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WORLD CLASS EDUCATORS

Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy is a non profit organization headed by a Board of Directors who oversee the school's mission and operation.

Our faculty is an outstanding group of educators whose passion and commitment inspire students to gain scientia mundi, "knowledge of the whole world."

 


  • Nick Doyle

    Nicholas Doyle

    PRINCIPAL

    Nicholas Doyle graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education (Math emphasis) and later obtained a Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. In Arizona, he advanced from elementary teacher to Assistant Principal and Principal. In 2013, he relocated to Minnesota and became RASA’s principal. His passion is helping his students and his staff succeed at becoming well-rounded, lifelong learners. In his spare time he enjoys activities with his family, playing and watching sports, and cooking.

  • Tasha Patten

    Tasha Lemmon

    EARLY CHILDHOOD DIRECTOR, PRESCHOOL & JR. KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

    Tasha Lemmon graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a B.S. in Elementary Education (Pre-Primary emphasis.)  She began teaching at RASA in its inaugural year and continues to love teaching through inquiry and the small class sizes. She also enjoys allowing students to express their creative side through visual arts.  In her spare time she enjoys running to train for half marathons and loves being a mom to her 3 children.

  • Heather Worlton

    Heather Worlton

    PRESCHOOL & JR. KINDERGARTEN TEACHING ASSISTANT

    Heather Worlton graduated from Winona State University receiving an Elementary Education degree, with a middle school emphasis. She completed teaching experiences in the Rochester area and Wisconsin. Heather has a hands-on approach to teaching and is passionate about encouraging learners to have fun while exploring their world. She has been on the RASA teaching staff since 2010 and enthusiastically inspires life-long learning according to the IB philosophy. In her spare time she loves being with her husband and their 3 children. Heather also finds joy in trying new things, baking and being creative. 

  • Peter Burkhardt

    PRESCHOOL &  JR. KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

    Peter Burkhardt grew up in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. After graduating from St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights in 1995, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin Stout in Menominee. In 2000, he received his Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. He lived for a year in Australia and later moved to Costa Rica where he built a villa for vacation rentals. While in Costa Rica he became conversant in Spanish and volunteered as both an English teacher for local youth as well as a community lifeguard. In 2015, he returned to Minnesota and began his teaching career as a long-term substitute for Rochester Public Schools before joining RASA in 2018. Peter has a passion for paddle boarding, playing guitar, and editing music & video.  

     

  • Kelly Simon

    PRESCHOOL & JR. KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

    Kelly Simon graduated from UW-River Falls with a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education and later obtained her MS in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy. She started her career teaching preschool in Spring Valley, MN. Kelly joined the RASA staff as a preschool teacher in 2018. In her free time, Kelly enjoys reading, disc golfing, and spending time with her family and friends.

     

  • Renee Fast

    KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

    Renee Fast graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Inclusive Education. One of her student teaching experiences was with first grade learners in an IB school in Bern, Switzerland. She's also had teaching experiences with pre-K through 4th grade students. Renee's passion is finding ways to make learning interesting, yet challenging so students are excited to learn and become lifelong learners. In her free time, Renee enjoys spending time outdoors, travelling, reading and baking.

     

  • Mitch Johnson

    1st GRADE TEACHER

    Mr. Johnson was born and raised in Rochester, MN. He graduated from John Marshall High School and then went on to receive his Elementary Education degree from Winona State University in 2017. He launched his teaching career in the Hayfield Community Schools as a kindergarten teacher. In 2018, he joined the staff at RASA as our first grade teacher. Mr. Johnson love sports. He currently coaches football at Century High School. When not teaching or coaching, you will find him cheering on the Vikings, the Timberwolves, the Wild, and the Texas Longhorns!

     

  • Meagan Bies

    2nd GRADE TEACHER

    Meagan Bies graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Human Development and Family Sciences. After working as a special education instructional assistant, she went on to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education in Portland, OR. Prior to relocating to Rochester and joining RASA in 2018, Meagan taught 2nd and 3rd grade in Portland for three years. Meagan lives in Rochester with her husband and dog. When Meagan is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, reading, traveling, and being outside!

     

  • Jane Yap

    Amanda Harmon

    3rd GRADE TEACHER

    Amanda Harmon graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.S. in Education and Human Sciences with an emphasis in Elementary Education and English as a Second Language.  She began her career in Nebraska as an ESL teacher for 4th and 5th grade students for two years followed by teaching a 4th grade for a year.  After a move to Wisconsin, she taught 3rd grade for three years.  Amanda relocated to Minnesota following the birth of her son and enjoyed taking a year to stay home and substitute teach in the Rochester Public Schools before joining RASA in 2016.  Amanda loves to inspire her students to be life-long learners and to give students many hands-on opportunities to shape their learning experience.  In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog.  She likes to go on walks with her family, read, and scrapbook.

