Michael Sundlin MS ELA Teacher
Michael Sundlin

Michael Sundlin earned a B.A. in English from Hamline University in 1995. He earned his Elementary, Social Studies (5-8), Language Arts (5-8), & Reading Licensure (K-12) from Hamline University from 1998-2016. He also completed his Masters of Education from SUNY Buffalo State in 2020. He is returning to MPS this year after a 3 year leave of absence teaching 7th grade English Language Arts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This is his twenty-third year of teaching. Nineteen years have been exclusively with middle school. He loves supporting and encouraging his middle school students to show individual growth. He and his wife live in Saint Louis Park. They enjoy spending their free time hiking, cooking,

Nancy Barthel-Waara MS Math Teacher
Nancy Barthel-Waara
reading, and traveling.

Nancy Barthel-Waara graduated from Moorhead State University (now known as Minnesota State University Moorhead). Go Dragons!!! 3 tidbits of information about Nancy:

1) There were 30 people in my high school graduating class!

2) This will be my 28th year of teaching -- all in Minneapolis and all in middle school. 

3) I believe demonstrating your mathematical process/thinking is more valuable than just getting the correct answer.

¡Hola! My name is Katie Barta, and I love being part of the Seward team!  I am from

Katie Barta MS Spanish Teacher
Katie Barta
the Twin Cities area and hold a B.A. in Spanish Studies from the University of Minnesota, a M.A. in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas, and a Minnesota Teaching License in K-12 Spanish.  While a student at the University of Minnesota, I studied abroad in Toledo, Spain.  It was during that time that I became fluent in Spanish. My passions are travel and learning about other cultures and languages.  The Spanish-speaking countries I have been to are:  Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Spain. I currently reside in Plymouth with my husband Mark and one-year old daughter Ava. We are currently expecting another daughter due early January 2021.

Zac Kamm MS Math Teacher
Zac Kamm

Zac Kamm: I teach 6th and 7th grade Math in Room 307. After getting a BA in English from St. Olaf College, I'm currently finishing my Master of Arts in Teaching at Hamline University. I am a math-magician, not a math wizard. Math wizards have to have a PhD. I enjoy running, biking, hiking, and camping. I do not like pie or chocolate (people seem surprised when they learn this about me). 

Doug Brown, Science Room 305, graduated from SCSU (St. Cloud State University) with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in General Science with a teaching certification. He has also obtained a Masters of Arts (M.A.) in education and Principal Certification from St. Mary’s University. Doug

Doug Brown MS Science Teacher
Doug Brown
loves being outdoors. He enjoys many activities: fishing, hunting, golfing, hiking, and traveling. Doug and his wife, who live in Minneapolis, now have two kids in college. Doug wants you to make observations and ask questions about things around you, in other words, do Science!

Russ Russell the Third, First of His Name, Purveyor of Fine Goods and Services: I graduated from Concordia College of Moorhead with a degree in Secondary Education, Social Studies. If I could give everyone in the world a gift, it would be the gift of facial hair! The greatest movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I highly suggest you stop whatever you are doing, gather your friends and loved ones, and sit down

Dustin Russell MS Social Studies Teacher
Russ Russell, III
to watch it together. The greatest fashion includes neon colors and fanny packs make the perfect accent, no matter the occasion!

Mx. Durphy- I have been teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts for the past 2 years. Before that I worked with youth in a few different ways. I was a paraprofessional in a middle school and worked in a homeless youth shelter.  I became a teacher because I love to read and talk about literature. I also love working with kids. Students are the future and I think it is very important that they have teachers who care and want to help you become the awesome people they will become. I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I moved to Minneapolis in 2015. My family is

Shannon Durphy MS ELA Teacher
Shannon Durphy
really important to me, though most of my family doesn't live here. I am a huge literature nerd and love Shakespeare. You also may have noticed that I go by Mx. and not Mr./Ms. this is because I identify as gender non-conforming. I also use they/them pronouns.

Ben Knaus graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN in 1998 with a B.A. in Criminology and Psychology. He earned a M.A. in Instruction from Saint Mary's University-Twin Cities in 2015.  Ben has licenses for K-6 Elementary Education, 5-8 Communication Arts & Literature, and K-8 Keyboarding for Computer Applications.  Ben has taught AVID since 2007. Outside of school, Ben is married and has two kids. He lives

Ben Knaus AVID MS Teacher
Ben Knaus
in north Minneapolis in the house his grandparents built. He enjoys walking their dog, Junie B. Jones. In his spare time, he writes poetry, manages social media for his church, and enjoys cooking and baking. Ben believes that AVID allows students to be successful in whatever they want to do!

Hello everyone! My name is Kristina Kvarnlov-Leverty. I am originally from the other side of the Mississippi, Saint Paul, and I went to K-12 school there. For college, I traveled down to Iowa to go to Grinnell College, where I studied German Language & Literature and Linguistics (the study of how languages work). During that time, I spent a year studying in Germany and a summer studying in Russia. I got my teaching

Kristina ELL MS Teacher
Kristina MS ELL
license from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 2005. I have two Chihuahuas. I enjoy spending time playing all genres of music and going to concerts. And other than this last summer, I have been spending my summers going to National Parks and Monuments and my goal is to see all of them in the US. I look forward to getting to know you all better and learning with you all this year. 

Beth Gillaspey, St Olaf College (Spanish and Religion) & Hamline University (Masters of Arts in English as a Second Language). Three interesting facts about me: I lived in Nicaragua for a year, I've lived in 6 states, and I played the cello in high school and college.

Beth Gillaspey MS ELL