Avalon School Board

Upcoming Board Meeting Agenda

Avalon's School next full board meeting will take at 5:45pm on Tuesday, June 9th.

The agenda can be found here: Avalon School Board Agenda for Tuesday, June 9th

***To join Avalon’s School Board meeting remotely, use this link:  

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 995 1702 1299

Password: 074A22*

Please contact Tim Quealy (tim@avalonschool.org) if you'd like assistance attending virtually.***

The Finance Committee will meet at 4:45.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 942 4210 7626

Password: 4m7203

Please contact Tim (tim@avalonschool.org) if you'd like assistance attending virtually.


Typically, the Avalon School Board meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30pm at Avalon School.  The Finance Committee meets at 5:10pm.

Avalon School Board Meeting Dates 2020-2021:

  • August 25th, 5pm
  • September 15th, 5:30pm
  • October 13th, 5:30pm
  • November 10th, 5:30pm
  • December 8th, 5:30pm
  • January 12th, 5:30pm
  • February 9th, 5:30pm
  • March 9th, 5:30pm
  • April 20th, 5:30pm
  • May 11th, 5:30pm - Annual Meeting
  • May 11th, 5:45pm - Board Meeting
  • June 15th, 5:30pm


Board Meeting Minutes

Avalon School Board's Meeting minutes can be found here: School Board Meeting Minutes

Board Bylaws and Policies

Avalon school complies with all state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination. A copy of these laws is available free of charge upon request. Email Carrie (Carrie@avalonschool.org) for details.  (Also, see: Avalon School Board Bylaws)

Board Elections

Avalon Board Elections happen annually at our Annual Board Meeting in February or March.  For more information, see Avalon School Board Bylaws.  

Board Goals 2018-2019


Equity Committee-Use the equity lens questions when making board decisions and school policy. Also, collaborate with staff to create a set of values that serve as a foundation for the strategic plan.

Strategic Plan Committee – Develop a new strategic plan by May 2020.

Board Governance Committee –Review board self-assessment, make recommendations for ongoing improvement, and facilitate the 2020 board elections. 

Financial Committee-Develop a three year financial projection, review, and update financial reports to improve readability and board member oversight.


Avalon Strategic Plan

(Updated May 20, 2015)

Guiding Outcomes of 2021 Graduates

  1. Mastery of Core Content

  2. Critical Thinking

  3. Collaboration (Student/Staff/Community)

  4. Effective Communication

  5. Self-Directed Learning

  6. Academic Mindset

Overall Goals:

  1. Expand opportunities for all students through project-based learning by using the framework of deeper learning to strengthen our project-based curriculum and increase student engagement.

  1. Ensure that students have the skills and experiences necessary to feel connected to the community and competent when seeking job opportunities.

  1. Deconstruct and identify the privileged systems/networks currently in place at Avalon. Implement new systems to dismantle the privileged systems and replace them with systems that distribute opportunity and resources to all students effectively and equitably, in particular those students in disadvantaged situations and marginalized communities.

  2. Transform education locally and nationally by educating policy makers, teachers, administrators, and students about Avalon’s democratic, project-based learning, and teacher-powered model.

Current Board Members

(Board Roster and Contact Information)

Dawn Weiczorek - Board Chair



Dawn is the proud parent of a 7th grade Avalon student, and is impressed with the level of care and commitment the staff exhibit to help each student reach graduation at Avalon.  This environment, the project based focus, and smaller school size are the ideals that led her family to the school, and now convinced her to contribute as a Board Member.

Dawn was born on the Navy base at Patuxent River, Maryland to enlisted parents, and later spend childhood years in Ohio and South Dakota.  The moves continued with college at Cottey College in Missouri for an Associate of Arts Liberal Arts degree, and at Kent State in Ohio, Kansas State, and the University of Missouri in Kansas City for a Bachelor’s of Architecture Degree.  With a final move to St Paul in 1994, Dawn lives a mile east of Lake Como with her wife, Ann (“married” in 1994 and MARRIED in 2014), their son, Grayson, and their Golden Retriever, Dasher.

Dawn is one of three women partners of a small architecture firm, InSite Architects, which specializes in affordable and senior housing, and is located just two blocks east of Avalon.  After nearly 30 years, Dawn has become experienced in design, budgets, staffing, construction, market analysis, graphic design, communications, problem-solving, and identifying what the problem really is!  

Outside the office, Dawn has served as a Board Member for Trinity Housing Corporation serving low income and mentally challenged residents, a Board Member for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Council, the co-chair of the St Anthony Park Elementary School Site Council, secretary of the American Institute of Architects Minneapolis Chapter, and Vice President of Chapter CW of P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic education organization.  In her spare time, Dawn sings, knits, gardens, camps, cooks, reads, paints, creates, and searches the North Shore for agates as much as possible.

Tim Quealy

Tim started at Avalon School in the winter of the 2007-2008 school year.  Attending Hamline’s Master's in Teaching program during the evenings to earn his teaching credentials, Tim began at Avalon as an Educational Assistant.  After two and a half enjoyable years as an EA, Tim was hired as a full time advisor in the high school, and has been there ever since.  Tim is licensed in the Language Arts.  Tim also loves math, technology, and terrible jokes.

