Reverend Kyle Wright II is the Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Born to Air Force parents, he spent parts of his childhood in Japan, Nebraska, and Iceland, ending up in Texas when his parents retired from the Air Force. When Pastor Wright was 17 years old he was involved in a serious car accident where his neck was broken. Fusion surgery and about 4 months in a halo began his journey into the ministry. Pastor Wright attended Concordia University in Austin, TX, for his undergraduate degree, and he obtained his Master’s of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. His first call was to St. Matthew Lutheran Church of Hamlet, Indiana, from 2006 – 2015. He and Keri were married in 2002, and they have 4 daughters: Katie, Maggie, Lilly, and Gwen. He enjoys theology, philosophy, science, science fiction, shooting, hunting and fishing. The family enjoys spending time at the park together, going for walks, and music. Pastor Wright says, “We all love music and feel if you can’t sing well you can at least sing loud, so we happily sing loud.”
Mr. Darrin Houck is the principal at Holy Cross Lutheran School. He also teaches Algebra, 7th grade Math and 6th grade Social Studies. Darrin has taught and been an administrator in various public school settings since beginning his career in 1990, before becoming principal at Holy Cross in July 2018. He received his bachelor’s degree from Culver-Stockton College in 1990 and obtained his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville in 1997. Darrin is married to Christina who is a 6th grade teacher at Dorris Intermediate School in Collinsville. He has three children, Tanner, Shelby and Claire.
During his free time, Darrin enjoys the outdoors, golfing and fishing.
Mrs. Cathy Bevirt is the Holy Cross Kindergarten teacher. She earned her BA from Eastern Illinois University with a Music Education degree. She later went to Concordia University Chicago to complete the Colloquy Program and secure her K-8 education degree. Cathy has taught since 1986. In addition to teaching and leading music for early childhood students, she teaches Sunday School at Holy Cross. Cathy is married to Larry, who farms and works at Focal Point Landscaping. They have one daughter, Sherry. In her spare time Cathy enjoys reading, cooking, and antiquing with her husband.
Mr. Brian Dunnette has been at Holy Cross since 2004, and currently serves as 5th grade teacher, physical education teacher, athletic director, and coach. He received his BS degree in Physical Education from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota, in 1987, and has taught in Lutheran schools since that time. For 17 years he was Physical Education teacher, athletic director, and coach at Advent Lutheran in Boca Raton, Florida, coaching four girls’ basketball teams to state championships. He has also coached football, baseball, and track. Brian is married to Laurie, who is also a teacher in the Lutheran school system. She is a teacher at Salem Lutheran in Affton, Missouri. They have two grown children, daughter Taylor and son Travis. Brian enjoys spending time with family, fishing, and watching sports.
Miss Stephanie Faulders is the 2nd grade teacher at Holy Cross, where she has been a member her entire life. She attended Holy Cross as a student, as did her brother, mother, and grandparents. In fact, it was when she was a second grade student here at Holy Cross that she decided she would someday like to teach second grade, preferably at Holy Cross! That dream came true in 2019 when she graduated summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Stephanie is a familiar face around Holy Cross as she also teaches music each summer at Vacation Bible School and co-teaches the 3rd-5th grade Sunday School class with her mother every week. When she is not teaching, Stephanie enjoys singing, participating in community theatre, assisting with musical productions at Metro-East Lutheran High School (where she attended high school), and playing musical instruments like the ukulele and the piano.
Mrs. Karen Kellar is serving as the Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School. She has taught at Holy Cross since 2001. Karen was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys the company of her husband Rob, three children, two dogs, and a cat. Karen has spent 23 years in education and has had the privilege of teaching children ages two through five. Her students do many hands-on activities, lots of moving around, and learn to use their imaginations and creativity. Teaching Pre-Kindergarten is a wonderful and fulfilling profession. God has blessed her in many ways. Karen is especially grateful to be able to teach children about Christ and all that he has done for us.
Mr. Peter Kileff teaches 7th Grade at Holy Cross. He grew up in Houston, TX, although his mother is originally from Alton, IL, and his father is from Zimbabwe. He earned his BA in English from Lake Forest College in north Chicago. He went on to study at National Louis University where he completed his Master of Arts in Teaching degree while working as a substitute teacher in Chicago Public Schools. In 2010, Peter and his wife, Christa, joined the U.S. Peace Corps. They served as volunteers in the Kingdom of Jordan, where he taught English as a Second Language in a small, rural school and conducted teacher training. Returning to the U.S., the Kileff’s moved to St. Louis. Before coming to Holy Cross Peter taught 6th grade English and Social Studies at Grand Center Arts Academy in St. Louis. The Kileffs have two sons and a daughter: Clive, Theodore, and Valentine. They are members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, MO. Peter enjoys music, playing tennis, swimming, reading, and spending time with his family. He feels blessed to have found such a great community at Holy Cross.
