Pastor Tim Rynearson
Pastor Tim Rynearson
Principal

Pastor Tim graduated from Concordia Seminary in 1985. He has been pastor at Peace Lutheran since 1996. Along with his pastoral duties, he is Principal of the ECC Center, and teaches at the Institute of Lutheran Theology.

Stacy K. Sahr
Stacy K. Sahr
Early Childhood Director

Stacy is first and foremost a mom of 4 boys, Kaig, Seth, Benjamin and Jake. She has worked at Peace since 1998. She has a Child Development Associates degree. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, rummaging, crafting, boating at Okoboji, and reading. She loves watching the kids at Peace ECC learn new things, and seeing that moment when they understand they can do things themselves and how things work. She also loves her co-workers and the team work they share and support they give one another. Being able to share God's Word with the children makes her job extra special. Stacy adds, "I'm so proud of our Church and Center! We have come a long way and have provided a much needed service to our community!"

Ruth Rynearson
Ruth Rynearson
Assistant Director/Cook

Ruth Rynearson has been employed at Peace Lutheran Early Childhood Center since August of 1998. During her years here she has worked in many different capacities. Ruth started out as the preschool teacher. From there she moved to working only in our Daycare Center, where in addition to being the assistant director, she has been an assistant teacher in most of the rooms as well as the Waddler teacher. About 7 years ago Ruth made the switch to being the full time cook. As our center has grown her responsibilities as the assistant director have grown as well. Currently Ruth manages the kitchen and does whatever tasks she needs to do to help Stacy our director with running our center. The thing Ruth likes most about her job is being able to spend time with young children who are excited about learning new things and sharing their enthusiasm about life with others. She is also happy that she is able to share the love of Jesus with the children she comes in contact with on a daily basis. Ruth is married to a wonderful man named Tim, she has two great children (three counting her son-in-law), and two amazing grandchildren!

Shannon Deardoff
Shannon Deardoff
Head Infant 1 Teacher

Shannon graduated from SDSU with her B.S. in Early Childhood Birth to age 8 and a Special Education Endorsement. While in college she worked for Peace for two years. She returned in the fall of 2012 and spent one year teaching Preschool. In August 2013, Shannon moved into her current position as Lead Infant 1 teacher. During her free time, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family and friend, taking pictures, and creating photo books.

Sara Gerasch
Sara Gerasch
Head Infant 2 Teacher

Sara has worked at since September 2002. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood from Minnesota West in Granite Falls, MN. At work, she enjoys working with all the great people that work here, and that she's able to bring her own children to the Center and see them as often as she can throughout the day. Outside of work, she enjoys rummage sales and spending time with family and friends.

Sarina Ylitalo
Sarina Ylitalo
Head Waddler Teacher

Teacher Sarina graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in Early Childhood Education Birth-Age 5 from SDSU. I also obtained minors in both Spanish and Leadership. I have loved watching the Waddler classroom evolve since January of 2016, when I became the lead teacher as a student, still under supervision! I officially accepted the Waddler room lead staff position when I graduated. This age group was a new, thrilling experience for me! Previously, I have had student teaching experience in a 4/5 year-old and a 3/4 year-old classrooms. I cannot wait to see what kinds of books, lessons, and experiences we will continue to explore!

Brittany Bush
Brittany Bush
Head Toddler 1 Teacher

My name is Brittany Bush and I have been the Head Toddler 1 Teacher since August 2016! I have been working at Peace Lutheran ECC since June 2014. In our room, we love to make "creations" in our sensory tables! I really enjoy working in a place that gives kids the opportunity to not only let their minds grow but their love for Jesus, too. In my time outside of Peace, I love to spend time with friends & family, babysit, and do those crazy Pinterest crafts (which always end up in the classroom)!

Rachel Kaufmann
Rachel Kaufmann
Head Toddler 2 Teacher

Rachel started working at Peace in 2014 as an assistant teacher. Rachel has her Child Development Associates degree and took over Toddler 2 in 2015. Rachel's favorite thing to do with the kids are crafts and sensory( the messier the better) . She has lived in Brookings for the past seven years. In her spare time she likes to take walks with her Great Dane Bucky, read books, and spending time with her friends and family.

Julie Hopkins
Julie Hopkins
Head Preschool 1 Teacher

My name is Julie Hopkins and I’m the Preschool 1 Teacher. I began working here at Peace Lutheran ECC in the summer of 2015 as a Kitchen helper. In the fall of 2015 I became an Assistant Teacher in the Junior Kindergarten room. In December of 2016 I accepted the position of Lead Teacher for the Preschool 1 room. I really enjoy teaching the children and preparing them for Preschool 2. It’s such a joy watching their little faces light up with excitement when we learn or experience something new. Peace Lutheran ECC is a special place where we learn about Jesus by reading and singing songs each Wednesday morning in Chapel. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors and traveling to new places. I look forward to helping the children advance in knowledge and social skills throughout each year. I’m happy to be part of such a great place.

Pamela Baker
Pamela Baker
Head Preschool 2 Teacher

Pamela joined the team at Peace in 2014 as a substitute teacher and since then has taken the reigns of the Preschool 2 classroom. She graduated from SDSU with a degree in K-12 Music Education. Pamela enjoys incorporating music into the classroom and loves seeing what young children are able to create during their daily art. Outside of work, she enjoys teaching private music lessons and spending time with her two children, Logan and Camden. Pam is excited to be able to share the good news of Jesus in her work!  

Kelsey Klosterman
Head Junior Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Kelsey Klosterman and I am the Lead Junior Kindergarten Teacher. I graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education in 2016. I am currently working on gaining my Masters in Special Education with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders through the University of Kansas (Online). I have been working at Peace Lutheran Church and Early Childhood Center since December 2013 and I have loved every minute! My favorite part of my job is getting to grow in faith and knowledge alongside the students that I get to spend my days with.

Heidi Christensen
Heidi Christensen
Kindergarten Teacher

Heidi graduated from SDSU in December 2012 with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5) and Kindergarten Endorsement and a minor in Human Development. She worked at Peace throughout college. She loves working with the all of the children, and to see them grown and learn more and more everyday. Outside of work, Heidi enjoy spending time with family and friends and spending time outdoors.