Previously, Tim worked for several years as a wilderness guide, leading canoe trips in the Boundary Waters and Quetico wilderness areas, kayak trips on Lake Superior, and hiking trips wherever he could find a trail.  Tim has also coached the varsity boys’ soccer team at another high school for the past six years.

When not at school, Tim can be found outside on the trails and parks of Minneapolis.  Or sometimes inside, watching soccer.

Nora Whalen

Nora has been at Avalon School since May, 2001,  as part of the founding team of teachers to start Avalon.  Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Nora started her life as a Minnesotan while at Saint Olaf College in Northfield. After traveling in the Middle East and India, she earned her degree from St. Olaf’s Paracollege (much like Avalon’s project-based learning) in Teaching Social History.  After four years at Avalon, she took a break to complete her Masters degree at Columbia University Teachers College in Organizational Leadership. She later took a brief break to earn her Master’s degree in raising infant twins and a young daughter.  Her degree is still pending but she enjoys the challenge. In addition to her work at Avalon School, she serves as a cadre member for Innovative Quality Schools, a charter school authorizer, observing and evaluating charter school throughout the Twin Cities.  Nora looks forward to rejoining the Avalon school board after a three-year break.

Bianca Zick

Bianca’s son graduated from Avalon in 2014, and she is one of the school’s biggest fans. She is excited to be able to serve Avalon and its teachers and staff by sitting on the Board. Bianca grew up in Waukesha, WI and found her way to UW-Madison for her undergraduate degree in journalism and then to UW-Minnesota for her J.D. Bianca brings employment law and human resources experience to the board. Through Bianca Zick Coaching, she coaches individual on both personal and professional leadership and designs and facilitates workshops. Bianca lives in South Minneapolis, is an active member of SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice, a dog fanatic and an over-user of exclamation marks!

Gretchen Sage-Martinson

Gretchen has been with Avalon since the beginning. She has a license in the field of Language Arts and a Masters in Experiential Education.  Gretchen has served in a variety of roles at Avalon, including test coordination, recruitment, marketing, and enrollment, serving on the Personnel committee, leading Language Arts seminars, and advising high school students. 

Before coming to Avalon, Gretchen taught Language Arts at the Teen Pregnancy Program in the Anoka/Hennepin school district. She also spent two years teaching English on a very small island in the Caribbean as a Peace Corps Volunteer with her husband, Jonathan.

Outside of work, Gretchen enjoys skiing and biking around these fabulous twin cities.  She serves on the Board of Directors for YMCA Camp DuNord, and is an Advisor for The Guild, a charter school authorizer. During the summer she gets her kids out into the woods as much as possible- an annual multi-day canoe trip down the Namakagon has become a highlight.  She also escapes with her family for a week each summer to Camp DuNord in the north woods.

Krissy Wright

Krissy Wright is the Director and a Special Education Teacher at Academic Arts High School.  She has worked in charter and district public schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area since 2008 and currently serves as a board member for Edvisions Cooperative, Education Evolving, Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS) and Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP).  She also serves on the Legislative and Conference planning committees of MAAP. Krissy has also been a peer reviewer for those applying to the Minnesota Department of Education for Federal Charter School Program grants.

In 2016, Krissy completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program and attended the Teach to Lead and Teacher Diversity Summits hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.


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.



Maggie Duffy

Maggie comes to Avalon with experience teaching or tutoring each level of high school math. She is ready to work through the battles that come with teaching one of the least loved subjects. She hopes her energy, knowledge, and love of the subject encourage students to "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy." - Mrs. Frizzle Outside of school Maggie can be found trying to run/jog but mostly playing with her one-year-old, Liam, and enjoying life through his eyes.

Mary Pat Byrn

I am a parent of a 9 th grader at Avalon and am interested in becoming a more active participant in the Avalon

community. I first began working with Avalon in 2009 when I started the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional
Literacy Project (MBP) while a professor at William Mitchell College of Law. The MBP places law students in St.
Paul high schools to teach constitutional law. Over the next several years, I worked with law students to help
them appreciate the unique learning environment at Avalon. I was so impressed with the Avalon community and
educational philosophy that my partner and I invited our son to tour the school when he was in 5 th grade. After
the tour, Eli knew it was the right place for him. Our family has been so grateful that Avalon is in Eli’s life, giving
him the chance to succeed in school and in life. I would be proud to serve on a board of an organization that has
such a profound impact on people’s lives.
I am a licensed attorney and am currently practicing in a small general practice law firm. Additionally, I was
Associate Dean, and Professor of Law, at William Mitchell College of Law. I served in both a faculty role and as
part of the leadership team of the College overseeing the schedule, teaching assignments, and the budget for
the academic program. I was a member of the team that developed the first-of-its-kind accredited on-line JD
program, and led the group that secured approval from the American Bar Association for the combination of
William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline Law School. Both of those educational innovations required me to
be well versed in issues of education compliance and accreditation.
I have taught 8 th grade and high school, and was a law professor for 10 years. I have served as a board member
of Global Mamas – a non-profit serving women entrepreneurs in Ghana – for the past two years. During that
time I have focused primarily on strategic planning and human resources. I am part-owner of a company that
develops law school textbooks in a learner-friendly on-line format that seeks to improve student comprehension
and disrupt the traditional law school textbook market.