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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


    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 Dockter


    Tasha Dockter 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


    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. 

  • Renee Fast


    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.

  • Colleen Jain


    Colleen Jain graduated from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has had various elementary teaching experiences in Chicago and Boston before relocating to Rochester, MN in July 2017. Colleen is innovative and creative in her instructional approach. Her lessons are engaging, hands-on, and interactive. She has a sound knowledge of best practices where students are fully aware of and in charge of their learning. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music and exploring Minnesota.

  • Catherine Deysach


    Recently a student herself, Catherine graduated from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 2017 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She has aspired to be a teacher since kindergarten and is excited to jump start her career at RASA!  She cannot wait to get to know each student through hands-on learning. When she's not at school, you can catch Catherine at home in Winona playing with her cat, Oliver, making music, hiking around the lakes and bluffs or at one of the many local coffee shops.


  • Jane Yap

    Amanda Harmon


    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


    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 sixteen years ago, and educating children in the pool or in the classroom is the only job she’s ever had.  Emily 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 Husky puppy Koda.  She joined RASA in 2015 and loves swimming, baking, cooking, running, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Brianna Zabel

    Brianna Zabel


    Brianna Zabel graduated from Winona State University, where she studied Elementary Education (Math emphasis). She student taught at Frimley Elementary School in Hastings, New Zealand, and she loves all things Kiwi! She spent a year teaching 5th grade in Rochester while earning her M.S. degree and then taught three years in Lanesboro Public Schools before joining the staff at RASA. She lives in Rochester with her husband and cat, Bosco. She enjoys reading, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Ashley Bies

    Ashley Bies


    Ashley Bies 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 and working out with her friend.

  • Maija Klees

    Maija Klees


    Bonjour!  Originally from Buffalo, Minnesota, Maija Klees moved to Rochester about five years ago.  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


    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.  



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


Board Chair

Rochelle Torgerson

Vice-Chair (President Elect)

Justin Kreuter


Sameer Parikh


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