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Our Teachers and Staff

We are fortunate to have excellent teachers and staff dedicated to the success of our students.  All of the teachers at Twin Cities Academy are certified and licensed to teach by the State of Minnesota. We are pleased to introduce our teachers and staff.

Terra Alvarez – Math Teacher (talvarez@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Terra Alvarez and this is my 5th year teaching math and my second year at TCA. I teach Geometry, Statistics, Math Extensions, and am a proud partner of the AVID program. I am so excited to teach Geometry and Statistics this year. After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Spanish and a minor in Computer Science, I spent three years working at the University of Minnesota in housing before I realized my dream of teaching math. I earned my teaching license while working full time with Minnesota Math Corps and substitute teaching. I also earned my Masters degree in Math Education after researching math education for English Learners. In my free time, I love cooking, gardening, spending time outside, and fitness classes at the YMCA.

Bastion Anderson – Special Education Paraprofessional (banderson@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello, my name is Mx. Bastion. I am a special education paraprofessional, in my first year at TCA! I attended Illinois Institute of Technology as well as University College Cork and received a BS in Sociology and Psychology. I attended TCA during my 6th-12th grades, and I am very excited to be back! I enjoy playing video games, as well as writing with my friends and myself. I also love Batman!

Terri Ausen – Transportation and Food Service Manager (tausen@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Terri Ausen.  It is my greatest pleasure getting to know the wonderful students, families and staff at TCA.  I have worked here in various jobs since 2009. I am responsible for food service and transportation.  Both of my kids attended TCA Middle School and my son graduated from TCAHS. I have a degree from the University of Minnesota in Electrical Engineering.

Kinyari Al-Ahad – Special Education Paraprofessional (kalahad@twincitiesacademy.org)

 

Samantha Berg – Science Teacher (sberg@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Samantha Berg and I have been teaching 8th Grade Earth Science and Middle School STEM for the last six years here at TCA. I attended the beautiful University of Minnesota Duluth for my undergrad and received my Master of Science degree from Montana State University Bozeman. I love to coach as much as I love to teach and here at TCA I coach varsity volleyball and softball.  When I am not busy with school, I enjoy biking, hiking, reading, board games, and spending time with friends and family.

Josh Borchardt – Biology Teacher (jborchardt@twincitiesacademy.org)

Mr. Borchardt received his bachelors degree in Biology from North Dakota State University, a Master’s Degree in Space Studies and Planetary Sciences from the University of North Dakota, and has completed his teaching license and near completing his Master’s in Education from the University of Minnesota. “Mr.B’s” comes to TCA as the high school Biology, AP Biology, and the CIS – Climate Change course instructor after having been a research scientist for nearly 10 years. His experience includes working at NASA Ames Research Center, working in private and academic research facilities, and as a government liaison to the U.S. Legislative Branch in Washington D.C for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a role he currently still holds. Mr.B’s keen interest in Biology, and his professional experience is used to help students forge professional, as well as academic skills in biology and science, as a whole. Students receive a college experience in class by learning public speaking, presenting, and group work skills, as well as reinforcing their experiences with technology and online classrooms. Mr.B also runs the “Aerospace Club,” which is in its 2nd year after having successfully launched and recovered a student designed small satellite (CubeSat) late in 2019.

Melissa Choquette – Band/Music Teacher (mchoquette@twincitiesacademy.org)

Greetings!  I am Melissa Choquette. I moved to Minneapolis from Sioux City, Iowa, in 2010 to attend the University of Minnesota.  I enjoy sampling all the local food, parks, and live music the Twin Cities have to offer. The 2019-2020 school year is my fourth full year of teaching, and I am most excited to continue exploring the unique musical tastes of the TCA student community.