  • Emily Keogler

    Emily Carr

    4th GRADE TEACHER

    Emily Carr graduated from Sacred Heart University with a BS in Psychology and a minor in English, and later obtained her MAT degree in elementary education from SHU.  She found her passion in teaching by becoming a swimming instructor when she was twelve years old, and educating children in the pool or in the classroom is the only job she’s ever had.  Emily joined RASA in 2015 and she loves inspiring children to learn and grow academically and socially throughout the year by making learning hands-on and fun.  She appreciates how much children can teach her during the year too.   Emily grew up on Long Island, NY, and currently lives in Rochester with her husband and Siberian huskies Koda and Milo.  When she’s not teaching, Emily loves baking, running, and spending time with family and friends.  She especially loves traveling with her husband to places near and far, and embarking on adventures such as sky diving, hiking up volcanoes, and zip lining across the jungle!

  • Brianna Zabel

    Brianna Zabel

    5th GRADE TEACHER

    Brianna Zabel graduated from Winona State University where she studied Elementary Education (Math emphasis) and went on to earn an MS in Elementary Education from Winona State. A student teaching experience at Frimley Elementary School in Hastings, New Zealand taught her to love all things Kiwi!  After a several years of teaching in the public schools of both Lanesboro and Rochester, she found a home at RASA in 2014. She loves RASA's inquiry based curriculum and is passionate about helping students explore their world. She lives in Rochester with her husband, daughter, and cat, Bosco. Outside of school she enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

  • Ashley Bies

    Ashley Staples

    ENRICHMENT, SPECIAL INSTRUCTION & AFTER-SCHOOL COORDINATOR

    Ashley Staples graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a B.S. in Elementary Education (Science emphasis). She has worked with students from preschool through 6th grade. She began teaching at RASA in 2014. Her passion is helping her students learn to love learning and seeing them grow and make connections. In her spare time she enjoys playing with her dog, working out and her newest interest, painting. Ashley got married in the summer of 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii and can't wait to continue traveling with her new husband!

  • Maija Klees

    Maija Klees

    FRENCH TEACHER

    Bonjour!  Originally from Buffalo, Minnesota, Maija Klees moved to Rochester in 2010.  She graduated from Concordia College, and has attended and worked for the Concordia Language Villages.  When not teaching French, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three cats. You may also find her selling coffee and cookies at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market.

  • Charyssa Cobb

    SPANISH TEACHER

    A native Texan, Charyssa graduated from UW-Madison with Master’s degrees in Spanish and TESOL. She lived in Costa Rica as an exchange student and has travelled throughout Latin America and Spain.  She has taught Spanish and ESL in both public school and university settings for over twenty years.  She loves opening her students’ minds to new languages and cultures.  She lives in Rochester with her husband, two children, two cats, and many fish.  In her free time she enjoys cooking, choral singing, ballroom dancing, and travel.  

  • Diana Dewey

    MUSIC TEACHER

    Diana Dewey graduated from Brigham Young University in 2011 with a B.M. in Music Education.  She then moved to Vermont where she taught middle school band and conducted a community band.  She stayed home with her first child for a couple years while continuing to teach private lessons until coming to RASA in 2016.  She loves teaching the foundations of music and finds the enthusiasm of younger students infectious. Aside from music, she enjoys spending time with her family and planning adventures.  Those recently include a muddy warrior run, caving, remodeling her home, and raising her two children.

     

     

     

 

 

RASA's Board of Directors

Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy is a non profit organization with 501(c)3 public charity status. The RASA Board of Directors is the governing body. The Head of School/Principal and the Board Chair collaborate to provide oversight of all school needs. The RASA Board is comprised of volunteer members who are current school parents or community members aligned with the school’s mission. Board meetings are held on a monthly basis. Meetings are open to the public quarterly.

Board Position

Name

Board Chair

Justin Kreuter

Vice-Chair

 

Treasurer

Sameer Parikh

Secretary

Kristina Kumar

General Member

Catherine Meves

General Member

Leo Letourneaut

General Member

Soulmaz Boroumand

 

General Member

Venk Bellamkonda

General Member

Erica Bellamkonda

General Member

Jamie Pfister