We are pleased to announce that Wendy Morris has accepted our call for the OSLS Principal position. She and her family are excited to join the Our Savior Family!
Pastor Chris Futch
Pastor Chris and his wife, Elaine, have been married since 2010, and have two children. In their free time, the Futches enjoy exploring parks, beaches, and local restaurants.
Pastor Paul Burtzlaff
Pastor Burtzlaff has been with Our Savior since 2006. Pastor Burtzlaff graduated from Concordia University with a BS in Biology and Psychology, Concordia Seminary with his Masters of Divinity Theology, he furthered his studies at Stetson University receiving his Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. He then went on to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Florida in Marriage and Family Therapy. Pastor Burtzlaff previously served at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Ocala, Florida as Associate Pastor and School Administrator (1993-2001) and as Associate Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, Westlake, Ohio (2001-2006).
Why did he become a pastor? “I had a strong desire to help people and share the Gospel of Jesus.”
Top thing on his bucket list? “Climb to the base camp of Mt. Everest.”
Jennifer Johnson is the Executive Director for Our Savior. She is from St. Petersburg, FL and has worked at OSLC/S since 2010. She holds a MBA in Business Administration. Who is her hero and why? “My mom, she raised 6 kids in far from perfect circumstances.”
One thing on her bucket list? “Travel”
Kali Dambeck is the Director of Admission at OSLS since 2014. She holds an M.S. in Management and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. Why did she become staff at OSLS? “Because my children attended school at OSLS and I wanted to be involved and help make an impact (directly and indirectly) on their education.”
Who is her hero and why? “I try to surround myself with people who make me a better person (mom, daughter, sister, Christian, friend). I am super grateful to have amazing people around me who I can take pieces of their strength to help continue to develop me.”
What is her favorite memory as a director of admissions? “I love when families call me (sometimes in a state of panic or stress) and I can help alleviate the concerns, stress and all the crazy we experience as parents when trying to find the right fit in a school for our children. I’m a mom first and foremost and have been in those shoes. Our children spend the majority of the waking day at school, so finding the right fit for our children is essential.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Travel…anywhere and everywhere!”
Marilyn joined Our Savior as Director of Communications in June 2019. Marilyn earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Rowan University in New Jersey. Marilyn and her husband Lester moved to Florida in 2001, with their two children, Sarah and Eric. Marilyn and her husband Lester currently reside in Clearwater. Her daughter Sarah, graduated from USF and works for the Department of Environmental Protection in Tampa, her son Eric graduated from SPC, and works for Trane Technologies.
Most of Marilyn’s communications career has been with religious organizations and she is thrilled to be back in a school setting. They enjoy boating and going to the beach with their rescue dog Blaze.
Director of Children and Family Ministries
Kristen is a Florida native having grown up in Orlando. She joined the Our Savior team in March 2022. After attending summer camp at Lutherock in North Carolina as a Middle schooler, Kristen decided from that point in she would in some way work with kids in ministry.
Kristen worked in staff at Luther Springs in 1999-2003 as a camp counselor before finding her true heart and passion in congregational ministry where she has served in several congregations throughout the Bay Area. One of her greatest joys in ministry is watching the spark of wonderment of Jesus come alive in the eyes of a child. Kristen resides on the south side of the Skyway in Parrish with her family.
Barbara Bradbury has been the OSLS Administrative Assistant since July 2014. Barbara holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a Psychology minor from the University of South Florida.Who is her hero and why? ” I have two… my son, Tyler, who is a Boatswain Mate Petty Officer Second Class with the United States Coast Guard, and my daughter, Jillian, who handles her Type 1 Diabetes daily with grace and dignity.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Travel to Ireland”
Foy’s from Cambridge, MD and has been a church member for 47 years and a staff member at Our Savior for 10 years. Foy holds a B.S. from Florida State University.Why did she start working at OSLS? “Love for children.”
Who is her hero and why? “My daughter – she has achieved so much in her life – she works for the VA in Washington, DC, has twin boys and a daughter, a husband and a dog. Trying to juggle all phases of work and family.”
What is her favorite memory at OSLS? “How little children are so eager to learn and how they want hugs.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “To see all my grandchildren grown.”
Tammy Sojka is the Aftercare Director and Art teacher at OSLS. She is from Newtown, CT and has been a teacher for 8 years and worked at Our Savior for 12 years. She holds a CDAE and Director Credential and is a licensed Cosmetologist.Why did she become a teacher? “I love art and I love children. I wanted to share my love of art with them.”
