Third and Fourth Grade Teacher
Amber has been teaching third and fourth grade at FSMN since 2021. She started as a substitute teacher at Friends School in 2017. She has been the teaching assistant in the third and fourth grade classrooms and served as the Kindergarten teacher while Marshal was on leave. She graduated from Hamline University with B.A.’s in Elementary Education and Art. She also has a K-6 teaching license.
In addition to subbing at FSMN, Amber has substitute taught in the St. Paul Public School district and taught art part-time for a year at a charter school in West St. Paul.
In addition to visual art, Amber finds many creative forms of expression through dance, singing, and many fiber art crafts. Growing up on the shore of Lake Superior near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area fostered her appreciation for the natural world.
“I was drawn to the Friends School of Minnesota because of our philosophy of teaching the whole child and our strong arts program. Our students inspire me as we explore learning and make discoveries together!”
Andrea has served as the teaching assistant at FSMN since 2020.
She joined FSMN in 2015 as a substitute teacher. She has worked in every class at some point, including a long-term adventure teaching P.E.
Andrea holds a B.A. in Mathematics from National University and is finishing requirements for her California math teaching credential.
Prior to working at FSMN, Andrea worked in a number of fields that allowed her to educate. She taught dental assisting to students at a technical college, taught patients about their own dental health, and spent many summers at camp teaching fellow Girl Scouts about our natural world.
When she is not at school, Andrea enjoys the cacophony of having four sons, and the peace of Quaker meetings.
“The very first day I subbed at FSMN I encountered some students who at other schools would be considered ‘weird’. But I was amazed by how kind the students were to each other, and how they valued each individual as an important part of their community. Who wouldn’t want to work in a place like that?”
Third and Fourth Grade Teacher
Andrew has been teaching third and fourth grade at FSMN since 2012. He graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Sociology and a certificate in Elementary Education.
Andrew spent seventeen years teaching at Abington Friends School in suburban Philadelphia.
He is the parent of two young boys and an avid ultimate Frisbee player.
“When I moved from Philadelphia I was worried that I would not be able to teach at another school where I could attend to the voices and needs of the students and be led by intellectual interests instead of focusing on standardized testing and inflexible curricula. I knew about Friends School of Minnesota through a variety of Friends school interactions and attended a conflict resolution training here in 2001 and I’m so glad to be a part of this amazing faculty.”
Asako has been the piano instructor at FSMN since 2018. She holds a doctoral degree from the Juilliard School and has been teaching for 30 years.
She has a wealth of experience as a piano teacher, harpsichordist and composer. She has been active as a featured guest soloist in international festivals and concert series worldwide since her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall.
She was born and raised in Japan. She is a single mother of two, Marika and Shotah.
Librarian and Math Specialist
Caroline has served as our math specialist and librarian since 2022. Prior to her current roles, she was a first and second teacher at FSMN beginning in 2017. She graduated from Macalester College with a major in music and a minor in Japan Studies before earning her master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota.
She previously taught first grade for nine years at the Walden Center and School in Berkeley, CA, a nationally-recognized progressive school. She’s also been trained in diversity, conflict resolution, teaching social justice, and in programs to better serve students with ADHD and other learning differences.
She and her wife, Yvette Soignier, have two sons, Eliot–a FSMN student–and Arlo. They enjoy camping, making music, and reading together.
“I am thrilled to be a part of a school community that fits my teaching style and educational philosophy so well. My passion for child-centered, progressive education and my belief in the Quaker values of peace, simplicity, and social justice guide my teaching in the Jungle classroom.”
Middle School Humanities Teacher
Christian (He/Him/His) has been a Teaching Assistant at FSMN since 2019. He became the lunch program coordinator in 2022. He currently serves both a TA role and lunch program coordinator role. Christian became a transplant to the Twin Cities from New Jersey in 2015, where he attended Macalester College until 2019 obtaining his Bachelors of Arts in English, Creative Writing with a minor in American Studies in Saint Paul, Minnesota.…Find Contact Info
Christian (He/Him/His) has been a Teaching Assistant at FSMN since 2019. He became the lunch program coordinator in 2022. He currently serves both a TA role and lunch program coordinator role. Christian became a transplant to the Twin Cities from New Jersey in 2015, where he attended Macalester College until 2019 obtaining his Bachelors of Arts in English, Creative Writing with a minor in American Studies in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been able to work under notable Twin Cities authors such as Marlon James and Peter Bognanni.
