Michael Durchslag – Director
Michael Durchslag is the Director of P.E.A.S.E. Academy (Peers Enjoying a Sober Education), the oldest sober school in the United States. He began working for P.E.A.S.E. in November, 1995 as the Social Studies teacher. Michael became the school’s Director in January, 2007. He is a licensed 7-12 social studies teacher and earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas in 2002. Michael also holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Beloit College (1991).
Amy Parkhurst – Administrative Assistant
Amy Parkhurst is our Administrative Assistant since December of 2008. She previously worked as the Administrative Assistant at Multicultural Indigenous Academy (MIA), another site of Minnesota Transition Charter Schools, for over a year. Amy is a mother of four. She has been an active member of Danza Mexica Cuauhtémoc for the past eight years, and is the speaker and organizer for the Woman’s Circle within the group, which includes organizing meetings, cultural history classes, and promotes healthy lifestyles for mothers and their families. She has coordinated student participation in the annual Chalchiutlique Environmental Justice Summit. She also instructs Native American beading with youth in our community.
Heidi Judge – Chemical Dependency Counselor
Heidi Judge has been our Chemical Dependency Counselor at PEASE Academy since 2004. She is licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has worked with adolescents in outpatient, inpatient and halfway house settings. Heidi enjoys facilitating a daily sobriety support group and working with students throughout the day in their recovery.
Betsy Baker – Math
Betsy Baker is the Math Teacher at P.E.A.S.E, and started her journey March 2007. Betsy completed her B.A. in Math Education in May 2005, and her Master of Arts in Education in January 2009, from St. Mary’s University Winona and Twin Cities campuses. Betsy enjoys bringing an applied approach of mathematics to her students, while incorporating real-life situations to build connections. In her free time, she enjoys continuing her education with attending night classes, reading, knitting and taking care of her dog Keegan.
Cheryl Carbone – Special Education
Cheryl Carbone is the Special Education Case Manager and Resource Teacher at PEASE Academy starting August 2010. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Special Education with LD and EBD licensure finishing this spring 2011. She comes from the DCALS (Alternative high school) program in ISD 917 where she taught math. She is the mother of 4 children and 1 granddaughter. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, cooking and biking.
Benjamin Timko – Science
Ben Timko has been the science teacher at PEASE Academy since August 2011. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at the University of Minnesota in June 1996 and pursued graduate studies at the University of Minnesota Medical School-Twin Cities. Ben is a licensed to teach both chemistry and biology (9-12). He currently lives in Circle Pines with his wife, two children, and numerous pets. Ben likes to golf, go fly fishing, and unicycle in his free time.
Jim McKernon – Social Studies
Jim McKernon is the social studies teacher. He began working for P.E.A.S.E. in February, 2007 following a business career with Omnicare, a national long-term care pharmacy provider. Jim is also the coordinator for Student Leadership and the P.E.A.S.E Close Up Program that takes a group of seniors to Washington D.C. each year. Jim earned his Masters of Arts in Library Science and Information Studies from the Dominican University in Chicago, IL in 2000. He also holds a B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas (1988). He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Katherine and dog, Rosie.
Sheila McMahon – Language Arts
Sheila McMahon has been the English teacher at PEASE since 2005. She was on the Board of Directors for Minnesota Transitions Charter Schools from 2008-2010. She did both her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She holds a BA in Theater Arts and English, and is working her way toward an M. Ed. in English Education. It is her strong belief that all of her students are capable of amazing growth and have incredible potential, and that PEASE would not, could not, exist without the collected efforts of our students to grow in their recovery programs.