Athlos Academy of St. Cloud

Our Team

Interested in joining our team? Please see the current Employment Opportunities and email a resume and cover letter to careers@athlosstcloud.org 

 

 

Leadership Team

Randy Vetsch

Randy Vetsch: Executive Director

 Randy Vetsch received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education, his master’s degree in educational leadership and administration, and a school administrator’s license from St. Cloud State University. Vetsch taught elementary school for 10 years in two public school districts: Red Lake Indian Reservation and Monticello Public Schools. He also worked as a school administrator for the past 16 years. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Vetsch was the executive director at Cedar Riverside Community School.

“I believe that all individuals can learn in an atmosphere where learning is the number one priority and all factors work in harmony to promote that environment,” he said. “A successful learning environment can be achieved through high expectations, clear goals, and collaboration between all educational stakeholders.”

“The philosophy at Athlos Academy was a great fit for me,” he said. “The three pillars of the Athlos model prepare children for life by making them men and women of character, sound academic minds, and healthy bodies.“

When asked about his best quality as an educator, he said it was his “enthusiasm and ability to build relationships with my students. They knew that I cared, and they were engaged as they never knew what was going to happen next.”

Energy and Zest

“Each day is a gift, and our smile, positive attitude, and words can make a difference in every student and person we meet each day,” he said. “I wake up each day excited for what lies ahead. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

Getting to Know Randy Vetsch: Fun Facts
Q. What are some things about you most people don’t know?
  • I used to be a head football coach.
  • I once owned a hobby farm with horses, sheep, chickens, and ducks.
Q. What are your most favorite children’s books?
A. I am a big sports fan, and as a child my favorite author was Matt Christopher. He wrote over 130 sports fiction novels for children. I also read biographies of the U.S. presidents. Did you know that James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other, at the same time?

Brittney Schoephoerster: Assistant Executive Director
 
Brittney Schoephoerster earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in math and minor in Spanish from the College of Saint Benedict. She then went on to earn her Spanish certificate from Saint Mary’s University. Schoephoerster is currently completing her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in literacy at the College of Saint Scholastica.
 
Schoephoerster chose to work with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because she was immediately drawn to the pillars and philosophy behind the school.
 
“Striving for academic excellence, building character, movement, and health are all important aspects of my own life,” she said. “I am thrilled to be part of a community and school that teaches and practices these key components.”
 
 
Integrity
“I am highly motivated and driven to strive to do what is right even when it’s difficult,” she said. “My parents taught me the importance of character and integrity at a young age. When I come across a difficulty or challenge I still hear my dad say, ‘You’re building character. You can never have too much character."
 
Getting to Know Brittney Schoephoerster: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I speak Spanish.
• I have traveled to Thailand.
• My favorite animal is an elephant.
 
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I like group fitness classes and running. I have recently become interested in cross-fit.
 
Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
“Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling. I remember staying up until late hours of the night reading these books. Once I started reading one I couldn’t put it down. These were the books that got me hooked on reading.

 

Matt Bigler: Dean of Students

Matt Bigler earned his bachelor's degree in criminology from University of Minnesota where, upon graduation, he enrolled in the one-year law enforcement certification program at Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College. After six years of working in schools he enrolled in the graduate teaching licensure program at the College of St. Scholastica where he obtained his secondary social studies license. Currently Bigler is working towards his administrative license at St. Cloud State.

Bigler has worked as a behavior specialist at the McKinley Area Learning Center School in the St. Cloud School District from 2010-2016. Additionally, he has worked as a part-time police officer in Albany, Minnesota. He taught sixth grade for the first year Athlos opened where he transitioned into the role of Dean of Students.

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud stood out to Bigler because of how well it aligned with his own life values and beliefs.

“I am a health conscious, organic eating, physically active person and feel Athlos is designed in a way that promotes these lifestyles in the Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character pillars,” Bigler said.

Bigler's goal for the new school year is to promote and cultivate a positive school culture that not only flourishes within the school but over flows into the home-life and community.
 
Courage
When it comes to the Athlos Performance Character traits, the one that resonates most with Bigler is courage. "We are educating the future of tomorrow and in this era, having the courage to take risks and think with innovation will be important," he said.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Getting to Know Matt Bigler: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know
  • Photography is a hobby.
  • I would love to open a coffee shop/farm-to-table bistro.
  • I can play Taps on the bugle.
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
My favorite physical activity is kayaking. There is nothing I enjoy more than spending my free time being out on a secluded lake exploring all the curves and crevasses on a hot sunny day.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
“Hatchet” was my favorite book growing up. My passion for the outdoors stems back to a young age, which is why I think I enjoyed the book so much.
 

