Sarah Berger – Chair
Sarah joined the Board after witnessing the amazing opportunity that was being offered to her daughter: inspiring, creative, rigorous learning in an amazing environment. Now the parent of an SES graduate, Sarah continues to give her time and resources to ensure that SES remains a vibrant and vital school for other students. Sarah is a major gifts officer for the Animal Humane Society and manages her family’s farm in Waseca County. In addition to serving on the SESEF board, Sarah also serves on the board of Eureka Recycling.
Maggie Bierman - Board Member
Dan Bodette - Principal
Dr. Bodette has been the Principal of the School of Environmental Studies (SES) since its opening back in 1995. SES is an optional high school that is thematically based and is located in the Twin Cities metro. He has been a leader in education for 31 years, serving as a principal for 23 years and as a science teacher for eight years. Mr. Bodette has ties to the international education community, having served as a science teacher in Venezuela and in Belgium.
Dr. Bodette received his Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) from the University of Minnesota in 1998, a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1987, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 1980.
Dr. Bodette has presented at numerous national and international conferences about the unique and innovative programming that occurs at SES. Thousands of educators have visited SES and have responded in a positive fashion to the curriculum, culture, and climate of the building. The school has been recognized nationally for implementing the “breaking ranks” components to the school day, and was named a New American High School by the U.S. Department of Education in 1999.
Adrianne Bunn, '98 (blue & gold houses) - Board Member
As a former student of SES, Adrianne enjoys giving back to the school through the SESEF board. Adrianne has traveled across the country and explored nature in its many forms. She enjoys bicycling, camping, cooking, and playing with her dog. Currently, Adrianne is a student at Metropolitan State University studying business management.
Sandra Burrowes – Board Member
Sandra has been a board member since October 2010. She is an SES parent whose eldest son will graduate with the class of 2012. Sandra has been an active member of the Community Relations sub-committee, leading a comprehensive survey of SES parents to identify the reasons why families choose SES and why they value their student's experience at the school.
Sandra has a BS in Business Administration & Economics from Carroll University. She lives in Eagan and currently works in strategic communications at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Glenn Ebersold - Board Member
Glenn has always believed in the importance of continued learning. Coming from two prior generations of teachers, Glenn began his post college career as a teacher. It was during this period of his life that he came to understand the importance of non-traditional environments and approaches to education, as a means to motivate students. When Glenn’s daughter attended SES, he discovered what a unique learning environment and opportunity this was.
Glenn joined the SESEF Board in 2009. He has served in various roles on the board including board chair for the 2010/2011 school year. In his spare time Glenn enjoys anything to do with the outdoors.
James Funston – Faculty Representative
James F. Funston teaches advanced levels of French and Spanish at the School of Environmental Studies and at Eastview High School. As a teacher in Indiana for seven years, he initiated the Gifted and Talented Program in South Bend, won grants for improving individualized instruction in the district and wrote over 200 computer programs for teaching French, Spanish and German that were published by EMC Corporation. In 1985 he was named Teacher of the Year at LaSalle High School. After leaving teaching in Indiana, James worked at EMC Publishing for over 23 years where he authored 9 textbooks, numerous video programs and over 200 ancillaries for teaching languages. During his time in publishing, he presented over 300 instructional workshops and keynote addresses throughout the country in his role as editor and author.
James has a B.A. both in Spanish and French, an M.B.A. in Finance, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Leadership. He is married and has one daughter.
Wendy Goshey - Board Member
Wendy has been a board member since October 2009. She is an SES past parent whose son graduated with the class of 2011. Wendy previously served as the Treasurer of the Foundation leading the Finance Committee that stream-lined investments into a single program and developed an investment policy. In addition, an annual budget has been implemented. The annual IRS and State reporting processes have been simplified with the help of a professional accountant.
Wendy has a BS in Business Administration & Economics: Metro State 2009. She currently works at Nordstrom, Mall of America.
Bob Haider - Vice-Chair
Bob is a founding partner of the consulting firm, Split Rock Learning, LLC. With his partners, he designs, develops and facilitates sales and management training programs. Bob has spent the majority of his career in some aspect of retail training and development. While doing so, he has developed a passion for all aspects of learning. This passion carries over to the School of Environmental Studies. SES is special to him as they truly are on the cutting edge of learning.
Bob has two daughters; the oldest graduated from SES in the spring 2010 and is now a sophomore in college. Her time at SES served her very well and has made the transition to college life much easier and more successful. Bob's youngest daughter is now making her mark on SES as a junior.
