Thomas AdamsBoard of Directors
Board of Directors
Dr. Thomas Adams is currently the president and CEO of Better Futures Minnesota. He was born and raised in St. Paul, MN. He received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from North Dakota State University, a Master’s degree in social work from Augsburg College and the Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University.
He’s worked in nonprofits for more than two decades and has consulted widely on nonprofit management, leadership and urban community challenges. Dr. Adams has taught community education, social work, human resource and business ethics classes to undergraduate- and graduate-level students.
His love for arts education was developed in elementary school when he was introduced to tap dancing and band in the second grade. Dr. Adams credits his seven years of music education as pivotal to laying the foundation for his academic success.
James AllenMusic Instructor High School
James Allen has a B.A. in music performance and a diploma of education. He joined the faculty in 1999 as a guitar specialist and also teaches jazz/rock theory, improvisation and history and styles. In addition to teaching at the arts high school, he is on the guitar faculty at MacPhail Center for Music. Allen has previously taught at a number of high schools and colleges in Minnesota and Australia. He has performed as a professional musician throughout the Twin Cities and the Midwest for the last 18 years both as a solo artist, a member of a number of bands and as a freelance musician. He is featured on several recordings, including a duo album with local jazz singer Vicky Mountain.
Pat BenincasaChair of Visual Arts Instruction High School
Chair of Visual Arts Instruction
Pat Benincasa was adjunct faculty in the foundations department at the College of Visual Arts for six years until its closing in June 2013. She also is on the faculty of St. Mary's University of Minnesota Graduate School of Business & Technology, where she teaches advertising design. In her current work about Rust Belt cities, Benincasa paints with industrial materials on sheet metal. She recently received an Award of Excellence from the American Juried Art Salon and was one of four artists selected for an artist residency and exhibit at the Toronto School of Art. She has a M.F.A. and M.A. from Wayne State University in Detroit and K-12 licensure from St. Catherine University, St. Paul.
Joćo BichinhoSocial Studies Instructor High School
Social Studies Instructor
João Bichinho received a B.A. in history from New England College, New Hampshire and an M.A. in teaching from Mankato State University. He has taught at Perpich since 1992. He previously taught at the American International School in Lisbon, Portugal; Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, and - while on leave in 2008-09 - at Quest Academy (a charter school) in St. Louis Park. He is originally from Mozambique, and has also lived in South Africa, Portugal and England.
Lauren BinaVisiting Artist Educator in digital art High School
Visiting Artist Educator in digital art
763-279-4200, firstname.lastname@example.orgLauren Bina studied photography and art education at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Bina has a studio located in Lowertown. There she creates sculptures that she then photographs in different environments. Bina currently works as an educator at the Walker Art Center and teaches an Introduction to digital photography and a digital Imaging course while at Perpich.
Tamika BrewerResidence Coordinator Resident Services
Rebecca BullenChair of Media Arts Instruction High School
Chair of Media Arts Instruction
High Schoolrebecca.email@example.comRebecca Bullen has worked with the Perpich Center for Arts Education since 2009. Her position has included media arts teacher, education specialist and during the 2013/14 school year she worked with Crosswinds Arts and Science School to develop its visual and media arts program.Bullen has presented at local and national conferences including Arts Educators of Minnesota, TIES, the Religious Educators Association and most recently, a media literacy session at the 2014 National Arts Educators Conference. In 2012 she received the Robert Rauschenberg Power of Art Award and in 2013 she traveled to New York with one of her media arts students to celebrate her gold key Scholastic Arts Award at Carnegie Hall.Prior to joining the Perpich faculty, Bullen worked with the non-profit organization TVbyGIRLS as associate director, youth program co-director, producer and instructor. Her job included writing media arts curriculum, teaching and designing workshops for a diverse community of youth.Bullen has a BFA in media arts and interactive design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and more than 15 years of experience in film and media production. Her roles have included producer at Twin Cities Public Television, associate producer for numerous nationally recognized independent documentary features and local commercial work.
Suzanne BurshAdministrative Assistant Outreach
Suzanne Bursh is lead administrative specialist and budget coordinator for Perpich Arts Outreach. She has helped to host numerous Perpich agency events, workshops and receptions. She studied elementary education at the University of Minnesota and pursued culinary training in hotel and restaurant cooking at the St. Paul Vocational and Technical School and baking at Dunwoody Institute.