Who is her hero and why? “I would say the children are my hero’s. I learn something new from them everyday. Their excitement for simple things and the love and joy they share exemplifies Christ’s love.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “My favorite memories are the one’s of the children singing and performing for services. The Thanksgiving feast is the best, to see the faces of the congregation and grandparents is awe inspiring. The children are so proud to share what they have learned with everyone.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “To visit a rain forest.”
Lisa Crowley is the Preschool 3 teacher at OSLS. She is from Pittsburgh, PA and has worked at Our Savior for 11 years, 9 teaching preschool. She holds an Associates Degree from St. Petersburg College.Why did she become a teacher? “While working on my nursing degree I began working daycare at OSLS. I absolutely loved working with the children and instantly knew this is what I wanted to do. I changed my career path and I am so glad I did. I truly love teaching children, they give me so much joy!”
Who is her hero and why? “My parents are my heroes. Although my parents divorced when I was young, they put their differences aside and came together and compromised for the sake of their child. They worked hard to provide for me and my family. It is because of their hard work, love, dedication and selflessness that I was given so many wonderful opportunities as a child. When I look back on my childhood I have nothing but happy memories. I pray that I can be just as wonderful to my children and that they will have just as many happy, positive memories.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “I don’t really have one favorite memory. I am excited to come to work to teach and to laugh and create new memories each day. It warms my heart when former students still stop to give me a hug in the hall or to share a “remember when…” story with me!”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Skydive and travel Europe.”
Wendy Niska is one of Pre-Kindergarten teachers at OSLS. She is from Birmingham, MI, and has been a teacher for 30 years, 14 of which are at Our Savior. Wendy holds a B.A. in Child Development from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and an M.A. in Early Childhood with a Certificate for Preschool – 3rd Grade from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI. Why did she become a teacher? “To help children grow into their potential.”
Who is her hero and why? “I have not had a hero.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “When Peter told me he went to the dentist and they took his teeth out to clean them and then they put them all back in.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “To vacation and hike in the mountains.”
Ann Clark is the 1st Grade teacher at OSLS. She is from Fort Madison, Iowa, and has been a teacher for 34 years, 33 of which are here at Our Savior. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education certification in K-3rd from Upper Iowa University. Why did she become a teacher? “To make a real difference in students’ lives – a teacher is upfront to see visible changes, there is nothing like seeing ‘the spark’ on children’s faces when learning.”
Who is her hero and why? “I am in awe of individuals who are persistent while remaining positive with never-ending smiles, in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or struggles. ”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “Children I have taught in K or 1st grade coming back to visit, as an adult, to thank me and remembering ‘memories’ they had in my class.”
Top thing(s) on your bucket list? “1 – Be a handler for a comfort dog! 2- Visit Ireland with my family.”
Edna Busch is the 3rd Grade teacher at OSLS. She is from Fanwood, NJ and has taught for 36 years, 16 of which are at Our Savior. Edna holds a BA from Concordia, Bronxville, NY. Why did she become a teacher? “I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a teacher. But, I teach at a Lutheran School, because growing up in a Lutheran elementary school and then moving on to a public school, the difference between the teacher, child, family interactions were so vast. I wanted to have that type of relationship with my students.
Who is your hero and why? “Not sure I have one. I admire lots of things about a lot of people, but not one specific hero.”
What is your favorite memory as a teacher? “Having a student who was so excited about Religion and Chapel that her parents began attending church because of her enthusiasm.
Top thing on her bucket list? “I don’t have a bucket list. Right now the #`1 thing I can’t wait to do is to see Philip (her son who is currently in the military). I know it will happen in the next six months or so.”
Angie Meissner is the 4th Grade teacher at OSLS. She is from Fairmont, WV, and has been a teacher for 17 years, 7 of which are at Our Savior. Angie holds a degree from Indiana State University in Elementary Education K-8th and FL certified. She has computer endorsement and is working on her ME in Technology Leadership and Colloquy. Why did she become a teacher? “In 4th grade, my parents divorced and it was my teacher who worked with me so I did not fail.”
Who is her hero and why? “My Mom. She was divorced, single, went back to college while raising 3 kids ages 2, 4 and 9.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “No specific memory but situations that are favorite: When past students take the time to come back and visit.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “To visit Europe.”
Carla Adams has been teaching at OSLS for 22 years. She was born and raised in Perryville, MO and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University, River Forest, IL.Why is she a teacher? “Influence from Teachers at my Lutheran Elementary School”.