Christian has prior experience with Explo at Wellesley College working with children from fifth to eighth grade. At Explo he worked as a fantasy writing instructor, teaching world-building and character development through games, crafts, and community building. Additionally, he worked as a Day Advisor of Explo’s morning program creating activities and having check-ins with his day group. This is where he learned that he wanted to pursue a career or program working with children.
Outside of academics, Christian is experienced in African-based Movement dance, learning under the Twin Cities instructor Patricia Brown. From her, he learned techniques from West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
“I am delighted to work at FSMN because of its goal for teaching through a social justice lens. Our experiences are not monolithic; We have different worldviews, backgrounds, and beliefs. A space that fosters diverse perspectives, fosters community building which is beneficial for the next generation as they find their places in the world.”
First and Second Grade Teacher
Christina has served as the Forest 1/2 Teacher since 2022.
She joined FSMN in 2019 as an Extended Day staff. She has also served as a Middle School TA during the transition back to in-person learning.
Christina completed her undergrad at Hamline University and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies. She also is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Education at Hamline University.
Prior to working at FSMN, Christina worked as a math and literacy tutor for students in 1st-9th grade. She also worked as a classroom tutor at Hamline Elementary in the Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. She has also worked as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional in many different elementary and middle schools in the Twin Cities area. She also worked as a Behavioral Interventionist at a children’s autism center during the summers.
In her free time, Christina loves to read, spend time with friends, and go on long walks!
“I love the FSMN community and am inspired and encouraged that FSMN supports their values through action in so many different ways. This isn’t something I’ve ever experienced at a school before!”
Dawn joined Friends School in 2017, after moving to Minnesota from Davis, California. She has a B.S. in landscape architecture from U.C. Davis and a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from U.W. Seattle. She has worked as a college instructor, mediator, and an urban planner, including a decade managing planning and urban design projects in the U.S.…Find Contact Info
Dawn joined Friends School in 2017, after moving to Minnesota from Davis, California. She has a B.S. in landscape architecture from U.C. Davis and a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from U.W. Seattle. She has worked as a college instructor, mediator, and an urban planner, including a decade managing planning and urban design projects in the U.S. and Asia. She is particularly interested in the creation of public places that are healthy, safe, and accessible for all users.
She was drawn to Quaker practices and values after attending a Quaker meeting as a teen, and joined the Society of Friends as a member of the Reno, and later, Davis meetings. She helped design and create contemplative gardens for both meetings.
She has two adult children: Maya, who was born in Chengdu, China, and is a pre-med student, and Reuben, an aspiring paleontologist. She enjoys cycling, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid participant in gun violence prevention organizations and on the legislative committee for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness).
“FSMN students are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with the outdoors from a very young age. I love seeing them learn about their local environment by, for example, raising and releasing trout and identifying local trees. I also enjoy seeing how they interpret and share their outdoor experiences through art.”
Deadra has been our FSMN Music Specialist since fall of 2022.
She holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies (Vocal Performance) from City University of New York and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (Vocal Performance) from the University of North Texas. She is certified in Orff Schulwerk – a play-based teaching model that fosters creativity, personal expression and collaboration.
Deadra has been teaching music for twenty years. Prior to working at FSMN, she taught at the American School of the Hague (the Netherlands), Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador), The Nightingale Bamford School (NYC) & The Foote School (New Haven). Deadra spent 15 years performing as a jazz singer in Europe, South America and the United States.
Deadra lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two children. When not making music, she enjoys baking, hiking and spending time with her family.
Deadra believes in the power of community-building through music. “Making music together connects us across difference, fosters understanding, and promotes unity. I am grateful to make music with children in a school community that values the arts as an integral part of the human experience.”
