Middle School Leaders


Kara Willems

Director of Middle School Ministry
kara@westwoodchurch.net

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I love missions, traveling, and MAPS!!! We spent the first 4 years of our marriage as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators (primarily in Papua New Guinea) and enjoyed every minute of it.  One of my favorite things is learning about different ways of life and cultures.
2. I have a great husband and am a mom to two beautiful children who manage to keep life interesting and make us laugh every day.
3. In my free time I’m always up for shopping, putzing around with various craft projects, and trying my hand at cooking new recipes.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

All of it! Worship. Games. Small Groups. Trips and Outings. It is such a blessing to get to know all of the unique students God brings through our doors and challenge them to grow in their relationship with GOD.  Middle Schoolers are at such a fun age where you can find the whole spectrum of maturity – they’re not too old to have fun, but they can think about the deeper things of life and ask hard questions, too.  Things are never dull at a middle school event… and we like it that way! 🙂

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s, Avon’s ‘Dew Kiss’ chapstick (I’m a total addict!) and Bic Clic Stic black pens — they’re the BEST!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 659-2893


Aaron Willems

Co-Director of Middle School Ministry
kawillems@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I really love school!
2. I have an identical twin.
3. I love to play games of any kind.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Being able to talk with Middle Schoolers, who are at a point in their lives where they are figuring out who they want to be.  I love to be a part of helping kids understand themselves and their world, and I especially love to show students what it means follow Jesus, helping them to do the same.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Husker Football Tickets or Snickers Candy Bars

CELL PHONE:

(402) 679-3620


Lori Bruner

6th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
Bruner177@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1.  My passion is photography.
2.  I LOVE Mexican food.  I can eat it everyday, all day!
3.  Ask me how many pets live at my house!

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Getting to know the awesome middle school students that come to Westwood! I enjoy watching them as they learn about Jesus. I also love building relationships with my small group girls!  Middle School kids ROCK!

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I WOULD BE BRIBED WITH:

Hot Tamales

CELL PHONE:

402-708-9290


Wendy Pella

6th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
wendypella@hotmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1.  I like to play tennis.
2.  I have 2 kids and am married.
3.  I like to go hiking.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Visiting with students!

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I WOULD BE BRIBED WITH:

A Hug

CELL PHONE:

402-215-5471


Chris Pangkerego

6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader


3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

  1. A long time ago, in a country far, far away, I was born to someday become a middle school leader.
  2. Music and playing basketball is my passion.
  3. I used to hate Apple products but now I love them.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Playing in the band and going camping with these little dudes.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

KitKat, Peanuts M&M or TROPICAL SKITTLES!!

CELL PHONE:

911


Derek Varilek

6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
dsvarilek@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I like to go fishing.
2. I coach soccer.
3. I’m really a kid on the inside.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Going on mission trips and really getting to know the students.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Cash. Cash would be good.

CELL PHONE:

(402) 960-9934


Jake Varilek

6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
jvarilek14@yahoo.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have a love for all things nerdy (comics, superheroes, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings).  It’s all good.
2. Metal music is my passion.  Also, classic blues like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
3. I love history.  It was one of the few classes I thoroughly enjoyed in school.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Getting to interact with the kids and hopefully having a positive impact on them.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Buying me tattoos

CELL PHONE:

(402) 618-1095


Nathan Essink

6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
nessink89@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I love my job of mowing.
2. I love fishing.
3. The Huskers are the best!  GO BIG RED!

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Group games and playing in the band.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Mountain Dew & Snickers

CELL PHONE:

(402) 350-1050


Amy Shafer

7th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
amyshafer@hotmail.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I love heights.
2. I like to run and exercise.
3. I’m shy.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

I love talking with the girls and seeing the change in them.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Pickles, coffee, slim jims

CELL PHONE:

(402) 630-3296


Annie Essink

7th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
amaekolar@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I’m a middle school math teacher.
2. I have a little boy named Owen.
3. I enjoy baking and trying new recipes.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Getting to know all the kids and watching them grow.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Coffee or ice cream

CELL PHONE:

(402) 250-1224


Jim Wagner

7th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
hskrfn@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I served in the U.S. Navy.
2. I’ve been to Hawaii and Alaska.
3. I’m a huge Husker fan!

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

The interaction with the kids.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Husker Tickets

CELL PHONE:

(402) 215-3967


Matthew Rozeboom

7th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
matthew.rozeboom@gmail.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I play with fruits/veggies for a living.
2. I have always had a passion for motorcycles and can almost always find an excuse to go for a ride.
3. My family calls me Hector…..but seriously.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Seeing where I was as a middle schooler here and being able to pass on the awesome leadership that I had when I was a student is probably my favorite part.  Aside from that, worship and games are by far my favorite part.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

MOUNTAIN DEW!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 659-0257


Deb Wagner

8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
itsmedaw@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have been to New Zealand!  🙂
2. I love to listen to my IPOD – love music.
3. I love to watch TV – big Friends fan

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

I like the one on one interaction with the kids.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

A trip to Hawaii

CELL PHONE:

(402) 968-4758


Kellie Runge

8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
kellie.runge@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am married and have 4 great kids (2 high schoolers & 2 in college).
2. I love my job teaching as a para at Picotte Elementary.
3. I love spicy food.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

I really love it all! We have a lot of fun, meaningful worship, and good talks. The fellowship with these students (and other leaders) is great.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Peanut Butter M&M’s and a trip to the ocean!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 452-4946


Lindsey Murphy

8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
Lnmurphy21@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have 2 beautiful girls, Joelle & Rilynn, who are growing right before my eyes!!
2. Ice cream is my FAVORITE… any time of the year!
3. I love scrapbooking and doing crafts.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Watching God work in the life of middle school kids and seeing their faith grow during their time with us!!

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Peanut Butter M&Ms, Butterfingers and Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 677-0001


Dan Schoessler

8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
schoessler5@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am a Kindergarten teacher.
2. I have 3 kids.
3. I have been convicted of manslaughter.  (Wait!  This is 2 truths and a lie, right? 😉

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

That I get to work with kids who are on the doorstep of making a life decision about our great God.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Tickets to a baseball game

CELL PHONE:

(402) 709-8783


Eddie Murphy Jr.

8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
eddiemurphyjr84@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have two beautiful daughters.
2. I love to go to hockey games.
3. I enjoy golfing.

MY FAVORITE PART OF MSM IS:

Getting to know the kids, and seeing them grow in their faith.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Puppy Chow and Skittles, or Hockey Tickets

CELL PHONE:

(402) 981-9319