School Leadership

Dr. Jacob Smith, Leadership Board

Since moving to Rusk County in 2013, the Smith family has played an active role in their community and in ministry. Dr. Jacob Smith serves as a youth athletics coach, on the board of directors for The PowerHouse Youth Center, and the board of Directors of the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Smith is also a Fellow with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, based in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. Smith and his wife Breann have 5 children; Brooklyn, Masyn, Adalyn, Camdyn, and Edyn who love spending time in the arts and athletics. The family is proud to be active members of Living Faith Church, in Exeland, WI. 

Pastor Tim Jerry, Leadership Board

Timothy Jerry has served as lead Pastor of Living Faith Church in Exeland, WI, since 1989. He also serves as the associate Pastor of Joy Fellowship Church in Rice Lake, WI. His wife, Ann, and he live south of Ladysmith.

Along with Bible teaching, Pastor Tim has been involved in missions work in Tanzania, Africa, Mexico and Honduras. He has a passion to foster personal and community transformation, by raising up a generation that will champion that change.

Derek and Shaun Jochimsen, Leadership Board

Derek and Shaun Jochimsen have lived in Ladysmith since 2011.

Derek actually started working in Ladysmith in 2008 as a Forester for the DNR. They have 4 children, Tristen, Noah, Lena, and Landon.

Shaun has been working at Offering Hope Therapies for 2 years. Before that, she was a stay at home mom running an in-home daycare until their children entered school. Derek has a degree in Natural Resources and Shaun has a degree in Business Administration.

The Jochimsens enjoy making maple syrup, beekeeping, being outside, and spending time with their large families. They have 31 nieces and nephews. They are excited for their children to go to a Christ-centered school.

Lanita Stutzman, Leadership Board

Lanita moved to Rusk County in 2014 with her husband Shelby and son Jack. She has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know people in this community. Youth have been a passion of hers for a long time, and she has served them through teaching Sunday school, as a youth pastor, leading Bible studies, and one-on-one mentoring for over 20 years.

Lanita is a stay-at-home-mom to her 3 young sons. She has enjoyed traveling to many different countries using her nursing career to help those less fortunate in countries like Haiti, Benin, Kenya and Liberia. Cross-culture awareness is something that she values and believes every person should experience so you realize how blessed we are in the USA.

Currently, her volunteer time is used to teach the youth at her church, mentor teens & moms. In the past, Lanita has served on the local Pregnancy Resource Center and Rusk County Youth Council (RCYC) boards and started and directed Power House Youth Center in Ladysmith. She has volunteered with Youth with a Mission (YWAM), Mercy Ships and other organizations on local and foreign mission trips.

Some of her favorite past times are being outdoors and being with her family and friends. Lanita received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2000 and attended an YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) in 2001.

Betty Sitler, Leadership board

I’m from a small farm community in Liberty, Illinois, where I attended the same public school 1st-12th grade. I graduated from high school and Cosmetology school the same year. In 1960, I continued my education at Evangel University (an Assembly of God liberal arts college), in Springfield, Missouri, where I earned a BS degree in Elementary Education and Music. By 1964, I had lifetime teaching licenses in Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The first 15 years of my teaching career were in Illinois, where I taught in elementary classes, both individual and combined classrooms. In addition to teaching responsibilities, I was a building principal.

My late husband, 2 daughters and I moved to Holcombe in 1978 where I was hired to teach in the elementary school there. I taught special education for 10 years, while working toward my Master’s Degree in that field. The other 13 years were spent in the elementary classroom, technology, computer labs and Title I reading.

In 2002, I retired from teaching to care for my husband and help raise our grandchildren until he passed in 2012. Then, it was back to the classroom. During these last 10 years, I’ve held different positions at Our Lady of Sorrows School, where our grandchildren attended. I’ve experienced teaching long term, full time in a split classroom, teaching intermediate music, and just substituting in all classes.

For 3 decades, I was a part of the ministry and leadership team at the Full Gospel Church in Sheldon. However, the Lord had other plans for my remaining years to serve Him and worship at the Church of Christ here in Ladysmith. I love the Lord, I love my family, and I love teaching. I guess you can say I’m just a student who never left the classroom.