Meet Our Staff

Our people make our mission possible.

We have spent over thirty years creating a healthy, vibrant culture among our faculty and staff. A strong group of talented adults provides the supportive academic and emotional environment for our students to thrive.

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Laura Pereira

Art Specialist

Laura has been the art specialist at FSMN since 2008. Before taking on the art specialist position full time, Laura also spent three years as a part-time teaching assistant in kindergarten. She has a B.A. in Art History from Lawrence University, and an M.Ed. in Art Education from the University of Minnesota. Laura is a licensed Minnesota K-12 art teacher.…Find Contact Info

Laura has been the art specialist at FSMN since 2008. Before taking on the art specialist position full time, Laura also spent three years as a part-time teaching assistant in kindergarten.

She has a B.A. in Art History from Lawrence University, and an M.Ed. in Art Education from the University of Minnesota. Laura is a licensed Minnesota K-12 art teacher.

Prior to working at FSMN, Laura taught in a variety of educational settings with students ranging in age from pre-school to adults, in urban, rural, and suburban schools. She has also worked as the Curriculum Specialist at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and as a contract artist for several local arts organizations.

In addition to teaching art, Laura is also a practicing artist, specializing in mixed media painting, collage, and materials re-use. She also enjoys walking in the woods, gardening, and travelling with her husband and two children, both of whom are Friends School of Minnesota alumni.

“One thing, among many, that I love about FSMN is the creativity of all the staff. I feel lucky to have found a home where people work together and have a true sense of integrity. I delight in sharing my own artistic process with these amazing children and hope that they will find as much joy in making art as I have.”

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Linda Mockler

Physical Education Specialist

Linda has taught at FSMN since 1995. She has a B.S. in Health Fitness from Springfield College.Find Contact Info

Linda has taught at FSMN since 1995. She has a B.S. in Health Fitness from Springfield College.

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Marshall Anderson

Kindergarten Teacher

Marshall has taught Kindergarten at Friends School of Minnesota since 1998. He has a B.A. in Native American Studies from Bethel College and an elementary education degree from Augsburg College. Marshall is also an FSMN alumni parent. He loves running, coaching, writing, and being outdoors. “I love teaching at Friends School of Minnesota because it is a place that honors children in all aspects of their development.…Find Contact Info

Marshall has taught Kindergarten at Friends School of Minnesota since 1998. He has a B.A. in Native American Studies from Bethel College and an elementary education degree from Augsburg College.

Marshall is also an FSMN alumni parent. He loves running, coaching, writing, and being outdoors.

“I love teaching at Friends School of Minnesota because it is a place that honors children in all aspects of their development. There is a strong sense of community. Children are known and encouraged every step of the way. It is a place of great creativity and of joy.”

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Meg Erke

Art Specialist

Meg joined Friends School of MN in the fall of 2023. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Luther College and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She began her career as a secondary art teacher, teaching middle school and high school.…Find Contact Info

Meg joined Friends School of MN in the fall of 2023. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Luther College and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

She began her career as a secondary art teacher, teaching middle school and high school. Before her time at Friends School, she worked as a teaching artist creating school-based art residencies, workshops, and summer art camps. She has taught art for over 20 years.

Meg loves anything involving water and likes to spend her free time open water swimming and paddling. Meg is a practicing 2D mixed media artist. She gets ideas and reference images while paddling, hiking, and swimming.

“I am impressed and inspired by the many ways I see the community at Friends value creativity. Teaching in an environment that is child-centered and respectful of students’ whole being is such a great way to encourage artistic growth.”

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Mike Benson

Middle School Humanities Teacher

Prior to coming to Minnesota, Mike taught at The Wilkinson School, a small progressive, independent school in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught there for 12 years. After choosing to be home with his pre-school children for a year, Mike joined Friends School of Minnesota in 2019. He is excited to work in a school that shares his values and can build upon his teaching experience and fun, creative approach.Find Contact Info

Prior to coming to Minnesota, Mike taught at The Wilkinson School, a small progressive, independent school in the San Francisco Bay Area. He taught there for 12 years.

After choosing to be home with his pre-school children for a year, Mike joined Friends School of Minnesota in 2019. He is excited to work in a school that shares his values and can build upon his teaching experience and fun, creative approach.

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Monique Wentzel

First and Second Grade Teacher

Under construction. Watch for more information coming soon!Find Contact Info

Under construction. Watch for more information coming soon!

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Pie Paulson

Development Director

Pie has served as the Development Director since September 2023. She holds a BA in History and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. Prior to working at FSMN, Pie has worked in fundraising at several different nonprofits in the Twin Cities over the past decade, including Greater Twin Cities United Way. She lives in NE Minneapolis with her two sons (cats) Kevin and Big Mike.…Find Contact Info

Pie has served as the Development Director since September 2023.

She holds a BA in History and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. Prior to working at FSMN, Pie has worked in fundraising at several different nonprofits in the Twin Cities over the past decade, including Greater Twin Cities United Way.

She lives in NE Minneapolis with her two sons (cats) Kevin and Big Mike. Pie enjoys volunteering at animal shelters and spending time with her friends and family.

“It has been so refreshing working at Friends School. There is an atmosphere of respect, exploration, creativity, and warmth here that really adds to my work day.”

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Ryan Hogan

Teaching Assistant

Under construction. Watch for more information coming soon!Find Contact Info

Under construction. Watch for more information coming soon!

