TCA ALERTS! Monday, September 25 is a late start day: School begins at 10:50 AM Drivers Education Classes October 2-13: Find more information in the Parent Resources section Soccer Games Are Cancelled Today, September 22: Because of the heat advisory, both HS & MS games are cancelled.

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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.


Mallory Albright – Electives Teacher (malbright@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Mallory Albright and I am the Freshman Seminar and Social Emotional Health teacher. I am originally from Chicago, IL and moved to Hudson, WI in 2014. I attended college at Millikin University in Decatur, IL where I received my B.A in Elementary Education. I recently got engaged in May of 2016 and enjoy planning our wedding in my free time. 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! Additionally, I also love spending time with our dog, Otis, traveling, shopping, and cooking!

 

Sarah Ancel – Dean of Student Life (sancel@twincitiesacademy.org)

I have been at Twin Cities Academy for ten years now. I attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for my Bachelor of Arts in English and Hamline University for my Master of Arts in Teaching degree. My husband Justin and I live in Brooklyn Park with our three fur babies, Dudley, Charlie and Cooper. A few of my favorite things are: cleaning (vacuuming specifically–yes I know that’s weird), interior decorating, crafting, boxing, 90’s music, READING (currently mystery novels are my addiction), planning events/parties, traveling, trying new restaurants, and of course working with staff and students!

 

Becky Arney – Paraprofessional (barney@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi! My name is Becky Arney and I am starting my second year as a special education paraprofessional at TCA. I am married and have two grown children, Kayla and Zach. When I’m not at TCA my favorite things to do are read, garden and travel.

 

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

It is my greatest pleasure getting to know the wonderful students, families and staff at TCA. I have worked here doing numerous different jobs since 2009. This year I am focusing on food service, transportation and other miscellaneous tasks. Both of my kids attended the middle school and my son graduated from TCAHS. I have a degree from the University of Minnesota in Electrical Engineering.

 

avignonNorka Avignon – Paraprofessional (navignon@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! My name is Ms. Avignon, and I am excited to be enjoying my second year as a staff member at Twin Cities Academy. I actually attended TCA myself as a middle school student. Currently, I work with students in middle and high school classrooms. I am one of six daughters and because of this I am very passionate about empowering students — young women in particular. I believe in honesty, respect, hard work and serving others. I am currently a student myself pursuing a degree in organizational leadership with a minor in health. I enjoy music, dance, writing, spending time with my family and friends and a good book. I look forward to meeting you all.

 

Lou Bender – Special Ed Teacher (lbender@twincitiesacademy.org)

Lou Bender started her career as a music teacher with a Bachelor of Music from Wesleyan College, the first school chartered to grant degrees to women. She served for many years in non-profit and faith community settings, returning to public education in 2012, and is starting her sixth year at TCA.  After several years as a paraprofessional in the Special Services department, Ms. Bender completed a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Walden University and now serves TCA as a special education teacher. She and her partner and two teenage daughters live in a classic Saint Paul high rise building. She enjoys reading, knitting, and all of the arts.

 

berg 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 four years here at TCA.  I attended the beautiful University of Minnesota Duluth for my undergrad and I am currently attending the University of Montana Bozeman for my master’s degree in science. I love to coach as much as I love to teach and here at TCA II coach varsity volleyball and softball.  When I am not busy with school I enjoy biking, hiking, reading, board games, and spending times with friends and family.  

 

cech Rob Cech – Paraprofessional (rcech@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi! I am the math interventionist at TCA this year, which means I have my own classes to help a select few students with math fluency. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2014 with a degree in child psychology, and I returned to school this fall to work on my math teaching degree/license. In my free time I love hiking, camping, reading, playing tennis, and skiing. In the summer, I get into the woods with my hammock as often as I can, and in the winter I usually go skiing in the mountains out West.

 

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

Greetings! I moved to Minneapolis from Sioux City, Iowa, in 2010 to attend the U of M. Since then, I have enjoyed sampling all the local food, parks, and live music the Twin Cities have to offer. This is my second full year of teaching, and I am most excited to explore the unique musical tastes of the TCA student community. I look forward to meeting and working with you!

 

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

This is my second year at TCA and I’m excited to return to this community!  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 that 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.

 

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

I went to college at Winona State University. This is my third full year at TCA. I started as a Paraprofessional and am in a new role this year as a Behavioral Specialist. I am so excited to be in our new school!

 

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

My name is Tom Corcoran.  I went to school in Rochester and the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  I like all sports but baseball most of all, traveling, dogs, physics, trivia questions from Scott Lindholm, games and spending time with my wife Heather, son Teddy and two golden retrievers Physics and Sushi.  I coach cross country and baseball and have taught in Wisconsin, Maryland, Japan and Minnesota.   My favorite color is orange.