Miss Donna Kirst is the 1st grade teacher. After receiving her teaching degree from Concordia College – River Forest, IL in 1983, she began her ministry at St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Big Rapids, Michigan. During her 16 years at St. Peter’s she had a variety of teaching positions in 1st-5th grade with most of her experience at the 1st grade level. Since coming to Holy Cross-Collinsville in the fall of 1999 she has continued to teach 1st grade. Donna also serves as the school library coordinator. Combining her love of travel with a heart for missions, she has enjoyed being a member of various short term mission teams. Her summer mission travels have taken her to foreign countries where she has participated in English camps, Vacation Bible Schools, women’s ministry, and eye glass clinics. Donna is single and values time with family and friends in the St. Louis and Chicago areas.
Mrs. Deborah Meier has been a member at Holy Cross since 1976 when she moved to Collinsville to become 3rd grade teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School. She grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota and later attended Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, where she received a B.S. in Education. She taught 3rd and 4th grade at Salem Lutheran School in Farrar, Missouri for two years. After accepting a call to teach at Holy Cross, Deb taught for another seven years while also obtaining her M.S. in Education at SIU-Edwardsville in 1981. She and her husband, John, have two children, Katie and Nick, both graduates of Holy Cross Lutheran School and Metro East Lutheran High. Deb is a member of the Choir and the Hand Bells at Holy Cross and she also plays organ at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Caseyville. Besides teaching piano lessons to students at Holy Cross, she has maintained a home piano studio for more than 40 years. She enjoys the opportunity to teach one-on-one with the many students she has taught over the years and is blessed to work with many wonderful colleagues and serve multiple generations of Holy Cross families.
Mrs. Kathy Reuter is the Preschool teacher and Childcare Director. Earning her Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and Teacher Certification in elementary education, she returned for post-graduate work in Early Childhood education. Mrs. Reuter is married (Ken) with two young adult children. Mrs. Reuter has been a member of the Early Childhood department since 1999 and has taught the three-year old Preschool class since 2004. Mrs. Reuter is the sponsor for the cheerleading squad and is a member of the yearbook staff. In her spare time she enjoys riding horses, sewing, and reading.
Mrs. Alyssa Robinson was born and raised in Collinsville, IL. She attended Holy Cross Lutheran School and was blessed with knowledgeable teachers and a strong background in the Lutheran faith. It was at Holy Cross that she realized her strong passion to be the teacher she is today! Alyssa graduated from Illinois State University in May 2013 and has taught 4th grade at Holy Cross since August 2013. She is married to Ryan, who works at the Phillips 66 refinery, and they have a daughter, Shay. In her free time she enjoys relaxing with friends and family, going to the gym, and hiking outdoors!
Mrs. Mary Ann Sachtleben teaches 8th grade Math and Computer, as well as 6th grade Religion, English, and Science. Since 1998, her teaching engagements have also included three years as a Kindergarten teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School, nine years at St. Mary-St. Augustine Catholic School in Belleville (teaching 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies, as well as K-8 Computer), and three years as a long-term substitute teacher in the public school system. Mary was married to Dennis Sachtleben, now deceased, for 34 years. She has two grown children, Eric and Matthew, who attended Holy Cross Lutheran School from Kindergarten through 8th Grade, and attended and graduated from Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville.
Mrs. Stephanie Schuler teaches 3rd grade. She previously taught for two years in the Triad School District as an Elementary Music and Art teacher, as well as substituting for Collinsville School District. Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Fine Arts/Music concentration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. Stephanie attended Holy Cross School, and is still an active member, participating in the choir and adult hand bells. Her husband, Brian, is also active in the choir and on the technology committee for Holy Cross. He works at Washington University in the technology field. They have three daughters: Lorelei, Celia and Hazel; and one son: Henry. While teaching is her passion, Stephanie also enjoys reading, knitting and crocheting, and spending time with family.
Mrs. Michele Stock is the 8th grade homeroom teacher at Holy Cross. She is originally from the Green Bay, WI area, where she grew up with her three brothers. After graduating in 2004 from Concordia, Mequon, WI with a degree in elementary education, and a minor in Social Studies, Michele received a call to teach at Grace Chapel, St. Louis. At Grace, Michele taught 6th grade Homeroom, Social Studies, was athletic director, and coached many sports for 11 years. During that time, Michele also received her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from SIUE. Michele has been teaching at Holy Cross since 2015. Michele’s husband Rob, is the assistant principal at Metro-East Lutheran High School. They have been married since 2004 and have 2 children that attend Holy Cross, and a young one who wishes she was there too! Michele enjoys sports, spending time with her family, and scrapbooking in her limited spare time.