In his spare time, Bob can be found reading, riding his bike, traveling with his family or volunteering in his local community of Northfield.
Dale Kowalski - Board Member and Chair of the Fund Development Committee
As a parent of a 2011 Junior, I immediately wondered why aren't all high schools like this? Learning by doing, contemplating, experiencing, and discussing seems so natural. As I observed the teachers' overwhelming commitment to their student's education, I became very appreciative of their extraordinary efforts. The primary reason I joined the Board is to help ensure that all students, regardless of financial resources, have the opportunity to participate in one or more travel field studies during their time at SES, so that they may explore and experience the vast world around them. And remember, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing!
Ross Lawrence, '00 - Secretary
Ross was born and raised in Minnesota, where he attended SES and graduated in the year 2000. After high school Ross entered Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Spanish Language. Missing his home state, Ross decided to move back to Minnesota and attended Hamline University School of Law. Currently an attorney living in Rosemount, Ross decided to join the SESEF board so that he could give back to the school that planted the seeds for his successful career journey.
Jennifer Michelson - Board Member
Jennifer Michelson is married to Rob Michelson and has two daughters, Rhiannon and Tarryn. The Michelson family has lived in Eagan since 1991. Rhiannon is a senior at SES while also taking classes at EHS. Tarryn is a freshman at EHS; she, too, aspires to attend SES. Ms. Michelson graduated from the University of Iowa and is a Registered Nurse, working at United Hospital in St. Paul MN. Her career has spanned 29 years with the Allina corporation. During her career, she has been a continuous Minnesota Nurses Association union steward, serving as co-chair of two 1,000-plus RN bargaining units, an association board member, and 2nd vice president of the 20,000 member MNA. Currently Jennifer serves as the clerk of her church’s Bishop Committee. Much of her union/professional association activity has been involved in planning and policy development, besides direct patient care.
Charles Miller – Faculty Representative
Charles Miller has taught at SES for 13 years. Prior to a career in public education Mr. Miller worked in the Navy as an electrician and nuclear power plant operator and instructor. After earning a BS in chemistry from the University of Minnesota he worked as an organic chemist for several years. Though work that produces a tangible product is immediately rewarding, working with young people has a reward that is always satisfying.
Eva Nagel - Board Member
Born and raised in NYC Eva moved to Minnesota in 1979. She now lives in Apple Valley where she raised her family. She joined the SESEF board after her youngest son attended SES in 2008. Having seen first hand the impressive education that her son was receiving at SES she wanted to give back to the school that he loved. The teacher’s commitment to their students, experiencing the world around them through the intensive themes and fostering a sense of local as well as global community are reasons that she continues to support SES through the foundation.
Chelsea Reynolds, '05 – Board Member
Chelsea Reynolds is a 2005 alumna of SES. She began serving on the board in March of 2010 as a way to give back to the school that gave so much to her and her younger sister. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Minnesota and a master's of environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School. She is currently working on a juris doctor from Hamline University School of Law. She hopes to use her education to help individuals and communities make informed decisions about their environment, economy, and future.
Jean Schmeisser - Board Member
As a long time advocate for children and public schools, joining the board was a logical step when her daughter decided to attend SES in 2006. Since then, Jean has had the opportunity to see first-hand the value of an SES education - the creativity and commitment of its teachers, the community that is fostered and the unique experiences offered. Grateful for the education SES provided her daughter, she continues her work on the board to help ensure future students the same life changing opportunity.
Mary Schrader – Treasurer
Mary has been an SESEF board member since 2009. She is the parent of a Class of 2011 SES graduate and a junior. She enjoys the behind the scenes involvement of assisting the SES Community. It has been an opportunity to meet other parents and the staff at SES. She is elated with the aptitude that the students at SES demonstrate. She feels the SESEF Board has made wise decisions that have provided funding to students and staff of SES for additional opportunities that only enriches the SES experience.
Kevin Stanek – Board Member and Web Master
Kevin Stanek is the proud father of an equally-proud 2005 graduate of SES. Out of gratitude to SES for its benefit to his daughter, Kevin started his involvement with SESEF when he volunteered to create a new website for the Foundation. Kevin's involvement with the Foundation grew to the point that he served as the chairperson from June 2007 through June 2010.
Kevin works with student and faculty grants, and is the webmaster of www.sesef.org.