Meet our Staff


Brad Anderson
AssT Head of School
Bible, Social Studies

Brad (Braden) Anderson teaches high school Bible and Social Studies, and also serves as the Assistant Head of School. Brad grew up in Wichita (KS). He graduated from Wichita State University.
Brad has a master’s degrees in Political Science and Theology, as well as a PhD in Religious Studies from Marquette University. Brad has taught and administered programs at the college level, and he has also worked professionally with nonprofit program management and research, quality assurance management, and K-12 school accreditation. Brad and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son and 2 daughters.


Cindy graber
library, spanish

Cindy was born and raised in Freeman, SD. She attended Freeman Academy and Freeman Junior College and graduated University of Sioux Falls.
Cindy and her husband have four grown children - Elliott, Michael, and twin daughters Ashley and Audrey. Cindy’s hobbies include reading, costuming for plays and musicals and seeing her children perform. She also enjoys harvesting grapes from their two-acre vineyard each fall.

Lynelle Hofer

Lynelle graduated from Bethany Christian Schools and Goshen College. She has a BA in Elementary Education
(Kindergarten - 6th grade) with minors in Spanish and TESOL (Kindergarten - 6th grade). 

Lynelle and her husband, Joshua live in Freeman and have a son, Gideon. They worship at Salem-Zion (North) Church.

amy hofer vetch
vocal music

Amy Hofer Vetch received her collegiate degrees in Social Work and Music Education from the University of Sioux Falls.  Amy is an active member in professional organizations such as NAFME (National Association for Music Education) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association).  
Amy and her husband, Shane, reside in Freeman. They enjoy time with her step-daughter. They continue to honor her step-son’s memory through the Jackson Lee Vetch memorial fund that sponsors kids to attend Christian camp.
Amy is a member of the Hutterthal Mennonite church. Traveling, cooking, reading and yoga are just a few things Amy Vetch enjoys.

Joe Mason
Visual Arts, Comm tech, Yearbook

Joe Mason is a graduate of Grand View College with a B.A. in Visual Art, and Drake University with a M.A.T. in Art Education.  He obtained a B.A. in Pastoral Theology from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. Joe pastors a small congregation in the area.

Gwen ortman
english, film, theater

Gwen graduated from Camp Verde High School, then earned an AA degree in Early Childhood Education from Freeman Junior College. Gwen went back to school at the University of Sioux Falls to get her BA in Secondary English Education.
Gwen and her husband, Stan have three grown children:  Caley, Lindsey, and Kelsey. Gwen enjoys reading, traveling with Stan, watching movies with the family, drinking coffee with friends, and babysitting her grandson. 

kelsey pidde

Kelsey graduated from Freeman Academy and later Bethel College in 2012 with a degree in History and English. She taught English in an orphanage school and developed a love for teaching. Kelsey received her Masters in Teaching from the University of Sioux Falls. 
She and her husband, Brett live in Freeman. When she is not at a school, she enjoys reading, traveling, playing volleyball, singing, and being outside.

donna ries
Instrumental music

Donna Ries graduated from Hardin Northern High School then graduated from Bluffton College with a degree in music. Donna moved to Sioux Falls where she married Duane and moving to the family farm near Freeman. They have three grown daughters, Breanna, Brittney, and Brooklyn.
Donna is a member of Salem Mennonite Church in rural Freeman where she directs the chancel and handbell choirs and sings in the ladies’ ensemble.  She enjoys playing trumpet, traveling, collecting antiques, gardening, fishing and spending time with family.

Karla Rupp
Grades 1-3

Karla Rupp was born in Karlsrhue, Germany.  She was raised outside of Springfield, SD and graduated from Bon Homme High School. She graduated from Northern State University with a degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood/Kindergarten endorsement. Karla finished her Master of Science Degree in Classroom Teaching and Elementary Administration along with a Middle School endorsement.
Karla and her husband, Wade live just outside of Freeman. They have two boys, Tanner and Kade. In her spare time she likes to enjoy outdoor activities with her family, such as camping, biking, and golfing.

Carol Stastny
Science, Computer

Carol Stastny returned to Freeman Academy after having previously taught the sciences here from 1998-2002. 
She says that her previous stint at Freeman Academy significantly shaped her spirituality and she enjoys her time currently at our campus.

Craig wollmAn
math, Computer

Craig Wollman graduated from Menno High School before. receiving an AA in agriculture from Freeman Junior College and a BA in mathematics from Tabor College. 
Craig and his wife Lois (Epp) have two grown daughters, Bethany, and Andrea. Craig enjoys living on the small farm he grew up on north of Menno.
Personal hobbies and interests include photography, watching college football, and playing worship music. 