Alina CampanaTurnaround Arts: Minnesota Director Outreach
Jan CareyBoard of Directors
Board of DirectorsJan Carey is a retired academic librarian, career educator and arts advocate. She holds a B.A. in speech communications and theater arts, along with a Minnesota secondary teaching license and an M.A. in information media, both from St. Cloud State University. Post-graduate work includes courses at the Umbria Institute, Perugia, Italy and Pembroke College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.In 2011, Carey completed a 29-year career in education with Hibbing Community College. Throughout her career, she was a state leader and advocate for library issues and systems, while advancing her passion for the arts in her community. Also during her career, she served as Hibbing chapter president of MN State College Faculty (MSCF), MSCF contract settlement campus coordinator, MSCF State Board of Directors, and MSCF State Executive Board.As an arts advocate, Carey coached and judged MSHSL one-act play contests and speech tournaments for more than 35 years. Currently, she is an evaluator for the Hennepin Theater Trust “Spotlight Musical Theater” program.Carey served and currently serves on several boards. Locally, these include the American Association of University Women, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Arrowhead Regional Theater, Encore of Hibbing, Fairview Range Hospital Auxiliary, Hibbing Public Library Board of Trustees, Mesabi Concert Association, MN Discovery Center, North Country Library Cooperative, Northern Lights Music Festival, Organs in Revue and Respite Care."The arts are my passion. To serve and support arts organizations and educational institutions that foster and build arts programs is, for me, life's most enriching experience."
Tom CarlsonEnglish Instructor High School
Tom Carlson teaches literature and writing. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. in teaching from the University of St. Thomas and has completed coursework toward licensure in secondary administration at St. Mary's University. Carlson received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to participate in a month-long summer institute in Ashland, Oregon, focusing on Teaching Shakespeare through Performance. During the spring of 2012, he was the recipient of an EdMN Foundation for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Technology grant, and has integrated iPads into his classroom instruction. His students have performed on KFAI through the W.A.V.E. program and on the stage at the Walker as part of Teen Art Council's "Bad Art Night."
Kevin ClarkEnglish Instructor High School
Kevin Clark earned a B.A. in German and speech communications from Westmar College and taught English in Francophone West Africa (Chad and Senegal) with the Peace Corps. Upon completion of his foreign service, he attended the University of North Dakota, where he completed graduate coursework in German literature with a minor in French. He helped to create, and currently teaches, a course with the University of Minnesota/College in the Schools program in communications. Clark was a leader for a trip to Berlin and St. Petersburg with the Perpich Arts High School Study Tour class in 2008. He also has led Perpich class trips to China in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He received a Fulbright Award in 2013 to travel to Germany for studies there.
Joshua ClausenElectronic Music Instructor High School
Electronic Music Instructor
Clausen is a Minneapolis-based composer, music producer and educator. He is a co-founder of Slam Academy, a small business dedicated to community education in the electronic arts. Clausen has composed works for the Renegade Ensemble, the Antithesis Project, AVIDduo, Keith Kirchoff and Kyle Hutchins and has recently been awarded commissioning grants from the Jerome Foundation and MacPhail Center for Music. Clausen’s work has been presented at numerous festivals and conferences of new music including the International Computer Music Conference, Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest and the Spark festival. Clausen earned a B.M. (theory) and M.A. (composition) degrees from Concordia College and the University of Minnesota, respectively.
John ColburnLiterary Arts Instructor High School
Literary Arts Instructor
John Colburn, who teaches seniors in literary arts, is an editor and co-publisher for Spout Press as well as an adjunct faculty member at Hamline University. He has an M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. He has published a book of fiction, "Invisible Daughter" (firthFORTH Books, 2013) and a volume of poetry, "Psychedelic Norway" (Coffee House Press, 2013). With his wife, Sarah Fox, he tends The Center for Visionary Poetics in Minneapolis and he is also a member of the improvised music collective Astronaut Cooper's Parade.
