Executive Director

Marlene Lund has served in Christian education for over 40 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator. She is passionate about the right of every child to receive an excellent education and through the Center for Urban Education Ministries seeks to serve the large numbers of underserved children and families living in our cities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Cortland State University, New York; a Master of Arts degree in Education from Hunter College, New York; and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from New York University. She was honored as a 1992 National Distinguished Principal. She received “The Leadership Award for Non-Public Schools” in New York in 2000. Wheat Ridge Ministries honored Marlene with their Seeds of Hope Award in 2004, and she received the Servant of Christ Award from Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, that same year.

The Board of Directors for the Center for Urban Education Ministries

Rev. Cherlyne Beck
Program Director, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Judy Benke
Retired, Lutheran School Teacher
Director of Church Relations
Senior Care Community
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Dr. LuJuana Butts
Lutheran School Teacher
College Professor
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Herbert Collado
Research & Operations Analyst
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Ronald Drews
CEO, Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
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Sashemani Elliott
Board Chair
Principal, Amber Charter School
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Mary Gundelach
Retired, Lutheran School Administrator
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James Handrich
Retired, Principal, Hong Kong International School
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Shirley Roels
NetVue Senior Advisor, Council of Independent Colleges
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Emeritus Member

In 1991 the Lutheran Schools Association of New York recognized Dr. Melvin Kieschnick with its annual Educator of the Year Award. The citation included the descriptive words: Enricher, Encourager, Executive Par Excellence, Enabler, Example. Those carefully chosen words truly exemplify the life and ministry of Mel Kieschnick.

Kieschnick’s ministry began in California and continued in Hong Kong, Michigan, St. Louis, New York and after retirement back to California. In addition to serving as teacher and principal, his professional roles have included missionary to Hong Kong; Superintendent of Schools for the Michigan District; Executive Director for the Board for Parish Services; Vice President, Effectiveness Training; Executive Director of the Lutheran Schools Association of New York; and Staff Associate for the Center for Urban Education Ministries and Wheat Ridge Ministries.


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