School Board

2016-17 Board of Directors Roster - Updated 1.18.17  
2016-2017 Board of Directors Meeting and Workshop Calendar Schedule  

Contact the Board 

Board of Directors

 
Ann Watanabe, Board Chair, Parent
Date Seated: 7.1.13
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17
awatanabe@eagleridgeacademy.org
Ann Watanabe recently began working at Optum, a health services and innovation company; she has previous experience in consulting, has worked for a Fortune 50 consumer electronics retailer, and the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center.  Her background spans vendor management, managing data privacy, licensing, safety compliance, business ethics, as well as contract negotiations, executive recruitment, and human resources.  She is a past officer of Eagle Ridge Academy’s PTO, is a founding member of the Playground Committee, and was involved in various Administrative Search Work Groups at Eagle Ridge Academy, and the Governance Work Group, prior to being elected to the Board.  Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in East Asian Studies.  She believes it is important to serve all constituents of Eagle Ridge Academy as a Board member and endeavors to continue to build upon the mission and vision of the Academy.  Ann, her husband Hiro, and their two children live in Eden Prairie. Both children attend Eagle Ridge Academy, one in the School of Grammar, and one in the School of Logic.

 

 

April Grabanski, Vice Chair, Teacher
Date Seated: 7.1.13
Date Term Expires: 6.30.18
agrabanski@eagleridgeacademy.org
April Grabanski graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Central University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a concentration in Communication Arts. She helped start the Junior High program at Life Academy in Bloomington and worked there for seven years. In June of 2011, she finished her Master’s Degree in Education through Walden University. This is her fourth year teaching 5th grade at Eagle Ridge Academy. She has two children, Gabriel (2nd grade) and Esther (1st grade), who have both attend Eagle Ridge Academy since kindergarten. She is committed to Classical education and has earned a Classical Certificate from Nova Classical Academy and attended a seminar on Classical education at Hillsdale College in June of 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening with her husband Matthew, going to Twins games, studying, reading, and playing with her children.

 


Kathy Oberstar, Treasurer, Parent
Date Seated: 7.01.13
Date Term Expires: 6.30.18
koberstar@eagleridgeacademy.org
Kathy has worked at Cargill for the past 19 years in a variety of business and IT roles; she currently serves as the IT Service Manager for North America. Prior to working at Cargill, Kathy spent several years in Uganda, East Africa training community development workers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota. Kathy is passionate about bringing teams of people together to accomplish great things. She is looking forward to partnering with the board, and the entire Eagle Ridge community, to ensure we continue to bring alive and live out the mission and vision of the school. Kathy and her husband Peter live in Richfield with their two children. They have two children enrolled in the ERA School of Logic.


Erica Higgins, Secretary, Teacher
Date Seated: 7.1.14
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17
ehiggins@eagleridgeacademy.org 

Erica Higgins has been the band and orchestra director at Eagle Ridge Academy since February of 2013.  She is also the department chair for the music department for the 16-17 school year.  She earned a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Akron in 2009, where she was a graduate assistant for the music education faculty.  For two years she was the band director at Heritage Middle School in Newark, Ohio.  While in Newark she also served as the color guard instructor for Newark High School marching band, receiving superior ratings from each caption at the OMEA state competition in 2008.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Toledo in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in music education.  Erica enjoys time at home with her husband and one-year-old daughter.  She is honored and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors at Eagle Ridge Academy, and is excited to continue to build a bright future for the school.

 

Mateen Ashtiani, Parent
Date Seated: 1.10.17
Date Term Expires: 6.30.18
mashtiani@eagleridgeacademy.org

Mateen Ashtiani is a Software Architect working as a Knowledge Consultant for Ambient Consulting LLC. For the past 20 years, he’s worked on many projects for several Fortune 500 clients such as US Bank, 3M, Aon, Best Buy, Express Script, etc. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from San Diego State University in California. Mateen and his wife, Maryam, have two children and reside in Eden Prairie. Currently one of their children attends Eagle Ridge Academy in the School of Rhetoric. He is a true believer in strong education and committed to helping our younger generation achieve their goals. In his spare time, he likes to read, bike, hike, travel, and volunteer for several non-profit organizations.

 


Tiffany Goedjen, Teacher
Date Seated: 7.1.14
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17
tgoedjen@eagleridgeacademy.org

Tiffany Goedjen graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Sciences in Mathematics in 2004. She then went to get her teaching license and start work on her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota. She completed her teaching license in 2005 and received her Masters of Education in 2010.  Tiffany has been teaching math at Eagle Ridge Academy in grades 6 to 12 since 2010.  In her spare time, Tiffany spends time with her two young children Calvin and Katherine and her husband Kurt.  


