About Us

About Us

What is LESA?

LESA is a consortium of Lutheran schools in the metropolitan St. Louis area who work collaboratively to support and enhance Lutheran education as they serve children and their families in their own unique location.

LESA's Vision & Mission


An academically excellent Lutheran Christian education is a realistic choice for all children.


LESA provides financial resources for children in need to obtain Lutheran Christian education. We advocate and support efforts to improve the sustainability of quality Lutheran Christian schools in the metro St. Louis area.

Who We Serve

LESA serves 31 Lutheran elementary schools, three member high schools, two affiliate agencies, as well as Educational Resources and Early Childhood Partner schools.  The members of LESA have formally joined the Association and actively participate in the mission.  LESA impacts over 8,000 students and 500 educators serving families, schools and communities.

How We Serve

LESA provides financial assistance to children and families who struggle with the tuition cost of Lutheran elementary school.  LESA provides educational resources to help sustain and support high-quality Lutheran Christian education.

Governing Body

Marilyn Brickler, Immediate Past Chair

  • Community Service Volunteer
  • Past Chair: Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Lutheran Camp Association (Arcadia), Lutheran High School Association, Green Park Lutheran School
  • Member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Sappington

Daniel Quinn, Treasurer

  • Manager, Portfolio Management, Nestle Purina Pet Care R&D
  • President, Missouri Speed Skating Association
  • Member, Webster Gardens Lutheran Church

Ann Anderson

  • CPA, Retired Business Administrator, Green Park Lutheran School
  • Member, Christ Memorial Lutheran Church

Carla Kirby

  • Retired from American Greetings
  • Missionary in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, University of Illinois
  • Member of St. Paul, Des Peres

Jerry L. Wollenburg

  • Member, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Collinsville, Illinois
  • Member of LCMS, Commissioned Minister of Religion, Emeritus
  • Retired Lutheran educator and administrator

Alan Vogt

  • Vice President and Director of Fixed Income Trading, J.A. Glynn and JAG Capital Management
  • Member, Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood

Rev. Alan M. Erdman, Vice Chair

  • Member, King of Kings Lutheran Church, Chesterfield
  • Retired President/CEO of Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri
  • Past Board Member, Lutheran Charities Foundation, St. Louis, and Lutheran Services in America (LSA)
Dennis Kemper, Chair

  • Senior Wealth Advisor, Frontier Wealth Management
  • Member Unity Ev. Lutheran Church

Jackie Branneky, Secretary

  • Employed at Branneky Hardware/Leslie Two, Inc.
  • Community Service Volunteer at Immanuel Lutheran School, Lutheran High School North, Lutheran High School Association, President of Lutheran North Mothers’ Club
  • Member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Olivette

Rev. David Gruenwald

  • Senior Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sappington

Paul Niewald

  • Director and Chief Engineer, T-X Program Boeing Military Aircraft
  • Member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Charles

Jeff Schmitt

  • Principal, Danna McKitrick, PC
  • Member, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection

Kip Starnes

  • Sales Manager, Lutheran Trust
  • Member, Christ Community Lutheran Church

Wendy Morris, Advisory Director

  • Principal, Immanuel Lutheran School, Olivette
  • Member, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Olivette


Interested in learning more about LESA board service? 

We welcome prospective board members!  If you have a passion for children, Lutheran education, LESA’s mission, and have an interest in serving on LESA’s board, please email Sue Nahmensen or call 314-200-0799.

Meet Our Team

Susan Nahmensen

Chief Executive Officer

Susan Nahmensen has served LESA for 16 years as Scholarship Program Director, as COO, and as CEO for the past ten years. Sue’s passion for Lutheran education stems from the positive, life-changing impact the family's parish elementary school, local Lutheran high school, and Concordia University System had on her son and family. She sees Lutheran schools as a partner with the church and with families from all socioeconomic, ethnic and faith backgrounds. Sue brings 27 years of experience in corporate business management and holds the Christian Stewardship Associate Certification, Health Insurance Associate Certification, has completed the Nonprofit ...

Laura Montgomery

Director, Educational Resources

Laura has served as LESA’s Director of Educational Resources since July 2013.  Before her call to LESA, Laura served as a teacher then principal at Abiding Savior for 15 years.

A product of St. Louis Lutheran education, she graduated from Salem, Affton and Lutheran High School South.  Laura earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a Master’s degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University, and colloquy through CUENET/Concordia University, Chicago.  She has completed the SLED program (LCMS School Ministry leadership program) and is a Van Lunen Fellow. Laura’s home congregation is St. John’s ...

Katherine Auble

Director, Development and Marketing

Maureen Gersman

Office Manager

Support LESA

Thank you for your interest in supporting Lutheran education. Through your support, you can make the difference in the life of a child.

Financial Documents

Annual Report

990 Report

Audited Financial Statements

Have A Question?

Affiliate Agencies

A year-round retreat center just 20 miles from greater St. Louis! Established as a children’s summer camp in the 1960’s, Camp Wartburg has been rebuilt and refurbished, making it an ideal site for your next event and a great place to send your kids to summer camp. An outdoor educational experience is incorporated into the curriculum of many of our Lutheran elementary schools. Camp Wartburg is another great place to grow in the community of Jesus Christ.


LASE partners with parents, educators, and schools by providing solution-focused expertise and encouragement that transforms their desire to inspire the God Given potential of every child into reality.

LASE connects parents with relationship and resources to support them through their journey with their children with special needs in Lutheran schools.

LASE connects Lutheran school teachers and administrators with innovative special educators who collaborate to ensure that every child, regardless of ability, is nurtured with an exceptional Christian education.

Please contact the LASE office at 314-268-1234 for more help.

Website  Email

Ministry Partners

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, with 2.5 million baptized members, ranks as the second largest Lutheran church body in North America and the 11th largest denomination in the USA.


The members of the Missouri District are congregations and ministries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod located within the state of Missouri.


The members of the Southern Illinois District are congregations and ministries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod located within the southern area of the state of Illinois.


The Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis is a local funder that supports efforts to see the Church brought into the lives of hurting people and people included in the healing life of the Church. The Lutheran Foundation provided support for the establishment of LESA, has significantly funded LESA’s administrative, operational, and programing costs, and continues to support LESA through annual funding and endowment-building matching grants.


The Lutheran Legacy Foundation seeks to nurture Christian faith and values to future generations by making endowments for the future easier to establish for individuals, churches, and organizations. The Lutheran Legacy Foundation has provided grants to LESA’s Building Blocks Scholarship Fund and has provided significant matching grants to LESA’s Endowment for Scholarships and Operations and Programing Endowment.