Chris Church – School Psychologist (cchurch@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Chris Church and the 2019-2020 school year is my fourth year at TCA!  I received degrees in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  I have worked as a school psychologist for the last seven years. Prior to this I worked as a therapist in private practice.  I am married and have three young adult children (where does the time go?). I enjoy being outdoors, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Jared Chycota – Chemistry & 9th Grade Integrated Science Teacher (jchycota@twincitiesacademy.org

My name is Jared Chycota and it will be my first year teaching at TCA. I am very excited to be here and I will be teaching Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Integrated Science! I earned my degree in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota and followed that up by getting my teaching license from the same place. This year I am most looking forward to getting to know everyone and becoming a part of this community. 

Emily Cook – Behavioral Specialist (ecook@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Emily Cook, and the 2019-2020 school year is my fourth full year at TCA.  I started as a paraprofessional and am now a Behavioral Specialist. I went to college at Winona State University.

Tom Corcoran – Science Teacher (tcorcoran@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Tom Corcoran.  I went to school in Rochester and at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. I have taught in Wisconsin, Maryland, Japan and Minnesota.  I like all sports (baseball most of all), traveling, dogs, physics, trivia questions, games and spending time with my wife, two kids and two golden retrievers.  I coach cross country and baseball. My favorite color is orange.

John Dabla – Special Education Paraprofessional (jdabla@twincitiesacademy.org)

Lynn Delesha – Librarian (ldelesha@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Lynn Delesha and the 2019-2020 school year is my fifth year as the Library/Media Specialist at TCA.  I received my MA in Education from the University of St. Thomas, my master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey and my Library/Media degree from St. Cloud State University.  I have lived and worked as an educator in Nicaragua, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt and the U.A.E. I also am a yoga teacher. I love reading and traveling—books are passports to fantastic places!

Lisa Dennis – Social Worker (ldennis@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Lisa Dennis and the 2019-2020 school year is my second year at TCA! I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Iowa State and my Masters in Social Work at the University of Minnesota. I have worked in the school setting for 4 years in various roles but school social work is my favorite! Prior to this I worked as a school therapist in school districts in the Twin Cities. I enjoy traveling, trying new things, and spending time with friends and family.

Alison Drummond – History Teacher (adrummond@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello!  My name is Alison Drummond and I teach high school social studies at TCA. In the 2019-2020 school year, which is my fourth year at TCA, I will be guiding students in U.S. History, Geography, Sociology and Current Events.  I grew up in Richfield, Minnesota, graduated from Richfield High School, and received my BS in Social Science/History Education from Winona State University. I currently live in St. Paul, and apart from teaching I enjoy practicing yoga, reading, cooking, and spending as much time outside as possible!

Ivy Elliott – Special Education Paraprofessional (ielliott@twincitiesacademy.org)

 

Bryan Elyea-Wheeler – Middle School Social Studies Teacher (belyeawheeler@twincitiesacademy.org

My name is Bryan Elyea-Wheeler, I go by Mr.E.W. I have taught two years in Colorado and two years in Northern Minnesota on the Iron Range. I completed my undergraduate at Concordia University St Paul where I was heavily involved in student government and competed as a division two track and field athlete. I completed my masters from Western Governors. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, and going on runs with my border collie named Keezey. I love teaching and being part of the process of character and intellectual growth. I am really excited to join the Twin Cities Academy Community. 

Erin Enquist – English Teacher (eenquist@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Erin Enquist, and 2019-2020 is my fourth year teaching at Twin Cities Academy and living in Minnesota.  I earned bachelor’s degrees in Literary Studies and Communication Studies from Iowa State University and a master’s degree from Simpson College.  I have substitute taught for a couple of years and enjoy working with students of all ages and in different subjects.

Bre’Elle Erickson – Theater Teacher (berickson@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Bre’Elle Erickson and the 2019-2020 school year will be my fifth full year at TCA!
I attended Hamline University and graduated in 2013 with a degree in theatre and education. I am passionate about any sort of art!
In my free time, I enjoy travel, books, attending concerts, and getting to Disney World as often as I can.

