Our Upper School teachers blend a passion for teaching with disciplinary expertise and a genuine compassion and affection for the young adults who are their students. Upper School students largely view their teachers as subject experts and mentors rather than authoritarian figures, a view that makes the ultimate transition to college much smoother.
80% of our Upper School teachers hold advanced degrees in addition to the baccalaureate degree, and almost half of those teachers hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field of study.
M.A. Music, Stattliche Hochschule Fur Musik, Koln, Germany
Almut Engelhardt joined the faculty in 1991 after moving to the United States from Germany, where she played violin with the Cologne Symphony Orchestra. She teaches Beginning Strings, Middle School Orchestra, Upper School Orchestra, Senior Winds, and Senior Strings and supervises the private music lesson program. She enjoys “teaching the kids for seven years in a row, getting to know them, and watching them grow up.” Each year, Engelhardt lets her students choose most of the music they’ll play (middle schoolers love movie scores, while older students also enjoy classical music). Together, they work toward an understanding of music that goes beyond technical ability. “The arts,” she says, “now play a more important role than ever. There is more global pressure to do well in terms of grades, but part of what makes you special is that creative sense—your ideas, your innovative thoughts.” Engelhardt earned an M.A. in music performance form the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Music in Cologne, Germany. She performs locally with the Minnesota Opera, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra, and backs up artists including Josh Groban, Prince, the Dixie Chicks, Ray Charles, Mannheim Steamroller, Luciano Pavarotti, and more.