Established in 1958 

(619) 462-5211 x103
7921 La Mesa Boulevard
La Mesa, CA 91942

Teacher Biographies

For contact information, see the Staff page.

All of the full-time teaching staff at Christ Lutheran School hold bachelor's degrees and credentials in education and 75% of our teaching staff hold master's degrees. Our teachers are synodically trained, called workers of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. This means they are specifically trained to instruct God's Word in a powerful and positive way for their students.

Ms. Xavria Schwarz

Ms. Xavria Schwarz, Principal

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, Heritage College - Toppenish, WA
    • Education Administration Credential

Experience

  • Bethlehem Lutheran School - Kennewick, WA
    • 4 years as 4th grade teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 16 years as principal

Awards

  • 2009 Administrator of the Year from the Pacific Southwest District
  • 2010 Van Lunen Fellowship
  • 2016 Receipient of the prestigious Concordia University Irvine Alumnus of the Year (Read Here)
Ms. Maggie Payne

Mrs. Maggie Payne, Preschool Director

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, San Diego Christian College
    • Human Development
    • Teaching Credential, Program Director

Experience

  • Lutheran Preschools in San Diego area
    • 12 years – Teacher
    • 5 years – Director
  • Christ Lutheran Preschool
    • 18 years – Director
    • 7 years – Lead Teacher
Ms. LeAnna Christopher

Ms. LeAnna Christopher, Kindergarten Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, Concordia University – Portland, OR
    • Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis

Experience

  • Immanuel Lutheran School - Orange, CA
    • 2 years as 5th & 6th grade teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School – La Mesa, CA
    • 6 years as Kindergarten Teacher
  • Published contributing Author for My Devotions, Winter '15 issue.

Mrs. Jeana Byndon, First Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Education, Concordia University – Seward, NE
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate

Experience

  • Mt. Calvary Lutheran School – Omaha, NE
    • 1 year as K-1 teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 2 years as 1st grade teacher

Mrs. Cindy Recksiedler

Mrs. Cindy Recksiedler, Second Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University - Chicago, IL
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate

Experience

  • Redeemer Lutheran School - Ontario, CA
    • 8 years 3rd / 4th grade teacher
    • 5 years as the Director of Extended School Care
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 27 years as 2nd grade teacher
Mrs. Christine Small

Mrs. Christine Small, Third Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia Teacher's College - Seward, NE
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis

Experience

  • Grace Lutheran School - San Diego, CA
    • 12 years as kindergarten / 3rd- 8th grade teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 24 years as 3rd grade teacher

Awards

  • 2009 Pacific Southwest District Elementary school educator of the year

Mr. Joshua Payne, Fourth Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University, - Irvine, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate

Experience

  • St. Paul's Lutheran School - Pacific Beach, CA
    • 3 years as 5th grade teacher, technology integration, technology support
  • Grace Lutheran School - Escondido, CA 
    • 7 years as 5th grade teacher, technology support, youth group leader
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA 
    • 1 year as 4th grade teacher 
Mrs. Casey Sitze

Mrs. Casey Sitze, Fifth Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, San Diego State University - San Diego, CA
    • Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis

Experience

  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 20 years as 5th grade teacher
Mr. Jacob Sitze

Mr. Jacob Sitze, Sixth Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, Concordia University - Irvine, CA
    • Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis

Experience

  • St. Paul's Lutheran School - San Diego, CA
    • 1 year as 8th grade teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 1 year as 4th grade teacher
    • 16 years as 6th grade teacher

Mrs. Tiffany Giles, Seventh Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Indiana University - Bloomington, IN
    • Teaching Credential
    • English Degree/P.E. Minor
  • Concordia University Education Network
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate

Experience

  • Alamitos Intermediate School - Garden Grove, CA
    • 4 years as 7th/8th grade English and physical education teacher
      • Volleyball and Basketball Coach
      • P.E. Department Chair
  • Olive Pierce Middle School - Ramona, CA
    • 15 years as 7th/8th grade physical education teacher
    • 2 years as volleyball coach
  • Christian High School - El Cajon, CA
    • 2 years as women's head basketball coach
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 8 years as volunteer basketball coach
    • 2 years as 7th grade teacher

Mr. Ron Recksiedler

Mr. Ron Recksiedler, Eighth Grade Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Concordia University - River Forest, IL
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate

Experience

  • Redeemer Lutheran School - Ontario, CA
    • 12 years as 7th / 8th grade teacher
    • Athletic Director / Coach
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 24 years 8th grade teacher
    • Athletic Director / Coach
Mr. Dennis Wetjen

Mr. Dennis Wetjen, Science Teacher

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Concordia University - Seward, NE
    • Teaching Credential
    • Lutheran Teaching Certificate
  • Master of Arts, San Diego State University - San Diego, CA
    • Curriculum and Instruction Emphasis

Experience

  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 11 years as 4th / 5th grade teacher
  • Hong Kong International School - Hong Kong, China
    • 5 years as 8th grade science and U.S. history teacher and 8th grade team leader
    • 13 years as 6th grade science and math teacher and 6th grade team leader
  • AMBRIT Rome International School - Rome, Italy
    • 2 years as 6th /7th middle school science teacher
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 11 years as 4th - 7th grades science teacher and 8th grade history teacher, 4 years as computer lab teacher
  • Concordia University

Awards

  • 2013 Pacific Southwest District Elementary school educator of the year


Mrs. Christy Holden, Resource Teacher

Education 

  • Bachelor of Arts, San Diego State University – San Diego, CA
    • Teaching Credential
    • Special Education Teaching Credential
  • Master of Special Education – San Diego State University – San Diego, CA

Experience

  • Vista Square Elementary, Chula Vista
    • 1 year as teacher-DHH
  • Magnolia Elementary, Carlsbad, CA
    • 8 years as 4-6 grades teacher-DHH
  • Christ Lutheran School - La Mesa, CA
    • 2 years as resource teacher