Angela Schmitz: Instructional Coach


Angela Schmitz earned her bachelor's degree from Saint Cloud State University and has taught students in third, fourth, and fifth grade for the past 17 years.

“I chose Athlos Academy because of the three pillars and the philosophy of teaching the whole child,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz’s goal is to help make Athlos a success by helping the teachers become the best they can be and supporting them in every way.

“I hope to make many connections with families and make sure they feel welcome in the building at all times,” she said. “I want the students to love coming to school each day, just as I always did.”

Curiosity
Schmitz identifies most with curiosity, because she has a passion for lifelong learning and leadership. “I think being a leader and doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, is an essential character trait,” Schmitz said.

Getting to Know Angela Schmitz: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things most people don’t know about you?
• I do not like ice cream, but I love chocolate and coffee.
• I can't swim.
• I am a bit of a germophobe.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I enjoying walking with my dog and boating, biking, and golfing with my husband and three kids. Also, hockey is a big part of our family!

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood book that I read on my own was “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” As a young child it was “The Pokey Little Puppy,” which my mother read to me often. My favorite adult book is “Firefly Lane.”


Aaron Schwenzfeier: Lead Athletic Performance Coach
 
Aaron Schwenzfeier earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of North Dakota.
Schwenzfeier has been teaching and coaching in the field of physical education/athletic development for 13 years, working with individuals and teams in ages ranging from six years old to collegiate athletes. Most recently, he has spent the past 10 years as an instructor in the kinesiology program and as the associate director of strength and conditioning at the University of North Dakota.
 
Schwenzfeier chose to work at Athlos, because he feels there is a great need for innovation in the area of physical education in today’s society, and he was intrigued by Athlos Academy’s philosophical emphasis in this area.
 
“I feel that Athlos Academy can help lead the way in making a major impact in how physical education/athletic development is viewed and taught in our country – not just helping students become better athletes, but more importantly instilling the passion and skills in young people to be committed to being healthy and happy life-long movers,” Schwenzfeier said.
 
Curiosity
“I feel curiosity is one of the main catalysts to learning and fuels the desire to keep on learning,” he said.
 
Getting to Know Aaron Schwenzfeier: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I love photography.
• I am a science and philosophy nerd - anything from basic physics to astrophysics and cosmology, biology to ecology, metaphysics to politics and ethics, and everything related and in between!
• I just started drinking (some) coffee this year.
 
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I love biking and hiking.
 
Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
Playing outside. ;)
(Sorry, that’s about all I remember from my childhood!)
 
 

Belinda Bergren

Belinda Bergren: ELL Director

Belinda has worked as classroom teacher for 17 years and spent over eight years as a language educator at the K-12 level. Belinda’s background in business management, brings skills to her teaching and administrative duties of the newly developed Athlos Academy of St. Cloud English Language program. Her personal experience as a language learner brings a level of empathy that fuels her work every day.
 
Her management skills help to maximize efficient and very complex scheduling for over 25 percent of the overall student population. With the diverse needs of the population at the school, Belinda has taken on an extraordinary challenge and has shown that employing grit and optimism brings positive outcomes. Belinda’s work has brought life to an English Language program that did not exist before.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emma Olson  Victoria Beckman  
Emma Olson:
Special Education Director
Victoria Beckman:
Instructional Coach
 

Office Support Staff

Batini Brown

Amy Dierkes: Office Manager

Amy Dierkes graduated from Apollo High School and worked in the office of her family’s business for more than 10 years prior to working in the customer contact center at the St. Cloud Hospital for eight years. Most recently, Dierkes worked as a student supervision paraprofessional at Kennedy Elementary.

Dierkes chose to work at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, because she strongly believes in the school’s philosophy.

“Keeping our children active keeps their mind active,” she said. “I'm excited to be part of a team that encourages students to strive to be their best, both in school, and at home.”

“I want them to feel welcome from the time they step in the door until the time they leave,” she said. “I will be there each and every day to greet them as they arrive.”

Creativity & Integrity
The performance character traits that resonate most with Dierkes are creativity and integrity. “I believe that children should always try and do their best and be proud of who they are. I teach that to my children daily,” Dierkes said. “I also think it’s important to be creative and show the world who you are as an individual.”

Getting to know Amy Dierkes: Fun facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I love Laffy Taffy.
  • I am terribly scared of rodents.
  • I enjoy taking pictures and scrapbooking.
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I do CrossFit at the CrossFit Fast Factory, and I also enjoy Yoga. Away from the gym, I enjoy going for walks with my family.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. I read all of his books as a child, and I now read them with my children.
 