Wayne Flenniken – 7th & 9th Grade Science Teacher (wflenniken@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! I’m Wayne Flenniken and this is my first year at TCA. Please call me Mr. Wayne. I will be teaching Life Science and Integrated Science. I’m from Delaware and I have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Guilford College. I worked as a chemist for six years in several industries such as medical research, polymer chemistry, drug development, and chemical terrorism prevention. I live near TCA with my wife and our two cats. My hobbies are video gaming (PC and PS4) cooking, reading, dungeons and dragons, and playing board games. I’m a licensed scuba diver and I grew up on a farm.

Karissa Gibson – Behavioral Specialist (kgibson@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello everyone!  I am Karissa Gibson, Behavioral Specialist at TCA by way of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  I am a mother of a beautiful, intelligent, and energetic young lady. Some of my passions are enriching youth to better themselves, dancing in various genres (for therapy, performing, teaching, etc.), and staying positive with a smile.

Peter Giebink – HS English Teacher (pgiebink@twincitiesacademy.org)

A teacher. An advertiser. A filmmaker. A musician. These are roles I’ve played throughout the years, and they all find their way into my classroom at some point or another. (Well, okay, I wear my teacher hat daily.). As I’ve found my way from Bogotá, Colombia—where I first started teaching, and from where my wife was raised—to El Colegio High School in Minneapolis to Twin Cities Academy, my path has made unexpected twists and turns. And that’s what makes life fun, right? Now, I find myself with two teenage boys at home, where Spanglish (Spanish mixed with English) is spoken, and there’s never a dull moment. The excitement continues as I begin my first year teaching English 9 and English 10 at TCA!

Wendy Gorman – Spanish Teacher (wgorman@twincitiesacademy.org)

Andrew Gorrell – District Assessment Coordinator and Behavior Interventionist (agorrell@twincitiesacademy.org)

Alexandra Howes – English Teacher (ahowes@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Alexandra Howes, and I am a Minneapolis native. I received my BA in English/Creative Writing and Theatre at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.  After graduation, I worked in professional theatre before joining the JET Programme and teaching English for two years in Fukuoka, Japan. When I returned to the United States, I acquired my MA in Education from what is now St. Catherine University. This will be my 10th year as a high school teacher at TCA. I teach American Literature, AP Language and Composition, and the University of Minnesota’s WRIT 1201 as part of College in the Schools. I am also the high school theatre director. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading, writing, and climbing mountains.

Jonathan Hughes – Science Teacher (jhughes@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Jonathan Hughes.  Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, nestled against the Sierra Nevada mountains, I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, and my master’s degree in Education from Graceland University.  I taught middle school science for five years and upper elementary grades for three years before moving to beautiful and historic Hudson, Wisconsin. I enjoy getting outside, backpacking and learning Hebrew. I am looking forward to a great year as the 6th grade science teacher at Twin Cities Academy.

Chris Jackson – Social Studies Teacher (cjackson@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello!  My name is Chris Jackson.  I’m teaching social studies in the high school; the 2019-2020 school year is my fourth year at TCA. I graduated from Bethel University with a BA in History and Social Studies Education. I enjoy learning about new things, playing basketball, staying active, and relaxing with friends and family.

Anne Kealy – Special Education Paraprofessional (akealy@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Anne Kealy (the kids call me Ms. K), and this will be my second year at TCA as a paraprofessional.  I graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a degree in English Literature and Classical Studies and no idea what I wanted to do after graduation.  After a few years of finding out what I didn’t want to do, I came back to education and have loved it since.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, going to the cabin, and watching British reality shows on Netflix.

Ian Klein – Physical Education (iklein@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Ian Klein.  I grew up on Long Island, New York (about 15 minutes from Manhattan).  I received a bachelor’s degree in business at a small division III college in New Jersey where I also played baseball.  Shortly after graduating, I moved to Colorado where I worked at an outdoor camping gear manufacturer, managing their international marketing and sales division.  After five years and meeting my wife (also from NY), we moved to Minneapolis for her new job. At that point I decided to reevaluate career and consider a new path, one that has always lurked in the back of my mind, which is becoming a physical education teacher.  I graduated from Concordia University St. Paul with a Health (5-12) and Physical Education (K-12) degree and license, and could not be more excited to be a part of Twin Cities Academy.

