Pre-K & Kindergarten: Mrs. Gwen Manke

Hi!  I am Mrs. Manke.  I was born and raised in Cudahy, WI.  I am the fifth of eight children.  I attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Cudahy, WI and then went to Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Wauwatosa, WI.  I attended Dr. Martin Luther College and was called to St. Paul’s Lutheran School here in Bangor to teach 1st and 2nd grades.  I met and married Todd Manke of Bangor.  We were blessed with 3 sons and 1 daughter.  In 1993, I decided to stay home and raise my family.  In 2000, I was called to teach at Christ-St. John’s Lutheran School in West Salem, WI, for preschool.  A while after my twins were born, I was called to teach Kindergarten here at St. Paul’s, and since then started teaching Pre-K and Kindergarten.  In addition to teaching Pre-K and Kindergarten, I also teach K-8th grade music and co-directs the Adoration Choir.

1st & 2nd Grades:  Ms. Theckla Cortez

Theckla Cortez was called to be the 1st and 2nd grade teacher at St. Paul’s in 2024. In her ministry, she has taught preschool, grades 3-4, and also grades 1-2.

Theckla graduated from Martin Luther College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in Social Studies. She has 5 children and enjoys attending her children’s sporting events and school activities, playing piano and organ, and browsing through antique shops. Hiking is also an enjoyable family activity.

3rd & 4th Grades: Mrs. Penny Adickes

Penny Adickes was born in St. Paul, MN but also lived in Ft. Wayne, IN and Olathe, KS before going to DMLC. She met her husband, Paul Adickes, at DMLC and they married in 1992. Paul’s first call to teach music led them to Michigan Lutheran High School in St. Joseph, MI. Penny graduated from DMLC in 1993 and received a call to teach 2nd grade at Grace Lutheran School in St. Joseph, MI. She taught there for 1 ½ years. After her first daughter was born, she became a full-time mom for the next 10 years. Her husband accepted a call to teach choir and gospels at Luther High school, and they have lived in the La Crosse area ever since. Penny  taught part-time at First Lutheran in La Crosse, WI for 2 years.  She worked at Shepherd’s Voice Christian Bookstore for several years, LHI, and JCPenney but settled into working as an optical assistant at Optical Fashions for 7 years. Seeing the need in the area for teachers, she got back into teaching in January of 2020 as a long-term substitute at St. John’s in Sparta before accepting the call to teach at St. Paul’s in Bangor.

5th & 6th Grades:  Miss Karen Bauer

Karen Kay Bauer was born in Eureka, SD.  She grew up on a farm west of Zeeland, ND.  Miss Bauer was the 2nd daughter in a family of 5 girls – Sherry, Karen, Brenda, Julie, and Kristie.  She attended the public schools of Zeeland from the 1st – 10th grades.  But then, at the encouragement of her family and her pastor (Pastor Robert Weimer), she continued her education at Northwestern Lutheran Academy at Mobridge, SD for grades 11 & 12.  Encouraged again by her professors and teachers, Miss Bauer continued on to Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, graduating in 1981.  Miss Bauer’s first call was to Immanuel, Medford, WI where she labored diligently for the Lord for 13 years (1981-1994).  Since 1994, Miss Bauer has faithfully served her Savior and His lambs here at St. Paul’s.  In addition to teaching grades 5-6, Miss Bauer also teaches 5th-8th grade science, PreK-8 phy-ed, she directs the “Ring out the Joy” chime choir, 3rd and 4th grade recorder, and coaches volleyball.

7th & 8th Grades:  Mr. Jon Lindemann

Mr. Lindemann accepted the call to serve as 7th and 8th grade teacher, as well as vice principal and athletic director, in the summer of 2022.    

Mr. Lindemann is from Watertown, WI, and is a 1990 graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College.  He has a passion for athletics and coaching, for history, for teaching in the classroom, and of course for his Savior.

Pastor: Brock Groth

Pastor Groth was born and raised in Hastings, MN.  He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in Chemistry in 2006.  After working in R&D for 2 years, he went back to school to become a pastor and completed his Seminary Certification from Martin Luther College in 2010.  He married his wife, Heather, in 2011, and graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2015.  He served as a friendly counselor to India for 2 years before serving at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, CA, for 4 years.  He accepted a call to serve as pastor at St. Paul’s in Bangor in April, 2021, and he began serving in June, 2021.

School Secretary: Shelly Lafky

Shelly Lafky was born and raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is one of ten children. Attended grade school, high school and Western Technical College in La Crosse. She has lived all throughout the area, as well as Tomahawk, Wisconsin. Her and her husband, Gary live in Bangor, WI. They were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in 2006. She has held many positions, including 23 years with the American Cancer Society.