Gregg Stein: Student Support Classroom Coordinator
 
Gregg Stein earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary inclusive education from Minnesota State University of Moorhead in 2015. Prior to joining Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Stein taught sixth grade in Rothsay, Minnesota.
 
Aside from proximity to his family, it was the innovative Athlos education model that drew Stein to the school.
 
“I have never heard about a school’s philosophy that matched up with my own like Athlos’ does,” Stein said. “I am a firm believer in a healthy mind and body and this experience will help me to teach it as well as practice it.”

Energy/Zest
“I have always been able to put all troubles aside and engage in all things in my life with enthusiasm and excitement,” Stein said. “It helps to put others, as well as myself, in a better mood and keeps things entertaining.”
 
Getting to Know Gregg Stein: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I would rather be outside than inside.
  • I recently became an uncle.
  • I am artistic.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
My favorite type of physical activity would have to be any physical game for any sport or hiking with friends/family.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
“Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.


Carrie Cremers: School Social Worker

Carrie Cremers earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota, and her master’s degree in social work at St. Cloud State University. She has experience working in elementary and high school.
 
“Kids are my passion,” Cremers said. “Helping them overcome obstacles and challenges that they may face at school, in their home, or out in the community is what I love most."
 
Cremers chose to work with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because of the school’s philosophy and performance character building curriculum.
 
Her goals at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud include getting to know as many students, parents, and teachers as much as possible and establishing and maintaining a promising and reliable social work program.
 
Optimism
When it comes to the Performance Character traits, optimism resonates most with Cremers. “Having a positive outlook on life, in my eyes, can never hinder an individual,” Cremers said. “Even when things might not be going our way, finding one positive aspect of our day or in our lives can prompt us to keep striving for success and provide us with something to believe in.”
 
Getting to Know Carrie Cremers: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • Watermelon Sour Patch Kids are my ultimate weakness.
  • I also just started turkey hunting with my father this year.
  • I have an extreme obsession with TJ Maxx, especially their candles.
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
My favorite type of physical activity would have to be group exercise classes at the St. Cloud YMCA. I have so much fun working out with people I know and to songs that give me energy to push myself to my full potential.
 
Q. What was your favorite childhood book? 
I’m not sure if I had a favorite childhood book when I was younger, but my favorite game to play as a child was colors, colors and I still to this day play it with kids and students.

Ismail Ali  Megan Showalter  Ami Waldusky
Ismail Ali:
Cultural Liasion
Megan Showalter:
Health Services Assistant
Ami Waldusky:
Receptionist
 
 

 

Kindergarten

Daniel Burrer: Kindergarten Teacher

Daniel Burrer graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. After graduating, Burrer spent several years substitute teaching before teaching at All Saints Preschool and Child Care in Minnetonka, MN.

Burrer chose to work at Athlos Academy because he was encouraged by the school’s desire to provide children with the skills and lifestyle choices they need to achieve a great level of success in today's modern world.

“I want to create in them an excitement about coming to school each day within a safe, nurturing, and fun environment,” he said.

Curosity
“I love learning about how different things work and helping others to learn about how other things work,” Burrer said. “It is why I have a passion for working with young children. Working with kindergartners gives you the chance to witness many of these ‘Ah-ha’ moments as things begin to make sense for them on a regular basis.”

Getting to Know Daniel Burrer: Fun Facts


Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I am a huge English Premier League fan and regularly wake up at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday mornings from August to May to cheer on my team, Manchester United.
• I am an avid reader and have quite an extensive collection of books.
• This summer I was able to go to Chicago with my brother. We watched the United States Men's National Soccer Team take on Costa Rica in the Copa America Centenario.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
Basketball

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
Any of the “Curious George” books


Caroline Ruegemer: Kindergarten Teacher

Caroline Ruegemer will join Athlos Academy of St. Cloud in the fall of 2017 as a new elementary teacher. Ms. Ruegemer received her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. She has been in education for 27 years and has taught preschool, kindergarten, first, third, and fifth grades in St. Cloud area schools.

As an educator, Ms. Ruegemer says her best quality is her belief that all children can learn.

“As a teacher, it is my responsibility to figure out the best approach for reaching each child,” Ms. Ruegemer said. “I also do my best to set clear expectations for children, but also know that being flexible is equally important.”

During her first year at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Ms. Ruegemer’s goals include creating active communication and integrating Performance Character.

“My goals for my first year at Athlos are to build open communication with students, parents, and staff and to try to implement the Performance Character traits into everything that is presented in our classroom,” she said. “I believe that character education is key to building good citizens.”

When it comes to the 12 Performance Character traits Athlos teaches, curiosity resonates most with Ms. Ruegemer.