Craig Koch – Social Studies Teacher (ckoch@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Craig Koch, and I have taught social studies at Twin Cities Academy for 20 years.  I currently teach 9th grade World History. Besides teaching, some of my favorite things include parenting, listening to music, collecting vinyl records, going to shows, exercise, reading, Halloween, and Colorado.

Marilu LaVoie – Special Education Paraprofessional (mlavoie@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Marilu LaVoie and the 2019-20 school year is my fourth year at TCA!  I enjoy my position as a paraprofessional in Special Ed working with students and watching the students learn and grow year to year as I learn and grow alongside them.  I have two adult children and six grandchildren. I enjoy being outdoors, reading, walking and spending time with my family and friends.

Scott Lindholm – Physical Education (slindholm@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Scott Lindholm, and this is my 12th year at TCA!  I love baseball, and I work for the Twins when I am not teaching Health/Phy Ed.  I also enjoy coaching high school baseball and middle school soccer, and hanging out with my wife and two step-daughters.  I graduated from Winona State University and grew up an hour north of St. Paul in the beautiful river town of St. Croix Falls.  I also really enjoy all things summer and eating (devouring) green olives and cheese curds. Go Twins!

Maureen McCall – Social Worker (mmccall@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello, my name is Maureen McCall.  As a school social worker, my goal is to ask the right questions.  This will be my 10th year at TCA, and my 46th(!) working with young people.  I find that they continue to impress me with their answers and their viewpoints.  My duties include meeting one-on-one with students, facilitating groups, and connecting students and their families with community resources.  My husband and I have two grown sons; Brian, who is a Marine Corp veteran and works for the US Postal Service, and Tim, who lives in LA and travels the world filming professional skateboarders. My hobbies include traveling, gardening, sewing and walking our golden retriever Rosie.  I’ve loved TCA since the moment I walked in the door.

Noelle Meyer – Spanish Teacher (nmeyer@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hola! My name is Señora Meyer and I am new to the TCA team.  I am excited to teach Spanish II and III for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year.  I look forward to getting to know the students, faculty, and families at TCA. I love to spend time traveling, camping, and hiking with my husband and dog, Moose.  I also enjoy playing volleyball and broomball!

Ali Michael – Front Desk (amichael@twincitiesacademy.org)

Stephan Michaud – French Teacher (smichaud@twincitiesacademy.org

“Bonjour! I’m excited to start my first year at TCA as a French teacher. Originally from Quebec City, Canada, I earned my teaching degree from the UQAM (University of Quebec in Montreal) and my Higher Education degree in Educational Leadership at Laval University in Quebec City. I have been in the education field for over 25 years and taught in various international schools within USA, Canada, Germany, and Egypt. Minneapolis as been my home for the past seven years. I appreciate and enjoy everything Minnesota has to offer especially culturally and historically. My hobbies include biking, running, snowboarding, camping, cooking and gardening. I look forward to sharing my cultural experiences and empower our students in becoming better world citizens not only through languages but also through leadership.  

David Mitsch – Special Education Teacher (dmitsch@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi!  My name is Dave Mitsch and I’m one of the middle school Special Education teachers at Twin Cities Academy.  This is my seventh year at TCA. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a history degree, and I also received a social studies teaching license from the U.  I received my special ed license from Augsburg College. I lived in Boston, Massachusetts for two years and I’m a big Red Sox fan. I’ve coached baseball at TCA for the past few years and coached 6th grade basketball last year. In my free time, I work at Target Field for Twins games.  I also enjoy going to concerts and playing the guitar.

Darrell Moffitt – Behavior Specialist (dmoffitt@twincitiesacademy.org)

 

Katie Morris – Special Education Paraprofessional (kmorris@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Katie Morris, and I am a special education paraprofessional in my first year here at TCA. I grew up in North Carolina, studied psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, and most recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee after finishing graduate school at Vanderbilt University. I am excited to continue getting to know and exploring the Twin Cities! I love singing, baking, and all things Harry Potter.

