Aspen Academy holds its board meetings with its Board of Directors on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. Agendas are posted in the office and on the website. Community members must pre-register to speak at the meeting. Items are limited to those on the night’s agenda. The Board Chair has the discretion to hear a community member who has not pre-registered, but items remain limited to those on the agenda.
Parents are able to provide input at various committee meetings throughout the year, usually regarding the review of policies. Check the Board Committee section for committee meeting agendas.
The Aspen Academy School Board has set 5 Strategic Objectives for the school:
- Aspen Academy achieves intellectual, social, and creative growth for all students.
- Aspen Academy maintains enrollment through recruiting and retention.
- Aspen Academy develops and retains a highly qualified staff and board.
- Aspen Academy develops and maintains strong student, parent, and community partnerships.
- Aspen Academy practices exemplary financial and operational management.
Each of these objectives has several goals that have been developed through a process that involved targeted sampling of stakeholders, focus group discussions, committee meetings, and administrative team meetings. Further information and the entire Strategic Plan may be found on the Main Page, About Aspen tab of our website.
Current Aspen Board of Directors
Michael Faulise – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Mehrhoff – email@example.com
Stephanie Peterson – firstname.lastname@example.org
April Schafer – email@example.com
Board of Directors Member Profiles
Professional Experience: Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Biology. I am the original founder of Aspen Academy. I worked with the founding Board members from 2006 to 2010 serving as the start-up coordinator, and Board Chair. I am currently the special events coordinator for the Aspen Community Council. I have had the opportunity to stay active in the creation of charter schools by serving as a peer reviewer of grant applications for the MN Department of Education and am very familiar with grant opportunities and the application process.
Board Responsibilities: Aspen Academy Board Chair
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: As a founder, it is a pleasure to remain involved in a place I helped create and have enjoyed watching prosper. I want to work with the Aspen Academy board and administrative team to help ensure that the school stays true to its unique mission and vision to provide a stellar academic program for all its students.My Vision for Aspen Academy: My vision for Aspen Academy is to provide a welcoming place with high expectations for all our students, staff, Board members, and community stakeholders while offering an innovative Core Knowledge-based curriculum that prepares our students for life-long achievement.
Professional Background: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCLA. Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University. Taught Kindergarten and 1st grade in California for 8 years. Currently teaches Kindergarten at Aspen half time. Founding School Board Member.
Board Responsibilities: Board Secretary, Governance Chair
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: I have been a part of Aspen Academy since its infancy, when it was just an application to the Minnesota Department of Education. It has been more than a decade since then and it amazes me to see how Aspen has grown from a K-3 school to a K-8 and serving 550 students. I continue to volunteer my time as a charter school board member to ensure Aspen follows its mission and vision statements in the best interest of our students and that it continues to be a sought after school in the community.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: My vision for Aspen is to continue to provide students with a rigorous curriculum that prepares them for their future educational opportunities and to remain fiscally healthy.
Professional Background: B.S. Engineering Iowa State University. Founder & Managing Partner at tap|QA a Technology Consulting Firm focused on Quality. Michael currently leads tap|QA, a Minnesota based company, to expand both locally and nationally facilitating jobs for over 700 Minnesotans. Michael also serves as the Vice President of the Twin Cities Quality Assurance Association Board.
Board Responsibilities: Strategic guidance and the representation of parents of Aspen Academy.
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: Aspen Academy has created a solid educational foundation, curriculum and culture that we as family deeply appreciate and support. My family is rooted with 2 generations of educational providers which has created my passion for continuing to support educational public service. My children will be part of the Aspen family for the next decade and I am dedicating my time to ensure the continued success of Aspen’s mission and vision.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: My vision is that Aspen Academy will continue to demonstrate excellence in the core functions of Intellectual, Creative and Social development for our students to have the foundation for future academic and social success.
Professional Experience: Currently a Professional Stay-At-Home Dad with a degree in Exercise Science and Physical Education while currently finishing up his Masters in Education at the University of St.Thomas. Jake (mare-HOFF) has been included in many projects, experiences, and challenges in life and is seeking to expand into teaching, learning, and community. With a lifetime of health and wellness knowledge paired with an insatiable thirst for learning, Jake seeks to learn and support programs, people, and communities around him. Jake lives his life with couple of slogans always in mind. “Step up if others step back“, and “Be your own super hero“.
