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Our Team

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Mission

Built upon a foundation of academic excellence and a mindset to drive change, Exploration High School graduates are empowered with 21st century skills to solve the problems facing their communities.

Vision

Creating a school of learners who work and ideate together to build a culture and community of empathetic, equitable, and forward-thinking problem solvers.

 

Our Staff

Dave Heighington 

School Director

"We are reimagining high school education together. I've been fortunate to be at the forefront of education across the country and have seen what authentic learning looks, sounds, and feels like. Everyone has a place at the table. Whether you're a student, parent, staff, or community member, you belong here. That's what we're building together.”

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Liz Ford

Special Education Facilitator 

“The reason I became a teacher is because I want to be the teacher I wish I had as a student, and as a teenager in particular. I truly believe in the power of intention and the energy we give our students. I’ve seen that many students only achieve as much as we as teachers believe and tell them they can do. Even one person who values your success can change the entire trajectory of your life.”

Noelle Geyer

English Facilitator 

“When students leave my classroom, I want them to be prepared for life beyond the classroom walls and feel able to readily apply their learned skills to their post-secondary pursuits. I hope to help students realize that making mistakes is a vital part of learning and growing as a student, but, more importantly, as a person.”

Clarisa Gonzalez

SPED Paraprofessional 

“It's so important to recognize just how powerful young people are. They are the ones that are always ready to do the work to make changes within their communities. As an educator that gets the privilege to work alongside them, I want to support and encourage their ideas and make sure they are truly being heard.”

Mat Hunkins

Mathematics Facilitator 

"I believe that creating learning around students’ interests, passions, and identities is the most successful way to create a love of learning. I found success running on the philosophy of ‘you need to meet students where they are at."

Nat Turner 

Social Studies Facilitator

“We need to look at authentic (or real) issues that students see playing out in their daily lives. And we need to recognize young people for who they authentically are.” 

Hannah Witzig

Science Facilitator

“When students leave my classroom, I want them to think critically about real-world problems that affect their community, collaborate successfully with people from very different backgrounds, and generate thoughtful questions. These skills  will serve students best in their future endeavors, no matter what that might be. If these are the things we want our students to be able to do, then this is what we should be measuring. A test score alone does not tell you everything.”

 

Design Team

Cole Stevens

Youth Design Lead

Krizia Duenas

Ambassador & Graphic Designer

 

Community Partnerships

Exploration High School is made possible in collaboration with these partners

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Board Members

Nathan Strenge

Board Chair

Designer

Fielding International

Hibo Ali

Student

University of Minnesota

Jon Bacal

Founder

Twin Cities Changemakers

Stephen Bell-Kemp Finance Chair

Licensed Math Educator

St. Thomas University | ISD 196

Shawn Smith

Vice President

Wildamere Capital

Eileen Sene

Risk Assurance Director

Pricewaterhourse Coopers

Mari Avaloz

Program Director

Upward Bound at St. Olaf

Steve Owens

Attorney

Lockridge Grindal Nauen

Attend Our Next Board Meeting!

Monday, September 27

6:30pm at Exploration High School

If you would like to make a public comment, please email dave.heighington@explorationhighschool.org at least 48 business hours before a meeting.

Calendar of Meetings & Events

Board Policies

 

Minutes from Previous Meetings

 

Bylaws