Avalon School Board

2018 Board Elections

Our 2018 board elections will take place at our Annual Meeting on Friday, March 2.  This year, we will also have an online election. The online election will begin Saturday, March 3, at 9am, and run through Friday, March 9, at 5pm.  We have three candidates for one open parent/community member position.  The candidates are Mary Pat Byrn, Alan Howell, and Barbara Murphy.  We have two candidates for two open teacher positions.  The teacher candidates are Maggie Duffy and Nora Whalen.  Biographies of the candidates can be found at this link.  More information about the online ballot will be coming soon!


Upcoming Board Meeting Agenda

The Avalon School Board typically meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6pm at Avalon School.  

Avalon School Board's next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 12th at 6:00pm.

The agenda can be found here: Avalon School Board Agenda, June 12th, 2018

The Avalon School Board's Finance Committee will meet prior to the meeting on the same day, at 5:40pm.

Avalon School Board Meeting Dates 2017-18:

  • August 22nd, 5pm
  • September 12th, 6pm
  • October 10th, 6pm
  • November 14th, 6pm
  • December 12th, 6pm
  • January 9th, 6pm
  • February 13th, 6pm
  • March 13th, 6pm
  • April 17th, 6pm
  • May 8th, 6pm
  • June 12th, 6pm


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 2016-2017

Equity – Seeking board training and use a lens of equity when reviewing board work.

Strategic Plan –Support and review strategic plan for 2017-2018.

Board Governance – Review and develop governance structure including meeting format and committee structure.


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.

Jill Stever-Zeitlin  

I am a parent of a new 7th grade Avalon student.  I am deeply grateful for the experience he is having, after transitioning from 5 years of homeschooling, and wish to contribute back to Avalon.  I believe deeply in the power of education to transform lives and am committed to equity and educational opportunity forall students.  I am a graduate of the first generation of progressive Open Schools opened in the 1970s in Minneapolis (Marcy, Marshall-U and South Open) and the student-led, project-based, social justice-infused approach of those programs had tremendous impact on me.  I can contribute skills to the board in strategic planning and organizational development developed through 16 years as a management consultant in the private and higher ed sectors and through service on the AchieveMpls board and Northside Job Creation Taskforce.  I am familiar with charter school authorization, school finance and planning and education fundraising from five years of working at Minneapolis Public Schools, including work to approve the district’s first teacher-led self-governed school.  

Regina Goldner

In 2005, Avalon School was introduced to Regina Goldner. She was enthusiastic about math, thought the co-op model was a great fit for her, and was ready share her love of project-based learning with everyone. Regina moved from Seattle, WA to Minnesota back in 2000, ready to make the world a better place; little did she know that teaching was going to be the way she would change the world. She had just graduated from Fairhaven College with a concentration in Environmental and Social Justice and didn’t even think she liked the youth of America. Now, years later, she is proud of her Master's in Education from the University of Minnesota and knows that teaching is the job of her dreams and Avalon the school which she loves.  Regina has loved serving as  the Treasure of the Board.  

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.


The Avalon School Board typically meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6pm at Avalon School.  

Avalon School Board's next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 13th at 6:00pm.

The agenda can be found here: Avalon School Board Agenda, March 13th, 2018

The Avalon School Board's Finance Committee will meet prior to the meeting on the same day, at 5:40pm.