Mr. Ruark has completed 39 years in education. He begins his ninth year at Saxony Lutheran after 31 years in public education. While at Saxony, Mr. Ruark has watched the enrollment grow by 33%. Saxony has also upgraded the technology infrastructure and is proud to be a 1:1 school with each student having their own device. New programs and classes like FFA, Agriculture Science, Speech, staff-taught online courses, summer school, girls tennis, a bowling team, and robotics team are among some of the programs developed during this time. Mr. Ruark previously served as the first principal of Jefferson High School in Festus, MO. Prior to that, he spent 23 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and athletic director at Cape Central High School. Mr. Ruark and his wife have three children – Jay, a dentist in Nashville and is father to Mr. Ruark’s grandsons, Payton and Preston; Nick, a 2012 Saxony Lutheran graduate; Nathan, a 2018 Saxony Lutheran graduate. He and his family are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is his ninth year at SLHS.
Missy AdamsAssistant Principal
Mrs. Adams has served in education for 21 years. She has been an elementary teacher at Nell Holcomb for 13 years, the principal at Trinity Lutheran School for 6 years, and is currently the assistant principal at SLHS. Raised in Altenburg, MO, Mrs. Adams graduated from Perryville High School, then attended Southeast Missouri State University and completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2001. In 2012, she completed her Master of Arts in Elementary Administration. Continuing her education, she completed the coursework for the Lutheran Colloquy program in 2016 and her Specialist in Educational Administration in 2021. Mrs. Adams lives with her husband and 2 children in Jackson, and they attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her second year at SLHS.
Sam SidesActivities Director
Mr. Sides is a 1973 graduate of Jackson High School and a 1978 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Education. He has taught at Leopold High School, Meadow Heights High School, and Jackson High School during his career. He is a member of Connection Point Church in Jackson. This is his fourteenth year at SLHS.
Judith FuchsSchool Counselor
Ms. Fuchs is a graduate of Valparaiso University. She has also earned a Masters Degree in Mathematics and a Masters Degree in Counseling. She taught Mathematics and Old Testament for a number of years at Lutheran high schools in New York City and San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Fuchs is presently living in Cape Girardeau and is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Chapel in Cape Girardeau. This is her seventeenth year at SLHS.
Talitha BeaudeanTechnology Director, Stream Team
Mrs. Beaudean is originally from Moberly, Missouri and is a 2004 graduate of Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education and received her Lutheran Colloquy from Concordia University-Nebraska in 2009. In December 2013, Mrs. Beaudean completed her Master of Arts in Secondary Education: Educational Technology from Southeast Missouri State University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Jackson. She is member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Chapel in Cape Girardeau. This is her sixteenth year at SLHS.
John MorganDirector of Development
Mr. Morgan, born in Southern California, but really a native of Nevada, came to the Heartland after graduating from high school. His mother’s family farmed in Southern Illinois for several generations. He attended the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. Following college, Mr. Morgan spent 27 years in broadcast television. For several years, he served as an account executive with KFVS-12. Mr. Morgan, his wife Tara, and their two sons reside on their family farm and are members of Hanover Lutheran Church. This is his sixth year at SLHS.
Faculty & Staff at Saxony Lutheran
Ann Marie AufdenbergBiology, Anatomy & Physiology, Physical Science (Physics), Robotics Team
Mrs. Aufdenberg is originally from Houston, MO and attended Southeast Missouri State University, completing her bachelor’s degree in middle school (grades 5-9) Science in May 2016. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Studies through Southeast Missouri State University. She is an avid reader and active outdoors. She is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. This is her sixth year at SLHS.
Sarah BenkendorfPreCalculus, Math Modeling, Statistics, Calculus, Physics, Scholar Bowl
Mrs. Benkendorf is originally from Peoria, Illinois. She attended Concordia University – Nebraska, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and holds a master’s degree from Rice University in Computational and Applied Math. Prior to coming to work at Saxony, Mrs. Benkendorf taught at United in Christ Lutheran School in Frohna and as an adjunct professor for St. Louis University. She resides with her husband and two daughters in Cape Girardeau and attend Hanover Lutheran Church. This is her sixth year at SLHS.
Amy BirkHealth, Physical Education, Tennis
Mrs. Birk is originally from Bloomsdale, Missouri in Ste. Genevieve County. She is a 1990 graduate from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in education. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University in 1997 and completed the Lutheran Colloquy program in 2005. Prior to Saxony, she taught nine years in the Perryville School District and two years in the Advance School District. She is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. This is her nineteenth year at SLHS.
Justin CallahanAlgebra 1, Geometry, Boys Basketball
Mr. Callahan grew up and lives in Farmington, MO. He received his Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Southeast Missouri State University in 1990, followed by his Master of Arts in Secondary Administration degree in 1994. In 2000, Mr. Callahan earned his Specialist in Educational Administration from SEMO. Prior to coming to Saxony Lutheran, Mr. Callahan retired from Farmington School District where he had served as teacher, coach, and principal during his career. He spent 12 years as the head boys basketball coach at Farmington HS. After retiring, he taught Math for 5 years at St. Paul Lutheran High School in Farmington. Mr. Callahan and his wife have two sons. He is a member of Parkland Chapel in Farmington. This is his third year at SLHS.
