Academic Faculty & Student Services
Karen Albrecht, Special Education Teacher
Ms. Albrecht joined SPCPA’s Special Education department in 2014. She earned her licensure in Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders at Augsburg College, where she is currently completing her Master’s degree. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, has completed coursework for Autism Spectrum Disorders at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, and is a highly qualified K-12 teacher in English, Language, Literature and Composition. Ms. Albrecht taught K – 8 music in North Central Wisconsin then worked as a sourcing/business analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota before returning to school for her special education licensure.
Connor Bohne, English Teacher
Mr. Bohne received his B. A. in English Literature from Hamline University, and his Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Wisconsin E.S.L Institute. He is a story lover with an enthusiasm for legendary knights and castles, and has traveled in 22 countries, including China where he taught prior to joining the staff at SPCPA.
Emily Deutschman, Dean / Counselor
Ms. Deutschman holds her B.A. in Theatre Education from Dordt College, an M.A. in Adlerian Psychology with a school counseling emphasis from the Adler Graduate School in Minneapolis, and carries her K-12 school counseling licensure, and a Certificate in Mindfulness in Education. She has spent the last 5 years working as a counselor in schools abroad: 3 years as a college counselor for a private high school in southern Turkey, and 2 years as a Grade 8 & 9 counselor for an international school in Moscow, Russia. Before becoming a school counselor, Ms. Deutschman worked throughout the Twin Cities metro area as a theatre educator teaching kids ages 3-18 for over 9 years.
Stephen Dymond, Science Teacher
Mr. Dymond earned his B. A. in Art History from the University of Minnesota, his M. A. in Science Education from Saint Vincent College and is certified in K-12 Environmental Education, as well as 9-12 Life Science. He began teaching in the science department at SPCPA in 2014. He received an award for excellence in science education from Saint Vincent College.
Kathleen Farley, Spanish Teacher
Ms. Farley joined SPCPA in 2017, her fourth year of teaching in the Twin Cities metro area. Ms. Farley received her B. S. from Concordia College, Moorhead in K-12 Spanish Education, including semester studies at La Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, and at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina. Ms. Farley has also worked for the Concordia Language Villages for 8 years and recently led students on a trip to Costa Rica.
Lisa Flynn, Math Teacher
Ms. Flynn has over ten years experience teaching mathematics, developing many skills influenced by students, colleagues, and various curriculum. She gained her B. S. in Math Education from Minnesota State University of Mankato. Teaching in Fort Collins, Colorado public schools, students challenged her to link math to the real world, while colleagues taught her the importance of sharing best practices. While teaching at the Munich International School of Germany, Ms. Flynn collaborated on observing, discussing, and refining lessons. She prides herself on representing mathematics in a variety of ways, also teaching students how to communicate and reflect on math.
Sean Gilbertson, Math Teacher
Mr. Gilbertson began teaching math at SPCPA in the fall of 2015. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Theater with a concentration in Educational Studies from St. Olaf College. Before arriving at SPCPA, Mr. Gilbertson taught in Bloomington, MN, and also worked as a LARP and archery instructor in Vermont.
James Grev, Math Teacher
Mr. Grev joined the SPCPA staff in 2017. He spent several years private tutoring in math and music, as well as additional studies in physics and economics. Mr. Grev holds an A.S in Engineering Fundamentals from Inver Hills Community College, a B.S in Math from the University of Minnesota, and his currently pursuing his Masters in Math Education at the University of Minnesota.
Alison Green, College Advisor
Alison Green joined the SPCPA staff as a paraprofessional in 2013 and took on the role of Post-Secondary Advisor in 2014. A graduate of Colorado College with a B. A. in Economics, Ms. Green spent nine years in finance and marketing at 3M Company after graduation. Ms. Green has also received her Certificate in College Admission Counseling from Hamline University.
Dustin Haug, Science Teacher
Dustin Haug has been a staff member since fall of 2008. He has taught SPCPA students in modern dance, improvisation, partnering, chemistry, physics, and physical science. In 2012, he created the J-Term piece Everything, All at Once for the Evening of Dance showcase. Before SPCPA, Dustin lived in Seattle, WA, where he taught high school science, horticulture, and visual art in addition to touring and performing with KT Niehoff’s lingo dancetheater. He also tutors students in ACT/SAT prep, teaches dance outside of SPCPA at Zenon Dance School, and performs with Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA Dances. He loves his job and is super inspired by his students every day.