 

Jacinda Crews – Special Education Teacher (jcrews@twincitiesacademy.org)

I am originally from Bemidji, MN, and I moved to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area in 2008.  I attended Bemidji State University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and my Master of Science in Special Education. I am currently attending Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota completing my Ed.D. in Leadership. I became a grandmother this past February, and I cherish spending time with my daughter and granddaughter. My happy place is the beach as I love the ocean! I love fashion having worked in the industry for over 24 years, and I also enjoy entertaining, culinary, gardening, reading, swimming, writing, roller blading, long walks, traveling, and I am an avid hockey fan!

 

Zach Dealy – Math Teacher (zdealy@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Zach Dealy, and I am excited to join Twin Cities Academy! I moved to Saint Paul from Peoria Illinois where I have been teaching for the last three years. I graduated from Bradley University with a degree in Mathematics. I love bike treks where I accidentally create a bigger loop than originally planned—a love easily fulfilled here in the beautiful Twin Cities. I am very fond of cooking food, making coffee, music (listening and playing), and literature, though deep down I am a true math nerd!

 

delesha Lynn Delesha – Media Specialist (ldelesha@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Lynn Delesha and this is my third year as the Library/Media Specialist at TCA. I received my M.A. in Education from the University of St. Thomas, my Masters in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey and my Library/Media degree from St. Cloud State University. I lived and worked as an educator in Nicaragua, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt and the U.A.E. I have a cute little 6.2 lb Chihuahua that I brought home with me from Vietnam and her name is Charlee. I also am a yoga teacher and I teach “Sit & Stretch” to Seniors. I love reading and traveling and books are passports to fantastic places! I look forward to creating a community of readers!

 

Wende Diaz – Social Studies Teacher (wdiaz@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi, my name is Wende Diaz and I’m happy to be back at Twin Cities Academy for my second year. I teach Minnesota Studies and World Geography. My undergraduate in Social Studies Education is from the College of Saint Catherine, and my Master’s in Educational Technology is from the University of Concordia. I have been teaching for about 12 years, both locally and internationally. As a St. Paul native, I love the twin cities community, and as an avid kayaker, I love to explore Minnesota’s many waterways.

 

duhnMelissa Duhn – Math Teacher (mduhn@twincitiesacademy.org)

Greetings TCA! My name is Ms. Melissa Duhn, and I teach Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus this year. I’m originally from the Alexandria, MN area, and I graduated from the U of M with a Bachelors of Civil Engineering. After graduating, I moved to Jacksonville, FL for a few years. It was there that I found my way into the classroom, teaching an SAT course, Remedial Algebra, and even a year of Psychology! I am thrilled to be back in the Twin Cities with my husband, Jesse and our cat, Chewy. When I’m not at school I love reading, playing video games, and doing yoga. I’m excited to make this school year great!

 

Nathan Eckstein – Spanish Teacher and Paraprofessional (neckstein@twincitiesacademy.org)

¡Hola! My Name is Nathan Eckstein. I am the Spanish Immersion teacher and the general education Paraprofessional here at TCA. I am trilled to be back for my second year on staff and for the first time this year as a teacher! I graduated from TCA in 2010 after attending both the middle and high school. I graduated in 2014 from Lawrence University with a BA in Theatre Arts. Since graduation I have focused on equity work and social justice theatre as well as PR and marketing. I am thrilled to be back at TCA working with such a diverse and energetic group of students. In my spare time I enjoy staying active, enjoy time with family and friends and going to see the performing arts and yes, this past summer I did run away to the circus! 

 

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

This is my second 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 have enjoyed working with students of all ages and in different subjects. I am excited to get to create a community of learners.

 

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

Ms. Erickson went to Hamline University where she majored in Theatre Arts and earned her teaching license in K-12 Theatre/Dance. She is an avid bookworm, theatre artist, and an appreciator of films made in the 80’s and early 90’s. In addition to TCA, she also teaches theatre classes at the Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis. She likes coffee, Disney, and her pet bunny rabbit named Basil.

 

 

Stephanie Forster – Special Ed Teacher (sforster@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi, my name is Stephanie Forster.  I am a Special Education Teacher at TCA. I received my Bachelors Degree from Minnesota State University in Interior Design and Business. After volunteering in my children’s classrooms, I decided to change careers. I went back to school to get my teaching license in Special Education – Learning Disabilities.  I am currently working toward my Masters in Special Education.  When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my fiance, our three kids and our black lab Spotsy. My kids are Aidan age 9, Emily age 11 and Cam age 12.  We are very involved with our children’s sports and activities. In the summer we enjoy going up north to our cabin and spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy cooking and reading.

