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.”
Linda has been the business manager at Friends School of Minnesota since September 2017.
She has a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Oberlin College and a Professional Certificate in Publication Design from Georgetown University. After college, she did a three-year stint as a community development worker in Bolivia.
Linda has been an entrepreneur most of her adult life, first as a graphic designer and later as a personal historian. She also served as the Executive Director of the Association of Personal Historians for six years.
Linda is a tenth-generation Quaker who first attended the Minneapolis Friends Meeting when she was just nine days old. She has been a member there ever since. Linda has been working on a history of the Quakers in Minnesota for several years and has struggled to find the time to finish it (maybe after retirement?). Linda also participates in a volunteer committee working on publishing a history of the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. She loves volleyball, genealogy research, reading and travel.
Physical Education Specialist
Linda has taught at FSM since 1995. She has a B.S. in Health Fitness from Springfield College.
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.”
Max grew up in Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) playing lots of soccer and hiding out on the roof teaching himself guitar. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in philosophy (a field he came to after he studied lots of science and math). After teaching swimming lessons, he realized that education was where he wanted to end up.
He spent a year with the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (MOI), a tutoring and creative writing non-profit in disguise, as the Tutor Training and Evaluation Coordinator through AmeriCorps VISTA. This position only confirmed his suspicions that teaching was the direction he wanted to go in.
“I am thrilled to work and coach soccer at FSM. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my partner, Alyssa, and our mischievous cat Juno, reading plenty of poetry, and jamming with my band GNARhouse.”
Michelle has been a bookkeeper at Friends School of Minnesota since October 2017.
She has a B.A. in Fine Arts from Western Illinois University. She has spent her bookkeeping career in the construction industry, working for mechanical contractors and architectural/engineering firms.
She is thrilled to work in a place whose values so closely align with her values.
She lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Yuki. She enjoys vegan cooking, dancing, ice skating, house projects and taking advantage of the amazing natural places in the twin cities.
Middle School Humanities Teacher
Known affectionately to his middle school students as “Mr. B”, Mike taught for 12 years in a small Progressive Education independent school (“The Wilkinson School”) in the San Fransisco Bay Area before returning to his home in Minnesota.
After choosing to be home with his pre-school children for a year, Mike is excited to be back in a school that shares his values and can build upon his impressive teaching experience and fun, creative approach.
In addition to over 30 years experience in technology, Paula brings a lifetime of social justice work and activism to the Friends School.
Paula is the author of “The Transgender Myth”, a mental health counselor, domestic violence advocate and US Senate candidate.
Head of School
Rick has served as the FSMN Head of School since 2018. He has more than 25 years of educational and non-profit leadership experience, a commitment to Quaker education, and a deep love and care for children. He has served as the Co-Director of the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica, the executive director for O.U.R. Ecovillage in Vancouver, a model demonstration community for promoting sustainable living. He was the executive director for the African Canadian Continuing Education Society which served 10 schools in rural Kenya and also served as the Africa/Middle East Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity to lead education programs in 9 African countries.
Rick holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and a M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron. Rick has also been trained in various disciplines including participative evaluation, storytelling, “race-brave conversations”, clerking Quaker meetings, and generative dialogue.
Rick lives in Saint Paul with his wife Sarah, and sons Zekiah and Galen. They are Quaker members and active in the Twin Cities Friends Meeting. While he loves his work and being with students, Rick also enjoys trying to defy his age on the soccer field or ultimate frisbee pitch, riding a bike, walking his dog, and spinning tales as a singer/storyteller.
“Friends School of Minnesota is a magical place for children, parents, and those of us blessed to work here. The halls are filled with laughter, children who love to learn and teachers who love to teach. But that’s not what called me here, and not even what makes us special. What sets this school apart is the commitment to values; to infusing every lesson, action and interaction with a deeper meaning. Peace, justice, simplicity, integrity… these are values I have aspired to my whole life, and values that our graduates will bring into the world to make real change.”
First and Second Grade Teacher
Sally is currently a first and second grade teacher at FSMN. She has over 17 years teaching experience, including 6 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades at FSM. Sally also served as our Lower School Director for many years. She has a B.S. in elementary education and an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction.
Sally began her teaching career in Oregon and has taught pre-school through 7th grade. She spent several years staying home with her children and most recently taught at Dodge Nature Preschool in West St. Paul.
Sally, with her partner Sue Tuggle, had two children at FSMN. Since her first contact with Friends School of Minnesota, Sally says she has been inspired by the mission, community, values and children at FSM.
Sally is especially interested in outdoor education, digital photography, the Reggio Emilia approach to education, and exploring mathematics with children.
“I believe education is accomplished together. Children working together with their peers and the learning that occurs through social interaction produces the greatest cognitive growth. Because of this, the social and personal aspects of the classroom take on as much importance as the academic. Daily routines that include community building, problem solving, conflict resolution, and time for all to know each other deeply are critical. Teachers must be sure to model and teach social skills such as cooperation, responsibility, self-assertion, and empathy.”
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. 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 spends much of her time away from FSMN watching her son compete in baseball and basketball and her daughter compete in swimming. 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.”
After School Music Teacher/Coordinator
Shahzore Shah, tenor and educator, joined the staff at FSM in the fall of 2015 after completing ten years touring, performing and teaching with the internationally known vocal ensemble, Cantus. Shahzore is a versatile singer who has always had a passion for performance and education. While at FSM, he has been teaching voice lessons, directing the Eagle Singers and Falcon Choir, and he currently serves as After School Music Coordinator. He has worked as a teaching assistant in the Jungle/Prairie classrooms as well as the library. Next to singing and teaching, Shahzore loves cooking, gardening and travel. He lives in St. Paul with husband, Daniel, their daughter, Charlotte, and their cat, George.
Shane has worked at FSM since 2004. He currently serves as Admissions Director and Facilities Manager for the school. Shane has held many positons 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.
Shane is also a mandolin player and plays locally in King Wilkie’s Dream a bluegrass band. You can check his band out at http://www.kwdream.com.
Community Connections 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. 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 FSM 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.”
Media Specialist, Front Office Support, and Summer Camp Director
Travis has been at FSMN since 2017. He has two roles. He shares the front office management with Dawn and he runs our library and will be the director of our summer camp. He can be reached at email@example.com
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, five years ago and is only gradually getting used to winters up north. 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.