“I love to have children ask questions and to figure out new things that they have not experienced before,” she said. “I like to do hands-on activities and let the children explore before showing them or helping them.”

Getting to Know Caroline Ruegemer: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• My sister and I are both adopted.
• I have lived in California, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Minnesota.
• Our family has a white dog named Red.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
A. I enjoy taking yoga classes and am hoping to learn how to paddle board this summer at the cabin. My husband and I also enjoy visiting and exploring different state and national parks.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
A. I loved the “Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder in grade school. My favorite book ever is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.


Nicole Hayden

Missy O'Connell: Kindergarten Teacher

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

First Grade

Kirsten Sundquist: First Grade Teacher

Kirsten Sundquist earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2012 from St. Cloud State University. Following her graduation, she worked as a reading intervention teacher in the Owatonna School District. For the past two years, she has worked as a specialized reading instructor and response-to-intervention coordinator at Medford Elementary.

“I chose to work at Athlos Academy, because I love that it has such a big focus not only on academics, but also on healthy bodies and Performance Character traits,” Sundquist said.

In her first year with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Sundquist looks forward to working with the staff, families, and students to create a community of excellence.

“I also look forward to learning more about the three pillars that Athlos Academy incorporates and how that will change the students and I for the better,” Sundquist said.

As for the 12 Performance Character traits Athlos teaches, Sundquist identifies most with energy/zest.

“Being an enthusiastic person myself, I see how it changes others’ moods and their outlooks on situations,” she said.

Getting to Know Kirsten Sundquist: Fun Facts:

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• My husband and I love minions.
• Most people don’t know my real name, because I always introduce myself by my nickname, Kirstie.
• I would love to learn to professionally decorate cakes and cupcakes.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I love to play volleyball and to spend time outside.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
I loved to read “Are You My Mother?” by Dr. Seuss, but I enjoy all Dr. Seuss books.

Michelle Tengwall

Michelle Tengwall: First Grade Teacher

 Michelle Tengwall graduated from North Central University in May 2014 with a degree in elementary education. She is currently getting her master's degree in reading from University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Tengwall taught first grade for the last four years.

When asked about her best quality as a teacher, Tengwall said, “I'm a teacher who believes in hands-on and real-world experiences in the classroom. This brings my students' educations beyond a textbook and gives them a higher level of engagement, more meaningful learning experiences, and stronger motivation.”

Integrity

“I think the [Performance Character trait] I hold of highest value in my life is integrity: always do the right thing over the easy thing. Keep a good heart so that your character isn't in question,” she said.

Getting to know Michelle Tengwall: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things most people don’t know about you?
  • I love learning new languages.
  • I'm a MAJOR Harry Potter fan.
  • My fiancé and I are avid swing dancers
 

Nicole Hayden

Courtney Hiemenz: First Grade Teacher

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Second Grade

Rebecca Hull: Second Grade Teacher

Rebecca Hull will join Athlos Academy of St. Cloud in the fall of 2017 as a new elementary school teacher. Ms. Hull attended Bemidji State University, where she received a degree in K-6 elementary education with a specialty in communication arts and literature. Following completion of college, Ms. Hull spent a year in AmeriCorps as a ReadingCorps tutor, as well as time as a special education paraprofessional. Ms. Hull spent the last six years teaching second grade in St. Cloud.

As an educator, Ms. Hull says her best quality is her ability to connect with her students through her personality.

“I'm a strong teacher and expect a lot from my students, but I also balance seriousness with being really silly and fun when it's appropriate,” she said. “I love seeing children break out and laugh, dance and be kids.”

During her first year at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Ms. Hull’s goal is to help Athlos Academy of St. Cloud become a household name and a pillar in the St. Cloud area.

“I want to see the students of Athlos be successful by building strong team relationships with a foundation of strong academic teaching,” she said.

Ms. Hull is excited about the three-pillar education model at Athlos.

“I wish I had been taught how to focus on having a healthy body as well as developing performance character when I was in school, instead of wholly focusing on academic performance,” she said. “The three pillars and how they rely on one another to create successful leaders excites me!”

Getting to Know Rebecca Hull: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I love plants and flowers; I get my green thumb from my mom.
• I have an obsession with Ireland, Wales, New Zealand and Scotland--dream vacation!
• I love music, it's always playing in my classroom, home or car!

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
A. I really like swimming laps for fitness or weightlifting. I also really like hiking.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
A. “Mr. Bell's Fixit Shop” by Ronne Peltzman and “The Silver Crown” by Robert C. O'Brien.


