Mr. Julian Ahlquist
A founding faculty member of Chesterton Academy, Mr. Ahlquist has played a role in developing the school’s curriculum in the areas of history, philosophy and literature. He double majored at Christendom College in philosophy and theology, graduating magna cum laude. In addition to having been in dozens of theatrical productions and independent films, he has taken part in dramatic productions on EWTN (Eternal World Television Network) and has worked as personal assistant and film editor to Ronald Maxwell (Director of the Hollywood films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals).
Mr. Gregory Billion
Mr. Billion joined Chesterton Academy in 2017. He earned his bachelor's from the University of St. Thomas, where he majored in philosophy, Catholic studies, and pre-medicine. For the past two years, he held the role of Teaching Fellow with the Alliance for Catholic Education, during which he taught science in inner-city Oakland, California, and earned his Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Billion plans to complete his graduate study in the humanities while teaching at Chesterton. He is passionate about classical education, and his long-term goals include making such an education accessible to more people through the establishment of schools and intellectual and spiritual communities.
Miss Alyssa Bormes
Miss Bormes is a founding faculty member at Chesterton Academy and teaches theology and speech. A popular author, speaker, and radio host, she helps ignite a newfound sense of wonder in the Church through humor, analogy, and an innate gift of storytelling. Her passion is to inspire others to take on greater personal responsibility for their faith and to grow in spiritual maturity. Miss Bormes received a master’s degree in Catholic studies from the University of St. Thomas with study at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a parishioner at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.
Mr. Colby Cantillon
Mr. Cantillon graduated from Conception Seminary College in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. After taking a year off in which he walked across the country with the Crossroads Pro-Life group and worked at a bank, he went to Ave Maria University to pursue a master's degree in theology where he graduated in 2017. He then joined Teach for Christ and has been serving at Chesterton Academy as Assistant Athletic Director, Latin Teacher at the St. Paul Campus, substitute teacher, and free period supervisor.
Mr. Gino Charmoli
Mr. Charmoli is a graduate from Chesterton Academy, Class of 2012, and joined the faculty in 2016. Upon leaving Chesterton Academy, he attended the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he participated in many extracurricular activities such as Student Government and theater. Mr. Charmoli graduated with a degree in social studies education and completed his student teaching experience in Lima, Peru.
Dr. James Chastek
Dr. James Chastek graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in 2000, received an MA from Claremont Graduate University in 2005, and a Ph. L and Ph. D. from the Pontifical University of Thomas Aquinas in Rome (The Angelicum). Dr. Chastek began teaching in 2000 and has taught every grade from 1-12. He has taught at two different classical curriculum high schools: St. Michael Academy in Dallas, Texas, and St. Monica Academy in Pasadena, California. Dr. Chastek also constructed and implemented a classical curriculum in West Covina, California, and worked as a philosophy instructor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has taught most of the high school curriculum in both the humanities and the sciences. He joined the faculty of Chesterton Academy in 2010 and was made the Head of Humanities in 2015. He lives in Saint Paul with his wife Jessica and six children. He is a parishioner at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Oakdale.
Miss Lydia Eby
Miss Eby is a graduate of Wyoming Catholic College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. While there she was active as a prefect. She has experience tutoring as well as working with students in outdoor leadership programs. Miss Eby is currently working on getting a master's in art history at the University of St. Thomas. Her diverse interests include martial arts and firearms. She is a parishioner at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.
Mr. Thomas Finke
Mr. Finke joined Chesterton Academy in 2018 and teaches Latin and History. He attended Xavier University, and earned a bachelor's in classical languages. His senior thesis, “Augustine and John Paul II on the Goods of Marriage: Proles, Fides, et Sacramentum” demonstrated the consistency of the Church’s teaching regarding marriage. He hails from Covington, KY, and taught for the last five years at St. Edmund Campion Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Campion’s 7-12th graders benefitted from Mr. Finke’s love of Latin, Greek, drama, and science. He is an avid outdoorsman and reader. He and his wife, Jen, along with their son, John Paul, are thrilled to be a part of the Chesterton community.
