Cornerstone Staff

Meet our Director – Kristin Mantey

Kristin is the director of Cornerstone and is also the lead teacher in Preschool Room #4.  Kristin’s love for her Savior and for children led her to receive a Bachelor’s degree from Martin Luther College in 2007 with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education.  Kristin has served as a director and lead teacher at early learning centers in Winston-Salem, NC and Manhattan, KS.

Kristin comes from a large family.  Because her five siblings are spread throughout the United States, travel is one of her favorite things!  Her travels to visit family includes spending time with her 16 nieces and nephews.

Believing that children are a gift from God and that childcare is a partnership between the caregiver and parents, one of Kristin’s joys is supporting families.  She is readily available and eager to share and ideas and information with parents.  She is excited to be at Cornerstone and to partner with your family!

Administrative Assistant – Crystal Laurin-Johnson

Crystal is Cornerstone’s Administrative Assistant.  She joined the Cornerstone family in January 2017.  Prior to Cornerstone she was a stay-at-home mom for 3 1/2 years and was active in many many play dates, a book club, Mom’s group and a Women of Faith group.  She lives in Hugo with her husband and three boys.

Staff Applications

Cornerstone is currently looking for qualified teachers, assistant teachers and aides.  If you would like to download an application, please click on this link.

Infant Room – Lead Teacher – Michelle Casemore

My name is Michelle Casemore and I am the lead teacher in the Infant Room at Cornerstone Early Learning Center. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Liberal Arts degree in Biology, Society, and the Environment and a minor in History of Science, Technology and Medicine. I have worked at Cornerstone since November 2015, and have been the lead infant teacher since May 2016.

I come from a large family, I have 5 wonderful sisters and 3 amazing brothers. I also have 4 nieces and 4 nephews, whom I spend most of my free time with. I also like to knit and love reading.

I look forward to getting to know you and your family and assist in the growth and development of your child!

Transition Room Lead Teacher – Mariah Smith

Mariah is the lead teacher in the transition classroom at Cornerstone. She has enjoyed working with Cornerstone since February of 2015.

She went to Bethel University for two years and has since traveled and been certified as a yoga (vinyasa) instructor through CorePower Yoga.

Mariah grew up on the Fond Du Lac Reservation and in the time not spent teaching she enjoys spending time with her family up north, traveling, camping, painting, reading, practicing yoga, and learning new hobbies.

Toddler Room – Rebecca Gervais

After graduating from Martin Luther College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, Rebecca joined the Cornerstone teaching staff.  Over the years, Rebecca gained much experience through part time work at an Early Learning Center in New Ulm, MN.

Rebecca is originally from Bloomer, WI.  She has a wide variety of hobbies and interests.  Some of these include making jewelry, drawing, and other artistic pursuits.  

She also enjoys spending time outside when the weather is nice!

Preschool Room Teacher – Elizabeth Roecker

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Roecker.

My family moved to the Twin Cities area this summer. I have eight years of teaching experience in the primary grades in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

I am very excited about joining the Cornerstone family! I am looking forward to sharing God’s Word and helping the children grow!

Preschool Room Teacher – Renee Sellner

I joined the world of child care in 2004 when I started working with a family that had three children with autism. After working as a PCA for 4 years, I started nannying, and have worked with several families. In 2013 I became an assistant teacher at a small center in River Falls, WI. Since then I have worked at two other centers here in Minnesota, as well as getting my CDA in December of 2016.

One of my favorite things about teaching is seeing a child finally learn or understand something they having been working on, the “ah-ha” moment. I love knowing that I helped them make the connection. Children often enjoy all the silly songs I sing. I find that songs can help engage the class as well as get the sillies out.

I am looking forward to getting to know the children, and meeting all of your families!

