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 Superintendent

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.

Leslie Allred, School 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.


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

Ava was born and raised in Boston and moved out to the Twin Cities for college. Currently, she supports the students, teachers, and administrative team at River’s Edge Academy. She's excited to be contributing to many aspects of student affairs at REA, whether that's helping students sign up for classes or assisting them in finding ways to get involved in their community. In her free time, Ava loves doing ceramics, glasswork, printmaking, and cooking.

Whitney Woods, Office Manager
College and Degree(s): University of California-Davis; B.S. Community and Regional Development

Whitney Woods grew up in California in a small agricultural beach community. She has a degree from the University of California, Davis in Community Development with an emphasis in public policy, planning and social services. In college Whitney enjoyed studying park planning, studying abroad in Germany and leading wilderness trips. After school she joined Americorps and moved to Minnesota to work for the Minnesota and Iowa Conservation Corps Youth Outdoors program in Minneapolis. She later went on to work for Mississippi Market Natural Foods Coop and the Residence Life department at Augsburg College. Whitney has a passion for experienced based education and helping others succeed. In her free time she enjoys eating and cooking good food, getting gruby in her garden and reading.



Andrew Arlt, Science Teacher & Crew Leader
College and degrees: Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A. in Biology; University of Minnesota, MEd in Life Science
Licensure: 9-12 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.


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

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.

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
Licensure: 5-12 Mathematics

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.

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.

Dave Melvin, Humanities, Special Education Teacher & Crew Leader              
College and Degree(s): University of St. Thomas, Special Education Licensure; University of Minnesota M.A. Social Studies Education, B.A. American Economic History
Licensure: 5-12 Social Studies, K-12 LD Special Education

Dave Melvin was born in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota, receiving a B.A. in History and an M.Ed. in Social Studies Education.  He has experience teaching in a variety of settings--from a bike shop to a large district classroom. Dave taught at REA for the school’s first four years of operation. He is thrilled to be back at River's Edge because of the focus on community, student success, and innovative teaching methods.  When he's not at school, he loves spending time hiking, biking, and skiing with his family. He also loves practicing hobbies or learning new ones, such as juggling, climbing, fishing, and playing guitar.


Eric Fergen, Special Education Teacher & Crew Leader
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 Special Education

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.

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: K-12 ABS Special Education, Elementary 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!


Aaron Birr, Student Support Specialist & Crew Leader
College and degree(s): Hamline University, B.A. K-12 Physical Education and 5-12 Health Education

Forged from the land of 4 seasons, Aaron joins us from the great state of Minnesota. He graduated from Hamline University and then went forth to work with a variety of educational institutions such as AmeriCorps, Saint Paul Public Schools, and portaged himself into Outward Bound. He is excited to support the students at River’s Edge Academy. Aaron loves breakfast, large amounts of coffee, and a good laugh.

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

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. 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.

Mike Herndon, Student Support Specialist
College and degree:(s) Inver Hills Community College, A.D. Human Services

Mike has lived and worked on the West Side for several years and is very passionate about education and social justice. He has extensive experience in youth work, college access, and early childhood education. When not in the classroom you can find Mike volunteering to support the West Side and fighting poverty. Mike also enjoys Watching the Minnesota Vikings and is an avid fan of the Grateful Dead.

Katie Kirschbaum, Student Support Specialist & Crew Leader
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!


Esteban Rodriguez-Hefty, Student Support Specialist & Crew Leader
College & degree(s): Luther College, B.A. in Business and Management

Esteban is Mexican American, born and raised in Mexico. He moved to the United States when he was 18 to go to university, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2014. Since then, he has worked with youth by leading after school programs around different topics (College and Career Readiness, Sexual Health, Community Service, Literacy, etc). He is a board member at Lincoln International High School in a Midtown Minneapolis. During his free time, he loves exploring the outdoors as well as playing different kinds of sports. He also volunteers to coach a high school sports team from Roosevelt High School in South Minneapolis. Esteban has led an after school group at REA for the several years prior to working here, and fell in love with the sense of community and engagement from students and staff.

Adam Winter, Student Support Specialist & Crew Leader
College and degree(s): Luther College, B.A. Environmental Education

Adam is from Minnesota and graduated from Luther College with a degree in Environmental Education. Before coming to River's Edge, he spent a couple summers working at different summer camps in both counselor and leadership roles. He returned to his original camp later on as a board member. He then spent a year with New Vision Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program helping youth with developmental trauma, leading the youth on backpacking trips on the Ice Age Trail in the Chequamegon National Forest. In his free time, he likes to spend his time canoeing, hiking, climbing, reading, hunting, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and doing anything and everything outside. He's very excited to work with REA and add to this amazing community.