Shoua Yang

Administrative Manager & MARSS Coordinator

Shoua is starting her tenth year at Academic Arts High School. She is the school's MARSS reporter, Administrative Manager, and the school’s Test Coordinator for all statewide and district assessments. 

Shoua is married and has three children. You can find Shoua on the weekends at the St. Paul Farmers Market where her family sells organic vegetables.

monica garrido


Bio coming soon!

Krissy Wright

Director and Special Education Instructor

Krissy Wright is the Director and one of the Special Education Teachers and is involved in many facets of other educational organizations. She has worked in charter and district public schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area since 2008. Prior to working in education, Krissy worked in Human Services. Krissy serves as a board member for Edvisions Cooperative and Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP); serving on the Legislative and Conference planning committees of MAAP. Since 2014, she has been a member of the “Ale 4 Autism” event planning committee for the Center for Engaging Autism. Krissy has also been a peer reviewer for those applying to the Minnesota Department of Education for Federal Charter School Program grants.

Krissy completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program, including attendance at the Washington Policy Seminar. She also attended the National Summit on Teacher Diversity at the Department of Education in Washington DC. Krissy and other members of the AAHS team attended the Teach to Lead Summit in Minneapolis that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and ASCD.

Krissy attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she earned a BA in Psychology. She earned her Special Education teaching license from Bemidji State University, with a focus on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Krissy will be completing her MS in Educational Leadership at Minnesota State University, Mankato by May 2017.

Krissy has lived in Minnesota most of her life and enjoys golfing, camping and spending time with family and friends.

Heather Fjelstad

Special Education Coordinator

Heather has worked at AAHS for four years now. She loves working at a school that provides our students with many opportunities to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.  One of her favorite times of the year is MAAP Stars season when she can take students to compete against other alternative and charter schools in an employability competition with her co-advisor Kelley.  
Heather lives with her husband and two rescue pups, two rescue cats, and 17 chickens on a farm where she loves to do some project based learning of her own during the day and watch the stars at night. 

Julie Peterson

Special Education Instructor

Julie is one of our Special Education Teachers. She has extensive experience with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities in an alternative setting.  Art is a huge passion of hers. She especially loves mosaics, because she gets to break things and then put them back together to form entirely new creations.

When she is not working, she is spending time with her family, taking road trips to explore, cozying up with a book, and surrounding herself with things that bring her joy and make her laugh. 

stephanie bade

special education instructor

Stephanie Bade is a Special Education teacher at AAHS.  She is currently in the process of getting her Masters at Mankato State.  This is her second year at AAHS, and she has been enjoying getting to know the students and staff.  She really likes hearing about students' goals and ambitions and helping them to reach them.  Prior to this, she was a paraprofessional at another public school.

In her free time, she enjoys doing things with her husband and two children, especially camping in her pop-up camper!  She also likes to garden, scrapbook, read and watch movies.  

Ty Cody

School Psychologist & Homeless liaison

Ty is the School Psychologist at AAHS. He completed the School Psychology Master's/Specialist program at the University of Minnesota. Ty helps students develop wellness, social skills, life competencies, and cognitive/academic skills. His goal is for all students to choose healthy lifestyles, develop coping strategies, and set educational goals. He's proud to be a part of the system of supports within the school that helps students achieve academic success and prepare for life beyond high school.Ty's interests outside of school include cooking, live music, art crawls, hiking, camping, snowboarding, and biking on the scenic trails throughout the Twin Cities. Ty hopes to have a positive impact on all of the students at AAHS throughout the year!

Andy Ng

Math Instructor & senior project advisor

Andrew Ng is starting his seventh year as the mathematics advisor at AAHS. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Secondary Education – Mathematics.

Required mathematics courses at Academic Arts High School are Algebra One, Algebra Two, and High School Geometry, but Pre-Algebra and higher mathematics courses are available as needed or requested for students looking at post high school careers that require higher level courses. Students will learn mathematics through in class lecture and activities expressed through technology and discussion. Students will develop a knowledge and understanding for mathematics with real-life applications. Real-life scenarios and situations will be incorporated creatively throughout lessons and projects.

Andy is also the senior project advisor. He will work with students prior to graduation with PSEO, finding volunteer and internship opportunities, and their final projects to be presented to the community. 