Middle School Math Teacher
Egohsa has been an FSMN Middle School Math Teacher since 2018. She joined the FSMN staff in 2017 as a teaching assistant supporting students in mathematics.
She is a graduate of St. Paul Academy and Carleton College.
Prior to working at FSMN, Egohsa has served as a long-term substitute in middle school mathematics at St. Paul Academy. From 2013-2016, she taught 8th grade math and was an academic coach, also at SPA. While there, she also served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Additionally, she’s worked as a tutor with Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, where she provided one-on-one support to students with wide-ranging academic ability, focusing primarily on students with learning differences, including ADD/ADHD and dyslexia.
Egohsa is currently working on her master’s in teaching at Hamline University. She’s also a high school volleyball coach.
Eileen has served as the FSMN Communications Director since November of 2016. She has a B.A. in Communications from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Prior to moving to Saint Paul, she worked in internal corporate communication for Gap Inc. for 10 years. She is an active member of Unity church and is currently involved in a long-term project exploring documenting the spiritual learning of children.
Eileen lives in Saint Paul with her husband, Scot and sons Kieran and Finn. She enjoys spending time outside, reading, art, writing, contemplating, laughing and spending time with her family.
“I am beyond thrilled to be working at Friends School of Minnesota. To work in a place that so closely aligns with principles that I hold dear – community, peace, justice, the image of the child as an active participant in their learning – is a privilege and a joy.”
Eleni has served as the bookkeeper since January 2020.
She holds a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from Smith College in French and Religious Studies.
Prior to working at FSMN, she was Business Manager for Alliance Francaise of Mpls/St. Paul, and Bookkeeper for Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality, Bethel Lutheran, Bread of Life Deaf Lutheran.
Eleni lives in South Minneapolis. She loves reading, yoga, music, and practicing and facilitating non-violent communication with groups. She loves contemplative practice in any tradition and particularly in meeting for worship with Friends.
“When I came to my first Friends School conference with my daughter, my eyes and heart were really opened to a new way of being and learning– I saw she was engaged on equal ground, respected, heard, and placed at the center, imagining how she wanted to learn and grow. I saw how conflicts with other students were addressed openly and comfortably with a confidence that everyone belonged and a resolution can be found. All I could think was that this is the world I want to live in! The faculty, staff, and wider circle of supporters have been lights of learning and hope for my whole family and community. It is a gift to work with them and hear the laughter and song in the halls!”
Middle School Science Teacher
Emily started as the MS science teacher in 2021.
She has a BA in Zoology from UW-Madison, MA in Teaching from Hamline University, and a Minnesota teaching license in 5-8 Science.
Emily worked at St. Alphonsus Catholic School for 6 years teaching middle school science and STEM. Prior to teaching there she also worked at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Chaska. Before teaching she worked as a math tutor with Minnesota MathCorps and was a butterfly naturalist at the Minnesota Zoo.
Emily enjoys the outdoors and loves camping at state parks with her husband and two young sons.
“I am excited to be here at FSMN and share my enthusiasm for science with this school’s commitment to environmental education. I hope to further the Friends School’s mission of inspiring our students to become stewards of our earth.”
Esly Girón Vargas
Esly has been the Spanish teacher at FSMN since 2020. She holds an Elementary Teacher certificate from Instituto Carlos Dubon, Retalhuleu-Guatemala
Prior to working at FSMN, Esly worked at Southside Family Charter School in Minneapolis for 19 years, teaching Spanish and Latin American culture. Before coming to the USA in 1998 she worked at La Escuela de la Montaña in San Martín Sacatepéquez, Quetzaltenango-Guatemala teaching Spanish to foreign students and learning about the lives of a Mayan Mam community. This experience gave her the chance to see life from two different perspectives.
She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Brian, her daughters, niece, uncle and 2 dogs. She loves to spend time with her family, teach, garden, cook, spend time outside, and help in any way she is able to help.
