St Paul Lutheran School


Welcome to St. Paul Lutheran School!  Our school has been providing quality education in downtown Royal Oak for over 100 years to church families and non-members.

St. Paul Lutheran School is committed to academic excellence, and the development of mind, body and spirit.  Our dedicated teachers and staff create a nurturing environment that promotes motivation, self-discipline and respect for others.  The smaller classes ensure that every student receives the help and encouragement they need to achieve their full potential.

Please call our school at 248-546-6555 to get more information.  We would be happy to set up a tour of our school.

The Viking

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Our History

St. Paul Lutheran Church was established in a small wooden chapel in the heart of Royal Oak in 1873.  The school began in 1916, with just eleven students. In 1918, St. Paul dedicated a new brick church building. The original wooden chapel continued to be used as the school. In 1951, the current school building was dedicated with four classrooms, a library, office, gymnasium, and cafeteria. In 1959, an additional wing was added to the school. The present day church building was dedicated in 1973.

Our Faculty

Mr. Chris Francik – Principal and 5th and 6th Grade Math

About: Mr. Francik was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and moved to Escondido, California when he was six months old. After a childhood in California, Mr. Francik attended Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and completed his bachelor’s degree in education at Concordia University, Nebraska. He earned two master’s degrees: Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University, Irvine, California and Educational Administration from Concordia University, Nebraska. Mr. Francik has been married to his wife, Sue, since 2002. They have two teenage sons, Ben and Sam, who are Lutheran school graduates.

Favorite Bible Verse: ““I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”” – Psalms 121:1-2

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job?: A: I enjoy building relationships with the students and their families. These relationships which often span many years allows me to see the work of Jesus in the lives of these individuals over many years.

Contact: principal@stpaulroyaloak.org

Christie Sipila – Preschool Director & Extended Care Director

About: I live here in downtown Royal Oak with my husband of twenty-three years in a century-old home with our two cats Isaac and Rodrigo.  Our nest has been empty since 2019 when we sent our niece west to Western Michigan University, my Alma Mater.  I have recently returned to school to earn a second bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Favorite Bible Verse: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job: It’s an honor to teach your children every day about Jesus and his never-ending love and forgiveness he has for each of us.

Contact: csipila@stpaulroyaloak.org

Mrs. Blythe MacKinder – Preschool Teacher

About: Blyth MacKinder is an alumnus of St. Paul School and member of the church. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Wayne State University. She has completed the educational credits to be lead teacher in the Preschool program. She is currently working on completing her second bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

She has twin daughters who currently attend St. Paul Lutheran School. Her two-year-old son will be attending shortly! She and her husband share a love of baseball, hockey and spending time together as a family on adventures.

Favorite Bible Verse:  Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Proverbs 31:10, 25-26 …She is worth far more than rubies…25-26 She is clothed in strength and dignity she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue.

What is the most inspiriting part of your job? The most inspiring part of her job is watching the children in her class grow. This includes their vocabulary, actions, emotions, and especially love of Jesus!

Contact: bmackinder@stpaulroyaloak.org

Mrs. Miranda Lorence – Kindergarten

About: Mrs. Lorence was born in Eastpointe, Michigan. She earned my Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from Baker College and has started working towards her graduate degree at Oakland University.

Favorite Bible Verse: He who took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me. – Mark 9:36-37

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job?: A: The most inspiring part of my job is that I get to impact the lives of children and mold the foundation of their education.

Contact: mlorence@stpaulroyaloak.org

Mrs. Christina Eising – 1st Grade/ Teacher Resource

About: Mrs. Eising was born in Flint, Michigan but moved to Royal Oak when she was five. She received her B.A. in Education from Concordia, Ann Arbor, and her Master’s in Learning Disabilities from Wayne State University. She and her husband, Chip have three children who have graduated from our school.

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What is the most inspiring part of your job? I love getting to know each child as a person, as a student, and as a child of God, (and, of course, their families, too,) and then helping them imagine the possibilities of what they might do.

Contact: ceising@stpaulroyaloak.org

Ms. Emma Eising – 2nd Grade

About: Emma Eising was born in Royal Oak and grew up here at St. Paul. After attending Concordia University, Ann Arbor, and teaching at Trinity, Reed City, in beautiful northwest Michigan, she is happy to be back in her beloved hometown, and eager to do her best to serve the people and the place that have so richly nurtured her faith and her life. She is working on her Master’s Degree in Classical Education from the University of Dallas. If you don’t see her running around town, you might find her up north or near trees, rocks, or water. She also enjoys drawing, singing, and spending time with her family.

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:8-9: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…and the God of peace will be with you.

What is the most inspiring part of your job? Here at St. Paul, Jesus is in our hearts and in all we do, and we can find Him everywhere and talk about Him and His blessings daily with our students. Christ is first, and because of that, there are always more beautiful things to learn about His world around us and the people in our class.

Contact: eeising@stpaulroyaloak.org

Mrs. Dawn Heins – 3rd and 4th Grades

About: Dawn Heins grew up in Troy, Michigan.  She is a graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, and has completed 21 hours of post graduate work at Wayne State University. Mrs. Heins has 30 years of teaching experience and has taught every grade but first.  She loves to spend time with her family, read, and play games on her tablet.  She is the mother of three grown children and the proud grandmother of seven.

Favorite Bible Verse: Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5b

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job: The most inspiring part of my job is watching children grow spiritually, academically, and emotionally.  “Light-bulb” moments (when students grasp concepts) are my favorite!

Contact: dawnheins.stpaul@gmail.com; dheins@stpaulroyaloak.org

Miss Julie Thomas – 5th and 6th Grade

About: Miss Thomas grew up in Royal Oak, MI and attended St. Paul as a child. She graduated from Oakland University with her Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education, completed her Colloquy classes through Concordia University’s online program, and has started her graduate degree at Concordia Mequon (online program). In her free time she enjoys baking, singing with the choir, spending time with friends, and playing with her pets.

Favorite Bible Verse: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job?: A: “The most inspiring part of my job is seeing students live out their faith. I love watching the older students step up and encourage the younger ones. I learn just as much from them as they do from me! “

Contact:  julieruththomas@gmail.com; jthomas@stpaulroyaloak.org

Mr. Greg Paul – 5th and 6th Grade Science, Choir, Band

About: Mr. Paul began his college studies at Concordia University, Ann Arbor then transferred to Concordia University, Seward, NE, where he received his B.S. degree in Education with a concentration in church music. Mr. Paul earned a Master’s in Organ Performance from Wayne State University in 2003. He serves St. Paul Church and School by playing the organ for worship, directing various choirs and ensembles, and teaching in the middle school.

Favorite Bible Verse: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13

Contact: gpaul@stpaulroyaloak.org; glpaul3288@comcast.net

Mrs. Sue Trepanier – Administrative Assistant

About: Mrs. Trepanier started working at St. Paul in June of 1990.  She previously worked for the Oak Park School District.  Sue is married with 2 married children who both graduated from St. Paul.   She has been blessed with 6 grandchildren. . When not in the office, Sue enjoys gardening, reading, crocheting, spending time with family  (grandchildren) and friends, and vacationing with her husband.

Favorite Bible Verse: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Contact: strepanier@stpaulroyaloak.org

Kal Cochran – Custodian

About: Kal Cochran is a custodian with over 35 years of experience.

He loves spending time with his family and friends.