We are hiring an Elementary Teacher!
Volunteers are an invaluable resource to our teachers and students.
Assignments might involve sitting and reading to preschool children, assisting with separation anxiety at drop off time, playing with children, supervising lunchroom and playground, or sharing a special skill or occupation to enrich classroom learning!
Please contact our office today for more details! Use our contact form or call 605-745-6676 during business hours.
GREAT CHRISTIAN TEACHERS STRIVE TO:
Rachel Utecht is the K-3 teacher. She has 20+ years of teaching experience in which she has taught in a K-2 Multi-grade classroom, Kindergarten (10 years), K-12 Art (8 years), Title 1 Reading (4 years) and Reading Recovery (2 years).
Mrs. Utecht is a graduate of Concordia University, receiving her BS in Education with an Art Concentration in 1993. She has a passion for teaching young children and giving them their best start in their educational and faith journeys.
Education: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater BBA in Marketing and Business Administration. Chadron State College BS in Business Education and Educational Media Specialist, BA in Public Library, MS Reading Specialist.
Experience: Nineteen years in Hot Springs Middle and High School teaching English and reading. Served as the High School Librarian. Three years librarian with Bethesda Lutheran School and two years teaching second grade and third grade reading.
Philosophy of Reading Education: Reading and writing are difficult and complex skills. Every child can learn to read and write when given the right materials using a systematic and logical approach while in a kind and loving atmosphere.
Melody Trent, ELC director
Heather Hunsaker started her educational career after graduating with a double major in Elementary and Special Education from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2001. She taught multi-level classrooms for the Todd County School District for five years using her Bachelor of Arts degree. Heather taught reading and math interventions as a Title I teacher in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. She then moved into the field of Special Education, where she has spent the last twelve years. In 2018 she began her journey to earn a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership. Heather graduated from the University of South Dakota in May of 2021.
Heather and her husband, Jason, along with their greatest blessings, Hadlee and Jaelee, ranch near Fairburn, SD. They raise commercial beef cattle and dabble in the bucking bull business. Heather and Jason raise and train performance horses. They stay busy hauling their girls to youth rodeos and playdays, working rough stock events, and promoting their horses at barrel races.
Marianne Allen grew up in a loving Lutheran pastor’s family. She attended Concordia, Seward, Nebraska for a year before marrying William Allen. She will be celebrating her 50th year of marriage to William Allen, retired Master Seargent USAF, in April, 2023. While living in many places around the world, they raised five children and have eighteen grandchildren.
To help military children know about Jesus, she directed Bible Memory clubs in Comiso, Sicily and in Grand Forks.
Mrs. Allen graduated from the University of North Dakota. Among other places, she taught Kindergarten – 5th grades for two years and Kindergarten – 3rd grades for twelve years at Bethesda Lutheran School, Hot Springs. She is a retired elementary teacher of nineteen years with a Teaching English Language endorsement.
Pastor Peter Utecht was born and raised in South Dakota. He has been a pastor for over 25 years. He is an integral part of Bethesda Lutheran School, bringing experience in teaching the faith, leading chapel, coaching, and interacting with kids of all ages.
Education: Associate of Science, Cleveland State Community College, Cleveland, Tennessee
Experience: Officer Manager Taylor Animal Hospital, Scheduler LCP Photography, Scheduler Majestic Marketing, Unit Secretary/ Monitor Technician, Emergency Room Secretary, Business Owner/Dog Grooming
The school opened in 1980 with an enrollment of eight students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Each year a grade was added so that eventually the staff reached the size of three teachers. During the course of the years as circumstances changed, so did the number of, grades, students and staff.
The facility for the first 11 years was in the Education Building of Bethesda Lutheran Church. Due to growth in 1981, an addition was added to the basic building. In 1992 a completely new educational structure was built as an addition to the existing church structure and serves as the school today.
In 2010 the preschool was added, and in 2018 South Dakota Department of Social Services approved a licensed Child Care program. The Bethesda Lutheran School mascot is the Bald Eagle which comes to us from our school Bible verse which is Isaiah 40:31. The school colors are maroon and grey.
Bethesda Lutheran School and Early Learning Center is part of a larger body of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Schools consisting of nearly 1,800 Early Childhood Centers, 785 Elementary Schools, and 96 Lutheran High Schools.
Bethesda Lutheran School and Early Learning Center is fully accredited by National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA) and the State of South Dakota.
We especially wish to recognize the following for their generous gifts:
Pastor John and Kenlyn Merrill
Jon Crane Art Gallery
The governance of Bethesda Lutheran School and Early Learning Center rests primarily with the Voter’s Assembly of the congregation. This body executes its will through an elected School Board composed of six persons with the pastor and principal serving as ex-officio members. The School Board The principal is responsible for seeing that the policies and directives of the School Board are carried out on a daily basis.
The School Board has the responsibility for establishing policy; the Principal has the responsibility, with other staff, for determining procedure to carry out the policies.
The policies developed by the School Board and the procedures developed to implement policy are designed to promote a safe, effective and efficient school.
There are policies that are common to all levels of the school, but procedures for implementing them may vary from level to level. The Principal with the teachers establish procedures for conducting activities within their individual levels.
Bethesda Lutheran School admits students of any race,
color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities
generally accorded or made available to students at the school.
It does not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies,
admissions, and other school-administered programs.