Erik Herman, Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Herman holds his B. S. of Professional Education with a minor in History from Bemidji State University. He previously gave public presentation through the Historical Society at Bemidji Public Library. He has experience volunteering at previous charter high schools.
Rudy Hernandez, Jr., Guided Study Hall
Mr. Hernandez Jr. recently retired from working with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota after almost 33 years of service. He worked in the Office of Admissions, Office of Student Financial Aid, General College, and the College of Education and Human Development where he continued to work with admissions and academic advising. He received his B.A. in Chicano Studies from the University of Minnesota.
Emily Johnson, English Teacher
Ms. Johnson earned her B. A. in Secondary English Education from Augustana College in Illinois, then her M. A. in English from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She began teaching English at SPCPA in 2014. Prior to working at SPCPA, she spent six years in the English department in Sterling, IL, and was the Scholastic Bowl Varsity Coach for four years.
Taylor Lohman, English Teacher
Ms. Lohman received her Social Studies Teaching major from Winona State University, and completed her double major in history and theology at Concordia University in St. Paul. She earned her Masters in English from the Oxford Brookes University in England, writing about the prevalence of the Frankenstein mythos in modern science fiction.
Thomas Long, Special Education Paraprofessional
Mr. Long received his B. A. in Organizational Communications and a Music Performance Minor from Salisbury University in Maryland. In addition to his work at SPCPA, Mr. Long is a Fitness Nutrition and A.C.E-certified personal trainer that works with a variety of youth and adult clients including those with disabilities. He enjoys coaching on- and off- ice conditioning for youth ice hockey.
Rachel Miller, Science Teacher
Ms. Miller began teaching in the Science department in 2014. She earned her B. S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Before joining SPCPA, she taught Biology, Chemistry and Wildlife Ecology in Baraboo, WI.
Elizabeth Echavarría Nelson, American Sign Language
Ms. Nelson is a Texan native from humble beginnings now living in Minnesota with her seven children. She has received a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in Human Resource Development as a Ray G. Price Fellow and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies.
Her professional accomplishments include National Association of Profession Women 2013/14 Woman of the Year Award, University of Minnesota Women of Color Tapestry Award 2012, a certified Meyers Briggs Type Indicator I&II practitioner, and Ms. Nelson serves on the Minnesota Judicial roster of interpreters.
Sara Peterson, Science Teacher
Ms. Peterson received her B. S. in Zoology and Biology Education with a minor in English Literature from North Dakota State University. She taught biology and physical science at West Fargo High School, and an Introduction to Science 9 summer school course at Roseville High School.
Ilah Raleigh, Dean / Counselor
Ms. Raleigh is an opera singer and voice teacher who served as the Vocal Arts Department Chair from 2014-2017. She became the new Dean-Counselor in September 2017 and is excited to serve in this new role. Ms. Raleigh earned a Master of Music, Vocal Performance, from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian Studies from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Raleigh’s performance credits include appearing in operas with the Washington National Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, as well as recitals and concerts the MacPhail Spotlight Series in Minneapolis, MN and An die Musik “Live! Concert Series.” As a music educator, Ms. Raleigh has taught with MacPhail Center for Music, Mount Calvary Academy of Music, and Schmitt Music, as well as being owner/manager of a private music studio for the past ten years. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Thursday Musical, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Natalie Reinhart, Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Reinhart earned her Social Studies licensure and B. A. in American Studies from Carleton College. Ms. Reinhart formerly worked in AVID classrooms as a tutor and co-teacher, and she spent the 2016 school year in Minneapolis Public Schools as a student teacher and reserve teacher.
Gina Sekelsky, English Teacher
Ms. Sekelsky holds a B.A. in Education from St. Mary’s University. After teaching elementary school in St. Louis Park, MN, she owned a graphic art studio for over twenty years before returning to education. Ms. Sekelsky joined the SPCPA community first as a parent; she began teaching in the English department in 2016.
Jillian Wirth, Special Education Teacher
Ms. Wirth began teaching at SPCPA in 2012. She earned her B. A. in Social Studies Education and M. A. in Special Education with EBD and LD licensure through Bethel University. In addition to teaching at SPCPA, Ms. Wirth works with adults who have developmental and cognitive disabilities through her job at ACR Homes. Before joining the SPCPA staff, she worked at Forest Lake High School as an EBD teacher and at Community of Peace Academy as a special education paraprofessional.