School Staff

Mr. Steve Miller, Principal, 4th through 6th grades, PE, Chinese

After graduating from Valparaiso University with a B.S. in elementary education in 1991, Steve Miller taught 3rd and 4th grades at COS for ten years, marrying Pastor Nick's daughter Cathy along the way. In 2001, the Millers and their two boys moved to China to teach English in Guizhou Normal University for ten years. On their furlough year in 2006-7, Steve returned with his family, including two blond China-born daughters, to COS to teach 5th and 6th grades and P.E. After ten years total in China, the Millers again have been unable to resist the call of COS.

Steve likes to play and watch all kinds of sports, go fishing and bow hunting, play guitar and mandolin, run, and write. His artistic outlet is decorating birthday cakes to look like anything his children, relatives, or esteemed friends desire.

Mrs. Phyllis Butler, English, drama, history, Spanish 1

After twenty years of staying home with her family, she decided to go back to college and realized her ambition of becoming a teacher. She enrolled at Jefferson College and re-discovered the joys of algebra at age forty! She knew she did not want to major in math.

After getting her associate's degree, she made arrangements to finish at Fontbonne College in St. Louis. Her major was in communication art/theater education with a minor in English. She graduated with honors and thought, "Now what?"

Her plan was to teach drama in her hometown (De Soto). She substitute taught for a year, and it became apparent to her that teaching at DeSoto Public School was not God's plan. He led her (and her children) to Christian Outreach School. As always, He knew what was best.

This is her seventeenth year at COS. All three of her children are successful adults now---who continue to walk with Christ---after graduation from COS, and her family (herself especially) have been richly blessed. Praise the Lord! Now her granddaughter attends preschool at COS and comes to school with her every morning.

Mrs. Joy Cook, preschool

Joy Cook, born in St. Louis and raised in Hillsboro, MO has taught various classes at COS including preschool, keyboarding and computers. She also had homeschooled her four children for seven years.

She took Business and Computer Repair courses at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO and worked as an Account Representative, Office Manager and Computer Maintenance Employee for MRM Warehouse, Inc. for 7 years.

She attends COC with her husband and four children, serving on the worship team and volunteering for the Lamb's Inn Coffee House.

Mrs. Ginny Griesse, Librarian

Virginia (Ginny) Griesse, born and raised in York, Nebraska, received a BS degree in education from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska in 1962. She also received graduate credits in Library Science from Concordia. She taught elementary grades and music in Christian schools for thirty years, at COS since 1978. In 1994 she retired from the classroom and organized the COS library, still serving as librarian.

Ginny is married to Bob Griesse and the couple has four grown children (all graduates of COS), nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. With her husband, Bob, they started and directed Sounds of Sonshine, a children's outreach ministry, for 25 years.

Ginny has written over 100 songs, 7 children's musical dramas (performed by SOS at COC), puppet skits, children's books and poetry. For information about Sounds of Sonshine and materials published by SOS, visit their website.

COC Elder David Houser, science, math, logic

David is a graduate of Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado, cum laude, with majors in chemistry, physics and mathematics, and has a B.A. from Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. He met his wife, Mona, there, and they were missionaries in Papua, New Guinea for several years. They have home schooled the two youngest of their five children.

He has worked as a nuclear reactor operational physicist for General Electric Company, as a pastor in Minnesota, and as a salesman at lumber companies in the Saint Louis area. He is interested in family, grandkids, missions, politics, classical music, history, and fixing things so they work properly.

He has been active in Christian Outreach Church since 1977, and has been teaching Christian Instruction at Christian Outreach School since 2001. With the inception of a more classical approach to education at COS, he began teaching Modern Greek and Introductory Logic. “Why do I teach at COS?”, he asks. "I want our students to excel under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit in this God-mocking society we live in today, just like Daniel and his companions excelled in their day."

Mrs. Mona Houser, music appreciation

Mona is David's wife and has her B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Nebraska. She has loved music since she was a small child. About age six, she began studying the piano. Throughout her years of elementary and high school and college, she continued her study of music in band, choirs and on the piano.

She served as a pianist and worship leader at Christian Outreach Church for about 20 years. She especially enjoys teaching and accompanying. She has served as the accompanist at Christian Outreach School since 1991. That same year, she began teaching private piano lessons, and in the years since, has taught over 200 students. Her teaching has inspired a number of them to continue their study of music in college.

Certified by the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Mrs. Houser was recently named to their Hall of Fame. She also sings with the Jefferson College Community Choir and the American Kantorei in St. Louis, and serves at organist at Zion Lutheran Church near Hillsboro.

Mona and her husband David live at Goldman, Missouri, where they reared their five children, the oldest three of whom were born while the couple were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Married for over 45 years, they are blessed with 12 grandchildren. Her hobbies include genealogy and knitting, and she enjoys traveling.

