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River's Edge Academy Staff
It's about having fun and knowing when to be serious.


ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Dr. Meg Cavalier, Executive Director
College and degree(s) Bethel University, B.A. Education M.A. K-12 Educational Leadership, EdD Education Administration
Licensure: K-8 Science & K-12 Principal and Superintendant

Before coming to River’s Edge, Meg was the secondary principal at Bethany Academy in Bloomington where she also taught Life science, Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics. She has experience as an Interpretive Naturalist at the Minnesota Zoo, Special Education teacher and youth pastor. Meg enjoys spending time with her family hiking at Dodge Nature Center, bird watching, and reading. Meg is committed to the vision of River’s Edge Academy and supporting students in their journey to graduation as well as post secondary education. She is a licensed K-12 Principal and Superintendent. The environmental and experiential approach makes REA an exciting and relevant place for Meg to lead.   mcavalier@reamn.org


Adrienne Eldridge, Student Affairs Administrator
MARSS Coordinator
College and degree: Augsburg College B.A. Youth & Family Ministry & Sociology; St. Catherine University, M.A. Organizational Leadership (in progress) 

Adrienne Eldridge has a passion for mentoring youth. While not a classroom teacher, Adrienne is an educator in the REA community, as the Student Affairs Administrator. She earned her BA in Youth and Family Ministry from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and has worked with youth in a number of settings including leadership and character development, peer ministry/mediation, and summer camp high school leadership job training. On the list of jobs she has had, Adrienne has worked for a citywide, urban, collaborative youth program, helped manage a summer camp in an island, and was the Booking Agent for a local hip-hop artist. Adrienne believes in making the world a better place and values REA’s small community and experiential learning focus. Adrienne lives in St. Paul and when not at school working with students and the amazing staff team, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.   aeldridge@reamn.org


Leslie Allred, Social Worker
College and Degree(s): University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. in Psychology; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, M.S.W.
Licensure: Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)

 
Leslie developed a passion for working with people from a young age, and has pursued opportunities to serve families and the community through her education, career path, and volunteering for many years. She has experience working in many different settings, including the Job Corps program, healthcare, and community programs. Leslie loves being outdoors with her family, reading, sewing and cooking. She is excited to help students and families at REA meet their educational goals now and in the future.   lallred@reamn.org

 


Ava Buchanan, Student Services Manager
College and degree: Macalester College, B.A. in Environmental Studies, Geography Emphasis

Ava supports the students, teachers and administrative team at River’s Edge Academy. Before starting at REA, she began her career in environmental education at REcharge Labs, a renewable energy education business in Minneapolis. During college, Ava did research on perceptions of wind energy across the United States. She's excited to be contributing to and learning from the awesome environmental focus at REA! In her free time, Ava loves doing ceramics, glasswork, printmaking, and cooking.    abuchanan@reamn.org


TEACHING STAFF

Andrew Arlt, Science Teacher / Crew Leader
College and degrees: Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A. in Biology; University of Minnesota, MEd in Life Science
Licensure: Life Science

Andrew is from Owatonna, Minnesota and received a BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, where he specialized in field biology. Andrew also received an MEd in Life Science from the University of Minnesota. He has taught for 8 years at an alternative program in Minneapolis that focused on experiential education, where he lead trips around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Montana.  While teaching, Andrew participated in the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, National Park Service. Andrew currently serves on the Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa Board. Andrew brings experience and passion for canoes and the BWCA from his experiences with YMCA Camp Menogyn.  aarlt@reamn.org

 


Sky Davey, Humanities Teacher / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): University Minnesota-Duluth B.A.A; Bemidji State University B.S. History/Mass Communication
Licensure: K-12 Special Education and 5-12 Social Studies

Sky Davey grew up on a small family farm in Southwest Wisconsin. He attended college at Rochester Community and Technical College, Bemidji State University, and later at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His career as a teacher began soon after college when he found work as a substitute teacher, teaching all grades K-12. Also shaping his life experience was summer work with the Minnesota Conservation Corps. He has taught either social studies or special education for the Proctor School District, Harbor City International School, Red River High School, and now at River's Edge Academy. In his free time Sky enjoys working out, playing ultimate frisbee, backpacking, canoeing, studying history, and traveling. Sky sees REA as school with dynamic opportunities for growth. This great potential and the journey of bringing it to realization makes this school a great fit.   sdavey@reamn.org


Jason Fisher, Math Teacher / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): University Minnesota-Duluth B.A., Applied Science in Mathematics Education and Certificate in Educational Computing and Technology

Jason was born in West St. Paul but has lived north of the metro most of his life. He graduated from Chisago Lakes High School where he played hockey and also enjoyed fishing on the many lakes in the area. He has experience in both charter and traditional districts. He is excited to work at REA because of the community atmosphere, hands on activities, and field work. Jason enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, running, and playing softball. During the fall and winter months Jason enjoys playing hockey, hiking, watching movies, sledding or skiing. jfisher@reamn.org


Emily Lundberg, English Teacher / Crew Leader
College and degree: Wheaton College, B.A. in English and Secondary Education with Urban Studies Certificate
Licensure: 5-12 Communication Arts and Literature