Elizabeth Neilson – English Teacher (eneilson@twincitiesacademy.org)

The 2019-2020 school year marks my eighth year as an educator and my fourth at TCA. I teach English Honors 9 and 10, AP Literature, and Journalism. I am also the yearbook advisor. I have been a semifinalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year twice, and this year I will be on the Minnesota ELA Standards Revision Committee, where I will help to set our state’s English/Language Arts standards for the next ten years. I am a passionate advocate for both educational travel and the arts/humanities, and continue to work hard to create opportunities for students to enrich their lives both in and out of school. In my personal life, I am an avid world traveler, reader, and hockey fan (go St. Cloud State and NY Rangers)! My husband and I live in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul with our two cats, Venom and Ivy.

Andrew Ng – Math Teacher (ang@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! My name is Andrew Ng. I am excited for my second year of teaching at TCA; the 2019-2020 school year will be my tenth year of teaching. I graduated from Winona State in 2010, studying Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics Education. I have a passion for learning and helping others see and understand math in ways that otherwise go unnoticed. In my free time, I like to play games, build computers, and work on my cars.

Alexa Oberembt – Math Teacher (aoberembt@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Alexa Oberembt and the 2019-2020 school year will be my second year teaching at Twin Cities Academy. I am excited to teach math and to get to know everyone at TCA. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a double degree in Math and French education in 2017. I am originally from the Twin Cities, and I enjoy hiking around the area, as well as, camping, playing both soccer and golf, and reading in my spare time. I also love to travel and learn about other cultures. I currently have been to 18 different countries and Morocco and France were two of my favorites.

Gina Pedriana-Basche- Art Teacher (gpedriana@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Gina Pedriana-Basche and 2019-2020 is my third year teaching art at TCA.  For 15 years, I taught at River Falls High School where I taught classes in AP-Art History, Sculpture, Ceramics, Painting, and Drawing.  I received my BA degree from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a master’s degree in Fine Arts Education from University of Wisconsin – River Falls.  Originally from Milwaukee, I now call Hudson, Wisconsin my home, where I reside with my husband Scott, daughter Sophia (adopted from Russia) and two dogs, Stella and Henry.  I am passionate about teaching, art, skiing, running, yoga, and traveling the world!

Sarah Plattes – Math Teacher (splattes@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello!  My name is Sarah Plattes.  I received my bachelor’s degree from University of Northwestern – St. Paul and am currently attending Peru State College to get my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  I live in Saint Paul with my husband and three kids. I enjoy spending time outdoors—one of my favorite places to go is the Boundary Waters. I have been going on trips there since I was three years old and am excited to soon bring my children there!

Brenda Reedy – Business Coordinator (breedy@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi, my name is Brenda Reedy.  2019-2020 is my third year as the Business Coordinator at Twin Cities Academy. I attended the University of South Dakota, graduating with a BS degree in Education and keep my teaching license current in the state of Minnesota.  I started at TCA in March 2016 as a Lead Paraprofessional. Prior to that, I worked at Paideia Academy for one-and-a-half years as an Instructional Assistant/Long Term Sub, and in the Hopkins School District for 18 years as a Special Education Paraprofessional.  I enjoy working with students and the great staff at TCA. When I’m not at work, I enjoy baking, reading, crafting, scrapbooking and spending time with my family and attending many sporting events in the area. I am married and have two kids, a 18-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter.  We round out our family with a menagerie of our dogs, Thurston and Brutus, and cats, Elsa and Polly.

Megan Schlossmacher – Special Education Paraprofessional (mschlossmacher@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Megan Schlossmacher (the kids call me Ms. Megan) and this is my 1st year teaching Special Ed classes and an advisory class. I started at TCA as a paraprofessional. I am so excited to join the Special Ed team as a case manager and teacher. After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Bioethics, and History of Medicine, I spent several years in clinical research as a regulatory specialist for clinical trials with a focus on cancer. I left clinical research and decided to focus on my photography business while nannying and during that time I realized my true passion is working and helping kids. In my free time, I love traveling, hanging out with my dog, going to concerts, and photography.