Lynnelle Allison
Enrollment Director

Lynnelle attended Hastings College before getting her master’s degree in broadcasting from the University of Missouri at Columbia. The Allison family moved to the Freeman area when their oldest son Dane enrolled as a freshman at Freeman Academy. The next year we decided to quit homeschooling and send all of our children to the Academy. Allison family lives near Hurley, SD, and attend Calvary Reformed Church in Monroe, SD.
Lynnelle enjoys gardening, decorating, and spending time with her family outdoors or indoors by the fireplace.

Ben Bengston
Information Technology

Ben grew up in Littleton, Iowa and graduated from Jesup High School. He graduated from Hawkeye Community College with an Associate's Degree in Natural Resource Management with a degree in Information Technology with an A+ certification through CompTIA.
Ben moved to Freeman in 2010 and married Sophie Nash in 2011. Ben and Sophie have two children, Emily and Rachel. Ben enjoys history, the outdoors, and spending time with his family.

gerri butkis
Food service

More information coming soon...

Marcia Schrock

More information coming soon...

Nathan Epp
Head of School

Nathan is a native and graduated from Freeman Academy. He attended Bethel College in North Newton, KS. After college, Nathan taught and coached in Kansas for 10 years. In 2003, he and his family returned to Freeman where Nathan was an administrator, teacher and coach at Freeman Academy until 2011. After 4 years of coaching the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Mount Marty College in Yankton, SD he returned to Freeman Academy. 
Nathan is married to Sheila (Peters) and they have two children, Kaitlyn and Connor. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys working on the family farm and going to his kids’ activities.


Michelle earned her B.A. in Music with teaching endorsements in English and German from Gustavus Adolphus College; she later attended the University of South Dakota to complete a Master’s in Music Education. She has taught in public, private, and homeschool settings, served as program director at a Christian camp, and coached students in her private music studio. Growing up, Michelle’s family hosted nine students from Japan and two from Europe, which prompted further travel to 13 countries and extended stays in Germany and Japan. Although her post-college plans to teach English in China were cancelled due to illness, she gives God glory for his timing in allowing her to live and work as the Residence Hall Director for the boarding students at Freeman Academy (including several Chinese!). When she isn’t cooking for the 12 dormitory residents, helping with homework, or managing the other aspects of dorm life, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and children, studying for ordination with the Church of God (Anderson, IN), and coaching the Freeman Academy Oral Interpretation team.

Judy graber

Judy graduated from Little Rock High School then received a 2-year business degree from Freeman Junior College. She is married to Linden Graber, who also was a graduate from Freeman Academy and Freeman Junior College. They live on the home farm northeast of Freeman and have two children, Lawson and Lexi. Judy enjoys walking outside, biking, reading and watching college sports. 

Jill Hofer
Administrative Assistant

Jill graduated HS from Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Gretna, Manitoba. She has since completed two Associate degrees from Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls in Landscape design and Horticulture. She is currently participating in Spiritual Direction training at Sioux Falls Seminary. She lives near Freeman with her husband Stan. They have two grown sons, Cole & Ian. She currently participates in a small Mennonite house church. In her spare time, Jill enjoys cooking & food, gardening, golf, making music and sitting around a campfire with friends and family.

Suzanne Koerner
Food Service, Coach

Suzanne graduated from Freeman Academy before attending college at South Dakota State University.
She coaches cross country and track and has been actively involved in Schmeckfest for many years. 
Suzanne and her husband Todd are active members of Hutterthal Mennonite Church. They have four grown children, Andrew, Lillie, Clara and Jada. She enjoys gardening in her spare time and is known to spoil us with her bountiful goodies.



Michelle Sanborn
Daycare director

Karen schultz
business manager

Karen Schultz graduated from Scotland High School. She graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute with Computer Technology/Accounting in Watertown, SD. She followed her husband back home to the family farm located eight miles south of Freeman, where she lives today. Karen and her husband Stewart have three grown daughters, Chelsea, Carissa and Chandra and their growing families have added much joy with the arrival of grandchildren. Karen is a member of the Peace Christian Reformed Church in Menno. In her free time, you can find her enjoying a good book, golfing, cooking, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Austin Unruh
athletic director

Austin graduated from Bethel College in 2013 with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Business. He farms alongside his wife's family, where most of his time is raising grass-fed beef for local markets and private sale.
He and wife, Lindsey have a son, Ezekiel. They attend Salem-Zion Mennonite Church, where he enjoys playing piano, singing, and spending time with high school youth.


Meranda attended Rutland High School before graduating with a degree in Mass Communications from North Dakota State University. She lived in Minneapolis and worked in corporate marketing for ten years before returning to South Dakota to own a small business in Freeman. She then specialized in traditional marketing and social media in downtown Sioux Falls before returning to Freeman to serve at Freeman Academy. Meranda is married to Adam, son Blake, and daughter Piper. She loves traveling and connecting over a good cup of coffee.