Kelley Thompson

Language arts instructor & Instructional Lead

Kelley Thompson is starting her sixth year at AAHS. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Secondary English Education. Kelley will be teaching Language Arts throughout the school year, and will be guiding curriculum and instruction through her role as Instructional Lead. 

Kelley has a passion for health and fitness. She is a certified yoga instructor, and practices different types of yoga as much as possible outside of school. She loves to stay active by bicycling around Minneapolis, and participating in other athletic activities. In her free time, Kelley loves to read and spend time with her French Bulldog, Winston. 


Josh Maclachlan

Science Instructor & Environmental lead

Josh is the Science Advisor at Academic Arts High School. He has a B.S. in Cell Biology and a B.A. in Music from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He later received his teaching certification from Hamline University in Saint Paul. Josh has worked professionally in the medical diagnostics industry. He taught science in Saint Paul for three years before coming to Academic Arts. In his spare time Josh enjoys playing guitar and recording music. He also loves to go camping and canoeing with his wife, Rachel, and his dog, Benson.

The modern world is a complex and dynamic place. The problems that face our society are serious and constantly changing. As a science educator, Josh’s goal is to promote science literacy for an informed and creative population that understands how the world works and how to solve it’s many problems.

Linnea Morgen

Social Studies Instructor & life plan advisor

It is Linnea’s third year teaching Social Studies at AAHS. Linnea’s interest in social studies stems from a fascination with people and how they interact with one another, and the world around them. Her passion for working with youth developed while employed at a domestic abuse shelter. During this time, she became motivated to pursue a career path that would enable her to become a positive influence and inspire success in the lives of today’s youth.

When at home, Linnea loves spending time with her handsome sons. They like to go on adventures exploring different communities and learning about different aspects of life. Additionally, Linnea can get lost at a museum, spend an entire day riding rollercoasters, and has a long list of desired travel destinations.  Linnea is extremely excited to be a member of the team at AAHS. She is looking forward to challenging students, encouraging them to strive for excellence, and witnessing them achieve more than they thought possible. 

David Massey

science instructor & upcycling advisor

David is a second year teacher at AAHS, and is excited to add to the science department, teaching Life Science and Environmental Science. He is teaching Upcycling, and will be leading an extracurricular class: Tiny Home Building. He is passionate about getting students motivated to guide their own learning through meaningful projects and activities. 

David graduated from St. John’s University with degrees in Biology and Secondary Education. After College, he spent time building houses for poor families in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. He also lived and worked in Missoula, Montana, before finally settling back in Minnesota to teach. In his spare time, David enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, dogsledding, and just being outside in general.

sam kvilhaug

behavior lead 

Bio coming soon!

Mari Parrilla


Maridalia goes by the nickname, Mari. She is from Puerto Rico, but has lived in MN for 14 years. She studied at the Inter American University in PR.  Her focus is in Special Education.

In her spare time, she loves to read, make jewelry, and play tennis with her family.  She also enjoys swimming and hanging with family and friends at BBQs. Mari loves her job; she believes that each student has a potential to achieve anything they want. She loves her family; they are her biggest treasure. Her triplet sons are awesome kids. She likes to help students and support them in their goals.

Cady altomari


Cady is entering her second year as a paraprofessional with Academic Arts. She enjoys helping students learn, as well as, learning from the students.

In her spare time, she coaches gymnastics to K-7th. She has a love for animals and has helped foster and rescue over 65 dogs. She loves being outside and in the sun. She also loves to travel and she has plenty of places on her bucket list that she intends to visit. She has her degree in Corrections and Criminal Justice, but is no longer perusing a career in that. She plan to go back to school for teaching and special education.

michael reed


Michael is in his second year at AAHS. He's passionate about guiding students to reach their academic and personal success!

After a career-ending injury playing professional basketball, Michael fell back on his degree in Sociology, with a concentration on Interdisciplinary Studies. Since 2004, he has been giving back to the community by working with youth in schools and via coaching.

doua kha


Doua Kha graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with their B.S. in Secondary English Education.  Their teaching experiences have allowed them to work with students from all backgrounds. Their curricula are student-center and inquiry based, supported by a culturally relevant pedagogy.

Aside from teaching and working with youth, Doua is a social justice and queer activist, utilizing their platform as an educator to facilitate workshops at conferences throughout the Midwest.

elena lavorato


Bio coming soon!

josh brose


Bio coming soon!

sammarie smith


Bio coming soon!