Who is her hero and why? “My Mother, she was an Elementary Teacher, school secretary, organist and role model in her faith and life”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “Outdoor Education at Camp Lake Swan”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Travel to Alaska!”
Middle School Teacher
Elaine Futch is the 7th Grade Homeroom and Middle School Science and Social Studies Teacher. She is originally from Tampa, FL and has been a teacher for 5 years and this is her first year at OSLS. Elaine holds a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tampa.Why did she become a teacher? “I looked up to many of my teachers growing up because they provided a safe and fun learning environment. My hope is that I can provide that same thing to the students entering my classroom each year.”
Who is her hero and why? “My hero is my dad. I have always had a strong relationship with him. He has been through many challenging times in his life, but maintains a positive attitude and is kind to everyone. He is also incredibly brave and isn’t afraid to try new things. He’s pretty cool.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “My favorite memory as a teacher would have to be Kindergarten graduation with my first kindergarten class. The song “Let Them Be Little” played while they processed down the aisle and I was so overwhelmed by how much my students had learned and grown over the course of the year.”
Top thing her bucket list? “#1 – Travel Overseas”
His interests include music, working out, and sports. He favors the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bulls, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Blair Ewin our Middle School and Sign Language teacher at OSLS. She was born in Marietta, GA, and raised in St. Pete, FL. She holds a BA from Flagler College in Elementary and Deaf Education. She has Reading Endorsement, ESOL, Deaf/Hard of Hearing K-12 and Elementary Education 1-6. Why did she become a teacher? “I became a teacher because of my 1st-grade teacher, Mrs. Raisner. She showed me such patience and love when I struggled with anxiety as a child. She is the reason I was able to thrive in school and have such a love for learning. I want to be able to reach kids the way she reached me. She taught me that it’s not just about learning from books but more importantly building loving/lasting relationships with the students. That is the REAL reward!”
Who is her hero and why? My hero(s) are my parents. “They have been married for 43 years and have been such an amazing support/role model for me throughout the years. Their faith has always been steady – always keeping our family-centered around God. I owe them everything and hope to be just like them.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “Just being able to be a part of shaping and molding these amazing children that God has entrusted to us. It is truly a blessing to watch them grow.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Visit all 50 states…. and Try out for a Roller Derby team” 🙂
One of my favorite memories as a teacher is when a student who was a foster child told him that he loved him and asked him to adopt him.
Eric Fountain is the music teacher at OSLS. He is originally from Milford, DE and has been a teacher for 5 years, 2 of which are with Our Savior. He holds a Bachelors in Arts and Sciences from West Virginia University.Why did he become a teacher? “I wanted to help students achieve their goals and make a difference in their everyday lives.”
Who is his hero and why? “My Father way my hero. Our family thought he was Superman.”
What is his favorite memory as a teacher? “Watching the students perform in the Spring Concert. The students were enjoying themselves, dancing, singing and showcasing their talents.”
Top thing on his bucket list? “Take the family to England.”
Lencia Mountjoy is the Educational Support for OSLS. She is from Danville, KY and has been in education for 32 years (teaching 16), 2 years of which are at Our Savior. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University, a PsyS, Specialist of School Psychology, M.A., Masters of Arts in Teaching from Asbury University and a Kagan Cooperative Learning Teacher Trainer. Why did she become a teacher? “After testing children for disabilities for years, I wanted to help children in the processing of learning.”
Who is her hero and why? “My husband – He is a Godly man that loves his family unconditionally. He teaches by example. He is a man of character, integrity, kindness, but is firm on his beliefs.”
What is her favorite memory as a teacher? “When a student, any student, said, “I get it, Mrs. Mountjoy!”
Top thing on her bucket list? “Travel to Europe.”
April Mortensen is a Kindergarten Aide and Aftercare Leader at OSLS. She is from St. Petersburg, FL. Why did she become a teacher? “I started in aftercare, and kind of fell into the rest.”
Who is her hero and why? “Tammy Sojka – the best boss I have ever worked for.”
Cristina Campana is an aftercare leader at OSLS. She is originally from Michigan City, IN, and started working at Our Savior 2018. Cristina is certified as a nurse aid. Why did she become an aftercare leader? “This is my first (time) working with kids, but it has been great. They are teaching me things that I never knew!”
Who is your hero and why? “My parents. They taught me to be the person I am today. A good wife, a mother, and a sister. They taught me through a bad storm, there is a rainbow after it rains.
What is her favorite memory as an aftercare leader? “Just being here for a month, each day with the kids are great memories.”
Top thing on her bucket list? “To travel the world and see the pyramids.”