Faculty
Pacific Lutheran High School
1473 West 182nd St. Gardena, CA 90248 - Tel: 310-538-6863

Faculty

 

Lucas Fitzgerald, Principal |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lucas Fitzgerald has been at Pacific Lutheran High School since 1999 and was part of the school's first graduating class of 13 students. He has taught Theology, Christian Apologetics, English II American Literature, British Literature and AP English Literature during his teaching career and continues to teach a class or two each year. He has been married since 2001 to his beautiful wife Erin and is the proud father of Christie Grace Fitzgerald and Hannah Kay Fitzgerald - true gifts from God.

Mr. Fitzgerald graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Writing. He received his California State Teaching credential and Lutheran teaching certificate in 1999, followed by a Master of Arts degree in Reformation Theology in 2001 from Concordia University, Irvine. Mr. Fitzgerald recently received his lifetime Administrative Credential from California in 2012 and continues to grow professionally through conferences, WASC-Accreditation visits to other schools and professional organizational memberships.

He enjoys all sports that involve a bouncing ball (other than golf where he has a love/hate relationship), reading, watching Shark Tank and spending time with his family and friends. He currently attends Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange, CA and resides in Orange County.

I am privileged when I'm  able to teach Theology and/ or English courses at Pacific Lutheran High School and the opportunity I'm afforded to connect Jesus Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection to specific course content.  Whether the topic is Hamlet's struggle with guilt, John Milton's depiction of the devil in Paradise Lost or a close examination of the theological concept of dialectical tensions in the Bible (e.g. man is saint and sinner at the same time), there is no greater joy than seeing students understand all that God has done for them in Christ and helping to guide them along to their next station in life.  What a wonderful task we have before us in this regard!

Gale McKim |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Southern California native, Mr. McKim graduated from Los Angeles Lutheran High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois and his Master of Education Degree at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He taught at Christ Lutheran School in Rancho Palos Verdes for 27 years and then with the Palos Verdes Unified School District for 3 years. Mr. McKim has been at PLHS since 2003 and now teaches Algebra, AP World History and AP U.S. History.

We have the greatest students here at Pac Lu!!  Where else could So Cal South Bay students interact with international students, both gaining local and global perspectives in all classes, on a daily basis? It's a double win situation.

Rebekah Steffens |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mrs. Steffens graduated from University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN where she got a taste for mission work during a summer trip to Northern Ireland. Following graduation, she taught at a Lutheran high school in Slovakia, where she met her husband, Kevin. They spent two years in Hong Kong, before coming to California to teach. She has been at PLHS since 2002 and currently teaches English 9, English 10, and AP Literature. Mrs. Steffens was honored by Pacific Lutheran High School and the Lomita Chamber of Commerce as the "Golden Apple Award" recipient for the 2008-2009 school year. This award is a recognition of her dedication and ability as a teacher at the school.

I am blessed to be at a school that exists because of the mercy and love of Christ. Over the years, I have seen his provision, guidance, and presence.  Prayer and conversations with students and fellowship with the school community have been blessings in my life, and I have seen the goodness of the Lord.

 

Kevin Steffens |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Steffens has taught at PLHS since 2007, sharing and learning about British and American Literature, English II, World History, Theology, and English as a Second Language with his students. Mr. Steffens was born in Papua New Guinea and grew up in New Zealand. He earned his BA in English from Wartburg College and his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Northern Iowa. He has been blessed to teach English at Lutheran high schools in Slovakia and Hong Kong in addition to English as a Second Language at the University of Northern Iowa and California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Steffens is thankful for his family.

I have the privilege of telling Bible stories in class and seeing students listening, hearing the Word of God through which Faith comes.  In other words, in my job I see God's Holy Spirit at work bringing in new believers and deepening the Faith of those who are already His.

I am thankful that God's word can be applied and discussed in all of my classes: Theology, Literature, World History, and ESL.  I am thankful for the witness of Christian students to those who don't yet believe.  Every day I can see that God is good and His Word is effective

Jo Anne Gonzalez |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Joanne GonzalesMrs. Gonzalez has been at PLHS since 2007 and previous to her time here, she spent 20 years teaching at South Bay Lutheran High School in Inglewood. She graduated from CSUDH with a B.A. in Spanish language and Literature and a minor in Sociology. Mrs. Gonzalez currently teaches all Spanish level classes along with Physical Education. She is happy to be a part of the Pacific Lutheran high school community!

Pacific Lutheran is a school where we are able to foster respectful attitudes and self-discipline based upon reverence to God and all authority.  We are a high school where we build in our students a God-consciousness and help them develop a consistent Christian philosophy of life by integrating it into our curriculum and in all representation of our school. I have been called to serve him in this ministry for many years and I have been abundantly blessed.

 

Mary Flett |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Flett has been at PLHS since 2010 and currently serves at PLHS as a teacher and academic/college counselor. Prior to this, she held the same position for 18 years at South Bay Lutheran in Inglewood. Ms. Flett has served in Lutheran Education for over 30 years. She graduated from Concordia Teachers College, River Forest,IL with a BA in Education and later received a MA from Cal State, LA. She also earned a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension. Ms. Flett grew up in a suburb of Chicago and spent 3 years teaching in the Bronx, NY. Ms. Flett teaches Government, U.S. History, Girls Theology and AP Psychology.

