Level Up Academy is always looking for friendly, professional, and qualified substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, Kitchen staff and Extended day. Please call us at 651-408-5559 to receive information about how to become a valued member at our school.
Molly Dandelet, EdS., Director - Molly holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. Recently, she completed her Educational Specialists degree, also from St. Thomas, and holds her K-12 Principal Licensure. Along with her formal education, parenting three boys with three different learning styles has greatly influenced her educational philosophy. Because of this, she is a proponent of personalized learning plans for all students. She passionately believes that the three vital components of student success are focusing on students’ strengths, encouraging student voice and advocacy, and building relationships with students. This year, in addition to director, Molly is the computer science middle school teacher. She is an advocate for computer science for all students, and looks forward to leading students on their journey through computational thinking, computer programing, and creativity. She is looking forward to another great year at Level Up Academy!
651-408-5559 ext. 302
Daniel Juhlke, Dean of Students - Daniel is a passionate educator and is privileged to be involved in the greatest profession in the world. Daniel was a collegiate baseball player and graduated with a bachelor’s degree and K-12 Teaching License in Physical Education from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Daniel then attended the University of Iowa International Job Fair and accepted a job offer from an IB World School (Gyeonggi Suwon International School), and served international students as an Athletic Director, Physical Education, and Health Teacher. During his time in South Korea, he received his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Simpson University in Redding, California. Daniel is currently pursuing his Minnesota K-12 Principal License through the University of Minnesota, and is scheduled to complete the program in 2018. Daniel has a passion for student success and believes nourishing strong relationships is the key for this success. As an educational leader, Daniel seeks to empower and cultivate success in all of his Level Up Academy teammates and students, and is excited to be a part of the LUA Community!
651-408-5559 ext. 210
Leslie Sieleni, Office Manager - Leslie comes to LUA with over 20 years of office management experience. In addition to her office management skills, she also brings 18 years of experience as a disability advocate at the state and local levels. She has been involved with the Arc Minnesota Public Policy Committee and the Department of Education Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP).
Leslie and her husband, John, live in White Bear Lake. They have three children and five grandchildren. In her free time, Leslie and her family enjoy spending time up north.
Leslie is excited and very much looking forward to continuing her journey with Level Up Academy!
651-408-5559 ext. 300
Amber Espinosa, LUA Teacher - As the parent of two children attending Level Up Academy, Amber has seen firsthand that personalized learning can make a life-changing difference. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa in 1999, and a master’s degree in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry from Luther Seminary in 2011. She has been working with children and young people all her life—as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, as a minister, and as a teacher. Amber believes every person has unique gifts and strengths, and that surrounding children with encouraging and empowering adults is the key to helping children grow into fullness of life. Amber is excited about all the possibilities that the Summit Learning system offers to LUA middle schoolers. She spent part of her summer as a Summit Learning Fellow, training teachers from across the country in Summit Learning.
Amber lives in Lino Lakes with her husband, Nathan, and their three sons, Carver, Zach, and Andrew. She loves camping, hiking, boating, swimming,g and relaxing with a good book.
Joel Giese, LUA Teacher - Joel earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Winona State University in 2002. Since then, his sense of adventure has afforded him the opportunity to teach in a public school in Arizona, a community school in Germany, a Montessori school in Minnesota, and a private school in Mexico. He is looking forward to his second year at LUA! He also looks forward to continue creating a stimulating, encouraging, and supportive environment for all students, and to making a difference to children around the world.
651-408-5559 ext. 204
Lynn Hopwood, Special Education Coordinator - Lynn received her Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology and a master’s degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of Nebraska. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Certificate of Education in Autism from St. Thomas University. Lynn is a nationally certified School Psychologist, and while she began her journey in education as a Special Education teacher, she has spent the majority of her career in a dual role as School Psychologist and Special Education Coordinator.
Lynn has worked with students of all ages and with different learning styles. She discovered that through personalized learning and differentiation, LUA does a superb job of providing what all students need to be successful in school.