 

Leah Fruechte – EL Teacher and Paraprofessional (lfruechte@twincitiesacademy.org)

​My name is Leah Fruechte and I am new to the TCA community this 2017-2018 school year. I grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from Bethel University with a degree in 5-12 Math Education. I then landed my first job as a math teacher in the Centennial school district here in MN and, after finishing there, moved to Seoul, South Korea where I lived and worked for almost four years. Through my experience teaching English as a foreign language in Korea, I came to realize that English Language education was something I wanted to pursue when I moved back to the U.S.Fun fact: My brother, sister, parents, and I all live in different states so I’m often looking for deals on flights! I hope to see them more this year. I currently live in Minneapolis and enjoy reading, hosting, good food, and being outside. 

 

Natalia Gall – Social Worker (ngall@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! I’m Natalia Gall and I am extremely excited to be joining the Twin Cities Academy community as a School Social Worker.  I am driven to practice school social work to ultimately empower youth to see their individual value and purpose.  I wish to build consistent and trusting relationships with students to help them achieve their goals.  Throughout the school year I will advocate, support, guide, and educate individual students, groups, and community members to help connect them to needed resources.  I look forward to learning more about Twin Cities Academy and the surrounding community!

 

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

Hello everyone! I am Karissa M. Gibson, Behavioral Specialist here at TCA by way of the University of MN-Twin Cities, Fed 4 setting school in Saint Paul, and other various avenues around the cities. I am a mother of a beautiful, intelligent, and energetic young lady who gives me so much life and energy. 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.

 

Alison Graversen – History Teacher (agraverson@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! My name is Alison Graversen and I teach high school social studies at TCA. This year I will be guiding students in U.S. History, Geography, Sociology and Current Events. I grew up in Richfield, graduated from Richfield High School and received my B.S. 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!

 

gustafson Emily Gustafson – Math Teacher (egustafson@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hi! My name is Emily Gustafson. This is my fourth year of teaching middle school math. I graduated from Iowa State University in 2013 and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree from Peru State College in Curriculum and Instruction. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, traveling and crafting.

 

Todd Hanlon-Alle – Spanish Teacher (thanlonalle@twincitiesacademy.org)

¡Hola! My name is Todd Hanlon-Alle, and I’m going to be teaching high school Spanish this year at TCA. After 4 years of teaching middle school, I’m extremely excited to be joining the high school world once again. I just got married to my husband Jerry in July, and we have two fur-babies: a Corgi named Podrick and a fat orange cat named Dixon. While I currently live in Northeast Minneapolis, I actually grew up in the backyard of TCA! My childhood home borders the school property, and I attended Harding High School many years ago. When I’m not in teacher mode, I enjoy traveling, DIY projects, Netflix, playing trumpet, running, and going to concerts. I’m excited to join the TCA community, and I’m excited to be working with the Cross Country team this fall!

 

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

Alexandra Howes is a Minneapolis native. She received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing and Theatre at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. After graduation she worked in professional theatre before she joined the JET Programme and taught English for two years in Fukuoka, Japan. When she returned to the United States, she acquired her M.A. in Education from what is now St. Catherine University. At Twin Cities Academy she teaches high school English and also oversees the high school theatre program. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys reading, writing, and climbing mountains.

 

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

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 5 years and upper elementary grades for 3 years before moving up to beautiful and historic Hudson, WI. 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.

 

Amina Jaafaru – Paraprofessional (aminajaafaru@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello my name is Amina Manduwem Jaafaru! I am a Twin Cities Academy Alum, I attended the middle school (class of 2006) and high school (class of 2010). I attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a B.A. in Mathematics. I am excited to begin my second year as a para at Twin Cities Academy, using the knowledge of my previous year! My hobbies include biking, singing, drawing and salsa dancing. I enjoy watching movies, reading books, street festivals and going to the theater!

 

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

Hello! My name is Chris Jackson. I’m teaching social studies in the high school. This will be my second year at T.C.A. I made really great connections with students and staff, and I’m excited to be back this year. I graduated from Bethel University with a B.A. in History and Social Studies Education. I enjoy learning about new things, playing basketball, staying active, and relaxing with friends and family.

 

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

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 5 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, becoming a physical education teacher.  I recently 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.

 

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

Craig Koch has taught social studies at Twin Cities Academy for 18 years. He currently instructs 9th grade World History. Besides teaching, some of Mr. Koch’s favorite things include: parenting, listening to music, collecting vinyl records, going to shows, exercise, reading, Halloween, and Colorado.

