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Our Staff

St. John’s Preschool & Daycare has a commitment to the whole child, and we wish to encourage intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and moral development.

We believe a positive school experience is the result of careful attention to the environment, activities, and the way we interact with the children.  We encourage self-expression through art, music, physical activity, and storytelling.

We feel it is important for children to develop the skills they need for further learning, including skills in problem solving, making choices, working with others, asking questions, learning to use materials carefully and correctly, and working independently.

We want children to learn to care for each other, to respect each other and adults.  We want them to learn of Christ as their Savior and accept Him into their daily lives.  This happens best in an atmosphere of respect and acceptance of individual differences.  The teachers act as models for the children and encourage them to treat each other with respect and tolerance.

Natalie Mendenhall

Director of Preschool/Daycare
Lead 4K Teacher

My name is Natalie Mendenhall (Miss Natalie) and I have been teaching at St. John’s Lutheran Preschool since 2021 first as an assistant 4K teacher and in 2022 took over as the lead 4K teacher.  I graduated from UW Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2010.  I am a level 12 on the Wisconsin Registry.  In July I accepted the Church Boards offer to become the Director for St. John’s Lutheran Preschool and Daycare.  I love being able to make a positive impact on each student’s life that comes through these doors.  I am married to the most wonderful man, Will, and have two amazing children, Cameron and Abigail.  When I’m not at work, my family and I love spending time outside enjoying nature. 

Chris Topczewski

Daycare Teacher
Assistant 4K Teacher

Hello, I’m Mrs. T and have been teaching since 1990. I was hired at St. John’s in 2004. I am currently a level 14 on the Wisconsin Registry.  I graduated from Cardinal Stritch university with a double degree in Education (K-3) and Art.  I am certified in Early childhood education up to 3rd grade. I am happily married and have 4 children with 4 AMAZING grandchildren.  I retired from teaching in the classroom in May 2022, but I am still actively engaged in activities at St. John’s.  I help in daycare with lunch time and am an on-call substitute teacher.  I find my new role at St. John’s enjoyable and gratifying.  At home, I incorporate fitness into my daily schedule.  I enjoy cooking, especially Sunday Family dinners.  I also enjoy relaxing with 1000-piece puzzles and am an avid reader.

Tracy Cleasby

3K Lead Teacher
Daycare Teacher

My name is Mrs. Cleasby!  I have been teaching since 1992, beginning my employment at St. John’s Lutheran Preschool in 2004. I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and am currently a level 14 on the Wisconsin Registry.  I help in the morning with before school care.  It is a joy to be able to see and spend time with some of my previous students and see how far they have come.  Watching my students grow throughout the school year is my favorite thing about teaching!  I am married to Shane, and we have four beautiful children with 2 grandsons.  I enjoy spending time with my grandsons and going on walks with my husband and daughter.  I also LOVE animals and anything Disney.

Jean Jester

Assistant 3K Teacher
Daycare Teacher

Hi, I’m Ms. Jean and I am the opener for daycare.  Later in my morning, I transition to the 3K classroom as the assistant teacher with Mrs. Cleasby.  I am certified to work with 6-week-old up to school-aged students.  I am also registered with the Wisconsin Registry and am a level 5 on the Wisconsin Registry.  I have been working in the childcare field since 1998, starting my employment at St. John’s in 2012.  I am married to Mark, have a daughter named Tessa, and a cat named Gwen.  In 2003, my husband and I traveled to China to adopt our daughter Tessa and she has been our pride and joy ever since.  I like to scrapbook, watch HGTV, do home improvement projects with my husband and I love coloring with all the students at daycare.