Faculty & Staff

Meet Eric Pralle, an experienced educator with a passion for teaching and leadership. Eric serves as the principal of Zion Lutheran School, where he also teaches students in grades 5 to 8.

In 1992, Eric graduated from Concordia University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. He also holds a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arkansas and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the same institution. Throughout his 31 years of experience in the field, he has honed his expertise in teaching and administration, spending 20 of those years as a principal. 

Eric's commitment to his vocation extends beyond the classroom. He is happily married to Liz Pralle, and together, they have been blessed with two sons, Joshua and Ian. 

At Zion Lutheran School, Eric's leadership and unwavering dedication create a nurturing environment where students can thrive academically, spiritually, and personally. His vast experience, combined with his passion for education, make him an invaluable member of the school community.

Pastor Peterson

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Rev. Kevin M. Peterson is the current pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the spring of 1999 and was ordained in June of that year. 

Prior to coming to Zion Lutheran Church, he served for eleven years as pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Salmon, Idaho, and before that for about nine years as the pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Commerce City, Colorado. 

Before entering the seminary, Kevin was a teacher at St. Matthew Lutheran Church and School in Holt, Michigan. He is married to Julia (nee Johannes) and together they have four beautiful children: Faith, Jared, Hope, and Jesse.

Mrs. Stacie LuPardus

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Stacie LuPardus serves as the Administrative Assistant and Athletics Director at Zion Lutheran School. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role, having graduated from Coffeyville Community College with an Associate's Degree. Stacie holds a Substitute Teacher's license from the State of Kansas, further demonstrating her commitment to education.

Before joining the Zion community, Stacie successfully managed her own home business, New Vision Creations, alongside her husband Charles LuPardus. Stacie's passion for our school extends beyond her professional role, as she has been a long-time volunteer, selflessly devoting her time and energy to enhance the educational experience for our students.

Stacie and Charles are proud parents of two wonderful boys, Logan (12) and Ty (26). Ty is currently the K-9 Police Unit for the City of Independence. This remarkable family exemplifies the values and dedication we cherish at Zion Lutheran School.

Mrs. Susy Whitson

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Hello! My name is Susy Whitson and I am excited to join the Zion Lutheran School Family as their new Kindergarten Teacher.

Angie Achong is an experienced educator with a rich background in teaching and educational technology. She grew up in Independence, KS, and has been associated with Zion since her early years in school, attending from 2nd to 8th grade. Angie holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Technology with a specialization in School Library Media from Pittsburg State University. Additionally, she has completed the Lutheran Teacher Colloquy program.

Angie's teaching journey has taken her to various states, including Florida, Arizona, and Kansas, where she has taught multiple grade levels. Currently, she is dedicated to fostering a nurturing learning environment as she teaches first and second grade at Zion. With her passion for education and expertise in educational technology, Angie strives to provide an engaging and innovative learning experience for her students.

Beyond her professional life, Angie cherishes her role as a wife to Drew and a mother to twin daughters. Her commitment to Zion and its community is evident through her continued dedication to the education and growth of her students.

Amy Clubine is a dedicated and passionate educator who serves as the 3rd and 4th grade teacher at Zion. Growing up in Independence and later moving to Pittsburg to pursue her academic journey, Amy's commitment to education shines through her work. In May 2003, she graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, equipping her with the knowledge and skills to excel in the classroom.

Outside of her professional life, Amy finds joy in her personal role as a wife and mother. She is happily married to Jason Clubine, and together they cherish their family. Amy and Jason are proud parents to two wonderful daughters, Sydnee and Adyson, as well as a son named Owynn. Amy's unwavering commitment to education and nurturing presence at home embody the core values of compassion, growth, and love. Her positive influence extends beyond the classroom, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of her students.

Arlene Cook, an experienced educator, is a dedicated teacher at Zion Lutheran School, responsible for instructing students in grades 5-8. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she relocated to Kansas during her high school years. Arlene's teaching journey began at Service Valley Charter Academy before transitioning to her current role at Zion.

Arlene boasts more than a decade of teaching experience, contributing to her expertise in the classroom. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in early/late childhood K-6 from Pittsburg State University in May 2011. In 2018, she furthered her education at Concordia University Nebraska, completing a Master's Degree in literacy with a specialization as a reading specialist. Arlene also completed a two-year Tech 21 program, enhancing her technological skills for effective teaching.

Arlene is happily married to Christopher Cook. Together, they are blessed with a beautiful family of four girls and two boys. Their children include Aliya (2), Lizzy (11), Christina (15), Braden (17), Lexi (18), and Matthew (23).

Arlene Cook's passion for education, combined with her extensive qualifications, makes her an invaluable asset to the Zion Lutheran School community.

Mrs. Barbara Barriger

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Mrs. Barriger grew up South Coffeyville. After graduation she moved to Pittsburgh, Ks where she married and had 2 children. She and Josh have been married for 15 years. Following a job change she moved to Independence. Her family attend New Vision church in Coffeyville. Mrs. Barriger has been with Zion Lutheran School since the fall of 2019.

Mrs. Dusti Whitfield

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Meet Dusti Whitfield, who serves as the Director of our Zion Little Cubs Learning Center. Dusti and her family make their home on a small farm in Oklahoma, where their passion for the outdoors and ongoing projects keep them engaged. Personally, Dusti enjoys a variety of activities, including scratch cooking, food fermentation, physical fitness, crafting, teaching, and engaging in educational research purely for the joy of discovery.Dusti's journey in early childhood education began when her eldest daughter was just shy of two years old. Over the years, she has had the privilege of teaching in both physical and virtual settings, and working with children across all age groups. Beyond her teaching roles, Dusti has initiated and directed numerous homeschool cooperatives, established a nature-based early childhood program, and obtained licensing as a childcare provider, both through the military and the state of Oklahoma.Dusti holds a master's degree in early childhood education leadership and is in the process of completing her Ph.D. in education, focusing specifically on curriculum and instruction. She also possesses certification in holistic nutrition.Dusti's passion for children partnered with her extensive experience makes her the perfect fit to create and grow the Zion Little Cubs Learning Center.