Kayla Johnson: Second Grade Teacher


Kayla Johnson graduated from St. Cloud State University in 2012. Since graduating, Johnson was a long-term substitute in a third grade classroom, taught fourth grade, and was an educational assistant. She recently completed her ninth summer working at KIDSTOP.

Johnson chose to work with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because of the school’s focus on the 12 Performance Character traits.

“My goal is to make the first year at Athlos a positive experience for both my students and their families,” she said.

When it comes to the 12 Performance Character traits Athlos teaches, grit resonates most with Johnson.
“Everyone experiences failure in life, and having the courage to continue working hard, despite failing, can help you grow as a person and be rewarding in the end.”

Getting to know Kayla Johnson: Fun facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I collect S’MORES ornaments. I currently own 37.
• I love to do crafts of any kind.
• I love to fish but refuse to touch the fish or the bait.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
Biking, basketball, soccer and anything outdoors.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
“Little Critter” books by Mercer Mayer
 

Nicole Hayden

Megan Hoisington: Second Grade Teacher

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sarah Knuth: Second Grade Teacher


Sarah Knuth graduated from Winona State University in 2010 with a degree in elementary/early childhood education. Knuth taught both first and second grade in Oklahoma and spent the last two years teaching first grade at STRIDE Academy in St. Cloud.

Knuth chose to work with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because she was immediately drawn to Athlos’ three pillar approach to education.

“The more I learned the more I was impressed with what the students at Athlos Academy are taught,” she said.

During her first year with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Knuth’s goals include building a strong rapport with coworkers, students, and families in a welcoming and fun learning environment.

When it comes to the 12 Performance Character traits Athlos teaches, curiosity resonates most with Knuth.

“I love learning new things and I think it is incredibly important for students to realize that learning is lifelong and have a desire to continue learning,” she said.

Getting to Know Sarah Knuth: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I student taught in Costa Rica and would absolutely love to go back to teach there one day.
• Soup is my favorite thing to eat.
• My husband and I love to cook.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I love taking my son for walks and pretty much anything that involves being outside.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
I always thought it was “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” but on a recent trip home my mom reminded me that it was “There's a Monster at the End of the Book.”


 

Third Grade


Shelbi Pool: Third Grade Teacher


Shelbi Pool graduated from Black Hills States University in Spearfish, SD and has taught third grade for six years and spent one year as a math interventionist/technology teacher.
 
Pool chose to work with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because she appreciated how the school educates the entire person, body and mind.
 
During her first year with Athlos Academy of St. Cloud Pool’s goals include building positive relationships with her coworkers and students in hopes of building a great community of learners.
 
Creativity and Curiosity
“Curiosity and creativity go hand in hand for me,” she said. “I love to spark curiosity in my students and then watch their minds find creative and innovative ways to do things.”
 
Getting to Know Shelbi Pool: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I cook for a harvest crew in the summer.
• I golfed in college.
• I like to draw and doodle to relieve stress.
 
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I can't pick just one! Golf, swimming, and going for walks.
 
Q .What was your favorite childhood book?
“The Graduation of Jake Moon.”

Angela Jambretz  Jasmine Kruschek  Trevor Sawyer
Angela Jambretz:
Third Grade Teacher
Jasmine Kruschek:
Third Grade Teacher
Trevor Sawyer:
Third Grade Teacher
 
 

 

Fourth Grade


Katie Jacobson: Fourth Grade Teacher


Katie Jacobson graduated from St. Cloud State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She has taught third grade in Princeton and fourth grade in St. Cloud.

Jacobson joined the team at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because she believes that students need an education based on more than just academics.

“I'm so excited to work in a place that promotes more than just book knowledge,” she said. “When students are learning about performance character, and all of the traits associated with it, they will succeed.”

Energy/Zest
“I believe that you need to engage in life with enthusiasm and excitement,” she said. “It helps keep things interesting and helps to motivate you to keep learning.”

Getting to Know Katie Jacobson: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I spend my summers working at a summer camp.
• I travel around the United States, but I've never been out of the country.
• I broke my front tooth playing softball. I caught my tooth and made it to first base before getting someone to run for me.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I love canoeing and kayaking, but anything outdoors is the best!

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
“Corduroy” by Don Freeman



Jodi Young  LuAnn Schroll  
Jodi Young:
Fourth Grade Teacher
LuAnn Schroll:
Fourth Grade Teacher
 
 

 

Fifth Grade

Christina Haggerty: Fifth Grade Teacher

Christina Haggerty will join Athlos Academy of St. Cloud as a new elementary teacher in the fall of 2017. Ms. Haggerty earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Benedict where she minored in early childhood and art. She has taught second grade for two years, fifth grade for twenty years, and third grade for one year.