Mrs. Mara Hertelendy
Mrs. Hertelendy is the new Italian instructor at Chesterton Academy. She has a Bachelor of Arts in both Italian and Chinese, along with an Master of Arts in Chinese. Mrs. Hertelendy attended one year of college at L’Universitá del Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart University) in Milan, Italy. She taught Italian at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, for nine years, and has subsequently taught and tutored in various capacities. Mrs. Hertelendy has made several trips to San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, home to our sister school, Scuola Chesterton. She helps lead part a lay group called the Tipi Loschi, committed to building friendships in Christ between our sister communities in the US and Italy.
Mr. Patrick Lechner
Mr. Lechner received his bachelor's in Catholic Studies and English from the University of St. Thomas. He then taught theology and literature at Northridge Preparatory School in Niles, IL. Mr. Lechner is well versed in movie quotations, roots for the Cubs, is an Eagle Scout, and some of his favorite bands include Pink Floyd, Queen, Jethro Tull, and the Avett Brothers. He also just got married this past July to a Chesterton Academy alumna.
Mrs. Pamela Patnode
Assistant headmaster, HUMANITIES
Mrs. Patnode is a Catholic wife, mother of five children, a Benedictine Oblate – and she is delighted to be a part of the Chesterton Academy team. Mrs. Patnode teaches Spanish and theology, and she will be found at both the Edina and the St. Paul campuses. She holds a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Arts-Theology degree from the Augustine Institute, and is a Registered Instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing. She is currently earning her doctorate in education through Bethel University. Mrs. Patnode has authored four books (all of which carry the Imprimatur), is a regular guest of the national Catholic radio station Relevant Radio, and has been a guest of EWTN television and radio.
Mrs. Laura Ahlquist
Academic dean, Fine Arts
Mrs. Ahlquist was a founding member of Chesterton Academy and has played a key role in developing the fine arts curriculum at Chesterton. Since then Mrs. Ahlquist has taught Spanish, music, and drama at Chesterton. Currently, in addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Ahlquist serves as Academic Dean at Chesterton Academy. Mrs. Ahlquist was born in Treviso, Italy, and grew up in Mexico City. During her youth, she traveled extensively throughout Europe and is proficient in Italian, Spanish, English, and French. She taught Spanish and Italian with a company specializing in translation and the training of corporate executives doing business in foreign countries. Mrs. Ahlquist received her bachelor's from Carleton College where she continued her studies in languages and majored in music (piano, choir, music history, and music theory). In the past ten years, she has written two children’s plays and has directed 34 theatre productions, both at Holy Family Academy and Chesterton Academy. She has six children and is a parishioner at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.
Mr. Nicholas Chalmers
Mr. Chalmers earned his bachelor's in music and history from St. Olaf College in May of 2007, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota in May of 2017. Mr. Chalmers is the Artistic Director of the Mirandola Ensemble, and performs with various groups locally and nationally including The Bach Society of Minnesota, The Rose Ensemble, Oratory, and Glorious Revolution Baroque. Mr. Chalmers is the Associate Director of Music at Holy Family Church in St. Louis Park, where he is also a parishioner.
Mr. Christopher Ganza
Mr. Ganza is the Associate Director of Choir and assists Mr. Chalmers in all aspects of the choral program at Chesterton Academy. Mr. Ganza received a Bachelor of Music in Church Music from St. Olaf College, a Master of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Oklahoma, and recently completed doctoral coursework at the same institution. He hopes to defend his research in 2018. In addition to his duties at Chesterton Academy, Mr. Ganza is the Organist and Choirmaster at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Minneapolis where he directs an active sacred music program that includes the semi-professional parish choir, cantors, and the choir of Vespers at Lourdes.
Mr. Timothy Jones
Dean of Men, Fine Arts
Mr. Jones has taught and developed the fine art curriculum at Chesterton Academy since 2012. His prior experience includes teaching undergraduate university courses, private students, professional workshops, public school classes, and summer youth programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in fine art in 1984, a master’s degree in 1987, and worked as a professional designer and illustrator before beginning his full time career as a painter in the classical realist tradition. He is a member of both Oil Painters of America and National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. Mr. Jones continues to paint and exhibit, and has earned recognition and a number of awards in regional, national, and international competitions. He is a parishioner at Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids.
Math & Science
Mr. Lucas Berke
Mr. Berke graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 with a bachelor's in biological sciences. He went on to work for NET Ministries, two years as a full-time missionary at Providence Academy and on a traveling retreat team, and the two years working on Mission Staff supervising four different NET Teams and helping to continue to develop the program. Mr. Berke continued his missionary work with Teach for Christ and was placed at Chesterton Academy assisting in the math and science departments. Mr. Berke joined Chesterton Academy as a faculty member in 2018.