Arlene Seashore – Health Aide (aseashore@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello all! I am Arlene Seashore. I have had two children pass through the doors of Twin Cities Academy, and have found the staff so agreeable that I came to work at TCA as the Health Aide. I thoroughly enjoy my work with the students because no day is ever the same with teenagers around!  I have a degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work, and am currently licensed and working part time as a Physical Therapy Assistant. In the summer I enjoy part time employment at the fairgrounds. My free time is spent enjoying my family, walking my dog, planning summer adventures, gardening and reading.

Torrean Shaw – Special Education Paraprofessional (tshaw@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi, Torrean Shaw. I’m a Para-Teacher here at TCA. I enjoy basketball, video games, funny movies, horror movies, and I’m a car fanatic. I enjoy working with children, because I like to be able to bridge the gap of young adults and our staff.

Bob Skweres – Special Education Teacher and Paraprofessional (bskweres@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Bob Skweres, the students call me Mr. Bob! This will be my 5th year at TCA and 3rd as a Special Education Case Manager. I’m married with two children, one teenager, one adult and live in St. Paul. I enjoy coaching all sports (Go Gophers!), golfing, hunting, and listening to all kinds of music.

Erin Spector – Enrollment and Marketing Coordinator (espector@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! My name is Erin Spector and the 2019-2020 school year is my fourth year at TCA. I handle student enrollment, state reporting, parent communications, and social media updates. My spare time involves my two awesome teenagers, two energetic rescue dogs, toiling away in my garden, and capturing life through my photography.

Mallory Spehn – Electives Teacher (mspehn@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Mallory Spehn (pronounced Spain, like the country) and I am the high school AVID and electives teacher. The 19-20 school year will be my fifth year at TCA. I am originally from Chicago, Illinois and moved to Hudson, Wisconsin in 2014. I attended college at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where I received my BA in Elementary Education. In the spring, I enjoy going to Chicago Cubs games and in the fall you will find me in Lincoln, Nebraska cheering on the Husker Football team – Go Big Red! I also love spending time with our dog, Otis, traveling, shopping, and cooking!

 Emily Stripe – Spanish Teacher and 504 Coordinator (estripe@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Emily Stripe and I’m excited to be in my eighth year at TCA. I received my BA in Spanish Studies in 2008 from the University of Minnesota and my teaching license two years later from Bethel University. I enjoy working with our students and am equally passionate about their academic growth and character development. My husband and I live in Falcon Heights with our son Gavin and our dogs Phyzor and Artemis. In my spare time, you’ll find me spending time with my family, trying my hand at gardening, and doing dance fitness at the local YMCA.

Mo Taylor – Special Education Paraprofessional (mtaylor@twincitiesacademy.org)

 

Yolanda Valle – Special Education Paraprofessional (yvalle@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello, my name is Yolanda Valle.  I’m a Paraprofessional working with middle and high school students at TCA. I’m a wife and a loving mother of four; we live in St Paul. In my spare time I love to watch my children play their sports. We are all BIG Minnesota sports fans!  Go Vikings, Timberwolves, Twins, Wild and Lynx!

Liz Vandergon – Middle School English Teacher (evandergon@twincitiesacademy.org

My name is Liz Vandergon. This is my first year at TCA and I will be teaching 7th grade English. I completed my undergraduate at the University of Minnesota and earned my teaching license through Hamline University. I grew up in Minnesota and just made the move to Northeast Minneapolis where you can always find me enjoying all of the food, music, and culture that the city has to offer. I am so excited to be joining the TCA team and looking forward to a great school year!