 

 

lafleur Cassandra LaFleur – French Teacher (clafleur@twincitiesacademy.org)

Bonjour et Bienvenue,

My name is Cassandra Avignon Lafleur. I was born in Haiti but have lived in the states most of my life.  I now live in St. Paul with my husband. I graduated from Bethel University with my bachelor’s degree k-12 French Education and Concordia University with my Master of Education in Differentiated Instruction. This is my fourth year teaching French at Twin Cities Academy.   I love teaching and sharing my knowledge of the French language with my Students. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and have a great love for travel, music and dance.

 

larsen Ilse Larsen – Athletic Director (ilarsen@twincitiesacademy.org)

Ilse Larsen is Twin City Academy’s high school Athletic Director. She attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where she majored in French and Education and played tennis for the school team, specializing in doubles. She has lived in St. Paul for over 30 years with her husband, her 15 year old daughter, and her 12 year old son (oh, and their 6 year old dog Coco). In her down time Ilse enjoys working out, playing tennis, watching sports, reading, cooking, and knitting (not in any particular order). Look for her at our home sports games while you cheer on our Stars!

 

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

This is my 10th year at TCA! I love baseball and work for the Twins when I am not teaching Health/Phy Ed; coaching high school baseball or middle school soccer; or 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!

 

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

As a school social worker, my goal is to ask the right questions. This will be my 7th year at TCA, and my 43rd (!) 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 needed resources.  My husband and I have two grown sons, Brian who is a Marine Corp veteran and presently works for the US Postal Service, and Tim, who lives in LA and travels the world filming professional skateboarders.  My hobbies include sewing (I have a fabric store in my basement!) walking our golden retriever Rosie, and traveling.  I’ve loved TCA since the moment I walked in the door.

 

mccarthyLisa McCarthy – Chemistry Teacher (lmccarthy@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Lisa McCarthy and I teach Chemistry. I live here on the east side with my partner Kelsey and my cat Macchiato (Maki) (as seen in the picture behaving like an angel). I am exited to be working and living in the same community after commuting to Maple Grove for 2 years while working at Beacon Academy Charter School. I went to school at Northern Michigan University and enjoyed exploring the outdoors in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I love theater, running, and photography and am excited to meet all of you!

 

metty Carmen Metty – Special Ed Teacher (cmetty@twincitiesacademy.org)

I am a SLD teacher for grades 9-12. I have 9 years of experience in this position and this is my second year at Twin Cities Academy. I love being a teacher and helping nurturing the minds of young adults. I attended UW Stout and received my BS in Art Education, then I went on to teach at the University of Minnesota in Painting where I earned my Master’s in Fine Arts in Painting. After I became a mother I went back to pursue teaching special education. I received my credentials at UW Stevens Point in Cross Categorical Special Education finishing with a Master’s in Education-General. I have 2 beautiful twin girls who are in their last year of High School. I was born and raised in Stillwater, Minnesota. I enjoy making art, cooking and reading.

 

David Mitsch – Special Ed 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 fifth 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.

 

morrison Jackie Morrison – Special Education teacher (jmorrison@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Jackie Morrison. I attended Minnesota State University, Mankato and have a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Special Education: Learning Disabilities. I have been teaching at TCA for four years and am currently a high school special education teacher and co-teach English and Math classes. I love to travel, read, play games, and spend time with my family.

 

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

The 2017-18 school year marks my sixth year as an educator and my second at TCA. I teach all of the ninth grade English classes, as well as a section of English Honors 10. My areas of passion in language arts include literary theory and criticism, creative writing, and debate. For the past two years, I was chosen as a semifinalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year, and will continue to work hard to be worthy of that honor. 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 & NY Rangers)! My husband and I live in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul with our two cats, Venom and Ivy.

 

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

Hello! My name is Sarah Plattes and I teach middle school math at TCA. I graduated from the University of Northwestern, Saint Paul in 2011. I enjoy going to the Boundary Waters, puppies, eating ice cream, and spending time with my husband and son. I love Twin Cities Academy and I’m excited to be back for another year!