As an educator, Ms. Haggerty describes her best quality as rigor.

“I expect the best out of each student no matter what level they are at,” she said. “My students know that I have faith in them and will help guide them to success. They feel comfortable to make mistakes and take chances in my classroom because I set up a safe environment for learning.”

During her first year at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Ms. Haggerty’s goal is to contribute to the school in any way that can help build and make the school year successful.

Ms. Haggerty finds the focus on physical activity at Athlos especially important.

“Activity is so good for the mind, body, and soul,” she said. “It plays an important part in my life!”

When it comes to the 12 Performance Character traits Athlos teaches, creativity resonates most with Ms. Haggerty.

“Being creative as a teacher keeps your classroom fresh, interesting, engaging, and new,” she said. “Students feed off of creativity big time!”

Getting to Know Christina Haggerty: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I am the youngest of eleven children.
• Mountain Dew solves most problems.
• Fuchsia is my favorite color!

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
A. Running is my favorite! I run every day after school. Many of my best ideas happen while I am on “my run!”

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
A. I enjoyed any book with Ramona Quimby. I fell in love with the series in third grade.


Jennifer Mitchell

Jennifer Mitchell: Fifth Grade Teacher

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sixth Grade


Benjamin Broderick: Sixth Grade Teacher


A St. Cloud native, Benjamin Broderick attended St. Cloud State University before going on to teach in Foley, St. Cloud, and Buffalo.

Broderick joined the team at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, because he believes in whole child education and brain-based learning.

“I also believe that movement and education work best when paired together,” he said. “All of these things are at the foundation of Athlos.”

Integrity
“I believe in standing by your principles and morals even when challenged or when those around you falter,” he said.

Getting to Know Benjamin Broderick: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I spend my summers working for the Minnesota Twins.
• I once appeared on a gameshow.
• I spent part of my student teaching in Rome, Italy.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I grew up playing football and even played at the collegiate level, but now my favorite athletic activity is playing softball.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood books were “My Side of the Mountain” and “Mr. Poppers Penguins.”


Anders Meier

Anders Meier: Sixth Grade Teacher

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Amanda Zierden

Amanda Zierden: Sixth Grade Teacher

Amanda Zierden received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a K-5 endorsement in communications/language arts from the College of St. Benedict in 2013. During that time, she worked for the Boys and Girls Program of Central Minnesota. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Zierden was the company coordinator for five years at Albany Area Schools.

Zierden feels her best quality as an educator is her ability to get to know students and form a trusting relationship with each one of them. “I believe that this helps set the framework for my classroom and creates a positive relationship for the students that they can look back on for the rest of their lives,” she said. “I strive to be an inspiration to all of my students!”

Energy/Zest
“I believe that it is important to go into whatever life hands you with enthusiasm and excitement. This will result in better outcomes and will improve your daily mood!” she said.

Getting to Know Amanda Zierden: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am engaged to get married in May! I have a one-year old son and a soon-to-be step-daughter. I also have a very large extended family and am very close to all of them.
  • I love doing anything outside, but I dislike cold weather.
  • Goats are my favorite animal. They are so funny, and I think I could watch them play all day.
 
 

Middle School

Jessica Leverington: Middle School Math Teacher
 
Jessica Leverington will join Athlos Academy of St. Cloud fall 2017 as a new math teacher. Ms. Leverington graduated from the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in k-8 elementary education. After a full year of student teaching, Ms. Leverington taught seventh-grade math at Willmar Middle School and sixth-through-eighth-grade math at Stride Academy.
 
As a teacher, Ms. Leverington prides herself on her ability to build quality relationships with her students.

“It is through relationships that classroom community is built and respect is formed,” she said. “Through relationships, I get to know my students’ specific needs and skills to set them up for success.”
 
Initiative
“I believe that we are all leaders, no matter what age,” she said. “As a school, and as a classroom, we are a team/family, which means individually we must take lead in our actions and words in order to be successful in our own learning, as well as the learning of others.”
 
Getting to Know Jessica Leverington: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I love to sing.
• I own a hedgehog named Remy.
• I am a major MN Wild hockey fan.
 
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
A. Hiking
 
Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
A. “Corduroy” by Don Freeman.

Ashleigh Field  March McGlothan  Joe Brennan
Ashleigh Field:
Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Marcus McGlothan:
Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Joe Brennan:
Middle School Teacher
 

 

Athletic Performance Coaches


Taige Puetz: Athletic Performance Coach


Taige Puetz earned her bachelor’s degree in K-12 physical education/health from St. Cloud State University. While studying at SCSU Puetz was a member of the women's soccer and softball teams and completed her student teaching in the St. Cloud School District.

