Meet the Candidates for 2020/2021 School Board

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Harry Adler - Community Member

Harry Adler has over 30 years of experience in education, financial and program management. His efforts as the Executive Director of a Minnesota Charter School led to significant growth in fund balance, enrollment, retention and the successful delivery of the school’s mission. He served in leadership roles at several Minnesota Private Schools and an education related non-profit. . He taught math, science, and experiential electives for fifteen years. Prior to earning his education licensure at University of St. Thomas, Harry held financial management and systems engineering roles at FMC. He holds undergraduate and advanced degrees from the University of Virginia.

Zach Fjelstad - Teacher Member

I have been the special education coordinator at Natural Science Academy since the Fall of 2017.  I have been a special education teacher since 2008, and I have worked in a variety of different charter schools around the metro area.  I originally sought out NSA because of how small it is and I understand that small schools offer a more family-type vibe for kids and staff; that's definitely true here at NSA.  In my spare time, I like to manage my small hobby farm in Wisconsin with my wife and two children, where we have goats, sheep, and chickens.  It is my personal mission in life to be a part of a program that allows kids to learn with their hands and to explore the outdoors every day. 

Scott Hessian - Teacher Member

Scott Hessian is in his fifth year at Natural Science Academy. He spent the first part of his time at NSA as an Owls K/1 teacher and currently is the reading interventionist for the school. Scott enjoys creating connections with all students and has been referred to as just a “big kid”. He has enjoyed working with students of all ages and began his teaching career teaching tennis. He taught tennis for 5 years prior to subbing in elementary schools and then starting his tenure at NSA. He graduated from Winona State University in 2007. Scott also enjoys exploring the natural world with his wife, his three sons and his Great Dane.

Kristi Ruport - Parent Member

Kristi Ruport and her husband Travis are proud parents to twin boys currently attending NSA and a daughter who will be graduating high school this year.  Kristi has a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship from St Cloud State University.  She worked in banking and financial services for 10 years prior to opening her own photography studio.  She has previously served as President and Program Director for the local non-profit organization Twin Cities Mothers of Multiples. Kristi is excited to remain actively involved in serving the wonderful community of NSA families and staff.

Tasha Steinmetz - Parent Member

This is my first year as a parent at NSA, with a kindergartener and soon my twins will be attending as well. I have a degree in Graphic Design, carry strong leadership skills and a positive outlook on life. I am a go-getter and enjoy being a part of a team. I like to be involved in any organization that involves my children and creating a future for them. NSA caught my attention as a small, local, environmentally friendly school that feels like a family. Everyone wants what is best for their family, and we find that here at NSA. I am an active PAC member, as well as on the Fundraising committee and Policy Committee. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, going to the beach, taking care of my plants and crafting. I strive to be the change I want to see in this world and for our kids future.