Emily is originally from the Twin Cities metro area. She is passionate about urban education and providing students with the literacy skills needed to be successful in post secondary education. Emily student taught at Power House High in Chicago, collaborating with the Humanities teacher to develop and implement an interdisciplinary curriculum. For the past two summers Emily has worked with the Wheaton College BRIDGE Program that provides high school juniors and seniors with academic support and mentoring in a holistic college preparatory program. She enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and biking.   elundberg@reamn.org


SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHING STAFF

Eric Fergen, Special Education Teacher
College and Degrees: Fordham University, B.A. in Latin American Studies; Long Island University-Brooklyn, M.A. in Special Education
Licensure: K-12 LD and ABS

Eric grew up in St. Paul, just right across the river. He cares for social justice and the outdoors, and is excited to blend those passions at REA. He previously was an instructor with Outward Bound, and became a teacher through the NYC Teaching Fellows program. He taught at an Expeditionary Learning school in Queens, NY, where he also helped to raise chickens. Eric looks forward to helping all students find their interests and contributing to the exciting work that is happening at REA. He enjoys climbing, reading, hiking and coffee


Patrick O'Toole, Student Support Specialist / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Education, Creative Writing and Visual Art; Western Washington University, The Fairhaven College, Bellingham, WA, 2008

Patrick brings a diverse range of professional and personal experiences to the REA community, including six seasons of employment with the National Park Service, and three years working for Minnesota Life College as the Community Life and Outreach Coordinator. Patrick has led backpacking trips in Alaska, Washington, and Costa Rica, and once built a small cabin in the woods, where he painted landscapes and contemplated the mysteries of the universe. Patrick is an Americorps alumni, a certified yoga teacher, and comes to the REA community from Great River Montessori school in St Paul, where he served as an educational assistant. Patrick is excited about value-centered approaches to learning, and is committed to sharing his passion for personal growth and community development with River's Edge Academy.   potoole@reamn.org


Jaclyn Rehmke, Special Education Teacher/Crew Leader
College and degree(s): University of Wisconsin, River Falls, B.S. Elementary Education; University of Minnesota, M.A. Special Education
Licensure: Elementary Education, K-12 EBD and LD Special Education

Jaclyn supports students with special needs at River's Edge Academy. She brings experience working with both large and small groups. Jaclyn is committed to helping each student be successful by motivating students to participate using different approaches and learning techniques! She has coached basketball and soccer at several levels. She is committed to character development at River's Edge Academy!   jrehmke@reamn.org


STUDENT SUPPORT SPECIALISTS

Aaron Birr, Student Support Specialist & Crew Leader


Beka Hennessey, Student Support Specialist / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): University of Minnesota, B.A. Psychology, Minor French; Hamline University, M.A. Education, Natural Science/Environmental Education (in progress)

Beka focused her studies on learning theory and behavior management in college, and started her career working with animals. She spent time as an aquarist in Hawaii, doing enrichment activities with an octopus and stingrays, and later found that her true passion was in education and promoting stewardship of the environment. Currently, Beka is seeking a Master's degree in Education for Natural Science and Environmental Education at Hamline University. River's Edge Academy provides Beka with the opportunity to help students focus on their education and achieving their goals, while working outdoors and in the environment, which makes it a great fit. Beka's favorite activities include SCUBA diving, reading, baking, and gardening.   bhennessey@reamn.org


Katie Kirschbaum
College and Degrees: University of Minnesota, B.S. Environmental Science, Policy and Management; Hamline University, Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education

Originally from a military family, Katie grew up around US and abroad, but moved to Minnesota to attend the U of M.  She has worked as a naturalist and outdoor educator across the Twin Cities and across the state with the DNR, Conservation Corps, and other partners. Katie brings an enthusiasm for experiential education and is excited to continue working in the field with a new community. She enjoys adventures on skis, in SCUBA, on foot or by canoe,  exploring the cities by bike, and seeing live music.


Bruce Low, Student Support Specialist / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): University of Strathclyd, United Kingdom, B.A. Outdoor Education in the Community

Bruce first joined our community as an instructor for an Outward Bound course. He now supports staff and students in the classroom. His varied background includes social work in schools and extensive experience leading wilderness trips. He has been a professional guide in Scotland, Australia, Canada and the United States, including Wilderness Inquiry and Outward Bound. He is a Wilderness First responder and brings many unique skills to the team at REA!   brucelow@reamn.org


Emma Schneider, Student Support Specialist / Crew Leader
College and degree(s): Allegheny College, B.A. Political Science; Prescott College, M.S. Counseling (in progress)

Originally from the East Coast, Emma made her way to the Midwest in 2013 to work for the Voyageur Outward Bound School. She is passionate about social and environmental justice as well as empowering youth to see their fullest potential. Having spent most of her professional life integrating education in wilderness settings, she is excited to continue an experiential philosophy at River’s Edge Academy. Emma loves good coffee, reading, playing with her animals, dancing, anything involving music, and adventuring.   eschneider@reamn.org


MINNESOTA GREEN CORPS MEMBER

Sophie Bishop
College and degree(s): University of Minnesota Morris, B.S. in Environmental Science

Sophie is a part of the Minnesota GreenCorps, which is an AmeriCorps program offered through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, for the 2017-2018 year. Sophie was selected to be one of Minnesota's GreenCorps members assigned to work with organizations across the state. During her year at REA, Sophie will be working on projects with staff and students to reduce REA's overall impact on air quality through energy conservation and water conservation planning. Sophie enjoys hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, watching movies, and reading.