New year, new classes, new teachers

Say hello to a new sophomore dean, choral director, printmaking teacher, learning specialist, and two new math teachers

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Emma Swenson

ANNE RUBIN, GRADE DEAN 

The sophomore class’ new Grade Dean and American Literature teacher, Anne Rubin, is passionate, caring, and highly enthusiastic for this year.

As a grade dean, she hopes to help “coach students to have conversations with teachers that can sometimes be uncomfortable” and “think outside the box” when concerning student goals and how she can help them grow.

Outside of school, she enjoys cooking and baking, but most importantly, she values spending time with her 4-year-old son. She also maintains her tradition of visiting a new dessert place in Minneapolis every Saturday night, which has transformed her son into a “little foodie!”

Be sure to stop by her office in the math wing to get to know her and chat about school, life, and Glam Doll Donuts.

JESSE WILLIAMS, MATH TEACHER 

After being an attorney for 12 years, Jesse Williams made a brave career change and decided to become a math teacher. She says, “I knew I have always wanted to teach,” and went on to talk about her love for math.

She praises the school’s math curriculum, as that was one of the factors that intrigued her about the school.

She expresses that “math should be explored, not memorized.” Williams is most excited to “share the exploration of new mathematics with students” this year.

Williams is a hockey and cub scouts mom. She also enjoys reading, running, yoga and gardening outside of school.

ERIN STUHLSATZ, MATH TEACHER 

“I am a huge nerd about math, specifically calculus!” Erin Stuhlsatz, a new math teacher, expresses as she recounts her experience watching one of Dr.  Andy Cantrell’s lectures at the U of M. Dr. Cantrell’s lecture instantly pulled her towards the school and the math curriculum.

After asking what encouraged her to become a teacher, Stuhlsatz expresses, “I had a lot of things I didn’t want to do and actually the top of that list was be a math teacher.”

Stuhlsatz is not only passionate about calculus; she’s fluent in Chinese and taught English in China for two years.

One of Stuhlsatz’s favorite hobbies is baking bread with her husband.

She, like Henschel, is also currently training for the Twin Cities Marathon.

ELIZABETH FLINSCH, PRINTMAKING AND PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER 

The new printmaking and photography teacher, Elizabeth Flinsch is passionate about her art classes this year.

She describes the process of how one uses light and dead bugs to make art, saying, “It’s super nerdy, but it’s also really awesome.”

Since Flinsch will be teaching Printmaking II and Photography, she looks forward to students discovering things not only about art, but also about themselves. She says, “Maybe you just hadn’t thought that art was a vehicle to those types of self discovery…I think those moments are ones that I really treasure and look forward to as a teacher.”

In her spare time, Flinsch makes bread in a handmade wood fire oven and teaches sustainable food systems and local food processing systems. “Usually, if you hang around me, you get tons of baked goods,” Flinsch says with a smile.

BEN HENSCHEL, CHORAL DIRECTOR 

“Norman’s a spaz!” Ben Henschel exclaimed while showing pictures of his adorable black lab, Herley, and Norman the Jack Russell Terrier.

The new choir teacher had lots to share about his personal life as well as his first impressions here and his hopes for the oncoming year.

After chatting about great brunch places (Tilia came out on top), Henschel described his excitement to “meet new students” and to “get into the rehearsal process” with them, saying that “that’s where the best music happens!”

Alongside teaching at Blake, Henschel also collaborates with several other choirs, enjoys biking, and is currently training for the Twin Cities Marathon.

JODY THACKER, LEARNING SPECIALIST 

“I think people are always surprised when I say ‘Oh yeah, I worked at Disney World,’” Jody Thacker, the new US learning specialist, says as she went on to talk about her experience working in the Animal Kingdom of Disney World.

Now that she’s out of Disney and at Blake, she’s excited for “helping people to find their strengths.”

Thacker has previously worked with high school students transitioning to college, and is eager to work with high schoolers again. Her observation of “students’ willingness to learn and engage” is something that motivates and excites her for her first year here.

Her ambition reveals her dedication to helping students succeed, but when she’s not helping students, she enjoys bike riding and any other activity that involves her two young daughters.