Leadership TeamOperations TeamTeaching Staff |  Student Support

Leadership Team

Antoinette Strain

Dean of Students

astrain@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 510-504-3680

Antoinette Strain was born and raised outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She studied K-8 Education at the University of New Mexico with a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language. Post-graduation, Antoinette taught middle school math and science in the Oakland Unified School District where she also acted as a department head and district teacher leader. Prior to joining the Hiawatha team, Antoinette coached first and second year teachers across the Twin Cities and participated in a year-long institute with New Leaders focused on developing site leadership skills. Antoinette is excited to bring her experience with positive behavior supports, restorative practices, and social and emotional learning to her role as Dean of Students.

Daryn Woodson

Dean of Student Support Services

dwoodson@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-990-7221

A nomad at heart, Daryn was born and raised in several cities in the Midwest but left the cold for the warmth to receive her undergraduate degree in TV and Film from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduation and missing her parents, Daryn moved back to Minnesota and worked for the CW Twin Cities for two years before leaving it all to teach English in Japan for a year. Following Japan, nomadic Daryn made pit stops in Hawaii and the Bay Area before settling into Los Angeles, where she received her Masters in Special Education and taught for five years in Watts at Alain LeRoy Locke High School. Daryn has slowly drifted back to Minnesota and is very excited to serve in her new role as Dean of Student Support Services at HCP-Kingfield.

Gabriela Stiteler

Assistant Principal

gstiteler@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 202-316-8271

Ms. Stiteler is the assistant principal of Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield. After graduating from Oberlin College, Gabi moved to Washington, D.C. and worked at KIPP DC: Key Academy in a variety of teaching capacities over the course of her seven years there. In 2014, she completed her M.Ed. at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Gabi moved to Minneapolis and taught as the founding eighth grade literature teacher at Hiawatha College Prep in 2014. Her literature classes had some of the highest achievement gains in the network, with nearly 80% of eighth graders meeting or passing their growth goals. In addition to teaching, Gabi has been a Grade Level co-chair for four years at HCP-K. Gabi loves the students and families that she works with and enjoys being part of the HCP-K and South Minneapolis communities.

Jon Laven

Dean of Instruction

jlaven@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-600-5411

Matt Toppin

Principal | Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield

mtoppin@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-802-5521

Mr. Toppin is the principal of Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College, Matt began his career in education teaching high school math in Miami through Teach for America. After returning to Minnesota, he served as an instructional coach for beginning teachers, then returned to classroom teaching as the founding seventh grade math teacher at Hiawatha College Prep in 2013. His math classes had some of the highest achievement gains our network has seen and in 2016 over 90% of his students reached their growth goals. From 2016-2018 Matt served as the founding Dean of Instruction at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. In his time at HCHS he has helped grow the school from 100 to 290 students and led the efforts to increase ACT scores by an average of 2 points each year. Matt brings a solid 5-12 lens to his leadership and is excited to ensure our middle school program achieves unparalleled academic growth in the years to come.

Sabrina Edwards

Dean of Students

sedwards@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-310-7792

Ms. Edwards is the Dean of Students of Hiawatha College Prep Kingfield. Her work is centered on providing a positive school culture where students and staff feel valued, respected and included. After graduating from college, Sabrina began working in Central Florida at a local university in Student Affairs. In her work, she connected college students with the local community, while providing them with valuable experiences applicable to their studies. She left education to work in the business sector. She held many roles some including allocation, operations, marketing, leadership training and human resources. She also taught classes as an adjunct professor. After working in the business sector for several years, Sabrina was not self-fulfilled in her intended purpose and wanted to make a positive impact and mentor students of color. In 2017, Sabrina relocated to Minnesota to take on the position of Director of Operations for HCP-K. After working for a year in the role, she wanted to work with students more closely. Sabrina is excited to work with families and students, in addition to partnering with the local community to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience.

Operations Team

Arthur Bishop

Karla Cortez Ocampo

Laura Rodriguez

Sofia Estrada Cantua

Family and Engagement Coordinator

sestrada@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-207-2084

Teaching Staff

Adam Johnson

Andres Gonzalez-Goodman

Seventh Grade Science Teacher

agonzalez@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-281-0471

Anna Thiede

Eighth Grade Science Teacher

athiede@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-408-6878

Audra Johnson

Chels Ophime Elsberry

In-house Substitute & Culture Liaison

celsberry@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-743-6217

Darlene Gibson

Special Education Teacher

dgibson@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-384-8003

Hailey Karlovich

Fifth Grade Science Teacher

hkarlovich@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-715-2294

Heather Busch

Fifth Grade Reading Teacher

hbusch@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-310-0250

Janiru Herath

Special Education Teacher


Jared McComber

Sixth Grade Science Teacher

jmccomber@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 320-828-3780

Jenn Piskel

Special Education Teacher

jpiskel@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 818-373-9373

Jessye Lewis

Physical Education Teacher

jlewis@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-432-2201

John Kaczorek

Seventh Grade Math Teacher, Grade Level Chair

jkaczorek@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 651-341-7821

Keena Brossart

Fifth Grade Humanities Teacher


Kelsey Uribe

Sixth Grade Literature Teacher; Grade-Level Chair

kuribe@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-986-3504

Kyliah Villa

Madeleine Wilson

8th Grade Math Teacher


Mandy Williams

Fifth Grade Reading Teacher

awilliams@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 651-334-0992

Maricela Cortez Ocampo

Special Education Teacher

mcortezocampo@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 651-231-5637

Mark Scheer

Seventh Grade English Language Arts Teacher


Meghan Keenan

Special Education Teacher


Morgan Fogarty

Fifth Grade Math Teacher

mfogarty@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-270-8416

Ryane Hardy

Eighth Grade Humanities Teacher

rhardy@hiawathaacademies.org | Mobile: 612-805-3399

Sarah Black

Seventh Grade Humanities Teacher

sblack@hiawathacademies.org | Mobile: 612-655-3275

Shane Birtzer

Student Support

Amirah Bakri

Katie Monroe

Amari Smith

Andrea Everson

Dontez Mills

Lydia Doe