About Us

About Us

What is LESA?

LESA is a consortium of Lutheran schools in the metropolitan St. Louis area who work collaboratively to support and enhance Lutheran education as they serve children and their families in their own unique location.

LESA's Vision & Mission


An academically excellent Lutheran Christian education is a realistic choice for all children.


LESA provides financial resources for children in need to obtain Lutheran Christian education. We advocate and support efforts to improve the sustainability of quality Lutheran Christian schools in the metro St. Louis area.

Who We Serve

LESA serves 31 Lutheran elementary schools, three member high schools, two affiliate agencies, as well as Educational Resources and Early Childhood Partner schools.  The members of LESA have formally joined the Association and actively participate in the mission.  LESA impacts over 8,000 students and 500 educators serving families, schools and communities.

How We Serve

LESA provides financial assistance to children and families who struggle with the tuition cost of Lutheran elementary school.  LESA provides educational resources to help sustain and support high-quality Lutheran Christian education.

Governing Body

Dennis Kemper, Chair

  • Senior Wealth Advisor, Frontier Wealth Management
  • Member Unity Ev. Lutheran Church

Rev. Alan M. Erdman, Vice Chair

  • Member, King of Kings Lutheran Church, Chesterfield
  • Retired President/CEO of Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri
  • Past Board Member, Lutheran Charities Foundation, St. Louis, and Lutheran Services in America (LSA)

Jackie Branneky, Treasurer

  • Employed at Branneky Hardware/Leslie Two, Inc.
  • Community Service Volunteer at Immanuel Lutheran School, Lutheran High School North, Lutheran High School Association, President of Lutheran North Mothers’ Club
  • Member, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Olivette

Marilyn Brickler, Secretary

  • Community Service Volunteer
  • Past Chair: Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Lutheran Camp Association (Arcadia), Lutheran High School Association, Green Park Lutheran School
  • Member, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Sappington

Michael (Mike) Becker

  • Attorney, Schmidt Basch, LLC

John Crumrine

  • CFO, BMC Enterprises
  • Member, Prince of Peace Crestwood

Jim Eckrich

  • Retired, St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund
  • Member, Concordia Lutheran Church Kirkwood

Rev. David Gruenwald

  • Senior Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sappington


Leah Harris

  • Senior Vice President, Treasury Management, PNC Bank
  • Member Unity Ev. Lutheran Church

Paul Niewald

  • Director and Chief Engineer, T-X Program Boeing Military Aircraft
  • Member,Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Charles

Jeff Schmitt

  • Principal, Danna McKitrick, PC
  • Member, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection

Kip Starnes

  • Sales Manager, Lutheran Trust
  • Member, Christ Community Lutheran Church

Alan Vogt

  • Vice President and Director of Fixed Income Trading, J.A. Glynn and JAG Capital Management
  • Member, Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood

Ananda Baron, Advisory Director

  • Principal, Zion Lutheran School, Belleville
  • Member, Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville

Dr. Mel Sandfort, Advisory Director

  • Principal, Child of God Lutheran School, St. Peters
  • Member, Child of God Lutheran Church

Interested in learning more about LESA board service? 

We welcome prospective board members!  If you have a passion for children, Lutheran education, LESA’s mission, and have an interest in serving on LESA’s board, please email Libby Gutberlet or call 314-200-0799.

Meet Our Team

Libby Gutberlet

Chief Executive Officer

Libby joined LESA in 2022, first as Director of Development, then as CEO. She has served 40 years in the non-profit sector in administration as well as fundraising.

A graduate of Wheaton College, Libby spent much of her early career as Executive Director of St. Louis’s Ronald McDonald House. Most recently, she managed the Engineering Scholarship Program at Washington University and Directed Major Gifts for St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Libby and husband, Eric, are longtime members of Pathfinder in Ellisville.

Amee Colvin

Director of Fund Development and Marketing

Amee Colvin joined LESA in May 2023. In her current position, she manages all aspects of marketing, public relations, event management, and Annual Fund management.

