Mr. Bakken was born in La Crosse to Richard & Donna Bakken.  He was raised on the family farm near Stoddard where he and his brother, James, attended grade school in the De Soto Area School District.  Mr. Bakken is a graduate of Luther High School, and attended Northwestern College in Watertown for a short time, as well as UW La Crosse for two semesters before transferring to Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.   He and his wife, Irene, graduated in 1976 and were married the same year before both began serving congregations in the Milwaukee area.

Mr. Bakken’s first Call was to serve in an early staff ministry position at Zebaoth Lutheran Church where he was in charge of music and education at the Church.  He also taught grade 5 at Siloah Lutheran Church.

Mr. Bakken’s second Call was to St. John’s Lutheran School in Mishicot, WI where he served as principal and upper grade teacher.

In 1986 Mr. Bakken and his family moved to Crete, IL where he served as principal and 9th grade teacher at Trinity Lutheran School.  It was while serving there that the two congregations in Crete joined to form Illinois Lutheran High School.  Mr. Bakken served as the first principal and music instructor at the high school.   

Since 1994 Mr. Bakken has been the principal and upper grade teacher at St. Paul in Tomah.  During this time also, Mrs. Bakken taught Algebra classes and piano students at St. Paul’s.  During the summer months she works at Wildcat Mountain State Park in Ontario, WI.

The Bakkens were blessed with 4 children.  Richard is the Assistant Director of Technology at Princeton University in New Jersey. Aleah (Adam) Friemark teaches grade 5 in the New London Public School District.  They have 3 children:  Jack, Laura & Tommy.  Jonathan (Joy) Bakken is employed by the USDA as a wetlands specialist in Thief River Falls, MN.  The family looks forward to the blessing of an additional grandchild in September.  Benjamin (Brooke) is the Chief of Police in La Farge, WI.  They have 1 son:  Silas.

Mr. Bakken looks forward to meeting and getting to know the families of our school and the entire family of believers here at St. Paul’s.  His prayer is that God may bless all the work we do together to share the message of the Lord Jesus with our children.  May all of us continue to grow in His love and grace.