Laura ChamblessLanguage Arts 3, College Writing, Rhetoric, Language Arts 4, Modern Literature, British Literature, Traction
Mrs. Chambless is a native of Cape Girardeau. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in English and Middle School Education and a Masters Degree in Biblical and Related Studies. Mrs. Chambless and her husband served as missionaries for four years in Novosibirsk, Russia. She has experience teaching English to international students and teaching Language Arts to high school students at a Christian school in Tennessee. Mrs. Chambless lives in Jackson with her husband and two sons. They are members of Mount Auburn Christian Church. This is her ninth year at Saxony.
Mr. Drury grew up in Cape Girardeau, MO and graduated from Saxony Lutheran High School in 2011. He attended one year at Southeast Missouri State University and two years at Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center earning CCENT certification. Following graduation, he worked at P&G with the IT Help Desk. Mr. Drury is an avid bowler, has bowled four perfect games and won first place in the Missouri State Youth Bowling Association two years in a row. Josh currently lives in Jackson with his wife, Kassidy and son, Connor. He attends Hanover Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is his seventh year at SLHS.
Rachel EftinkSpanish 1, 2, 3, & 4, Spanish Club
Mrs. Eftink graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southeast Missouri State University in 2009 with a B.S. in Spanish Secondary Education and a minor in French. As part of her studies, she was an exchange student for one semester at ITESM in Querétaro, México. She has lived in Cape Girardeau County all her life and attends Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her twelfth year at SLHS.
Brenda EtzoldPhysical Science (Chemistry), Biology, Chemistry, Advanced Biology
Mrs. Etzold grew up in Farrar, attending Salem Lutheran Elementary School and Perryville High School. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, majoring in Biology and Chemistry. She received a Master of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counseling and a Specialist Degree in Counseling Education from Southeast Missouri State University. Mrs. Etzold taught various biology and chemistry courses at Oran High School and Perryville High School. She has been a school counselor at Perryville High School and Jackson Junior High School having earned a School Counselor of the Year award from the Missouri School Counselor Association. Mrs. Etzold completed her Lutheran Colloquy through Concordia University, Nebraska. She is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson. This is her ninth year at SLHS.
Julie HoffmanHead Cook
Mrs. Hoffman comes to us from Perryville, Missouri. She graduated from Perryville High School and currently lives in Jackson with her husband, Wade, and daughter, Larissa. Her son, Lance, and wife, Morgan, also live in the Jackson area. Mrs. Hoffman’s love for cooking was inspired by her mother, the former head cook at Immanuel Lutheran School in Perryville. The tradition carries on with Mrs. Hoffman as Saxony’s head cook. This is her seventeenth year at SLHS.
Tonya LandeweeLanguage Arts 1 & 2, Speech
Mrs. Landewee was born and raised in Jackson, MO and still resides here with her husband and son. She attended Murray State and Southeast Missouri State University to earn her Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education. Mrs. Landewee has 23 hours of Masters study in English. She has a number of years experience in junior high and high school education, most recently at Oak Ridge Public Schools before joining the Saxony faculty in 2018, where she was serving as a substitute teacher for many years. God has truly called her to Saxony. She is a member of La Croix Church in Cape Girardeau. Mrs. Landewee enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and anything outside like water sports, camping, and razor riding. This is her fourth year at SLHS.
Sally LorenzLanguage Arts 2 & 3, Yearbook, Newspaper, Videography
Mrs. Lorenz, a native of Sikeston, Missouri, graduated from the University of Mississippi with a major in secondary English and a minor in Reading. Prior to coming to Saxony, she taught Physical Education at Trinity Lutheran School in Cape Girardeau, and served as a teacher’s assistant at Cape Central Junior High School. Mrs. Lorenz is a member of La Croix Church in Cape Girardeau, has two grown sons, and resides in Cape Girardeau with her husband. This is her twenty-second year at SLHS.
Amelia MansfieldFinancial & Human Resources Administrative Assistant
Ms. Mansfield is originally from Eureka, Missouri. She is the financial officer at Saxony. She is a 1989 graduate of Webster University. She moved to Cape Girardeau in 1992. She is a very proud mother of four and grandmother of fifteen. Ms. Mansfield attends La Croix Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her fifteenth year at SLHS.
Laura MitchellBusiness Foundation, Accounting, Personal Finance, Computer Applications 1, 2, & 3, Information Technology, FBLA sponsor
Mrs. Mitchell lives in Jackson with her family. She attended Southeast Missouri State University earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance and later a bachelor’s degree in Business Education. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree from SEMO in Educational Technology. Before coming to Saxony, Mrs. Mitchell taught at Advance High School. She has been married for 23 years and has 3 teenage children. Her family loves to spend time in the outdoors and visiting the coastline and hanging on the beach. She attends La Croix Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her third year at SLHS.
