School Leadership

Academic Leadership Team

Program Directors 

Daisy Pellant, Peter Clark Center

Alexis Kent, Religion 

Heidi Kim, Melrose Center

Department Leadership

Donald Bell, History 

Sébastien Saunoi-Sandgren, World Languages

Sharon Mazion, Performing Arts

Katie Scherer, English

Brad Peterson, Math

Brian Trussell, Science

Michal Sagar, Visual Arts

Merrill Harris, Physical Education/Health

Frederique Schmidt, Community Engagement

Alice Wright, Lower School Dean

Cathy Preissing, Student Support Team

Sarah Flotten, Peter Clark Center

Senior Leadership Team

Dr. Natalia Rico Hernández, Head of School, has an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas and an Ed.D. in Leadership, Policy and Organizations from Vanderbilt University. She has 26 years of teaching and leadership experience in public, private, and independent schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Hernández' dissertation, “On Teacher Quality in Independent Schools,” was published in the Peabody Journal of Education. You can read more from Dr. Hernández here.

Margaret (Peg) Bailey, Lower School Director, holds a B.S. from Drake University and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Bailey came to Breck in 1998 and previously served as principal of Edinbrook Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. She has been a classroom teacher, summer program director, and principal of Zanewood Elementary School. She served on the Administrative Services Committee of the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS).

Brett Bergene, Director of Athletics, holds degrees in Sports Studies and Management from Bemidji State University and K-12 Physical Education from Concordia University, St. Paul. Mr. Bergene has been a member of the Breck community since 1994. During his tenure he has coached football, softball and basketball, taught Lower, Middle and Upper School PE, and served as Upper School Dean of Students. He has been in his current role as AD since 2007.

Schuyler (Sky) Fauver, Middle School Director, moved into the role of division director in 2008 after three years as the dean for grades 5 and 6. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a master’s from Harvard University. Before coming to Breck, he was a teacher, coach and department head at the Fessenden School in Massachusetts.

Ted Forbath, CFO, received his B.S. in Business from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Forbath has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate and non-profit fields, including holding positions at the Walt Disney Company, the Episcopal Housing Alliance of Los Angeles, and most recently as CFO of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, where he was in service of 39 Episcopal schools and 136 churches for the last 11 years. In addition, Mr. Forbath has been a trustee for the Gooden School, an Episcopal school in Sierra Madre, California.

Mark Garrison, Chief Information Officer, holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the College of St. Scholastica and an M.A. in Instructional Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota. Formerly the Director of Technology and Innovation in the White Bear Lake School District, Mr. Garrison is a visionary leader with a proven record of large-scale implementation. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota and St. Catherine's University. He is a Google Certified Teacher and a frequent keynote and consultant for conferences and schools across the U.S. and Canada.

Stacy Glaus, Director of Content Strategy and Communications, has a Bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management from the University of St. Thomas and a Master's degree in Communications and Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. Ms. Glaus came to Breck from the Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis, where she served as the Communications Director. Prior to that, she served as a Public Affairs officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Mary Healy, Director of Human Resources, has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Ms. Healy came to Breck in 2000. She was previously human resources manager at Corporate Express. Prior to that, she held positions in human resources and training at The Company Store and Franchise Associates.

Jonathan (Jonny) Nicholson, Director of College Counseling, is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University.  He has served in the admissions offices of Kenyon College, Vanderbilt University, Sewanee and American University and as Associate Director of College Counseling and house counselor at Phillips Academy and college counselor, registrar and teacher at The Field School in Washington, DC.

Heather Shiell, Director of Advancement, received her B.A. in Organizational Management and Communications from Concordia University and an M.A. in Non-Profit Management from Hamline University. Ms. Shiell has over 20 years experience in non-profit management and fundraising in the Twin Cities. She was previously the Vice President of Development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities and Director of Development and Institutional Giving at the Minnesota Orchestra.

Thomas Taylor, Upper School Director, is a graduate of Oberlin College with degrees in Physics and Theater and has an M.A. in Independent School Leadership from Columbia University Teachers College. Mr. Taylor comes to Breck from Riverdale Country School in the Bronx where he served as a teacher, coach, college counselor, Director of Financial Aid, and most recently as Dean of Students.

Scott Wade, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, came to Breck from the Spence School in New York City, where he was Director of Outreach and Public Purpose, a teacher, coach, and former head of the Science department. He has a B.S. from Gettysburg College and an M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College.

Board of Trustees

Like all independent schools, Breck is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members are elected to three-year terms.

Board members in 2018-19 are as follows:

Lee R. Anderson, Sr. '57, Lifetime Trustee G. Mike Mikan
Daniel R. Aronson Patty Murphy
Kelly A. Baker Rebecca O'Grady
Susan Bass Roberts Jeffrey Parkhill
Sally Blanks Michelle Grabanski Pohlad
Stuart Brown The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, Chair
Suzie Colianni Joan K. Rex
Shannon Evenstad Sharon G. Ryan
Andrew Gaillard '88 William C. Schmoker
Dr. Michael Goh Wendy Schoppert
Katharine Anderson Groethe '88 Jill E. Schurtz, President
Natalia Rico Hernández, Ed.D., Head of School Ronald D. Sit
Rob Holt Winifred S. Smith
Lenesa Leana Christopher Thibodeaux
Richard Mattera Christoph Welsh '90

For more information regarding the role of Boards in independent schools, click here to view the National Association of Independent School Guidelines.