 

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

Hi my name is Brenda Reedy.  Last year I was the Front Desk person, this year I am just a few short steps away in the new cubicle in the front office.  My new role is Business Coordinator.  A little about me, I attended the University of South Dakota graduating with a BS in Education and keep my teaching license current in the state of MN.  I started at Twin Cities Academy in March 2016 as a Lead Paraprofessional,  prior to that I worked at Paideia Academy for 1 1/2 years as an Instructional Assistant/Long Term Sub and in the Hopkins School District for 18 years as a Special Education Paraprofessional.  I enjoy the atmosphere of working with students and the great staff at TCA.  When I’m not at work, I enjoy baking, reading, crafting, scrap booking and spending time with my family and attending many sporting events in the area.  I am married and have two kids, a 16 year old son and 19 year old daughter.  We round out our family with a menagerie of our dogs, Thurston, a Jack Russell/Beagle mix, Brutus,  a Pug and two cats, Elsa and Polly.

 

rheingans Lindsey Rheingans – History Teacher (lrheingans@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! My name is Lindsey Rheingans. I grew up just outside of Seattle, Washington but have lived in St. Paul for most of the past ten years. I’ve had a passion for educational equity for as long as I can remember, and have been involved in the education world in a variety of contexts (Americorps, non-profit work, paraprofessional, etc). In 2016 I got my teaching license in Social Studies and Masters in Secondary Education. I now get to do what I love every day–learning about history, culture, and current events alongside our nation’s brilliant young people. This is my 2nd year at TCA and I am super excited for another great year. Outside of school you will find me hiking (often in search of something that Minnesota might call a mountain), hanging out with my husband and friends, or attempting to do something artsy.  

 

Molly Riley – Math Teacher (mriley@twincitiesacademy.org)

I teach Intermediate Algebra at TCA for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.  I got my bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Religious Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa.  I went to Bethel University in St. Paul for my Master’s of Arts in Teaching.  Before coming to TCA I taught in charter and private school settings, and owned a math tutoring business.  Outside of school, I enjoy gardening, hiking, home improvement projects, seeing family and friends, and hanging out with my great cats Muffin and Cupcake.  I also love living, working, and supporting the community on the east side!

 

ruskinAmanda Ruskin – French Teacher (aruskin@twincitiesacademy.org)

Bonjour! This year, I will teach the 1st and 2nd year French classes in both the middle school and high school. My undergraduate degree is from University of Wisconsin-Madison in French and English; while a student, I studied abroad in Paris for a semester. I also hold a masters degree in French from Minnesota State University-Mankato and am currently pursuing my teaching credential at the same institution. As we return to school this fall, I am just ending my 7th summer working at Lac du Bois (Concordia Language Villages), where we teach French in an immersive summer camp. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our dog, and knitting. I’ve also studied Spanish, German, and a little bit of Dutch. In any language, I have a fine appreciation for puns and bad jokes.

 

skweresBob Skweres – Special Ed Teacher and Para (bskweres@twincitiesacademy.org)

Mr. Bob here! I have my MN license for 5-12 Social Studies. This year I will be working as a Special Ed Teacher and Para. I’ve been a resident of St. Paul for over 46 years.  I’m married with two teenagers. I have over 20 years of coaching experience in baseball, softball, football, soccer and hockey.

 

spectorErin Spector – Enrollment/Marketing Coordinator (espector@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello! I handle student enrollment, state reporting, parent communications, and social media updates here at TCA. After working as a paralegal in the corporate world, I am thrilled to be back in a school environment full of passionate and inspiring kids. My spare time involves my 2 awesome kids, 2 energetic rescue dogs, toiling away in my garden, and capturing life through my photography.

 

Emily Stripe – Spanish teacher (estripe@twincitiesacademy.org)

My name is Emily Stripe and I’m excited to begin my sixth year at TCA, eighth year teaching overall. I received my B.A. in Spanish Studies in 2008 from the U of M 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. I was married in July and my husband and I live in Falcon Heights with our son Gavin and an old-timer pug/shih tzu named Phyzor. In my spare time, you’ll find me spending time with my family, trying my hand at gardening, and doing dance fitness at local YMCAs. 

 

Yolanda Valle – 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 4, 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 & Lynx!!!!!

 

vik Jon Vik – Special Ed Teacher (jvik@twincitiesacademy.org)

I have a background filled with joyous memories of teaching elementary school for the past 15 years but came to TCA 3 years ago as a special education teacher in the middle school. This year I added time as a reading intervention teacher and also enjoyed coaching TCA’s first 6th grade soccer team this fall. Go Tigers!

 

zeitz Stephanie Zeitz – Crushshon – Science Teacher (szeitzcrushshon@twincitiesacademy.org)

Hello!  My name is Ms. Z and I am the 7th grade science teacher this year.  I attended Moorhead State University and then graduated from Augsburg college with a degree in Education and Science.  Currently I am attending Augsburg for my Masters in Education.   I love to sew and make things and play sports in my free time.  I also enjoy gardening and hope to share that with my science classes this year.