Academic Teams

And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. Nehemiah 2:18
At Crean Lutheran High School, students are given the opportunity to pursue their interests and passion by joining an Academic Team. Many of our teams practice regularly, participate in competitions during the year, and require a greater time commitment than our clubs. Our students are supported and mentored by dedicated coaches who provide hands-on, individualized instruction to prepare students for competitions.

Academic Teams Coaches

Biology Olympiad - Mr. Benne

Mr. Bruce Benne

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Education
BS in Education; Major in Secondary Education Biology, K-12 Music and Minored in Lutheran Teaching

Experience
29 years in Christian Education

Contact:
benne@creanlutheran.org

Cappies - Mrs. Jones

Overview

The Cappies is a writing and awards program that trains high school theater and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders. Student critics vie to be published in local media outlets by attending productions at other schools and writing critical reviews. Theatre and journalism students are trained as critics and attend each other's shows. Cappies students discuss and learn about theatre production. Throughout the year, newspapers publish reviews with the students' bylines. Our team can only consist of 9 team members. Students who are interested must submit an essay on why they want on the team, then an interview will be conducted by a teacher and lead critic writer.

Mrs. Alyssa jones

 

Education
Bachelors of Science Degree
Psychology: Human Development

Experience
Alyssa has performed at Disneyland in Aladdin, A MUSICAL SPECTACULAR (singer/dancer/swing), Disney’s ELECTRONICA, Regional Theater's CHORUS LINE (Bebe) at the Lewis Family Playhouse, PETER PAN (Tiger Lily), 9 TO 5 (Maria) with 3D Theatricals and WHITE CHRISTMAS (ensemble). She has also performed in National & International Tours: YOUNG AMERICANS (Germany, Luxemburg, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Japan), Dinner Theater at Traverse City, MI, DRAGON TALES LIVE (Featured dancer) with VEE Corporation, and Season 3 in YO GABBA GABBA (Toodee) on Nick Jr. Alyssa has worked with USA (United Spirit Association) for 8 years as a song/dance head instructor, assisted for 3 years on program development for summer camps, and continues to judge regional and national competitions. Alyssa has been teaching dance for over 16 years and has taught and choreographed for various studios, high school dance teams and show choirs, competitions and festivals.

Contact:
jones@creanlutheran.org

Chemistry Olympiad - Mr. Schacht

Mr. Mitch Schacht

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Education
Biola University B.S. in Biochemistry, Tulane University M.S. in Tropical Medicine, University of California Irvine M.S. Molecular Biology

Experience
I’ve taught Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab at Biola University as an adjunct professor and worked as a scribe at Los Alamitos and Lakewood Hospitals.  Most recently I worked in industry at Johnson and Johnson in a chemistry and biological research capacity. This is my third year teaching at Crean Lutheran.

Contact:
schacht@creanlutheran.org

Math Olympiad - Mr. Cherry

Overview

Math Olympiad Team is an academic team that competes throughout the school year in various math competitions. In the fall season, our team takes part in the Math Madness event hosted by Arete Labs. This event is an online event taking place at lunchtime in the classroom once per week. Our team competes by adding its best five scores in each contest and comparing it against another school we are matched up with. After the completion of the math madness event, our math olympiad team competes individually in the American Math Competition in February. This competition is a qualifying exam for the International Math Olympiad, the most prestigious high school math competition in the world. All students interested in the math olympiad team are welcome to join, but weekly attendance is required.

Mr. Robby Cherry

"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Education
Bachelors of Science Degree
Mathematics
Westmont College
Masters Degree
Education- Instructional Leadership
Lipscomb University

Experience
8 years in education (math)
11 years in coaching (cross country and track & field)

Contact:
cherry@creanlutheran.org

Model United Nations (MUN) - Mr. Pietrolungo

Overview
Crean Lutheran's Model UN Team competes in various conferences throughout Southern California. These conferences draw participants from around the world where students hone in on skills such as diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research. Before each conference, students are assigned countries and current global issues.  For months they research, write, and prepare information on their assigned country’s stance on issues and how to best develop peaceful and effective solutions. Once at a conference, they compete in mock UN simulations to achieve various goals and awards. All Crean Lutheran students are welcome to join, but participation in at least two conferences a year is required.

Mr. Antonio Pietrolungo

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Education
B.A. in History from California State University Fresno 
B.A. in Biblical Studies from Eternity Bible College 
Teaching Credential- California Single Subject Social Science

Experience
Youth pastor and media director at a local church - 5 years 
Abstinence and chapel speaker - 10 years
Teaching - 5 years

Contact:
pietrolungo@creanlutheran.org

Robotics - Mr. Rutherford

Overview

Robotics Team is an academic team that competes in the Vex EDR Robotics Competition which changes year to year. We have 4-5 separate teams that focus on their own robot including design, construction, programming, strategy, and driving. This is a student-directed team where students are responsible for their team's budgets and goals.  Under the supervision of the Robotics coach, teams spend the fall semester designing and building a robot then focus on competing after their robot is completed. Competitions are all-day events that occur throughout the year, with the State championships occurring in February/March and the World Championships occurring in March/April. Each team competes individually at competitions with awards given for design, excellence, and competition winners. All students are welcome to join, but entrance fees and weekly attendance is required to compete.

Mr. John Rutherford

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36

Education
B.A. in Theology; Concordia University, Irvine
California Single Subject Teaching Credential, Art; Concordia University, Irvine
Masters Of Education; Concordia University, Irvine

Experience
5 Years in Education

Contact:
rutherford@creanlutheran.org

Speech & Debate - Mr. Blanke

Overview

The Speech & Debate Team competes in a variety of tournaments that consist of a broad range of events from the Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate formats to Extemporaneous, Impromptu, and Dramatic Interpretation speaking events. While many of the members of the team take Speech & Debate as a course here at Crean Lutheran, all students are welcome to join the team, even if they are not in the class. We generally compete in one to two weekend tournaments per month.  Our local qualifying tournaments give our team members the opportunity to advance to the California state championship tournament, and ultimately, to the national championships. The national championship tournament is hosted each year by the the National Speech & Debate Association.  If you are interested in joining the team, please email Mr. Blanke at blanke@creanlutheran.org.

Mr. Karl Blanke

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

Education
B.A. in Letters, University of Oklahoma
J.D., Georgetown University

Experience
University of Oklahoma
Lutheran High School of Orange County
United States Marine Corps
Private practice trial attorney

Contact:
blanke@creanlutheran.org

Physics Olympiad - Mrs. Henry

Mrs. Kelsey Henry

 

Education
B.S in Physical Science from Biola University
Minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University
MAED in Curriculum and Instruction from Biola University
California Teaching Credential

Experience
Honors/AP Physics Teacher at Crean

Contact:
henry@creanlutheran.org

College Attendance

This is a list of institutions where a few of our graduates are pursuing higher education.

See Full Listing of Colleges

Robby CHERRY - aCADEMIC tEAM cOORDINATOR 

Contact:
cherry@creanlutheran.org
949.387.1199 ext. 2104