Karen Albrecht, Learner Strategies Teacher

Ms. Albrecht earned her M.A. and licensure in Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders at Augsburg University. She also earned a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin—River Falls and has completed coursework in Autism Spectrum Disorders at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She enjoys teaching elementary students in Apple Valley during the summer and playing the flute. She joined SPCPA’s Special Education department in 2014.

Halat Basheer, Math Teacher

Halat has three years of experience teaching high school math and Computer Science. Halat loves biking, golfing and hiking with her family, and she also loves to cook and craft. She created and programmed a birdwatcher, retro video games, a remote selfie robot car and a magic mirror that greets her in the morning and displays the time, weather, calendar, news, and social media updates. Halat has a Master of Science in Urban Education for Mathematics from Metropolitan State University. As well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and Associate of Applied Science in Software Technologies. She has an InterTech Express J Unit, InterTech Complete Java Certification and Minnesota Professional Licensing and Standards Board Tier.

Morgan Day, English Teacher

Ms. Day earned her teaching licensure as well as a BA in Communication Arts & Literacy Education and English Literature & Writing from Bethel University in Saint Paul. Prior to SPCPA, she worked in publishing as an editor at Beaver’s Pond Press and as a copywriter for Catalyst, an online social justice journalism platform.

Dustin Haug, Science Teacher and Academic Programs Coordinator

Dustin Haug has been a staff member since fall of 2008. He has taught SPCPA students in modern dance, improvisation, partnering, chemistry, physics, and physical science. In 2012, he created the J-Term piece Everything, All at Once for the Evening of Dance showcase. Before SPCPA, Dustin lived in Seattle, WA, where he taught high school science, horticulture, and visual art in addition to touring and performing with KT Niehoff’s lingo dancetheater. He also tutors students in ACT/SAT prep, teaches dance outside of SPCPA at Zenon Dance School, and performs with Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA Dances. He loves his job and is super inspired by his students every day.

Adam Levy, Social Studies Teacher/Songwriting & Ensemble Teacher

Adam produced and released a number of records, music placed in film & TV, toured internationally, is a band leader singer/songwriter/guitarist in multiple musical projects, and is the spokesperson for mental health issues. Adam has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and American Studies from the University of MN.

Taylor Lohman, Social Studies and English Teacher

Ms. Lohman received her Social Studies Teaching major from Winona State University, and completed her double major in history and theology at Concordia University in St. Paul. She earned her Masters in English from the Oxford Brookes University in England, writing about the prevalence of the Frankenstein mythos in modern science fiction.

Thane Planikow, Learner Strategies Teacher

Thane received her MA in philosophy from Dalhousie University in 2002 and completed 8 years of doctoral work at the University of Connecticut and Western University. She specialized in epistemology, ethics, personal identity theory, and philosophy of psychiatry. Thane has 10 years of teaching experience at the collegiate level. She is also a visual artist and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) as a fine arts major many years ago. Thane previously taught at Perpich Arts High School for 2 years and has just completed her MEd in special education at the University of Minnesota. Special education is a second career for Thane, as she is trained as a mainstream Western analytic philosopher. Publications include: Thane Plantikow, “Surviving Personal Identity Theory: Recovering Interpretability,” Hypatia 23:4, 2008; and Jason Scott Robert and Thane Plantikow, “Genetics, Neuroscience, and Psychiatric Classification,” Psychopathology 38:4, 2005.

Natalie Reinhart, Social Studies Teacher

Ms. Reinhart earned her Social Studies licensure and B.A. in American Studies from Carleton College. Ms. Reinhart formerly worked in AVID classrooms as a tutor and co-teacher, and she spent the 2016 school year in Minneapolis Public Schools as a student teacher and reserve teacher.

Alec Rutten, Math Teacher

Alec is entering his fifth year of teaching. He has previously taught at an international high school and then a STEM middle school. Alec has a B.S. in math from the U of M and MEd in Math Education from the U of M.

Ariane Sanford, English Teacher

Ariane Sandford received her BA in Theatre Arts from St Olaf College 2002, an MA in English from Iowa State University in 2007, an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University in 2017, and is currently pursuing her MAT for English grades 6-12 at Hamline University. She has been a Dramaturg at the Guthrie Theater, worked at Milkweed Editions, published in Painted Bride Quarterly and Booth Magazine, among others, and has been selected to be mentee in the Loft Literary Center’s mentorship program.

Hannah Saunders, Science Teacher

Hannah received her B.A. in Biology and Dance with Honors at Gustavus Adophus College.  Hannah has performed research on bison, fruit flies and squirrels at Samuel H. Ordway, Jr. Memorial Preserve, the University of Minnesota and Gustavus Adolphus College respectively. She also performs with 8:20 Dance Company.

Gina Sekelsky, English Teacher

Ms. Sekelsky holds a B.A. in Education from St. Mary’s University. After teaching elementary school in St. Louis Park, MN, she owned a graphic art studio for over twenty years before returning to education. Ms. Sekelsky joined the SPCPA community first as a parent; she began teaching in the English department in 2016.

Maria Serrano-Kyle, Spanish Teacher

Ms. Serrano-Kyle received a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Education from Saint Cloud State University in 2008. She is originally form Spain and loves sharing her culture and knowledge of the Spanish language with all of her students. Ms. Serrano-Kyle’s primary goal is to help students build a solid foundation of the Spanish language by helping students develop critical thinking skills, as well as being engaged in the language as much as possible.