Mr. Dave Beskar
Headmaster & Superintendent, Math/Science
Mr. Beskar joined Chesterton Academy as Superintendent and Headmaster of the Edina campus in 2015. He has served as a high school math/science and humanities teacher, coach, and administrator since 1990. During his career, he served in roles including faculty member, computer network manager, Academic Dean, and Associate Head of School at Trinity School at River Ridge. Mr. Beskar also worked as headmaster with Great Hearts Academy, a network of classical liberal arts charter schools, to found and lead two new academies, a K-5 academy and a 6-12 college preparatory academy. Mr. Beskar holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics from the University of Minnesota. He, his wife, and three daughters are parishioners at Saint Peter’s Church in Mendota.
Mr. James Broberg
Mr. Broberg is a graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and a minor in philosophy. The following year he received a master’s degree in physics from the Ohio State University. Before coming to Chesterton Academy, he taught physics and astronomy at Savannah State University and Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Georgia, where he supervised undergraduate student research in astroparticle theory and cosmology, and led professional development seminars for educators in astronomy and geology. In addition to his interests in the sciences, he trained from early childhood as a classical concert pianist and has played the Renaissance vielle with the Goliards Early Music Ensemble in Savannah. He and his family enjoy reading and discussing theology and philosophy and are parishioners at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Minneapolis.
Mrs. Theresa Krueger
Dean of women, Math/SCience
Mrs. Krueger is a veteran teacher of private, public, and homeschool education. She began her career at Trinity School at River Ridge in Eagan, Minnesota, teaching history, literature, writing, drama, Scripture, geometry, pre-calculus, physics, and biology over her nine year tenure. Mrs. Krueger then took on the role as a homeschool teacher to her three children, developing a classical elementary curriculum. She took this experience to her next position as an elementary teacher at Archway Classical Academy–Trivium in Phoenix, Arizona. After two years of serving as a fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Krueger moved into the position of Headmaster at Archway Classical Academy–Trivium. In this role she implemented a new math and science curriculum for the upper elementary grades, a new reading program for the lower elementary grades, and oversaw the completion of construction of a new campus for the K-12 school. Mrs. Krueger holds a bachelor's in history from the University of Minnesota. She and her family are parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church in West St. Paul.
Miss Sophia Rick
Miss Rick is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas where she earned her bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Statistical Mathematics. While there she sang with the liturgical choir and had an opportunity to sing for Christmas Mass with Pope Francis. After graduation, Miss Rick has been working in daycare and volunteering with her church's high school youth group and elementary religion programs. She is part of Teach for Christ and will be a math teaching assistant and tutor at Chesterton Academy.
Br. Joe Barron, PES
Br. Joe Barron, PES, graduated from Chesterton Academy in 2011 as one of the first two graduates of the school. He went to the University of Saint Thomas to study biochemistry, and in his freshman year the Lord called him to the religious life. Br. Joe joined Pro Ecclesia Sancta that April, and spent a year and a half as a postulant with the community in Minnesota before going to Peru for two years of the Novitiate. After making his temporal vows in 2015, he returned to Minnesota to finish his undergraduate degree and help in Ignite, the youth ministry program of Pro Ecclesia Sancta, and later with the Chesterton Chaplaincy Program. Br. Joe graduated from the University of Saint Thomas in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and is currently in his second year in the Master’s in Divinity Program at the St. Paul Seminary.
Sr. Cinthya Carmona, PES
Fr. Adam Tokashiki, PES
Fr. Adam Tokashiki, PES, joined Pro Ecclesia Sancta in 2006. He was studying classical guitar at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru, when the Lord called him to religious life. He also served for two years as a youth minister in the Catholic Advance (Pro Ecclesia Sancta’s lay movement) before becoming a brother. He arrived to Minnesota in 2009, where he helped lead a variety of apostolates at the Church of St. Mark in St. Paul and in the University of St. Thomas. He made his perpetual vows in 2014 and in May of 2016 was ordained to the priesthood. Fr. Adam has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Catholic studies from the University of St. Thomas and a Master of Divinity from the St. Paul Seminary.