Prior to joining the staff, she was the Director of Outreach Ministries at Green Trails United Methodist Church in Chesterfield. Concurrently, she served as Adjunct Communication Instructor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec focusing on Public Speaking, Oral Communication and Storytelling. Previously, she served as the Director of Volunteer Activities at the St. Louis Symphony, and the Senior Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Washington University.

Amee and her husband, Scott, have two children: Corinne and Landon. Corinne and Landon spent many years as students at Salem Lutheran School in Affton. Scott and Amee were assisted in their endeavors to provide excellent academic and Christian education by LESA, so she considers it an honor to serve and give back to the organization that makes access possible for hundreds of families in the St. Louis region.

Laura Montgomery

Director of Educational Resources 

Laura has served as LESA’s Director of Educational Resources since July 2013.  Her primary responsibilities include planning professional development for principals and teachers, leading curriculum writing teams, managing LESA’s STEM/LEGO lending library, and serving as a connector for educational resources to schools.

Before her call to LESA, Laura served as a teacher then principal at Abiding Savior for 15 years. A product of St. Louis Lutheran education, she graduated from Salem, Affton and Lutheran High School South.  Laura earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a Master’s degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University, and colloquy through CUENET/Concordia University, Chicago.  She has completed the SLED program (LCMS School Ministry leadership program) and is a Van Lunen Fellow. Laura’s home congregation is St. John’s Lutheran in Arnold, Missouri.

Maureen Gersman

Director, Scholarship Programs & Office Manager

Maureen is responsible for administering the LESA and MO District Scholarship Programs, office management including review of contracts, vendor relations, and facilitation of IT network maintenance, managing employee benefits, and office bookkeeping. Maureen’s home congregation is Peace Lutheran Church in St. Louis.

Support LESA

Thank you for your interest in supporting Lutheran education. Through your support, you can make the difference in the life of a child.

Financial Documents

Annual Report

IRS 990 Form

Audited Financial Statements

Have A Question?

Affiliate Agencies

A year-round retreat center just 20 miles from greater St. Louis! Established as a children’s summer camp in the 1960’s, Camp Wartburg has been rebuilt and refurbished, making it an ideal site for your next event and a great place to send your kids to summer camp. An outdoor educational experience is incorporated into the curriculum of many of our Lutheran elementary schools. Camp Wartburg is another great place to grow in the community of Jesus Christ.


LASE partners with parents, educators, and schools by providing solution-focused expertise and encouragement that transforms their desire to inspire the God Given potential of every child into reality.

LASE connects parents with relationship and resources to support them through their journey with their children with special needs in Lutheran schools.

LASE connects Lutheran school teachers and administrators with innovative special educators who collaborate to ensure that every child, regardless of ability, is nurtured with an exceptional Christian education.

Please contact the LASE office at 314-268-1234 for more help.

Website  Email

Ministry Partners

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, with 2.5 million baptized members, ranks as the second largest Lutheran church body in North America and the 11th largest denomination in the USA.


The members of the Missouri District are congregations and ministries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod located within the state of Missouri.


The members of the Southern Illinois District are congregations and ministries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod located within the southern area of the state of Illinois.


The LCMS Foundation was created in 1958 by the LCMS to provide Christian estate planning services to LCMS members, and to help ministries invest or endow the gifts members leave them in their wills or estate plans. LESA is supported by endowments and estate gifts that donors have left to our organization’s mission thanks to the free planning services provided by the LCMS Foundation.


The Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis is a local funder that supports efforts to see the Church brought into the lives of hurting people and people included in the healing life of the Church. The Lutheran Foundation provided support for the establishment of LESA, has significantly funded LESA’s administrative, operational, and programing costs, and continues to support LESA through annual funding and endowment-building matching grants.


The Lutheran Legacy Foundation seeks to nurture Christian faith and values to future generations by making endowments for the future easier to establish for individuals, churches, and organizations. The Lutheran Legacy Foundation has provided grants to LESA’s Building Blocks Scholarship Fund and has provided significant matching grants to LESA’s Endowment for Scholarships and Operations and Programing Endowment.