Meet Our Staff


Pastor & Catechism Teacher
Phone: 651-777-5771

Pastor Mark Wessel was born and baptized in Red Wing and raised in New Ulm, Minnesota.  He grew up with five siblings in a college home at Dr. Martin Luther College (now MLC) where his father taught for over three decades.  He attended Northwestern College in Watertown, WI. where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982. More importantly, there he met his future wife, Mary, whom he married in 1985.  Mark graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI. in 1986 and was assigned to St. John’s Ev. Lutheran in Dowagiac, Michigan. There God blessed them with three children: Laura, Ethan and Samuel.  The family later moved to Grove City, Ohio for eight years and most recently Mark served as pastor in Sparta, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2016, the couple came to Christ Lutheran Church.  Pastor Wessel and his wife enjoy serving God’s people through His Word and music.  Mark welcomes the return to his home turf of Minnesota and looks forward to serving the greater Twin Cities’ area of God’s kingdom. He also enjoys the outdoors, fishing and sports.  At this time Pastor and Mary are thankful and delighted to be grandparents of two grandchildren as well.   God bless you in Jesus!


Office Administrator
Phone: 651-777-5771

Tracy moved to North St. Paul in 1985 and attended Christ Lutheran School. She graduated from St. Croix Lutheran High School and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mankato State. She joined the Christ Lutheran Staff in October of 2007.

Ann Ponath

Church Music Coordinator/Lead Organist
Music and Language Arts teacher
Phone: 651-777-1450

Ann M. Ponath serves part-time as the Christ Lutheran School Music (grades 1, 3-8) and Language Arts (grade 7-8) teacher. She also serves as head organist and music coordinator for Christ Lutheran Church. The daughter of a pastor, Ann spent her first ten years in a mission church in South Windsor, Connecticut. Later, she and her family moved to a large congregation in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. She attended Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills, WI. In 1991, she graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN, with a Bachelor of Science in Education/English Subject Matter Major. Upon graduation, she was assigned to CLS as the third and fourth grade teacher. From 1992-1995, as CLS continued to grow, she taught only fourth grade. In 1995, as her family began to grow, Ann started her work as a part-time teacher. She has continued her education at Concordia University, St. Paul, and with private organ lessons.

Ann and her husband, David, an alumnus of CLS, live in Stillwater. They are blessed with two sons, two daughters, two daughters-in-law and one granddaughter. Ann enjoys spending time with her family, reading, music, theater, walking, gardening and travel. She also enjoys writing and has contributed to the Christ-Light religion curriculum, In God’s Orchard, a women’s Bible study book, Lutheran Parent, Parents Crosslink, Forward in Christ, Stillwater Living, WELS Women’s Ministry, Christ Lutheran and St. Croix Lutheran High School publications.

Mark Dobberstein

Christ Lutheran School Principal | 7th & 8th Grade Teacher
Phone: 651-777-1450

Mark Dobberstein grew up in the small town of Medford, WI. He comes from a long line of church workers. His grandfather was a pastor and both parents were Christian Elementary School teachers. He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Mark has taught 6-7th grades in Milwaukee, 3rd-5th grades in Pomona, CA, and for the last 36 years has taught various grade levels at Christ Lutheran. He is currently the 7th & 8th grade home room teacher and has been serving as principal of Christ Lutheran for the past 27 years. When the weather cooperates, Mark enjoys relaxing rides on his Harley.


Cornerstone Early Learning Center Director
Phone: 651-444-1144

My name is Ms. Stefanie and I am the lead teacher in Preschool 5 as well as the Preschool Coordinator. 

I have a teaching degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  I got my degree from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.  I have been teaching since 2012.  I taught kindergarten in Wisconsin for 4 years.  I got married and moved to Minnesota where I taught Preschool in a daycare and then became a director and preschool teacher for a Lutheran preschool in Brooklyn Park.  I taught there for 3 years and received a call (job offer) to Cornerstone!  

I live with my husband and daughter in Roseville.  My daughter was born in 2019 and attends Cornerstone as well.  We enjoy taking her on walks and seeing animals at the zoo and aquarium.  I have enjoyed it very much at Cornerstone.  It is a joy to be able to teach God’s Word every day to the students.  Thank you for entrusting your children in my care.