The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Get To Know New Community Members

New additions to various departments, administration introduce themselves

N’Jai-An Patters, new Upper School social studies teacher, enjoys lactose-free ice cream and The Princess Bride. This year, Patters will be teaching Civics, Global Power and Resistance, and AP Government & Politics. 

Ali Hecker

Inspired by her professors at Washington University, Patters has been teaching for ten years with a passion for helping students “become themselves.” 

Aside from remembering the delicious lunch from years ago, she was excited for a job here because, “I feel like people come to Blake because they’ve heard of Blake and the [opportunities and resources] that are available, I think to me as a teacher but also as students, are things that you can’t get at other schools.”


Once a Mustang, now a Bear, new Spanish Teacher Laura Rodríguez-Durán, Profe Rodríguez, is excited to join the Upper School community after teaching at Breck for the past three years. 

Tarun Gopalakrishnan

Rodríguez-Durán’s first impression of Blake was positive: “My first interview was with a group of students. And I remember asking them after the interview… what they like about Blake and how [they] see [themselves] after graduat[ion]. I remember the answers that they gave me … [and] I’m already feeling that this is a phenomenal place to be.” 

Since moving to Minneapolis from California, Rodríguez-Durán has tried many different cuisines. “I like Red Rabbit, they have very good pasta. I like Centro for tacos. And Spoon and Stable.” 


First, a dental hygienist, then a wedding planner, now the attendance coordinator at the Upper School, Stephanie Johnson has always been a believer of “letting the universe guide you.” 

Amelia Bush

“I realized that the stress [in dental hygiene] wasn’t worth it, I wasn’t finding joy anymore… I loved planning things for people…so I went into wedding planning. And it filled my creative side, but now I’m missing the type A side. Like, what’s going to balance that out? And here I am,” she says.

Growing up, Johnson attended Saint Louis Park High School (SLP). “When I was in high school, Blake and SLP were rivals, especially [for] hockey…it’s kind of funny that now, I work here,’” says Johnson.

“I just randomly searched one day [for a school setting job] and the job popped up and I thought ‘this feels right,” says Johnson. “In my heart I feel like this is going to work.’” 


Meredith Webster welcomes a new experience after teaching at Saint Louis Park High School for the past eight years.

Yoni Zacks

One of her first teaching experiences was when she “had a wonderful opportunity to volunteer at a public school when I was in college.” Her motivation to teach math came from her enjoyment of it.  

Webster will be teaching Geometry and Algebra II this year. “I’m excited to get to meet Blake students and experience classes with all of you,” she says.

Outside of math, Webster loves Star Wars,“Especially with the Ashoka series coming out, it’s a requirement [to watch],” she remarks. Webster also enjoys dining at Brasa, and Hola Arepa, a Latin American restaurant.

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About the Contributors
Ali Hecker, Community News Editor
Hi, I’m Ali and I am a junior. This is my second year on Spectrum. Last year, I wrote as a staff writer, and this semester, I am the student life editor. My favorite part about Spectrum is getting to know more about the people in my community and being part of a team. I love pasta, reading, and hanging out with friends.
Gabi Marmet, Food Editor
Hi! My name is Gabi and I am a Junior. This will be my third year in writing for the paper, and my second semester on the Spectrum editorial team. This semester I am the editor for Food and in the past, I was an editor for Arts and Culture. I am so excited to be an editor again and can't wait to improve my journalism skills! I am a competitive dancer and play ultimate frisbee, tennis, and soccer. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also have a dog named Lila who is an Australian Labradoodle!
Ethan Klaiman, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Ethan Klaiman, and I am a Junior. I am the editor of the sports page, and have been a part of the Spectrum team since early in my sophomore year. Outside of Spectrum, I enjoy playing/watching sports, spending time with my friends, and catching up on sleep.
Amelia Bush, Managing Editor
Hi everyone! My name is Amelia and I am a junior. This year I am editing the perspectives page and am managing editor. My favorite part of Spectrum is the people, I love the fun supportive energy that it brings. I joined Spectrum freshman year as a writer and became an editor in my sophomore year. Some things that I like are Taylor Swift, tennis, and lacrosse.
Evan Vezmar, Managing Editor
Hi, my name is Evan Vezmar, and I'm a senior. I began writing for Spectrum in my freshman year as a staff writer and became an editor in 10th grade. Last spring, I was a managing editor, and this year, I will continue that role along with being the Opinions editor. My favorite part of Spectrum is being able to give a voice to people who may not be able to through the news. In my free time, I like to read, play the piano, and fence.
Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Sports Editor
My name is Tarun Gopalakrishnan and I am a sophomore. I began writing for Spectrum as a freshman last year and I am now the sports editor this year. Outside of school, I enjoy playing tennis and watching television. I would also consider myself to be an avid Minnesota sports fan.
Steven Cao, Things To Do Editor
My name is Steven Cao and I am a sophomore. I started writing articles for Spectrum during freshman year and became an editor this year. Outside of school, I enjoy playing tennis competitively and reading DC comics. I will be editing the "Things to do" page. My favorite part of being in Spectrum is being able to communicate and work with others.
Yoni Zacks, Student News Editor
Hi! My name is Yoni Zacks, and I am a junior. I am the Student News editor and in charge of multimedia production. I have been writing for Spectrum since the first cycle of my freshman year, and this is my third semester as an editor.  Outside of Spectrum, I like to watch sports, play tennis, and discuss politics.

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