Religion is a weak word to describe Christianity, it places Christianity in a list of other religions, viewed equally.  To know the saving love and work of Jesus Christ is to know the TRUTH.   A belief in Jesus' death and resurrection is the lens by which we look at all things in the world.  It is a worldview. This is the way that I operate in the classroom.  Everything is held up through this world view.   It is not what society says is true, but what God said is true as revealed through the Bible, the ultimate authority on earth.    Science, History, Psychology and other subjects taught in the light of Jesus the Savior. 

 

Peter Boye |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Boye has his Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics from Concordia University in Irvine, California. He is a Denver, Colorado native and is the son of a retired LCMS Pastor and retired Lutheran school teacher. Mr. Boye currently is teaching Geometry, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, and Physics.  In his spare time Mr. Boye enjoys reading, playing sports, watching NFL football (especially the Broncos), and more. He is happy to be a part of the Pacific Lutheran High School community! 

Pacific Lutheran High School is an amazing place where students and teachers alike can share and grow in their faith. We have the unique opportunity to reflect on God's creation through the study of science and mathematics.


Chris Washington |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Washington is a graduate of Huston-Tillotson College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science. He started teaching in Fall of 2003 at South Bay Lutheran High School where he taught mathematics, technology, and science courses for seven years. He also coached football, track and field, girls and boys basketball and volleyball. Currently, he assists with football and girls basketball teams. Since the fall of 2009, he has been teaching at Pacific Lutheran High School and currently is in charge of Digital and Video Design, Technology, Algebra II and IT needs on campus. He is currently finishing his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix.

Edie Zelon-Estrada | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Zelon has been doing a wonderful job teaching Art at Pacific Lutheran High School since 2005 and currently teaches Art 1 and Art 2 and consistently ranks among PLHS’ most beloved teachers. She is appreciated for her gentle nature and constant positivity by students and faculty alike.

I thank God daily because I feel very grateful to be able to teach art at Pacific Lutheran. I am so happy and blessed to be able to teach such wonderful students, to have a supportive principal, and to work with kind colleagues.

 

 

Denise Spartalis |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Denise has been the Office Manager at PLHS since August 2007. She brings a background of more the 20 years of administrative experience. A member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Torrance, she is married and has 2 children. Both of her children graduated from PLHS. Her son Peter has since graduated from Concordia University Irvine and is working in accounting. Her daughter Sarah is a Psychology major at Concorida University Irvine and will be continuing on to the nursing program after she receives her BA.

 

Joyce Molitoris |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mrs. Molitoris was born and raised in Hong Kong.  Like some of you at Pacific Lutheran, she came to know Jesus our Savior while attending a Lutheran high school.  Mrs. Molitoris and her husband served as missionaries to Taiwan and Hong Kong (China) for 18 years before returning to the States in 2004.  She holds a B.A. in Education from Concordia University Seward majoring in Mathematics.  After teaching for over 10 years in Hong Kong and California, Mrs. Molitoris went back to school and obtained her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University Irvine.  She loves serving the Lord and His people in any way she can.

 

Rev. Bruce J von Hindenburg | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Reverend Hindenburg is currently Pastor of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Inglewood since 2010.  Prior to that, he served as Pastor at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church in Coarsegold, CA  from 1997-2010.  He also serves as a Board Member since 2011.
 

vonhindenburgChrist is found daily in our Theology class as we study God’s Holy Word. We have reviewed the books of the Bible and how the Bible came to be. We have looked at the history of Israel in the OT and how it points us through the prophets to God’s promises fulfilled in Christ. We have studied the Gospels and St. Paul’s letters to better understand the early Christian Church. Our focus is on the Six Chief Doctrines of the Christian Church as taught by Martin Luther in his Small Catechism.

My particular joy in teaching this class is watching the daily epiphanies that take place as these young men learn more about Jesus – that he is more than just a man with good teachings – He is their Lord and Savior who brings to them forgiveness of sins and eternal life in God’s Kingdom.

 

 

Emily Duescher | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
duescherWorking with the students at Pacific Lutheran High School for the previous two years as a Music Teacher has truly been a blessing!  Watching students grow in their faith and academics is such a testament to God at work!  At Pacific Lutheran, God’s truths and love are instilled in these young lives preparing them to be mature, well-rounded, wise, and honorable men and women of God as well as future leaders of our nation and in the Body of Christ.  It is a privilege to work with and watch these students grow, excel, and overcome challenges.  Above all, I am beyond grateful to teach in an environment that constantly reminds staff and students of our common purpose in life as Christians- spreading the good news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the hope of the Life that is yet to come!

 

Mike Koltun | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Mr. Koltun received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Clairmont McKenna in Economics and Accounting and his Master of Arts degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount. 

He has worked the past 34 years in Finance and Project Management for TRW and Northrop Grumman.

Pacific Lutheran is a school where Christ and an academic curriculum can comingle. Whatever the topic, a Christian worldview can be discussed and Biblical principles can be applied. Where else can you discuss the Bible during an introductory economics class? I love teaching at Pacific Lutheran High School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pacific Lutheran High School 

1473 West 182nd St.
Gardena, CA 90248 
Tel: 310-538-6863