Sr. Emy Ychikawa, PES
Mrs. Kristen Basgall
Director of admissions
Mrs. Basgall joined Chesterton Academy in July 2017 as the Director of School Operations, overseeing the daily operations of the school including enrollment, parent communications and student events. She was most recently the Admissions Director at Ave Maria Academy for the last 9 years. Ave Maria Academy is a PK3 – 8th Grade school that started in 1997 with 11 students and now serves 205 students. Prior to that worked at Honeywell for 11 years in the Home & Building Control/Federal team division. Kristen has experience in multi-site management, sales, marketing, fundraising, customer relations, event planning, human resources, finance and teaching. She received her bachelor's degree in Family and Child Development from Virginia Tech. Kristen and her husband Greg live in Maple Grove with their 2 children.
Margot came to Chesterton Academy in 2017 through her involvement in the Twin Cities Chesterton Society. She originally moved to Minnesota to be closer to her grandchildren. Before working at Chesterton, she was the controller at a company producing shows for the Home and Garden Television (HGTV) Network. She is now working for Chesterton Academy on a contractual basis through the accounting firm that she founded, Margot Hird and Associates. She is a parishioner at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Mrs. Elizabeth Lindholm
Safe environment coordinator
Mrs. Lindholm joined Chesterton in 2017 to oversee Virtus and E-3 Compliance for members of our school community. Before coming to Chesterton, Mrs. Lindholm gained experience working in recruiting and management positions in California where she was tasked with finding, hiring, and training new hires and college interns, as well as communicating with colleges for recruiting purposes. She and her family are parishioners at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.
Mrs. Ann Loomis
St. Paul campus coordinator
Mrs. Loomis will be returning for her second year as Campus Coordinator for the St. Paul campus. She graduated from St. Catherine's College in St. Paul with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Mrs. Loomis continued her education to specialize in hand therapy and is a Certified Hand Therapist (OTR, CHT). She and her husband Paul reside in Stillwater, have four children, and are parishioners at St. Mary's Church in Stillwater. Mrs. Loomis is currently a homemaker who is active in volunteer work at St. Croix Catholic School, where 3 of her 4 children attend.
Miss Kendra Posch
Director of Marketing and Communications
Miss Posch is a graduate from Chesterton Academy, Class of 2012. She obtained a bachelor's in biology from Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida. Upon returning to the Twin Cities, Miss Posch was the founding executive director for Teach for Christ, a sister organization of Chesterton Academy. She has been extensively involved with Chesterton Academy recruiting, marketing and communications, and Gala support for the past two years before formally stepping into her current role in 2018.
Mrs. Lisa Rogers
Mrs. Rogers joined Chesterton Academy in 2017 as Office Manager and Executive Assistant. She has worked for St. Raphael Catholic Church in Crystal for 20 years, in positions including Special Assistant to the Pastor, Special Projects Manager, and Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. She chaired the 3-day parish festival for 15 years, and has been very involved in the St. Raphael high school youth programs, including volunteering at Extreme Faith Camp, as an adult leader for senior high mission trips, and Core Team member. She and her family are parishioners at St. Raphael Catholic Church.
Mrs. Elisha Schaibley
Mrs. Schaibley is a graduate of St. Cloud State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in community psychology. Mrs. Schaibley also attended Bethel University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in counseling psychology. She finished her education at the University of Minnesota where she completed coursework to attain her school counseling licensure. Before coming to Chesterton, Mrs. Schaibley taught as a substitute teacher for South Saint Paul Public Schools and continues in her role there while serving our community at Chesterton. Previously she has enjoyed counseling at schools throughout the metro. She also worked as a behavior intervention specialist at Parnassus Preparatory School, where she gained a love of classical education. In her role as a financial aid counselor she gained knowledge of the financial aid and college processes which she will bring to Chesterton. In her spare time Mrs. Schaibley reads at a voracious pace, absorbing literary works such as her favorites by Jane Austen in as little as a day.
Mr. Mark Steeves
DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
Mr. Steeves has joined the Chesterton staff as the volunteer Director of Athletics and is in his fourth year as the parent coach for the Men's Soccer Team. Mr. Steeves works at Best Buy in Richfield as an IT Manager. He and his wife have five children, the third oldest is a current senior at Chesterton Academy. The Steeves family lives in Maple Grove and are members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Brooklyn Park.