Nathan CoulterBoard of Directors
Board of Directors
Nathan Coulter graduated from St. Olaf College in 2008 with a degree in music education and political science. He now serves as legislative assistant to state Sen. Melissa Halvorson Wiklund (DFL-Bloomington), who serves on both the education policy and finance committees. He teaches Sunday school at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
Daniel CrapoResidence Coordinator Resident Services
Bill CrutcherBoard of Directors
Stephan DalyBoard of Directors
Anne DennisonLibrarian Library
Anne Dennison graduated from The College of St. Catherine with a master's degree in library and information science. She joined the Perpich Library staff in the fall of 2010. Previously, she taught English in Bratislava, Slovakia for two years and worked at Hennepin County Library. She loves reading young adult literature and playing drums.
Lori DirckxAccounting Technician Finance
Karla DonnerFront Desk/Attendance Clerk High School
Elaine DrivasSpanish Instructor High School
Elaine Drivas teaches Spanish at the arts high school. She received an undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She participated in a junior year abroad program at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. She received an M.A. in teaching (secondary Spanish) from the University of St. Thomas. She also has licensure in bilingual education and ESL from Hamline University. Before coming to Perpich, she taught middle school in Minneapolis Public Schools.
Nathan DuffyDirector of Technology IT
Craig FarmerArt History Instructor High School
Art History Instructor
Craig has been teaching art history at the high school level since 1992. He started his teaching career at the Field School of Washington, DC. He recently participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ "Empires of the Wind" Workshop in San Diego. In the summer of 2015, he received a College Board Scholarship to attend an Advancement Placement Art History Exam Redesign Workshop in Miami. Since 2008 he has been an adjunct instructor in The University of Minnesota’s Curriculum and Instructor Department. Craig holds a B.A. in art history and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.A. in teaching from the University of St. Thomas. He was the graduation speaker for the classes of 2002, 2011, and 2015.
Bob FreySocial Studies Instructor High School
Social Studies Instructor
Bob Frey began teaching at the arts high school in 2002. Prior to teaching, he worked in the Twin Cities legal community. He has a B.A. in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He completed coursework for his teaching certification at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He's performed in Minneapolis as a singer-songwriter since 1993 and continues to write, play and perform.
Jody GentzStudent Records Coordinator Student Services
Student Records Coordinator
Jody Gentz has worked at Perpich Arts High School since June, 1997. She began as the attendance clerk and two years later began helping with admissions work. She was shortly promoted to records coordinator and began to work closely with admission process.
Todd GoetzeAccounting Finance
Kathy GrundeiEducation Specialist - Arts Integration Outreach
Shannon HanniganLiterary Arts Instructor High School
Literary Arts Instructor
Shannon Hannigan has taught literary arts to arts high school juniors since 1994. Prior to this, she worked in publishing and book sales, editing and photo composition. She completed the coursework for an M.A. in liberal studies, creative writing emphasis, at Hamline University, and earned a B.A. in English and secondary education at Macalester College.
Mary HardingDance Instructor High School
Mary Harding has been head of the dance program at the arts high school since 1990. She created the curriculum for the current program and teaches the dance majors as well as elective courses. She has also worked on the Minnesota FACS (Framework for Arts Curriculum) project, the Minnesota Arts Standards and has presented at the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference, Minnesota DAPE conference, national and state AAPHERD conventions and at the Minnesota Dance Educator's Coalition workshops.
In her dance career she has performed professionally with ballet, jazz and modern companies in repertory ranging from Pas de Quatre to works by Bebe Miller. While a member of the Zenon Dance Company, Harding taught master classes and dance residencies in schools across the nation. In addition to her work at the arts high school, she continues to freelance as a choreographer, performer and teacher in the Twin Cities.
She received the SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship for 2002 and studied at Bates Dance Festival as a result of this fellowship. The National Dance Association and Sportime named her the National Dance Teacher of the Year for 2002 and she was a featured teacher in the Annenberg Foundation's video series "The Art of Teaching the Arts" which premiered in 2005.
She received a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the College of St. Catherine. Her research, "Peer Coaching in the Arts Classroom," received the Sister Ann Harvey Action Research Award in 2008 and was published in the June 2009 edition of Journal of Dance Education. Her article, "Assessment in the High School Technique Class: Creating Thinking Dancers," was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Dance Education.