FACULTY & STAFF
Andrew M. Lang - Headmaster
Headmaster Andrew M. Lang is originally from Maple Grove, MN. He obtained a B.A. in Liberal Arts at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. He obtained a M.A. in Philosophy with Honors from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA. He has previously worked as an admissions counselor, a pastoral associate, and a teacher. He considers it providential that he left his Minnesota home to pursue authentic classical Catholic education only to return to lead the Holy Spirit Academy community in the same mission in 2016. He and his wife Alyssa have six children. They live in Maple Lake and are members of the Church of St. Timothy. He is a secular discalced Carmelite. Mr. Lang fills his free time with his nose in a book (naturally), hunting and fishing, gardening, playing chess, tinkering on vintage cars, and getting up to the family cabin in Crosslake.
Deborah Williams - Office Administrator
Ms. Williams grew up in southern MN and received her B.S. Degree in Education from Winona State University. She has worked for Wells Fargo, Polaris, and Macy's developing software, writing training documents, and training managers and dealers throughout the U.S. She worked for eight years as a business analyst for DRC, a local education testing company. For the last two years she has served as a teacher’s aide at Ave Maria Academy and St. Michael Catholic School. Ms. Williams is very involved as a reader, study group leader, and musician at her home parish in St. Michael. During her free time she enjoys scrapbooking, volleyball, and lake activities. She has one brother, who serves as a priest in the Diocese of Winona , two grown children, and three grandchildren. Ms. Williams is very excited about working with the students of Holy Spirit Academy and seeing them grow to their potential and in the love of the Lord.
Betty Matras - Business Administrator
Mrs. Matras works closely with Holy Spirit's Executive Director on development, finance, and strategic planning. She believes strongly in Holy Spirit's mission and educational approach as it teaches young people to think critically, act responsibly, and love their Catholic faith! Prior to joining Holy Spirit, she worked in the corporate sector and most recently taught small business education. Trained as an economist, she has her B.S. from the University of Minnesota and M.S. from the Pennsylvania State University. Betty is a member of St. Albert's parish, where she has taught religious education and volunteered in youth ministry. Her favorite role is as wife to her wonderful husband and Mom to their three boys.
Susan Wieneke - Executive Assistant
Mrs. Wieneke is passionate about building community! She was active in developing a fundraising model that integrated local businesses with the high school that triggered school spirit and community kinship! She’s a member of St. Thomas the Apostle church in Corcoran where she has taught Religious Education for 17 years, and is active in connecting people to events and resources. She holds a B.A. degree in Communications and Business Administration and has worked for many years in sales and marketing. She currently works for a non-profit fraternal benefit society, Catholic Order of Foresters. Susan and her husband, Eric, were blessed with a daughter and two sons who play college football for the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. During the boys' high school years, they were legal guardians of another son, Jebah, who inspired them through sharing his African culture. Susan spends her spare time watching Jackrabbit football, golfing, gardening, and meeting God’s people!
Mary Billion - Latin and Humanities
Ms. Mary Billion is originally from Sioux Falls. She joins Holy Spirit Academy for the 2018-2019 academic year as our new full-time Latin and Humanities teacher, as well as the director of our Shakespearean Drama program. She is a University of St. Thomas graduate with majors in Philosophy, Catholic Studies, and Latin, and a minor in Greek. She graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is a 3x award winner for the Classical Association of the Middle West and South College Latin Translation Contest. She is an experienced Latin tutor, a classically trained violinist, and a former high school state champion tennis player. In her own words: "I was fortunate enough to have a classically-modeled upbringing of my own, kindling in me a strong passion for language, literature, history, art, music and drama, along with a deeply rooted Catholic Faith. I believe the liberal arts should permeate every aspect of education, integrating all the disciplines under a steadfast pursuit of Truth with Christ at the center."
Eileen Hester - Theology and Humanities
We are pleased to welcome to our Faculty Mrs. Eileen Hester as a new full-time Humanities and Theology Teacher for the 2019-20 school year! She lives in Plymouth and is coming from Providence Academy where she was a full-time TA for two years after homeschooling for over a decade. She has a masters degree in Theology from Holy Apostles in Connecticut, and an undergraduate degree in Theology from Christendom in Virginia, as well as being a mother of six, and a Third Order Carmelite.
