All staff, including lead teachers and assistants, are required to achieve a minimum number of continuing education hours per year pertaining to Early Childhood Education in order to learn and grow in their field and to maintain best practices. Key to Life’s competent staff are nurturing, caring and ready to meet the needs of each child as an individual within our Christian, family-like setting.

Pastor Jeffrey Mahnke
On Site Pastor

Pastor Mahnke graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1994 with a degree in theology. He has been a pastor at churches in Wisconsin (1995-2001) and Florida (2001-2008). He has been serving as the outreach pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church since January 2009. His office resides at Key to Life so he can devote more time reaching out and serving families. He’s happily married and blessed with three daughters.
Cell: 715-297-0132    Email: pastorm@stpeterschofield

Tarah Beduze
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

Tarah graduated from Martin Luther College in 2015. After graduation, she received an emergency call to teach in Peridot, Arizona for a year. After she was called to Martin Luther College in the early childhood learning center as a supervisor of student teachers in the toddler classroom. Tarah has a background in early childhood education, supervision of staff, and is working toward her Masters in directorship of early childhood. Tarah received her call to be the director at Key to Life the summer of 2017. Her husband, Jarred, is the Spanish teacher and the Student Council leader at Northland Lutheran High School. 
Debra Burgess
Assistant Director

Education:  Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Master's Degree in Community Counseling, and Courses in Early Childhood Education and Care

While she was born and raised in Merrill, Miss Deb lived in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years, where she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  She has a wide range of past work experiences, including counseling, prevention education, public health communications, and marketing.  She is married and has two sons in college.  Miss Deb and her family are members of St. Peter Lutheran Church and she has been working at Key to Life since February of 2013.  

Stacy Mahnke
Infant 1 Lead Teacher 
Education: Required Courses in Early Childhood Education and Care

Stacy was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. Before Key to Life, Stacy worked at a childcare center in West Bend and also taught Sunday School including "Christmas for Kids" and Easter for Kids" while living in Florida. She began working at Key to Life in January of 2009.  As a mother of 3 (including twins), along with her nurturing personality, Stacy is experienced in caring for multiple infants with great ease and patience.
Hannah Albright
Infant 2 Lead Teacher
Education: Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Miss Hannah has been working at Key to Life since 2011.  She loves the staff and the family-like atmosphere at Key to Life.  She has her Associate's in Early Childhood Education, and enjoys watching children learn and grow.  We are very blessed to have Miss Hannah serve as our Lead Teacher in the Infant 2 classroom!


Viktoria Reiss
Toddler 1 Lead Teacher
Education:  Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Viktoria graduated from college in Germany in August of 2013.  She has been working in various child care settings ever since, including working in an outdoor childcare program located in the woods of Germany.  She has been at Key to Life since March of 2017 and feels privileged to have the opportunity to share Jesus daily with the toddlers.  

Abigail Daninger
Toddler 2 Lead Teacher
Education:  Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education & Bachelor's Degree in Human Services (Social Worker)

Abby began working at Key to Life in March of 2016.  She graduated with an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education in May of 2017 from Northcentral Technical College.  After graduation, she continued her education at Upper Iowa University for Human Services with the training of a social worker.  Abby had left Key to Life to gain more experience as a behavioral specialist with children suffering from a wide range of different mental illnesses. After 9 months, Abby rejoined Key to Life as the Toddler 2 Lead Teacher.  
Katie Erb

Preschool I Lead Teacher
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Katie started working at Key to Life in 2012, and it has been a huge blessing! She recently graduated from University of Stevens Point with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education. She is the lead teacher in the Preschool 1 room.  She loves working with the children.  

Samantha Campbell 
Preschool II/Wraparound Lead Teacher

Education:  Required courses in Early Childhood Education and Care

Samantha came to Key to Life in January of 2018.  After three months of being the Preschool Assistant, she was blessed with the opportunity to become the Preschool II/Wraparound Lead Teacher.  She is currently pursuing her Associate's Degreee in Early Childhood Education at Northcentral Technical College.  In the future, she plans to continue her education by pursuing her Bachelor's Degree.  She is a member of St. Peter's church, and sings in the senior choir.  Key to Life is the blessing that brought Samantha back to the WELS community, and she can't wait to see what the future here holds.