Ashley Hudak, Teacher
Date Seated: 8.24.14 
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17
ahudak@eagleridgeacademy.org  

Ashley Hudak graduated from The College of Saint Benedict with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a concentration in Communication Arts and Literature. She has been a part of Eagle Ridge since 2012 and the 2nd grade team since then. Ashley has a strong focus on Classical education and has been involved with many Eagle Ridge Academy programs. When not performing school duties, she enjoys spending time hiking and travelling. 

 


Pete Larson, Parent
Date Seated: 7.1.08
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17 
plarson@eagleridgeacademy.org
Pete is the owner and President of Bethany Press International, a manufacturer of paperback books in Bloomington.  Prior to working in the book printing industry, he held management roles in advertising and food service in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He is a graduate from the Michigan Technological University School of Business with a degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations. Pete and his wife, Susan, have four children and reside in Shakopee.  They currently have one student at Eagle Ridge Academy in the School of Rhetoric, two that have graduated from Eagle Ridge Academy, and one who is a student at Eden Prairie High School.  Now serving his 9th year on the Board of Directors, he is passionate about Classical Education and is committed to the mission of Eagle Ridge Academy.

 

 

John Schwirtz, Community Member
Date Seated: 1.13.15
Date Term Expires: 6.30.17

jschwirtz@eagleridgeacademy.org 

John Schwirtz has been associated with Eagle Ridge Academy since the fall of 2004, when he entered the school as a 7th grader. As an ERA student, he was active in Student Senate, Mock Trial, and Junior Classical League. After graduating from ERA in 2010, he attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he studied in the Great Conversation program and eventually majored in Political Science with a concentration in Middle East Studies. His senior year, John served as president of the St. Olaf Student Government association. He currently works at Exosite, a Minneapolis-based Internet software company. A vocal proponent of classical education since his days in high school, John is excited to use his perspective as a young alumnus to partner with the board and the broader ERA community to ensure the success of its mission.

Wade Sutton, Teacher
Date Seated: 7.1.16
Date Term Expires: 6.30.18 

wsutton@eagleridgeacademy.org

Wade Sutton, M.Ed., currently teaches 7th and 8th grade English in the School of Logic at Eagle Ridge Academy. He earned his last degree at UMD. After working for two years as a substitute and supervising group homes for developmentally and physically disabled adults, he began teaching full time in 2004 in a private school in Mexico. He then taught for eight years in a rural public school before finally finding a home at Eagle Ridge Academy. Wade enjoys and values elevating the voices of practicing educators within their own profession, maintains a professional blog, and has recently begun to write for EducationPost. He was a member of the 2012 VIVA Minnesota Teachers Writing Collaborative that produced the report, 360 Degree Leadership: Evaluating Minnesota Principals which engaged him in larger, education policy. He and his wife, Pamela, are parents of four students at ERA in the School of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric (2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th grades). While primarily a parent and husband, Wade also enjoys seeing his students engage in learning and questioning, elevating the education profession, world travel, rebuilding his 1973 Fiat 850 Sport Spider and woodworking.

Jane Wegener, Teacher
Date Seated: 7.1.16
Date Term Expires: 6.30.18 

jwegener@eagleridgeacademy.org

Jane Wegener has been a Humanities teacher at Eagle Ridge Academy since the 2010 – 2011 school year. She has also taught a variety of writing elective courses and has founded and directed the Eagle Ridge Academy Improv Club. In 2010, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and English/Language Arts from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Since beginning her career at Eagle Ridge Academy, Jane has grown to love Classical education for how it challenges students to take their education beyond the classroom and to grow in virtue as students, citizens, and individuals. She looks forward to serving the school and its mission as a member of the Board of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, cycling, and going to sporting events with friends.


Jason Ulbrich, Executive Director
Ex Officio Member
No Expiration Term 
julbrich@eagleridgeacademy.org
Jason Ulbrich grew up primarily in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated from Big Lake High School.  After graduating high school, Mr. Ulbrich served in the US Army as an Infantryman and eventually as an Infantry and Armor officer. After graduating from St. Cloud State with a Biology and General Science Major. Mr. Ulbrich taught for seven years before earning a Master of Science Degree in Leadership and Specialist Degree in Education Leadership from St. Cloud State University. Mr. Ulbrich married Julie, who is also an educator. Together Jason and Julie have three children. Prior to joining the Eagle Ridge Academy Team, Mr. Ulbrich was a teacher and administrator in Delano, high school principal in Sauk Centre, and K-8 principal in St. Cloud.  Mr. Ulbrich has been with ERA since 2012 and looks forward to leading Eagle Ridge Academy on the never ending pursuit of excellence.