Christine MooreVisual Arts, German, Art Club, JV Scholar Bowl
Mrs. Moore graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with an emphasis in figurative painting, and a Bachelors of Art in German language and culture. In 2006 she graduated from Fontbonne University with a Masters of Arts in studio art, with an emphasis in figurative painting and drawing. In December 2016, she completed coursework for her K-12 Art Certification. Mrs. Moore previously taught at various elementary and secondary schools in Missouri. She and her husband are members of St. Vincent De Paul Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her eighth year at SLHS.
Dawn OzarkPublic Relations Coordinator, Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Ozark is originally from Perryville, MO, where she currently resides with her husband, Chad, and three children, Grace, Jack, and Lily. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Family Studies and a minor in Gerontology. Mrs. Ozark is currently pursuing her master’s degree in K-12 School Guidance Counseling from Missouri Baptist University. She attends Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville, MO. This is her sixth year at SLHS.
Misty RiversVocal Music Teacher
Mrs. Rivers is originally from Marble Hill, MO and attended college at Southeast Missouri State University. She has previously taught at Bell City and Woodland Public Schools. She currently teaches pre-K music in the mornings before coming to Saxony to teach grades 9-12 choir and band. Mrs. Rivers has played the flute in Saxony’s drama musicals and enjoys making music and Cardinal baseball games. She and her husband, Michael, three girls, Emma, Allison, and Olivia, attend Grace United Methodist Church in Cape, where Mrs. Rivers directs chancel choir and handbells and also sings in the Praise Band. This is her sixth year at SLHS.
Melanie RothGovernment, World Geography, Law in Action, Psychology, Student Council
Mrs. Roth grew up in Thebes, IL and is an alum of Saxony Lutheran High School. She completed her coursework at Truman State University earning her Bachelor’s degree in History and Master’s degree in Education. Mrs. Roth completed her student teaching at Jefferson R-7 High School before coming back to SLHS as a teacher. She enjoys the outdoors and traveling in her spare time. She currently lives in Jackson, MO and attends Christ Lutheran Church. This is her fourth year at SLHS.
Matt SimpsonChristian Response, Director of Student Ministries
Mr. Simpson is a 2002 graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. He has a Bachelor of Science in Art Education and a minor in Theology. In 2015, Mr. Simpson completed his master’s degree in Christian Studies through Grand Canyon University. He and his wife married in 2003. They are blessed to have two boys, Joshua and Benjamin. Before coming to Saxony, Mr. Simpson taught for two years at Heartland Lutheran High School in Grand Island, Nebraska. Mr. Simpson and his family are members at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is his nineteenth year in the teaching ministry and seventeenth year at SLHS.
Heather ThorneAssistant Cook
Ms. Thorne is from Cape Girardeau, MO and enjoys cooking for her three boys at home and school. Her grandma was a cook at Nell Holcomb Public School. Ms. Thorne’s aunt has also helped cook at Saxony when more hands were needed, so you could say it runs in the family! She attends Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is her fourth year at SLHS.
Kendra WardAdministrative Assistant, Registrar
Mrs. Ward lived in Dexter, MO for most of her life andbefore moving to Jackson. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with Mathematics Emphasis from Southeast Missouri State University. She continued her education by achieving her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Williams Woods University. Mrs. Ward taught 3rd grade for 30 years before coming to Saxony. She has 2 grown children, Brittany and Justin and lives in Jackson with her husband, Tim, and youngest son, Evan. She enjoys cooking, watching Cardinals baseball, and shopping. Mrs. Ward attends Connection Point Church in Jackson. This is her fourth year at SLHS.
Becky WichernGeometry, Algebra 2, New Testament, Cheerleading, National Honor Society
Mrs. Wichern graduated from Southeast Missouri State with a Bachelor of Science in Math. Prior to coming to Saxony she taught math for five years at St. Vincent High School in Perryville. Mrs. Wichern is a member at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson. This is her twenty-second year at SLHS.
Mr. Wieser is from Cape Girardeau, MO and an alumni of Saxony Lutheran High School. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, where he was a member of the Track & Field team. Mr. Wieser is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. This is his seventh year at SLHS.
Timothy Zum HofeReligion, History, Beta Club
Mr. Zum Hofe comes to Saxony from the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He attended college at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. At Concordia, Mr. Zum Hofe received his degree in Secondary Education with emphasis in History and Theology. He has his Master Degree in History from Southeast Missouri State University. Mr. Zum Hofe lives in Perryville with his wife, Sarah, and attends Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. This is his fifteenth year at SLHS.
Pastoral Advisors at Saxony Lutheran
Rev. Jacob MayPastor of Christ Lutheran Church - Gordonville, MO
Rev. Paul HoemannPastor of Concordia Lutheran Church - Frohna, MO