Mrs. Shirley Keener, art

Shirley grew up in Wisconsin, benefitting from her small-town life and solid Christian family. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education/Bible with highest honors from Calvary Bible College, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The following year, she married Carl. In 1977, the couple moved to Nyack, New York, where Carl worked as Senior Accountant. There Shirley taught preschool at Ridgeway Alliance Church. For ten years, she taught in Christian pre-schools and served as Director of the St. Paul Early Childhood Center for eleven years before joining our staff.

She is the Founding Director and Instructor of our Little Lambs Preschool (started in 1999) and has since taught Remedial Aid and 5th—6th grades, as well as Kindergarten here at COS. She became our Lead Elementary Teacher. Shirley also teaches elementary and secondary art.

Her hobbies are arts and crafts, gardening, and playing the flute. She and Carl have a grown son.

Mrs. Barbara Kraeuter, Christian Instruction

Barb has worked as the Event Coordinator and Office Manager for Training Resources for many years. Previous to that, she was the Seminar Coordinator for Kent Henry Ministries. She has been our Christian Instruction teacher for the last nine years.

She enjoys sharing about world-views and likes discussing various religions with her students to help prepare them for the debates that will probably come their way.

She is married to Tom, who teaches Worship Seminars and is a prolific writer. The couple have three children.

Mrs. Jane Lorenz, 1st through 3rd grades, art

When Jane was four years old, her family moved to the Goldman, MO area so that her father could attend COSM. She attended CODS, as it was called at that time, from kindergarten until she graduated with the class of '91. Afterward, she attended Jefferson College, pursuing a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Jefferson County and Christian Outreach has always been her home, and now her husband, Daniel, and she are bringing up her family here as well. After homeschooling for three years, they are thrilled to be able to send their two boys to COS.

Jane has been learning sign language in order to communicate with her daughter who is deaf as a result of contracting meningitis as an infant. There was an obvious need for their sons to learn sign language as well, and since students were interested in a class, Jane began teaching Introduction to Sign Language at COS for the 2012-2013 school year.

The following year, Jane accepted the challenge of teaching 1st-3rd grade and Intermediate Sign Language. After more than fifteen years of working in hotels or food service, she finds herself teaching at COS (a childhood dream of hers) and once again feeling a part of the COS family.

Mrs. Karen Martin, Christian Instruction, cooking, sewing

Karen has taught sewing at COS for fifteen years. Previously, she was a preschool aide (two years), taught cooking here for three years and has been our Christian Instruction teacher for ten years.

She enjoys working with Christian children because of the blessing of watching them grow in their spiritual gifts. "Seeing families who love the Lord and who want to see their children trained in the things that matter, in knowing Christ, is my biggest reward." She appreciates that the staff, which comes from various church backgrounds but honor the Word above all and are single-minded in teaching Christian values.

She is, and has been, very active in our Women's Ministry, Women's Bible Study and Prayer and Intercession. She has a heart for souls, especially for those in Jefferson County.

Natives of Montana, she and her husband, John, moved here for John to attend COSM. They have four children, all COS graduates. Her hobbies are gardening and sewing.

Mrs. Cathy Miller, preschool, kindergarten, 3rd through 6th science and history

A COS alumnus, Cathy Miller graduated from Taylor University with a B.A. in social work in 1993. After marrying Steve the following summer, she taught kindergarten, assorted elementary grades, cooking, and junior high English at COS for six years. Living in Guiyang, China, from 2001 to 2012, Cathy became an expert at giving birth to babies in Chinese hospitals, home schooling her children, and organizing the local foreigners' home school group. She now enjoys teaching various grades and classes at her alma mater.

Cathy is a gifted worship leader and piano teacher, and enjoys cooking, reading, walking, sewing, and nature.

Mrs. Carla Theurer, science and math

Carla earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry from Southern Illinois. She worked in laboratory analysis for six years and as a Chemical Lab Technician for St. Louis Testing Lab for six years. She has been teaching at COS for thirteen years.

She and her husband, Tom, live in the area and are active in COC's Home Fellowship Ministry.

Miss Connie Wood, AlumniLetter Editor, COC Publications Editor, Bookkeeper

Connie earned her B.A in English from Mansfield State College in Pennsylvania and her Master's in German by attending the Universität Mainz in Germany through Middlebury College's Language School in Middlebury, Vt.

She graduated from the Christian Outreach School of Ministries and spent several summers as a missionary, serving the suffering church behind the Iron Curtain as a Bible smuggler. She worked for Kent Henry Ministries as the assistant editor of The Psalmist magazine and also worked as a copy writer for COSM and other affiliated minstries while employed at Resurrection Press.