Victor Vondracek– Athletic Director (vvondracek@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Victor Vondracek. I was born in southwest Minnesota and grew up in Walnut Grove. I graduated with a B.S. in Sports Management and a Minor in Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University where I played Division II rugby for the Mustangs. Upon graduation, I moved to Memphis, TN to work for an AAU basketball program called M33M (n.k.a. Hoop City Basketball Club), working with more than 300 kids and parents in the program and coaching athletes from the age of ten and under, all the way to Division I and NBA players.  Currently, I serve as an executive board member for TCA’s respective athletic conference (Twin Cities Athletic Conference) and the assistant basketball coordinator, consisting of twenty-two (22) schools. I donate my time to charitable foundations such as the Youth Athletic Foundation and the Mike Miller Foundation, helping organize events and tournaments that raise money to help give our youth opportunities through basketball and athletics. I currently coach AAU basketball with the organization D1MN.

Steve Weeks-Johnson – Middle School English Teacher (sweeksjohnson@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Steve Weeks-Johnson.  I’m a Minneapolis native and started my teaching career in Arizona where I taught English for three years before the draw of international teaching lured me to Poland.  There I spent 12 years as an administrator, teacher, rugby player, and musician in the capital city of Warsaw. During that time I attempted to learn the language, traveled Europe, and started a family.  I recently returned with my wife and two little girls to start a new chapter in Minnesota. I enjoy teaching 8th grade English at Twin Cities Academy.

Seth Wester – ELL Teacher (swester@twincitiesacademy.org)

Sarah Whisler – Middle School Math (swhisler@twincitiesacademy.org

Hello! My name is Sarah Whisler and this will be my first year teaching at Twin Cities Academy.  I’ve been teaching math for the past 2 and a half years and have been in education for 5 years now.  What drew me to teaching was being able to help students find success in math and help build a student’s confidence in their own abilities.   A little on me: I grew up in Iowa, where I met and married my husband and we decided in 2013 to move north to the Twin Cities. In my free time, you’ll find me either baking, working out, traveling, spending time with friends, seeing family, going to the theater or orchestra, supporting our home pro-teams, or enjoying one of the many great cultural events in our cities.  There’s so much to do here and I love it! I currently live in Saint Paul with my husband, Robbie, and our two dogs, Junior and Addy.

Courtney Whitcraft – Behavioral Specialist (cwhitcraft@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! I am Courtney Whitcraft and this is my first year at Twin Cities Academy as a behavior specialist. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls with a degree in communicative disorders, and later went back to school for my behavior analysis certification.  I’ve been working with families, students, and teachers for over 15 years here in Minnesota. I enjoy adventures that include travel, road trips, waterfalls, hiking, hammocking, camping, and live music. I have a sweet cat, Lucy, who likes to meditate with me.

Janet White – Reading Specialist (jwhite@twincitiesacademy.org)

Wendy Wilcox-Garrity – French teacher (wgarrity@twincitiesacademy.org)

Bonjour!  The 2019-2020 school year is my second here at TCA where I will be teaching MS French Immersion continuation (levels I and III) as well as HS French (level 2 and CIS). I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston University in French Language and Literature and my Minnesota teaching license through Bethel University’s graduate school of education. I strive to make my language classes welcoming, fun, and engaging for all learners. I live in Woodbury with my husband, our two teen-aged daughters, our two dogs and two cats.  I love the diversity of cultures, languages and foods in the Twin Cities and enjoy going to theatre productions, concerts and sporting events with my family.

Aishia Williams – Special Education Paraprofessional – (awilliams@twincitiesacademy.org)

Ann Marie Yacobucci – Middle School Social Studies (ayacobucci@twincitiesacademy.org

My name is Ann Marie Yacobucci and I am very excited to be joining the TCA community for the 2019-2020 school year. I’m looking forward to teaching 7th grade U.S. History and 8th grade Global Studies. In both classes students will develop and strengthen essential skills such as critical thinking, analyzing information, researching, literacy, collaboration, and civic engagement while making meaningful connections between the past and the present. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Fredonia and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from SUNY Cortland. I’ve taught in a variety of settings over the past 20 years, including elementary, secondary, and higher education, but working with middle school students has always been my favorite. I am a proud East Side resident where I live with my husband, two children, two cats, and a tarantula. In my spare time I enjoy exploring Minnesota by bicycle or skis, reading, knitting, and hanging out with family and friends.