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Sara Wayne

Assistant Head of School

Sara has served as the Assistant Head of School since July of 2018. She joined the FSMN community as the Spanish specialist in 2012. She also served as FSMN’s librarian for two years and a middle school advisor for three years. Sara earned a B.A. in Spanish from Trinity College, Connecticut with a minor in Latin American Studies.…Find Contact Info

Sara has served as the Assistant Head of School since July of 2018. She joined the FSMN community as the Spanish specialist in 2012. She also served as FSMN’s librarian for two years and a middle school advisor for three years.

Sara earned a B.A. in Spanish from Trinity College, Connecticut with a minor in Latin American Studies. She earned an M.A. in Hispanic literature from Indiana University. She attended Middlebury College’s Spanish Language Summer Institute. She has taught Spanish for over twenty years to all levels from pre-school to grade 12, including eight years at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, IL. She is deeply rooted in the practices and philosophy of progressive education.

Sara lives in Edina with her two children. She enjoys musical theater, golf, cycling, travel, international studies, spiritual studies and embracing nature in every way possible. Sara has sung soprano in various productions and choirs throughout her life.

“Friends School of Minnesota is a unique place where a child’s creativity, curiosity and growth all have a place to sing out, be heard and seen every day. It is a place where a teacher’s passion and innovation breathe deeply into the work done in the classroom and in the outdoor experiential learning settings that FSMN creates with such commitment and intentionality. I am proud to be a part of a Quaker, progressive learning community where children are held at the center in all that we do.”

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Sara Rukavina

Teaching Assistant

Sara has served as a teaching assistant in the Forest since September 2022. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College. Prior to working at FSMN, Sara worked as a Youth Counselor at the YWCA Minneapolis in their STEM program called Girls Inc. Sara is from Boston, MA but came to Minnesota for college.…Find Contact Info

Sara has served as a teaching assistant in the Forest since September 2022.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College.

Prior to working at FSMN, Sara worked as a Youth Counselor at the YWCA Minneapolis in their STEM program called Girls Inc.

Sara is from Boston, MA but came to Minnesota for college. She now lives in Minneapolis. She enjoys going on walks around her neighborhood, reading, and eating lots of good food!

“I am in awe of the emotionally intelligent and critically thinking students at Friends School and the faculty that helped shape them.”

 

 

 

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Shahzore Shah

Music Specialist

Shahzore has served as the K-8 Music Teacher since 2023. He joined FSMN in 2015 as a Voice Instructor. He has also served as Choir Director, After School Music Coordinator, Teaching Assistant and briefly, Librarian. Shahzore holds a Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education as well as a Bachelor's of Art in French.…Find Contact Info

Shahzore has served as the K-8 Music Teacher since 2023. He joined FSMN in 2015 as a Voice Instructor. He has also served as Choir Director, After School Music Coordinator, Teaching Assistant and briefly, Librarian.

Shahzore holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education as well as a Bachelor’s of Art in French. Prior to working at FSMN, Shahzore performed as a classical singer, directed youth choirs and taught voice lessons; he designed and led many educational outreach sessions with students and educators while working as a performing artist in Cantus. He also recently taught Music Together classes.

Shahzore lives in St. Paul and enjoys spending time with his husband and children. Favorite activities include cooking and gardening, visits to the duck pond, landscape arboretum, Como Zoo, and traveling outside of the state.

“I love working in a community of educators, students and community members committed to using every possible opportunity to make the world a better place, whether holding a conversation between two people, designing a science project, learning a piece of music or sitting in silence together.”

 

 

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Shane Zack

Enrollment Director

Shane has worked at FSMN since 2004. Shane has held many positions throughout his tenure at Friends School of Minnesota, both inside and outside the classroom. He is very familiar with the school community and the academic program from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Hamline University and an M.A.…Find Contact Info

Shane has worked at FSMN since 2004. Shane has held many positions throughout his tenure at Friends School of Minnesota, both inside and outside the classroom. He is very familiar with the school community and the academic program from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade.

He has a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Hamline University and an M.A. in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Minnesota.

Shane is also a bluegrass musician and plays locally in King Wilkie’s Dream.

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Steve Moe

Facilities Director and Plant Sale Coordinator

Steve has been the staff coordinator of the Plant Sale, in charge of select facilities functions, community outreach and transportation since 2018. He began teaching middle school science in 1998. He has a B.A. in science from Earlham College and an M.S. in botany from Iowa State University. Previously, Steve worked as a field biologist and an environmental consultant in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, Alaska, and Canada.…Find Contact Info

Steve has been the staff coordinator of the Plant Sale, in charge of select facilities functions, community outreach and transportation since 2018. He began teaching middle school science in 1998. He has a B.A. in science from Earlham College and an M.S. in botany from Iowa State University.

Previously, Steve worked as a field biologist and an environmental consultant in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, Alaska, and Canada. He has also worked as both an ornithologist and a botanist and loves sharing those interests with students. Who else could get groups of middle schoolers up at 6 a.m. to go birdwatching?

Steve believes hands-on education is best and he is passionate about environmental education. He loves getting middle school students outdoors as much as he can.

“I love working at FSMN because progressive education supports learning in the real world. We get the kids out on lots of field trips so they can experience science first-hand.”

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Travis Bell

Front Office Manager

Travis has been at FSMN since 2017. He came to FSMN from Galtier elementary school where he held a library position. Originally from Florida, he moved to Minnesota with his husband, Alex. He has an AA in computer animation from Miami Dade College and a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Studies with a Minor in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University.…Find Contact Info

Travis has been at FSMN since 2017.

He came to FSMN from Galtier elementary school where he held a library position.

Originally from Florida, he moved to Minnesota with his husband, Alex. He has an AA in computer animation from Miami Dade College and a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Studies with a Minor in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts.

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