Preschool Room Teacher – Kirsten George

My name is Kirsten George and I graduated from Martin Luther College in 2015 with an Early Childhood Education degree.  After graduation, I moved to St. Lucia (an island in the Caribbean), where I taught Kindergarten for 2 years and Grade 1 for a year.  The school I taught at was an international school, so I was able to meet people from all over the world!  While I was there I also met my husband and at the end of July we moved to the United States.  We are looking forward to all of the “new” things ahead of us, however are not excited about the upcoming cold weather!

I am so excited to be apart of the Cornerstone family and to share my faith and love for children with all of you!

Christ Lutheran Church Staff

Cornerstone is a ministry of Christ Lutheran Church

Pastor Matt Hennig

Pastor Matt is our Hugo campus pastor.  Matt has always believed in the benefit of a strong Christian education.  He was baptized into God’s family in June of 1980 and later attended a Lutheran Elementary School and Lutheran High School.  Matt continued his studies at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.  There he graduated with his Bachelor of Arts.  After college Matt attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity.

In 2006, Christ Lutheran Church called Pastor Hennig to focus on outreach efforts in Hugo, youth ministry, and shared preaching and teaching responsibilities.  Matt and his wife Karen have been blessed with three boys who bring constant joy and excitement to their home!  Their family enjoys running, camping, hiking, traveling, and exploring God’s beautiful creation.  They are excited to be an active part of Christ Lutheran and Cornerstone’s ministry.

Pastor Mark Wessel

Pastor Mark Wessel was born and baptized in Red Wing and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota.  He grew up with five siblings in a college home at Dr. Martin Luther College (now MLC) where his father taught for over three decades.  He attended Northwestern College in Watertown, WI. where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982. More importantly, there he met his future wife, Mary, whom he married in 1985.  Mark graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI. in 1986 and was assigned to St. John’s Ev. Lutheran in Dowagiac, Michigan. There God blessed them with three children: Laura, Ethan and Samuel.  The family later moved to Grove City, Ohio for eight years and most recently Mark served as pastor in Sparta, Wisconsin.

In the summer of 2016, the couple came to Christ Lutheran Church.  Pastor Wessel and his wife enjoy serving God’s people through His Word and music.  Mark welcomes the return to his home turf of Minnesota and looks forward to serving the greater Twin Cities’ area of God’s kingdom. He also enjoys the outdoors, fishing and sports.  At this time Pastor and Mary are thankful and delighted to be grandparents of two grandchildren as well.

God bless you in Jesus!

Pastor Jeff Mittelstadt

Pastor Mittelstadt was born and baptized into God’s family in Hartford, WI in 1967.  He grew up with his parents and two brothers on a farm outside the small town of Juneau, WI. 

He graduated from Northwestern Preparatory School and then from Northwestern College.  His instruction in God’s Word continued at Wisconsin Luther Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity.

Pastor Mittelstadt began his ministry at Resurrection Lutheran of Maumee, OH where he served 14 happy years.  In 2006, he joined the Christ Lutheran pastoral staff and focuses on elders, counseling and administration.  Jeff and his wife Krista have six children.  In addition to the joy of serving as a pastor, Jeff enjoys outdoor activities such as volleyball, soccer and a few leaps on the family trampoline!

Tracy McKee

Tracy is our office administrator.  

She helps coordinate ministry between the two campuses and serves as a vital communication link.

Tracy attended Christ Lutheran School in NSP and later graduated from St. Croix Lutheran in West St. Paul.  She received her degree from Mankato State and joined the Christ Lutheran Staff in 2007.

Mark Dobberstein

Mark is the principal for our K-8 school in North St. Paul.  Mark grew up in the small town of Medford, WI.  He comes from a long line of church workers.  His grandfather was a pastor and both parents were Christian Elementary School teachers.  He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

Mark has taught 6-7th grades in Milwaukee, 3rd-5th grades in Pomona, CA, and for the last 21 years has taught various grade levels at Christ Lutheran.  Mark is currently the 7th grade home room teacher and has been serving as principal of Christ Lutheran for the past 12 years. When the weather cooperates, Mark enjoys relaxing rides on his Harley.