An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN


The team that provides administrative leadership for the school is made up of lifelong educators and those for whom education is a personal and professional priority. SPA's Head of School works closely with the school's academic and administrative leadership on all aspects of the SPA experience, from academics and student life; to athletics, admission, financial aid, and fundraising. The Board of Trustees is the school's governing body and is comprised of SPA alumni/ae and current and former parents.  The Board advises the Head of School on broad issues related to organizational management, facilities, and the school's finances.

Board of Trustees, 2019-20

Timothy A. Welsh, President
William M. Beadie ‘58, Secretary
Elizabeth Driscoll Hlavka, Treasurer

Mark W. Addicks
John W. Cosgriff ‘93
Litton E. S. Field, Jr. ‘75
Anne Larsen Hooley
David W. Kansas ‘85
Allan W. Klein ‘64
David A. Kristal
Amanda Kay Liu
Scot W. Malloy
Philip McKoy
Barbara L. Naramore
Tim O’Brien ‘77
Thomas H. Patterson ‘57
J.P. Peltier

Academic Leadership

Dr. Cindy Richter is the Assistant Head of School for Academic Programs. Cindy works closely with the Head of School and the Principals on all matters related to the K-12 curriculum. Learn more about SPA's K-12 curriculum or email Cindy.

Dr. Jill Romans is the Assistant Head of School for Student Development and Community Engagement. Jill oversees programming related to students' social and emotional experiences at SPA, including counseling, diversity, wellness, athletics, and learning differences. Learn more about student development or email Jill.

Holly Fidler is the Principal of the Lower School and oversees the faculty, curriculum, and student life for students in Grades K-5, and works closely with Beth Nelson, the Assistant Principal of the Lower School. Learn more about the Lower School or email Holly.

Virginia Andres is the Principal of the Middle School and oversees the faculty, curriculum, and student life for students in Grades 6-8, and works closely with Paul Magee, the Assistant Principal of the Middle School. Learn more about the Middle School or email Virginia.

Max Delgado is the Principal of the Upper School and oversees the faculty, curriculum, and co-curricular activities for students in Grades 9-12, and works closely with the Upper School Deans Tom Anderson and Chantal Thornberry. Learn more about the Upper School or email Max.

Tom Anderson is the Upper School Academic Dean and supports student academic development and faculty professional development. Learn more about the Upper School curriculum and community or email Tom.

Chantal Thornberry is the Upper School Dean of Students, and oversees all aspects of student life outside the classroom in the Upper School. Learn more about the Upper School curriculum and community or email Chantal. 

Dr. Naomi Taylor is the Director of Intercultural Life. Naomi oversees K-12 academic and co-curricular programming and policies related to diversity, inclusion, and access.  Learn more about SPA's diversity work or email Naomi.

Karen Rassmussen is the Director of the K-12 Center for Learning and Teaching. Karen oversees the school's programming for academic support, teacher development, and students with learning differences. Learn more about the Center for Learning and Teaching or email Karen.

Mary Hill is the Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning.  She is one of three full-time college counselors, all of whom work with Upper School students and families throughout the college search process. Learn more about College Counseling or email Mary.

Administrative Leadership

Heather Ploen is the Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Heather works with families in all three divisions throughout the admission and financial aid process. Learn more about admission or email Heather.

Dawn Wickstrum is the Director of Athletics and oversees all athletics programming, teams, and coaches. Learn more about athletics or email Dawn.

Dorothy Goldie is the Director of Institutional Advancement and oversees the school's fundraising and alumni/ae relations initiatives. Learn more about giving to SPA or email Dorothy.

Ami Berger is the Director of Communications and oversees the school's marketing, publications, and internal communications programs. Ami serves as the school's spokesperson and handles all media inquiries

Courtney Barker is Director of Human Resources and oversees hiring at SPA. Learn more about employment at SPA or view our current job listings.

Garry Clum is the Director of Information Technology and manages the school's technology infrastructure.

Chelsea Kimpton is the Director of Finance, and oversees the school's budgeting and finances.

Mark Dickinson is the Director of Operations and Security, overseeing the physical plant and safety and security programs on both campuses.

Strategic Plan 2025

SPA's leadership team is guided in its work by the school's Strategic Plan, adopted in 2019. The Strategic Plan outlines the school's path as it looks ahead to 2025, and points to an invigorating and promising future. The six initiatives that guide the 2025 Strategic plan include:

  • Practicing Altruism and Empathy
  • Exploring Entrepreneurship
  • Nurturing Global Awareness
  • Building Character
  • Developing Leaders for the Toughest Challenges
  • Planning for SPA's Financial Future

Read more about the plan and these initiatives in the full Strategic Plan 2025 or in the Winter 2019 SPA Magazine.

First page of the PDF file: StratPlan

Read more about the Strategic Plan in the Winter 2019 issue of SPA Magazine.