Lynn lives in St. Paul with her husband and her Wheaten Terrier, Oliver. She enjoys spending time with her family, including 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren, and her friends. She enjoys cooking, reading, gardening and traveling. She also enjoys spending time with educators and students, and is looking forward to another great year at LUA!
651-408-5559 ext. 301
McKenzie Kruse, LUA Teacher - McKenzie is the Special Education Teacher at Level Up Academy. She is excited to start her first year here! McKenzie holds her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Saint Benedict, and is currently finishing her master’s degree in Special Education at Saint Mary’s University. Before Special Education, McKenzie was enroute to become an Occupational Therapist when her job as a paraprofessional changed her path. She worked for four years as a Special Education paraprofessional in her hometown of Hastings, Minnesota, and loved watching her students reach their goals. She made the switch and loves the new experiences she is encountering. McKenzie sees herself as a lifelong student and believes in a growth mindset. She enjoys building positive relationships with her students and their families. She believes that these relationships are the key to the success of each student. Ms. Kruse loves to explore new technology and have fun in the classroom! When not teaching, she can be found up north on the lake.
651-408-5559 ext. 122
Amelia Wykes, LUA Teacher - Amelia graduated from Hamline University with a bachelor’s degree in K-6 Elementary Education and Studio Arts. Since graduating, Amelia has been teaching Kindergarten. She is particularly drawn to teaching Kindergarten because she believes it is a special time in a child's life and she is excited to be a part of that. Amelia enjoys building strong relationships with her students and their families, which she believes is key to a student's success. Amelia lives in Minneapolis with her dog and two cats. She likes to spend her time traveling, painting, and spending time with family and friends.
651-408-5559 ext. 100
Jill Knutson, LUA Teacher - Jill received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and her master's degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. Go Gophers!
She has worn many different hats since finishing school—general education paraprofessional, before and after school care, Title 1 teacher, ADSIS behavior teacher, and classroom teacher (kindergarten). Jill loves teaching the youngest of learners through exploration, movement, sharing, and play.
Jill lives with her husband, Derrick, and four-legged friend, Russell the Corgi, in North Branch, Minnesota. They love spending their summer time camping around the state, biking state trails, and putzing around the yard. In the winter time, Jill loves to knit and watch the Minnesota Timberwolves.
651-408-5559 ext. 100
Charlie Daniels, LUA Teacher - I earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Temple University in 1990. After time spent traveling, including walking across the United States and pursuing a career in the coffee business, I found the true calling of teaching. I then earned my master’s degree through Hamline University. This 2018-19 school year is my 4th year teaching, and I am excited to be a part of such a unique school. I truly believe in the ability of everyone to be a lifelong learner. I enjoy making connections with students and sharing the passion of learning how to learn. I have called Minnesota home for 25 years. I have two sons, ages 23 and 17, two dogs—a lab and a pug—as well as a cat. I enjoy riding my bicycle, and this past summer I participated in the MS150 bike ride. I am a huge baseball fan, especially the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. I also have a passion for coffee and record stores.
651-408-5559 ext. 134
Katy Jermann, Teacher - As a graduate from Iowa State University, Katy (Moen) Jermann received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, with endorsements in Special Education, Reading, and English Language Arts. She taught as a classroom assistant throughout high school and college in the summer at an extended year school for students with moderate to severe disabilities. After student teaching in both a classroom for students with special needs and in a 4th grade room, she worked as a co-teacher in a German-immersion preschool and as a high school boys' and girls' cross country and track coach while training with Team USA Minnesota, an Olympic development group for American distance running. Now, as LUA's Title 1 Reading and Math interventionist, Katy's experience working with a variety of abilities and ages gives her a unique and creative perspective of student learning.
Inline with Level Up Academy's mission of personalized learning for all, she believes all students deserve an education that is appropriate and accessible. Katy is beyond excited to reconnect with students after a long summer break and begin her second year at LUA.
