Student Services Staff
Ekpedeme AkpanDirector of Human Resources Administration
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.
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.
Peg BirkInterim Executive Director Administration
Interim Executive Director
Birk is the founder and CEO of Interim Solutions, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm that works with foundations, non-profit organizations and associations undergoing management and organizational changes. She partners with boards of directors, staff and stakeholders to maximize leadership transitions.
Birk brings to her change management expertise the executive experience as executive director for the George Family Foundation; interim president for the McKnight Foundation; interim president of the Forum for Theological Exploration; Transitional General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; co-executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, interim executive director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Interim CEO of Sholom Community Alliance.
Prior to founding Interim Solutions, Birk was senior vice president and general counsel for Federated Insurance; city attorney for the City of St. Paul; general counsel for AIG’s U.S. insurance business; and senior government affairs counsel and senior corporate counsel for The St. Paul Companies. She holds a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Houston. She is a certified Somatic Coach through the Strozzi Institute.
Birk’s civic engagement includes serving on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Global Rights for Women board of directors. She previously served on the McKnight Foundation board of directors, the Hamline University board of trustees, the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation board of directors, the International Alliance of Executive Women, the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable board of directors and was co-chair of the Center for Religious Inquiry.
Linda BrobeckBoard of Directors
Board of Directors
email@example.comLinda L. Brobeck is a visual artist and writer who creates with a variety of materials and the written word. She is an avid story teller and writes non-fiction and fiction as well as contributing to several blogs. Brobeck works at a rural studio, Crow River North, also the name of of her blog and ceramics sites.She believes that art should be accessible to all and contributes to the arts community not only through her personal work, but also as a director on the Central Minnesota Arts Board, director on the board of Perpich Center for Arts Education and her memberships and work with arts organizations and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.She hopes to eventually open the Crow River North studio site for self-actualization retreats. Linda holds a master's in visual art/studio art from University of Wisconsin.
Rebecca BullenChair of Media Arts Instruction High School
Chair of Media Arts Instruction
High Schoolrebecca.firstname.lastname@example.orgRebecca 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 Directorsjaneen.email@example.comJan 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).
Nathan CoulterBoard of Directors
Board of Directors
Nathan Coulter graduated from St. Olaf College in 2008 with a BA in music education and a BA in 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
Dan Crapo started volunteering with youth at a community center in 1996. Since then he has volunteered, both part-time and fulltime, in various youth organizations. He has lived and worked in the Twin Cities since 2012 and is from Indianapolis. He received bachelor's and master's degrees of divinity from Cornerstone University. He enjoys bicycling, hiking, playing soccer, coaching kids' sports and reading anything by Wendell Berry. He is married with two sons.
Fun fact: In one year during college he was both the Golden Eagle Atheletic Department winner in soccer and acted in an original adaptation of "Wuthering Heights."
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
Julia DonnellyBoard of Directors
Board of Directorsjulia.firstname.lastname@example.orgJulia Donnelly graduated from Perpich in 2001 in literary arts. Upon graduation, she attended the College of St. Catherine and the University of Minnesota.Donnelly has a degree in political science and has spent the last 10 years in policy making, both in Washington, D.C. and Minnesota. Currently, she serves as political and legislative director for the Operating Engineers Local 49, a building and construction trade union.Her time at Perpich helped form her world view, fostered her passion for social justice, and taught her to always speak up. Donnelly is extremely proud to be a Perpich alum and carries her love for the school into her role as a board member.
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 DuffyTechnology Staff 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 Instruction 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
Jody GramsBoard of Directors Board of Directors
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.
Linda HenningBoard of Directors
Board of Directorslinda.email@example.comLinda Henning has more than 40 years’ experience in the public, non-profit and private sectors in a variety of professional, managerial and leadership positions. She currently serves as manager, special projects, at Metropolitan Council Environmental Services. Her past or current work has focused on public and intergovernmental relations, real estate financing, economic development and affordable housing, environmental issues and environmental and arts education.Henning is able to deploy a broad and deep knowledge of metropolitan, state and federal government programs, initiatives, policies and practices to develop successful and long-lasting partnerships. She is recognized nationally for innovation and excellence in environmental education and creating collaborative partnerships, integrating the arts and science.Experienced in leading inter-disciplinary teams in large, complex public organizations, Henning addresses emerging issues or creates new solutions to long-term problems. Her work leading teams includes creating and institutionalizing an organizational culture of collaboration, identifying and tracking opportunities for climate change adaptation, identification and reporting of greenhouse emissions, promoting sustainability/green building design and construction, developing regional environmental education programs and coordinating multiple partnership activities in the area of Mississippi River redevelopment and preservation.Henning is experienced in crisis communications and change management. She also is a passionate arts enthusiast. Recent board experience includes serving as a member and/or officer of Perpich Foundation, Art and Science Academy charter school and the Minneapolis Athenaeum.