“I was born and raised in Guatemala by a very loving family in a small city. During my childhood I wasn’t aware of the deep rooted inequalities in my own country. I understand my parents were trying to protect me. I am excited to be a part of an organization that teaches not only the required classes, but also the reality of the world. I have had the privilege to teach so many students, and also to learn so much from each of them. I am ready to teach, learn and grow in this community.”
Ethan has served as the Learning Specialist since the start of the 2022-2023 school year. He also serves as the Athletic Director and Summer Camp Director.
He graduated from Whitman College where he majored in psychology. After working in the field of neuropsychology, he earned a master’s degree in Teaching from Whitworth University with endorsements in Elementary Education and Social Studies.
Prior to working at FSMN, he taught fifth and sixth grade in Spokane, Washington, worked as an instructional specialist in special education, a psychometrist, and an educational and behavioral consultant.
Ethan lives in Minneapolis and loves exploring the Twin Cities by bike and on foot accompanied by his wife and dog. After a summer exploring the Twin Cities’ local lakes and the great lakes, he is excited for the snow and skiing.
“I was drawn to FSMN because of its commitment to the holistic education of each and every student.”
Helen Gallagher has over 20 years of experience in the education field in a variety of settings, both public and private, from early childhood through high school.
She began working with FSMN in 2015 but became an official faculty member in 2016. She has two B.A.s (Education and Psychology), from the University of St.…Find Contact Info
Helen Gallagher has over 20 years of experience in the education field in a variety of settings, both public and private, from early childhood through high school.
She began working with FSMN in 2015 but became an official faculty member in 2016. She has two B.A.s (Education and Psychology), from the University of St. Thomas and an M.A. in Education from St. Mary’s University. She also obtained her K-12 Reading Teacher Licensure through St. Mary’s University.
She is thrilled to be a part of this remarkable community, a community that holds the same values she has, of living a life of simplicity, integrity, and being a good steward of the earth, as well as meeting the intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each individual student in a holistic manner. She loves seeing the spark that ignites in every learner when they have those “aha” moments!
In her free time, Helen enjoys hanging out with her two kids and husband doing outdoor activities, as well as cooking, reading, exercising, and gardening.
Extended Day and Activities Director
Hilary has served in a variety of positions at FSMN since 2005. She is a self-proclaimed natural organizer. She has served in a variety of administrative positions, particularly at Nova Classical Academy. She studied political science at Carleton College.
She is the mother of an alumnae.
“It’s been my privilege to be associated with Friends School of Minnesota since 2005. I enjoy bringing my school administration experience to the extended day program.”
Jim has served as a Teaching Assistant since September 2022.
They joined the FSMN community in 2019 as a parent of a student, and began serving on the Development Committee in 2021.
Jim holds a Masters Degree in Special Education, specifically in Emotional Behavioral Disorders.
Prior to working at FSMN, Jim worked as a Special Education Teacher in Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools.
Jim lives in Saint Paul, and enjoys spending time going to thrift stores, watching soccer, and being outside in all seasons.
“Creating strong, independent thinkers that are eager to learn and grow is what has drawn me to FSMN.”
Head of School
Joe Mueller has been with FSMN since July 2020. He has a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota and is currently working towards an educational doctorate from Hamline University.
Joe served as the principal for Linwood Elementary in the Forest Lake School District for three years. He was a junior high assistant principal for two years. Prior to his administrative roles, he worked in curriculum development from 2013-2015, taught Communications Arts and Literature at Forest Lake Senior High in Forest Lake, MN from 2006 to 2013 and at Kingsland High School in Spring Valley, MN from 2002 to 2006.
Joe lives in Saint Paul with his wife Kate, and son Fin. He loves the outdoors and is a member of Unity Unitarian, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in St. Paul.
“My faith in the vision and mission of this school, its community, and the principles of progressive education runs deep. We have entrusted Friends School of Minnesota with the education of our only child. FSMN’s commitment to respect, peace, community, equality, life-long learning, and spiritual awareness will ensure not only his academic, but also his human development. I have doubled my faith in FSMN by making the protection of the school’s vision and mission my vocation.”