Jake Whalen - Mathematics and Science
Mr. Whalen completed his B.A. in Liberal Arts at Thomas Aquinas College and received his M.S. in Science Education from the University of Montana. Since 2011, he has taught high school classes in mathematics, science, and theology at noted Catholic schools, including St. Michael’s Prep in Silverado, CA and St. Monica Academy, in Montrose, CA. He is grateful to teach at a school that both models itself after the Classical idea of education and instills an authentic Catholic life in its students. A native of Alexandria, MN, he and his wife, Kateri, now live in Buffalo with their three children. When he is not teaching, he spends his leisure moments playing with his kids, waterskiing, writing, strumming on guitar, or reading a good book.
Jonah Lippert - Theology and Humanities
Mr. Lippert grew up in Easton, MN, with his parents and 11 siblings. He was happily married to his wife Jenny in the Summer of 2018. Homeschooled into High School, his loves for literature and philosophy, theology, history, and apologetics were put to use, challenged, and deepened during PSEO classes at Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN), from which he transferred after senior year of high school to St. Mary's University (Winona, MN). From St. Mary's he graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy, completing a thesis dealing with Objective Aesthetics & the Utility of the Liberal Arts. Continuing his studies at the Augustine Institute (Denver, CO) he earned an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Catechetics. Teaching Latin for 3 years at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Classical School (Denver, CO), he also has experience as a Latin and Logic instructor at several homeschooling co-operatives. He sees the Classical model as a return to the original goals of education—those goals being the maturing and equipping of human character--the pursuit and communication of that which is most helpful, true, good and beautiful, in the most organic and effective ways, whether they be old or new.
Eric Menzhuber - Studio Art
Mr. Menzhuber is an accomplished artist who combines his tremendous talents with a love for the Church. Growing up in St. Paul, Mr. Menzhuber fostered his love of drawing from a very early age. In 1998 he graduated from the University of St. Thomas earning a B.A. in Art History. He went on to study Theology at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity and then found the Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville, Minnesota. There, Eric devoted himself to the study of realism and painting in oil. In 2003 He became an instructor at the same institution. He entered his first show in 2004 "The Burnsville Area Society for the Arts (BASA) Art Fete" and was awarded the "People's Choice award. " Since that time, he has won several local awards and has painted commissioned works for collections both public and private throughout the metro area including for several Catholic churches. Eric and his wife, Tricia, and three daughters live in Blaine.
Beatrice ("Bea") Wicker - Science
Mrs. Wicker holds a B.S. in Chemistry Education from St. Cloud University where she graduated summa cum laude. Her love for introducing kids to the wonder of reality first unfolded through homeschooling her own children. After which she entered the public school system and now has nine years of experience teaching high school science. Mrs. Wicker's love of science is deeply connected to her love of faith which has been nurtured by her involvement in the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation (CL). As a member of CL she has led a small group for high school students in St. Cloud and continues to coordinate the regional youth vacations and retreats for the Midwest. Mrs. Wicker and her husband, Jeff, have five children.
Sherry Zeisel - Substitute Teacher
Mrs. Zeisel has B.S. in Microbiology from MSU Mankato and brings your students an enthusiasm for science and experience of practical application of biology in the field. Mrs. Zeisel was homeschooled and grew up in Carver, MN, as the oldest of 5. She planned to make a career in the medical products industry, but after a few years of work on groundbreaking technology, it turned out that God had other plans for her. Now she is blessed to be able to bring practical experience in the field to her teaching. On weekends she is often playing and singing with her family band, Carver Creek Bluegrass. She also volunteers as a catechist at St. Timothy in Maple Lake. When she has time for hobbies, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, spinning, and of course reading and writing. She currently lives with her husband Andrew in Montrose, MN.
Rachel Pedersen- Substitute Teacher
Mrs. Pedersen grew up in Illinois as the oldest of eight children. She attended Catholic school through 7th grade, then was homeschooled through high school. She was blessed to be able to attend Thomas Aquinas College, where she began to consider teaching as a way to pass on the wonderful education she had received. She successfully defended her thesis on Newton's philosophy of science as compared to that of William Harvey and graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. While at school she enjoyed reading Chesterton and Thomas Aquinas, hiking, running and playing basketball. After college she moved back to Illinois in order to gain more experience teaching by homeschooling three of her siblings, tutoring and substitute teaching for the public and Catholic schools in the area. Her love for the new evangelization and catechesis led her to be active in youth ministry and to help found Mother Teresa Lunch Box Fund and St. John Paul II group for young adults. She was married in 2019.