Leslie Scherer - Parent Representative
My name is Leslie Scherer, mom to a 4th and 2nd grader at AFSA, as well as a preschooler. Our family transferred to AFSA last year after searching for a school that could better meet the individual needs of our children and engage them more deeply. We were drawn to the small class sizes, hands on approach, science focus, and most importantly, the goal of meeting each child where they are at. I believe that school is so much more than just a place where children go to learn to read and write, and that the value of and impact of school goes beyond what can be seen on paper. I am running for school board because I believe in AFSA’s mission and want to support the work that they are doing for the development and education of our children. I have enjoyed getting to know other parents and families over the past two years, and enjoy building community where we can all support each other (parents/ families, students, staff, and administration). I feel that the more we can work together, the stronger we are and the better we can do. If elected to the school board, I hope to help contribute toward AFSA’s financial goals and organizational vision, ensure that all childrens’ needs are addressed by the policies and programs set in place, and continue to strive toward developing a community where all feel welcome and heard.
Kerry Schulte - Teacher Representative
I am a Second Grade Teacher at AFSA K-12. I was an avid FFA member in High School and enjoyed the subjects of science and agriculture. I have a degree in Retail Management and Early Childhood Education and Master’s in Reading and Language Arts. I worked in both retail and computer technology manufacturing before deciding Elementary was my passion. I joined the AFSA Community in 2019. Prior to joining AFSA I taught Elementary for 20+ years in Arizona. I am happy to be back in the Midwest and proud to be part of the AFSA Community
Brady Jones - Teacher Representative
Hi! I’m Brady Jones and I am excited to serve on the school board! I have taught Chemistry, Physics, and a variety of odds and ends at AFSA since 2014. I think that AFSA is a truly unique school where students are able to stand out in a supportive environment. I enjoy working with students in hands-on contexts and love all of the opportunities that AFSA provides. From Farm and Community Service Day to the Potato Hug to O-terms/J-terms we see students learning and demonstrating their knowledge outside of the classroom. One of AFSA’s biggest strengths is the outstanding group of educators and staff that are able to build strong relationships with just about any student that walks through our doors. I grew up on a small, family farm just south of the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I received my B.A. in chemistry from Carthage College and my M.S. in Chemistry with a focus on organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota. I got my teaching licensure through a pilot program offered through Hamline University. During my time on the school board, I hope to be a voice for all of the AFSA staff and the AFSA community as a whole.
David Smith - Board Chair, Community Representative
David Smith is a Professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department at the University of Minnesota. He works primarily in the area of dairy products and teaches various courses in food science, also, he advises about 100 students in both nutrition and food science majors. He has been on the AFSA School Board for over six years and is currently Board Vice Chair.
Julie Cox - Community Representative
Julie works at General Mills and currently holds the position of ITQ Director – Meals & Baking Organization Unit. Julie has been with General Mills for 19 years and has had worked across ITQ in Management and Product Development. Prior to joining General Mills, Julie worked for Cargill in both Minneapolis and Cedar Rapids, IA. Julie has a M.S. degree in Food Science from Cornell University and a B.S. degree in Food Science from the University of Minnesota. Julie has enjoyed a career full of learning and discovery, to commercialization, working with highly talented Scientists and Engineers, and Business partners and leaders. Julie and her husband Don live in Maple Grove. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends, and time at the lake in Lakeshore, MN on the Gull Lake Chain.
Kate Plaisance - Community Representative
Kate is the Nutrition Science Director for Cargill Animal Nutrition and Health. She leads a global team of research scientists responsible for the development of laboratory technologies that support new product development, improved ingredient understanding and rapid quality analysis for the internal business and customers. Kate has been with Cargill for 15 years in many R&D roles. Before joining Cargill, she worked for the USDA/ARS Plant Science division at the U of M investigating herbicide resistance in weeds. Kate is passionate about promoting Women in STEM, and volunteers her time for U of M CLA Career Services events and as well as supporting scholarship funds.