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School Administrator

Mr. Josh Baumann

Josh is the School Administrator for Zion Lutheran School. He grew up in Carver County and attended Mayer Lutheran High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Concordia University in River Forest, IL, and his master's degree from the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Josh previously served as a teacher and administrator at Lutheran North in St. Louis. Josh and his wife Katie live in Lester Prairie with their four children: Jack, Lucas, Reid, and Annalyse.


Mrs. Robin Carlson

Robin is the Preschool Teacher for Zion Lutheran School. She grew up in Mayer and went to Zion Grade School and Mayer Lutheran High School. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University St. Paul Minnesota. Robin previously taught Preschool, Grades 1-2, and Grades 3-4. Robin and her husband Bob live outside of Mayer. They enjoy spending time with their family, gardening, camping, and watching sports. Robin loves sharing Jesus with the Preschoolers and watching them grow. She feels truly blessed to be at Zion.


Mrs. Becky Aurich

Becky is in her 16th year of teaching kindergarten at Zion. She was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and raised in Rogers, Arkansas. Becky received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Nebraska. She majored in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Concentration and minored in music. Becky and her husband, Dean, live in the woods on a lake southwest of Waverly. Dean teaches industrial arts and is the head football coach at Mayer Lutheran High School. He also coaches the pole vault at Gustavus Adolphus College. Becky and Dean have five children (with five awesome spouses), ten grandsons, and seven granddaughters. Becky feels very blessed to be teaching these young children at Zion.

1st Grade

Mrs. Tracy Shipler

Tracy has served at Zion for 27 years. She is our current 1st grade teacher. She graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in music. She directs our K-4 choir and is a worship leader for Zion’s contemporary worship service. She is married to Kirk and they have been blessed with four children.

2nd Grade

Mrs. Mollee Mielke

Mollee is the new 2nd Grade Teacher at Zion. She has been teaching for over ten years at other schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Southwest Minnesota State University and her Master of Education in Instructional Design from Western Governors University. She plans to begin taking colloquy classes through Concordia University this fall. Mollee and her husband have two young children that they adore. Outside of school, Mollee enjoys sewing, reading, and being outside in nature.

3rd Grade

Mrs. Mary McManus

Mary is the 3rd grade teacher at Zion. She has taught at Zion since 2008 during which time she has taught many different subjects in different grades, served as the UL teacher, and worked with the library. She grew up in southern Minnesota near Fairmont. She attended Bethany Lutheran College and Mankato State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Library Science minor. Before coming to Zion she taught at St. Mark Lutheran School in New Germany and taught release time religion at St. Peter in Lester Prairie. She serves as the organist at St. Mark Lutheran Church where she is a member. Mary lives on the family farm with her husband and has six grown children, three grown step-children, and fifteen grandchildren.

4th Grade

Mrs. Nancy Schwanke

Nancy is the 4th-grade teacher and has been teaching at Zion for the last 30 years. She is also the Dean of Education. She got her BA degree in Elementary Education from Mankato State University and then did the colloquy program at Concordia Saint Paul to be a Lutheran teacher. She is originally from Morristown, Minnesota and she also taught there for three years. She has three children and two grandchildren and her husband is a pastor and mental health counselor.

5th Grade

Mrs. Barb Laabs

Barb is the 5th-grade homeroom teacher at Zion and primarily teaches Reading, Literature, and ELA in the upper grades. Barb grew up in Wayzata, MN, and graduated from Concordia-St. Paul with a degree in Elementary Education. She has taught grades 5 - 8 at several Lutheran schools in Carver County and the Twin Cities. Barb is grateful for the opportunity to share her faith throughout the school day. She also enjoys building relationships with her students and sharing her love of reading. She and her husband live in Waconia and enjoy spending time with their three grown children and one granddaughter.

Writing & School Cook

Mrs. Katie Baumann

Katie is in her fifth year teaching at Zion. She teaches writing to the 7th and 8th grade classes and serves as the school cook. Katie grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and earned her BA in secondary education with a minor in coaching from Concordia University, Chicago. She began her teaching career in St. Louis teaching high school English and has held various other positions coaching, teaching, and other school support in both St. Louis and Minnesota. Katie lives in Lester Prairie with her husband and 4 children (Jack, Lucas, Reid, and Annalyse).

7th Grade

Mr. Paul Erdman

Paul Erdman is the 7th grade homeroom teacher and this is his first year at Zion. He teaches math, social studies, and science to grade 5, science to grade 6, and social studies to grades 7 & 8. He grew up in the Mankato/Lake Crystal area. He received a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Geography with an emphasis in Meteorology and Physical Geography. He received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Hamline University. He and his wife, Diane, have three wonderful children: Luke, Adam, and Lauren.

8th Grade

Mr. Kirk Shipler

Kirk Shipler is the 8th grade homeroom teacher and teaches Math, Science, and Music. Kirk is in his 23rd year of teaching, all at Zion Mayer. He received his bachelor's degree from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN. Kirk and his wife Tracy live in Lester Prairie.  They have four children Katelyn, Caleb, Samuel, and Ellie.

6th Grade

Mrs. Shannon Aurich

Shannon teaches 6th grade at Zion. She began teaching at Zion in 2005. Shannon grew up in Excelsior, MN, and attended Mayer Lutheran High School. She graduated from Winona State University with an Associate’s Degree and Graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Aurich lives in Mayer with her family.

School Secretary

Mrs. Jolene Jacobs

Jolene started working at Zion Lutheran School in August of 2021 and loves working with the students and her Zion family. She lives in Mayer with her husband Robert and 4 children. They stay busy running with their kids to baseball, softball and volleyball games.  They also enjoy camping and fishing. 

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School Staff

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