Board of Directors
Carol McFarlane, Board Chair, Community Member - Carol is a former White Bear Lake school board member and retired State Representative for our region. She served on the House’s Education, Finance and Policy and Workforce Development. Carol’s family also owns a small business in the area. Carol is the founder of our community group, Friends of Level Up Academy.
Dyan Handeland, Vice Chair, Community Member - "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela. Dyan believes that passion in education can drive change, and she is proud to serve a school as passionate and forward thinking as Level Up Academy. She has previous school board experience in the Los Angeles private sector and is a member of the National Association for Gifted Children, as well as the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented and the Homeschoolers Alliance. Dyan also serves on the planning committee for the MN Boychoir, and volunteers her time for various projects related to the arts and to children throughout the Twin Cities and Los Angeles. She and her husband Robert are a photography team whose work is published regularly and has been featured on Oprah, A&E, VH1, Bravo and many other platforms. She looks forward to applying her skills as a business owner, artist and especially as a mother, to Level Up Academy.
Christy Andacht, Board Treasurer - After being transferred to Minnesota from Atlanta, GA, Christy and her family settled in White Bear Lake. Christy served as the office manager for LUA's first school year and is proud to be a founding staff member. In 2016, she was named Executive Director at H2O for Life, a local non-profit that provides service-learning opportunities for schools in the U.S. Christy and her husband Jim, also own a small event planning business in Stillwater. She brings over 20 years of event planning, financial management and general administration experience and looks forward to applying her skills to Level Up Academy.
Lori Ahlness, Secretary, Community Member - Lori Ahlness is an educator with experience in both public and private education. She is a former Secondary School social studies teacher, and also has 14 years experience as an Early Childhood screener. Lori has her M.A degree in Teaching, and has completed graduate-level course work in education administration. She states she is excited to be involved with Level Up Academy's board of directors, and looks forward to contributing to the success of LUA's personalized learning mission.
Jenelle Nelson, Parent Member - I feel privileged to be part of the first charter school in the White Bear Lake area and believe our school has the leading edge with teacher driven classrooms, personalized learning, and powerful educational technology tools that set the pace for our young scholars. I'm grateful to have my children in a small, forward thinking, and loving school.
Jennifer Squires, Educator Representative – Jennifer has taught elementary education for five years. She graduated with her Bachelor's Degree from St. Cloud State University. She has taught Kindergarten, Third Grade, and Title I. She loves to watch children learn and explore through creative ways and is excited to join the Level Up Academy team.
Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes
Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month (unless noted otherwise in the agenda link below). We will meet at 6:00 PM in the Fireplace Room at the school (address below). For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
**Other documents available upon request. email@example.com
Carol McFarlance and Dyan Handeland
We are authorized by Innovative Quality Schools (IQS). On June 9, 2015 IQS declared Level Up Academy "Ready to Open." You may contact our IQS Liaison, Steve O'Connor at 651-234-0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Innovative Quality Schools, (IQS)
P.O. Box 40219
St. Paul, MN 55104
The Minnesota Department of Education
The Minnesota Department of Education has assigned public school district number 4233 to Level Up Academy.
On Feb 8, 2015 the Minnesota Department of Education awarded Level Up Academy a highly competitive Federal Charter Schools Startup Grant. The award provides $175,000.00 for implementation in 2015 and an additional $375,000.00 over the next two years.