English Department Faculty

English Department Faculty

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Mrs. Cindy Brown
Mrs. Brown joined the faculty of Lutheran West in 2016 after a successful 25-year career in Marketing and Account Management. In 2010, she went back to college to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a high school English teacher. 

Wanting to make a difference in the lives of young people, Mrs. Brown feels blessed to have joined the West family as her parents are longtime CLHSA family members. Previously, she taught English at Bay High School and Garfield Heights High School, and student-taught in Cleveland's inner city. As a professed lifelong learner and lover of literature, she is currently working on her Master's Degree in English (and third) degree from Cleveland State University.

Recent empty-nesters, Cindy and her husband Kevin, who is a commercial illustrator, reside in Bay Village with their rescue dog Jack. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, listening to her son Chris play jazz, and watching (and encouraging) her five children/stepchildren grow into fine young adults. 
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Mr. Jim Fenske
Mr. Fenske joined the Lutheran West faculty in the fall of 1970 after graduating from Concordia, River Forest. He has since received a Masters of Education in Secondary Administration from Cleveland State University. He teaches Christian Ethics to Lutheran West seniors and also teaches A.P. English. Mr. Fenske also serves as Dean of Chapel and head of the Religion Department.
Jim and his wife, Nancy, have five children, all of whom graduated from Lutheran West, and one of whom (Mr. Mark Fenske '98) is also a current faculty member at West. Jim and his family are active members at Community of Hope Lutheran Church in Brecksville, where Jim is a teaching minister. 
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Mrs. Judy Gesch 
Mrs. Gesch and her husband, Joel, moved to Cleveland as a young married couple with the intention of eventually returning to their beloved state of Wisconsin. Now, more than three decades later, she feels that Lutheran West and Cleveland have truly become her home. She greatly enjoys her responsibilities as an English teacher, her foremost goal being to prepare each student to interpret the things they will read and hear as they move into the world. In addition to teaching at Lutheran West, she has also taught briefly at Luther Memorial School, Lutheran High School East, and Cleveland State University (also where she earned her Masters Degree). Mrs. Gesch is very grateful for her wonderful colleagues and terrific students who make working at Lutheran West extraordinary. 
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Mr. Kurt Maechner '95 
Mr. Maechner began developing both his heart for Christ and then his heart for teaching as a student at Lutheran West, where he graduated in 1995. In 1999, after graduating from Baldwin Wallace University and teaching at Christian Community School for one year, he returned to his alma mater, Lutheran West, as a teacher. He now teaches freshman English, Video Production & Editing, Advanced Video Production & Editing, and Speech. In addition, he helps lead worship and often speaks in Chapel. Kurt and his wife, Beth, have five daughters, and they attend Renew Communities in Middleburg Heights. 
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Ms. Emily Nickel 
A Cleveland native, Ms. Nickel came to Lutheran West in the fall of 2017 to teach English. After graduating from Geneva College in May of 2013, where she studied English Education and played volleyball, Ms. Nickel taught for three years in Colorado Springs and for a year in northern Virginia. Passionate about language and literature, she especially loves equipping students to engage the Gospel with their reading of literature and their writing. She is thrilled to be back in "the Land" with her family, the "Windians," and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 
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Mr. Frank Petroff
Mr. Frank Petroff teaches in the English Department, serves as the English Department Chair, and is the Head Coach of the Longhorn football team.

Since the onset of his career as an educator and coach, Mr. Petroff has had the privilege and honor to teach and coach at many different schools. Lutheran West, however, quickly has begun to mean more. “Individuals have told me that this is a special place,” he says. “I now understand what it means to be a Longhorn. The faith that is projected and practiced at Lutheran West is what makes it a special place.”

Mr. Petroff attended the University of Michigan, where he had the opportunity to be a student-athlete on the football team, playing for legendary coach Bo Schembechler. He hopes that while at Lutheran West, he will be able to instill in his students and players some of the life lessons he has learned from his coaches and teachers over the years.

Mr. Petroff and his wife, Romy, are both graduates of Holy Name High School. Romy currently teaches fourth grade at the Academy of Saint Bartholomew. Both attend the church of St. Colette.
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