Board Responsibilities: Community Board Member – Show up, engage, ask questions, smile, ask more questions, laugh, high-five (or nucks/handshake if that’s preferred), repeat.
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: Jake is seeking to impact the community and lives of those around him in more dynamic and impactful ways. By getting his hands dirty asking lots of questions, and learning enthusiastically. Actively participating within the community affords him better perspective, clarity, and understanding so he can relate with others and make more informed decisions.
Professional Background: Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of St. Catherine. Masters of Arts in Teaching from Hamline University. After a long career at Thomson Reuters, I returned to school and earned my teaching licensure and Masters from Hamline. I substitute taught for two years and have been at Aspen since the 2014-15 school year.
Board Responsibilities: Program Services Committee Member
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: I am deeply committed to Aspen and want to contribute further to the advancement of our school. When I am invested in a community, I like to serve and understand it fully.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: My vision for Aspen is to continue to provide rigorous education that emphasizes personal responsibility. I want to be sure that Aspen remains a school of excellence while also maintaining our community feel. This is a great environment in which to learn and work.
Professional Experience: Over 9 years of higher education experience serving Master’s and PhD students in online environment. Bachelor’s in Business and Management Information Systems from Winona State University and Master’s in International Business from St. Mary’s University of MN.
Board Responsibilities: Program Services Committee Member
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: My family became an Aspen family in the fall of 2016. After visiting a multitude of local elementary schools, we quickly came to realize that Aspen Academy was the only school that we felt met our searching criteria for academic rigorousness and smaller class size. When a new parent seat opened on the Board, I felt the best way to support and guide Aspen Academy towards continuous success was through dedicating time and experience to this great school.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: I am very optimistic in my vision for Aspen Academy. I am a strong believer in the school’s mission and vision of educating well-rounded, socially skilled and academically successful children and believe that with sustaining this focus, we will help build a very bright future for our children.
Professional Background: Masters Degree in Elementary Education
Board Responsibilities: Governance Committee Chair
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: I see Aspen as a school with the potential to be a cornerstone in the community. I would like to be part of a team that strives to reach that potential by making sound decisions based on the best interest of educating children.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: My vision for Aspen is that it maintains the integrity of the structure with which it was created. While changing the needs of a growing body of students, Aspen will continue to strive for academic excellence and promote the success of all students.
Professional Experience: I have six years experience in Early Childhood Development. I have an Associates of Arts from Normandale Community College. I am a Scott County Young Life Chair Member; the founder of LakerPride.com; a deacon at River Valley Church; co-owner of Homes by Matt and April; and a Co-owner of Prior Lake Revival.
Board Responsibilities: Marketing and Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: Aspen Academy offered my two older children a high value education and set them up to succeed for their future. They had a wonderful experience at Aspen from grades 1-5 and my wish is for this program to continue to grow and develop children for many years to come. I also hope to bring a strong and positive voice from the parents in our great community.
My vision for Aspen Academy: To continue to be on the cutting edge for rigorous academic programming, while developing stronger parent and community involvement. I plan to work together with other board members to ensure our community continues to have top notch options for our children’s education. It is my desire that we teach our children to be strong, confident and capable students upon their departure from Aspen Academy.
Professional Background: Bachelor Degree in Finance from Penn State University. Over 22 years of experience in the financial services industry. Currently the Regional Sales Director – Midwest for a large financial institution headquartered in the eastern US.
Board Responsibilities: Continued focus on the Strategic Plan for Aspen Academy and the 5 Strategic Objectives the Board has set for the school.
Why I serve on the Aspen Board: We have been an Aspen family since 2009 when we moved to Prior Lake from Texas. Both our daughters have attended the school since Kindergarten and our son will start Aspen in the fall of 2017. We have seen our children thrive in the environment Aspen has built and I believe it is our responsibility to help strengthen the school to give other children in the community the opportunity to meet their educational goals.
My Vision for Aspen Academy: Since its inception, Aspen has provided a strong curriculum and an environment that affords its students the opportunity for personal interactions with its faculty and staff. The decisions and focus should continue to center on providing its students with the opportunity to grow both individually and academically.