Puetz was drawn to the Athlos model because of its incorporation of movement. In her own experiences as a child, physical education and recess were motivating factors to her learning. She found that the more she moved and interacted with others, the more successful she was.

“I truly believe if a child is moving consistently and having fun while engaging with others it is going to directly correlate with their success in the classroom,” Puetz said. “That is something I look forward to being a part of.”

Grit
“While being an Athlete, all of my failures and faults pushed me to work harder and to push myself to get better,” she said. “I learned more from losses than I did wins. The gut wrenching feeling I felt after a loss made me want to instantly work on what I needed to improve so I wouldn't have to feel that same feeling again.”

Getting to Know Taige Puetz: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things most people don't know about you?
• I knocked out my two front teeth three times when I was a child. The first time I was in second grade and I fell out of a tree while climbing it.
• I am afraid to touch the fish or worm while fishing … yet I still love fishing. (I make my husband or my brothers do it).
• I love to play the claw arcade game and win things out of it.

Q. What is your favorite physical activity?
I cannot pick a favorite because there are just too many to list. I am up for almost any challenge or competition if it involves being physically active.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
Either “Junie B. Jones” or “Captain Underpants.”

Kaila Lindsay

Kaila Lindsay: Athletic Performance Coach

Kaila Lindsay earned her bachelor’s degree in sports administration/marketing from the University of Minnesota Morris, where Lindsay was also a member of the women's soccer and basketball teams. She is completing her teaching licensure at Bemidji State University.

Lindsay was drawn to the Athlos model because of its incorporation of movement. In her own experiences as a child, physical education and recess were motivating factors to her learning. She found that the more she moved and interacted with others, the more successful she was.

Grit
When she was an athlete, she wasn’t the fastest, strongest, or most talented in the gym, but she would work harder than others. By showing grit, she was given opportunities because of her work ethic.

Getting to Know Kaila Lindsay: Fun Facts

Q. What are three things most people don't know about you?
  • I played on the boys’ soccer team in high school until I was a junior.
  • I have four sisters and a brother.
  • I love to go camping and fishing.
Q. What is your best quality as a teacher?
I think my best quality is that I am energetic and excited every day to do my job. This impacts students, because they get excited to come to school and class every day.

Q. Why is athletic movement class important?
Athletic movement class is important, because not only does it allow students to be creative, but it also allows them to develop healthy relationships in sports and with other students.

 

Music & Art

Marie Fisher: Art Teacher

Marie Fisher graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2013 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in education. She then worked as a substitute teacher in the Bismarck School District for one year before accepting a job at STRIDE Academy as the K-8 art teacher, where she worked for two years.

Fisher joined the team at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud because of its strong emphasis on Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character.

“I feel that these are the three main components students will need to be efficient in to be successful in their future endeavors,” Fisher said.

Creativity
“In my content area, we are constantly trying to think outside the box to create variety in our projects,” she said. “Within each project, we encounter problems and use our problem solving skill to overcome them.”

Getting to know Marie Fisher: Fun facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• I have been skydiving twice.
• I swam with dolphins.
• I have been to Europe and have seen the Eiffel Tower.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
My favorite physical activities are yoga and hiking.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
"The Dot" by Peter Reynolds.
Jenna Scheevel: Music Teacher
 
Jenna Scheevel has joined Athlos Academy of St. Cloud as the new music and band teacher.
Scheevel received her associate of fine arts in music from Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids before transferring to St. Cloud State University where she completed her bachelor's degree in instrumental and classroom music education.
 
“Music has been a part of my whole life,” she said. “Being able to share that passion with younger generations is amazing. This is my fourth year in the professional teaching field and I'm excited to use my previous experiences and knowledge at Athlos.”
 
As a teacher, Scheevel says her best quality is patience. “Having patience while a student is grasping a new concept is extremely important,” she said. “By having patience, my students will receive more help to understand things in class, and I will be able to go back and reteach things multiple times if needed. Patience has been key and continues to be a best quality of mine in many areas of teaching.”
 
Humility
“Being humble is a trait I've had my whole life,” she said. “Having humility is especially important as a teacher. Being able to admit to a mistake, or being able to say, ‘I don't know the answer to that question, but I will find out,’ is important. Teachers need to be seen as humans as well, so having humility as a teacher helps to build positive relationships with students and also helps set the idea of growth mindset.”
 
Getting to Know Jenna Scheevel: Fun Facts
 
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• Sheep are my favorite animal and I want nothing more than to own a mini sheep someday.
• If I wasn't a teacher I would be a veterinarian or in law enforcement.
• My mom was an only child and my dad was the only one of his siblings to have children, so therefore I have no cousins.
 
Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I enjoy my group workout classes that I attend multiple times per week. I also enjoy running in 5K races and I'm looking forward to running in my first 10K this summer as well as the Tough Mudder in July.
 
Q. What is your favorite song and why?
I can't pick just one! However, here a couple of my favorites: "Sparks" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra - I love the story being told within this song of a person who has overcome many obstacles and is bringing "sparks" to various places in life; and "I Can Only Imagine" by Bart Millard - this religious piece has many connections to me and gives me goosebumps every time I listen to or sing it.
 
Q. Who is your favorite musician/band/group and why?
My favorite band is Evanescence. The lead singer, Amy Lee, is absolutely astounding. Her vocal range is so vast and she sounds amazing in every part. I also enjoy the music as a lot of it has "realness" to it and her songs are ones that you can connect with. The music by Evanescence also lays on a large spectrum from lullaby like tunes such as "My Immortal" to ones you can belt out such as "Bring Me to Life.” Overall, my favorite type of music to listen to is rock. My husband and I enjoy attending rock festivals and concerts such as "Rockstar Mayhem" and "Northern Invasion.”

Special Education

Molly Morrison  Jon Leintz  Matthew Blackmore
Molly Morrison:
Special Education Teacher
Jon Leintz:
Special Education Teacher
Matthew Blackmore:
Special Education Teacher
 
 

Special Education Paraprofessionals

Said Abdi
Krista Halvorson:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Portia Hunstiger:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Said Abdi:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Caitlin Lenorud:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Lisa Loidolt:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Kari Renn:
Special Education Paraprofessional
   Heidi Nelson
MaKenzie Ronning:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Kristina Valasquez:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Heidi Nelson:
Special Education Paraprofessional
 
Valerie Jacobson  Elizabeth Kneip  Kenneth Schreiber
Valerie Jacobson:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Elizabeth Kneip:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Kenneth Schreiber:
Special Education Paraprofessional
Jocelyn Wiechmann
 Sarah Salmela  
Jocelyn Wiechmann:
Special Education Paraprofessional
 Sarah Salmela:
Special Education Due Process Clerk
 
 

Support Staff

 
Nancy Stellmach:
Title l Coordinator/Teacher
Katy Meyer:
Title I Paraprofessional
Krista Swenson:
Behavior Resource Specialist
 
   Molly Gonzales
Megan Ziegler:
Behavior Specialist
Breanna Hubbard:
Behavior Specialist
Molly Gonzales:
Behavior Paraprofessional
 
   
Angie Mixell:
ELL Teacher
Kimblerly McNair:
ELL Teacher
Rose Osgood:
ELL Teacher
   
Joni Hedlund:
ELL Paraprofessional
Daisy Hernandez:
ELL Paraprofessional
Becca Simonson:
ELL Paraprofessional
Sharmake Amin
 Cory Scheevel  
Sharmake Amin:
ELL Paraprofessional
Cory Scheevel:
In-Building Substitute
 
 

Kitchen Staff


Tammy Evenson: Kitchen Manager


Tammy Evenson attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall for hotel, restaurant, institutional management and culinary arts. For the past eight years, Evenson has worked in various food management positions.

Evenson decided to work at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, because she loves what the school stands for and that this job gives her the opportunity to work in the same school her children will attend.

“It is really a dream come true,” she said. “I get to be surrounded by kids, including my own. Doesn't get much better than that!”

Integrity
“Integrity is something that I am working hard to instill in my three sons right now,” she said. “It’s so important in life, I want them to be ‘men of their word.’”

Getting to know Tammy Evenson: Fun facts

Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
• Even though I have a huge passion for cooking, I originally went to school for elementary education and even student taught third grade in Canby, Minnesota.
• I make a very mean cupcake and relax by baking for people. My coworkers usually love me unless they are on a diet.
• I love to travel and my absolute favorite spot in the world is Hawaii. I have been three times and am planning trip number four.

Q. What is your favorite type of physical activity?
I love chasing after my kids at the park, swimming, and hiking.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?
It’s so hard to pick just one. I loved the “Baby-Sitter's Club” series, “Boxcar Children,” “American Girl” (especially Kirsten, I had the doll too!), but I guess “Nancy Drew” mysteries would have to be the books I choose most to read over and over again.


 
Nancy Rupp:
Food Service
Cassy Romonowski:
Food Service
Collin Schnitzler:
Food Service
 
Brenda Zinken:
Food Service
Laurie Sexton:
Food Service
 
 

Maintenance Staff

   
Scott Ploof:
Maintenance Manager
Tyler Ahrens:
Custodian
Nathan Hertel:
Custodian