry out the full-time Gospel ministry here at St. Matthew’s. I am here to serve you, to the best of my ability, with the precious truths of God’s Word, “which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).


Julie Nehr, Administrative Assistant
jnehr@smls.org | School Phone: 262-912-6364

St. Matthew’s School and Church has been a positive influence on both myself and my family. I enjoy getting to know all the children and parents each school year. To be surrounded by happy, smiling children all day, is a wonderful way to spend my day.  It’s been a blessing to have the opportunity to work for and be a part of St. Matthew’s during this time of growth.


Rick PantazoneRick Pantazon, Custodian
rpantazon@smls.org

I love working at St Matthew’s, where I see the Christian faith and love by the children displayed on a daily basis.


Justin Bessert, Beginner & Advanced Band Director
jbessert@gmail.com

I find joy in helping the students here at St Matthew’s discover and develop their God-given talents and seeing them grow as musicians.


Since the teachers in our Lutheran elementary school are called by the congregation to “assist parents” in the task of training a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6), their counseling and discipline involves the use of both Law and Gospel. The Law is used to bring the child to a knowledge of his sins, and the Gospel is used to bring the child to the knowledge of his Savior and an awareness of the Savior’s forgiveness. The teacher in the classroom acts as a representative and substitute for the parents during the hours of the school day. Each child at St. Matthew’s is viewed by the faculty as a redeemed child of God, and all disciplining at St. Matthew’s Lutheran School is an outgrowth of love for the child.

Your are invited and encouraged to stop in to meet our teachers.

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