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Our Staff


Leah Brzezinski

Founder & Executive Director

Inspired by her two twice-exceptional sons, Leah founded Arete Academy in 2014. Even though Leah doesn't come to school each day, she is still committed to creating an environment where bright students who learn differently can feel a sense of belonging, have the opportunity to build on their strengths, and reach their fullest potential.

Max Melby

Administrative Specialist

Max joined Arete in 2014. He was on the hunt to find an environment where teachers could teach kids in the way that they needed to be taught. He has been so grateful to participate in education innovation and has found a lovely, quirky home in the 2e community.


Jamie Teigen

Admissions Director

Jamie joined Arete in 2014 because she was interested in the mission of celebrating the strengths of this unique learner population while simultaneously providing support in areas of need. She has stayed because she loves the work, relationships, and ability to see such growth in students when they are in a place that supports their potential. 

Molly Dunnigan

Operations Director

Molly joined Arete in 2016. For her entire career as an educator, she has never worked in a "typical" classroom setting. She feels that all kids are capable of great things and that working with the ones who learn differently (a lot like her!) are the most rewarding and fun.


Haley Reese

Math Teacher

Haley joined Arete in 2016 and hasn't had a dull day since. Arete gives Haley the ability to support her students in ways that aren't usually possible in other schools and she loves being a part of this school community.

Betsy Gill

Language Arts Teacher

Betsy joined Arete in 2019 and has enjoyed finding ways to connect students with text and finding ways to make it easier and more effective to write. She loves seeing the curiosity that 2e students bring


Molly Longtin

Science Teacher

Molly joined Arete in 2022 and is so excited to be a part of the team at Arete! Molly has a background in environmental science and teaching as a naturalist. Molly makes a point to make it a point to practice patience, model vulnerability, and foster community as a teacher.

Arianna Marciniak

Social Studies Teacher

Arianna joined Arete in 2023. Arianna is in her 5th year of teaching and she believes it is her job to make education as a whole work better for students. She is excited to support student strengths and become a part of the Arete community!

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Michelle Mathias

Enrichments, WIN, and

Afterschool Activities

Michelle joined Arete in 2023. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2020 with a degree in Psychology and French. Michelle has worn a variety of hats in the last few years- tutoring, housing resource navigator, language teaching assistant in France, and counselor at Adventures in Cardboard to name a few!

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