Meet The staff
Mrs. Zehendner has been teaching at HLHS since the very beginning. In that time, she has served many roles, including yearbook advisor, history teacher, and volleyball coach. Her family includes her husband, Chuck, and their three children: Taylor (HLHS ‘18), Jessica (HLHS ‘21), and Colton. Mrs. Zehendner and her family live on a farm near Pleasanton and are members of Zion Lutheran in Kearney.
Spanish & Guidance
A member of the Heartland Lutheran faculty since 2015, Ms. Tami Johnson is a veteran of the public school system who loves caring for students and helping them reach their highest God-given potential. Whether it be in the Spanish classroom, helping student decide on a college, searching for scholarships, or being a rock for a student when they are struggling, Ms. Johnson is there for the students of Heartland Lutheran High School. No one brings the energy, unique perspective, and love that Ms. Johnson brings everyday for her students and coworkers. Outside of school she enjoys traveling, spending time with her daughters, and enjoying a siesta.
Music & English
Mrs. Bolin was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Daughter of a Navy LCMS Chaplain, she grew up in several states and even briefly lived overseas. Katie attended Concordia University in Seward for her undergraduate, receiving her Bachelor of Music in PK-12 Music Education in 2019. She married her husband, Noah, in August of 2018 and followed him to Grand Island for his job as engineer at Case IH. They have been members at Grace Lutheran Church, Grand Island for the past two years, where Katie directs the Children’s Choir. They have one dog, Henry, whom Katie enjoyed training and walking. She also enjoys books, movies, especially musicals, traveling, and spending time with family.
Mrs. Murdoch has earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education at UNK and her Master's degree in Political Science at UNO. She has experience as a congressional intern and staffer, a high school teacher, children's ministries director, and in working with the visually impaired. She is currently active in her children's school, various Grand Island community projects and committees, and her church. Mrs. Murdoch and her husband, Nate have four children; Bennett, Maxwell, Evelyn and Rutheah. In her spare time, she enjoys going to her children's sporting events and activities. She is very excited to take on teaching social studies at Heartland Lutheran!
Ms. Emery joined our staff for the 2018-2019 school year. She is a part time teacher who is also a professional artist who produces and sells her own art outside of Heartland Lutheran. Ms. Emery is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (Go Lopers!) and has taught for eight years at Hastings St. Cecelia and Grand Island Public Schools before joining the faculty at Heartland Lutheran High School. Ms. Emery enjoys finding the beauty in God's creation and spending time in it. She took a year off of teaching for the 2017-2018 school year to explore God's creation and spend time creating her own art. During this time she hiked the Appalachian Trail and spent time hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities with her family.
Mr. Krall is a Grand Island native and joined our faculty for the 2017-18 school year after teaching in Denver, Lincoln, and Hastings. Mr. Krall is well known for his coffee, his love on Philadelphia sports, and for the great relationships he forms with his students. In his first school year on the Heartland Lutheran faculty, the students named Mr. Krall their Teacher of the Year because of those relationships, life advice, and pep talks. Outside of school you will know Mr. Krall's voice from the radio as he is a sportscaster for GI Family Radio and the voice of football for Grand Island Central Catholic. He also enjoys attending sporting events and traveling.
PE & Health
Mr. Liess was born in Grand Island and attended Trinity Lutheran and is an alumni member of the HLHS class of 2006. He received his Bachelor of Education from UNK. He is married to Chelsey Liess, and they have 3 children: Skyler (10), Jordan (8), and Carson (6). He enjoys traveling, Husker athletics, and spending time with family. He is excited to be back at HLHS!
Mrs. Liess was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska attending Trinity Lutheran and Grand Island Senior High. She attended Concordia University in Seward for both her undergraduate and graduate programs. She received her Bachelor of Education in 2007 and her Master of Educational Administration in 2012. She also has a Master of Physical Education and Physical Activity Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado (2018). In July 2009, she was united in marriage to Kevin Liess. The Liesses have 3 children: Skyler, Jordan, and Carson who will be going into 5th, 3rd, and 1st grade, respectively. Mrs. Liess is a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church in GI. She enjoys coaching and watching her children's youth sports, traveling, playing sand volleyball and pickleball, board games, movies, and summer weather. Her favorite color is purple, and she will rarely say no to a Dr. Pepper. Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
Mr. Penny is the Activity/Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, and Head Boys Basketball Coach. He grew up in Wilcox, NE and is the oldest of 5 boys. After graduating from Wilcox-Hildreth High School in 2004, he joined the Army National Guard and attended college at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He and his wife Amy have been married for two years, and they have an amazing one year old daughter Lyla.
Since 2018, Karl has enjoyed working with the staff and supporters of HLHS who have a heart for the ministry of sharing Christ. Previously, he was a Lutheran school teacher for 30 years. Karl's wife is Rebecca and they have three grown daughters - Lara, Carolyn, and Elizabeth who all attended HLHS. Karl enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, gardening, and studying God's word. Karl, Rebecca and Elizabeth are members of Grace Lutheran Church, Grand Island.
Mrs. Schrage joined the HLHS staff in April 2020. She has been a part of the school since 2018 when her son, Sam, started attending HLHS. She is originally from Texas and moved to Nebraska in 1998. She has been married to Glen Schrage for 21 years, and they have one son, Sam. Mrs. Schrage enjoys hanging out with family, and watching and cheering on the Red Hornets!
John Nikodym joined the HLHS staff in 2020. He and his family moved from Red Cloud, Nebraska where
he had lived since age three. John was married to his wife, Janice, for 31 years until she joined her Lord in heaven. They have three children, Jacob, Jamie, and Joshua. John started working at the family farm equipment retail business at a very young age and worked in all aspects of the business. The equipment business was sold in 1994. John then managed and operated the family farm and ranch with his father. John is very active in several national antique automobile clubs and enjoys restoring, maintaining and driving his antique cars.