Jennifer Squires, LUA Teacher - My name is Mrs. Jennifer Squires. I am excited to be returning for my third year at LUA in first grade. This will be my 8th year of teaching.
What I love most about Level Up Academy is the personalized learning. In my free time I enjoy going on adventures with my husband and two teenage children, as well as crafting.
651-408-5559 ext. 104
Amelia Walker, LUA Teacher - Amelia received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Butler University in Indianapolis. After graduating, she headed back home to Illinois where she taught for five years. Four years ago, she made the move to Minnesota from Chicago to work with education technology companies. After training and working with teachers and students across Minnesota, Amelia knew her heart was in teaching and transitioned back into the classroom. Her favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with her colleagues, students, parents, and community. She also loves to inspire her students to be lifelong learners and enjoys growing right alongside them. She is thrilled to start her 10th year in education at LUA!
Currently, Amelia resides in New Hope with her husband, Jack, and two dogs, Reggie and Easton. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and loves her Chicago sports teams - especially the Chicago Cubs! Go Cubs Go!
651-408-5559 ext. 208
Mike Stoesz, LUA Teacher - Michael Stoesz, aka Mr. Mike, holds a Master's Degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University and a Graduate Certificate in STEM Education from the University of St Catherine. His experience includes Classroom Teacher, Math Specialist and STEM Teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. He recently returned from teaching Kindergarten through Second Grade in the remote Alaskan village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Teaching at LUA is a new adventure and he is excited about the opportunity to build a STEAM program. He loves tinkering and creating in the Engineer Design Cycle and hopes to engage students in imaging, designing, building and refining, fun projects that compliment LUA content learning.
651-408-5559 ext. 126
Amy Colombo, LUA Teacher - Amy Colombo, LUA Teacher- Amy completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Health Science from the College of St. Benedict. She is passionate about health education, and completed graduate level work at St. Catherine University in health and science.
Amy believes in the connection between the emotional and physical health of a child and the ability to learn in the best way possible, and incorporates strategies for these connections into her teaching. She is excited about individualized learning because it gives students the focus on themselves as the learner, as well as the responsibility for themselves to use their tools to learn. Parenting three children with different ways of learning has solidified this belief in seeking ways to make learning work for each student. Amy is excited for the school year at Level Up Academy!
651-408-5559 ext. 226
Paige Nelson, LUA Teacher - Paige holds an undergrad degree in psychology and health-related sciences from Bethel University and a k-6 elementary teaching license from the College of Saint Scholastica, where she is currently working on her masters. Before joining us at Level Up Academy, Paige had worked at Hinckley Elementary teaching 3rd grade, pre-kindergarten, and early childhood family education. She also has experience working with title 1 services. Paige is excited about the opportunities LUA provides for all students with different needs and abilities. She strives to have valuable relationships with each one of her students, create lifelong learners, and to help every child reach their full potential. She is looking forward to a wonderful year at Level Up Academy.
651-408-5559 ext. 200
Anessa Beimert, LUA Teacher - Anessa received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and in Pre-primary education from Bethel University.
Anessa has taught preschool and kindergarten for 15 years and most recently special education. Anessa loves teaching all learners through exploration, movement, art integration and open communication.
Anessa lives with her husband, Jeff, their 3 kids, Aylee-13, Asher-11, Bristol-8 and four legged friends, Bishop, Harold and Rylee, in Cedar, Minnesota. They love spending their summer time camping, swimming, biking, kayaking and fishing! In her spare time she loves to read and drive her children around to their activities. She loves all things Disney!
651-408-5559 ext. 201
Diane Noll, LUA Music Teacher - Diane Noll has been teaching music at Level Up Academy since our opening year in 2015. She received her degree in Music Education from Hamline University. While she has had many work experiences before teaching (flight attendant, cantor, actor), teaching music is what she enjoys most! Along with teaching general music, she also provides piano lessons for interested students at Level Up Academy. She is married with 3 children and 2 grandchildren. It has been a wonderful experience for her to teach music at Level Up Academy! She is looking forward to another rewarding year at LUA!