Faculty

David Beskar | Superintendent and Headmaster, Edina Campus
Theresa Krueger | Dean of Women

Father Adam Tokashiki, PES | School Chaplain

Faculty Bios by Department

MATH/SCIENCE

Mr. David Beskar, Headmaster, Math/Science. Mr. Beskar joined Chesterton Academy as Superintendent and Headmaster of the Edina campus in 2015. He has served as a high school math/science and humanities teacher, coach, and administrator since 1990. During his career, he served in roles including faculty member, computer network manager, Academic Dean, and Associate Head of School at Trinity School at River Ridge. In 2011, he took a position as headmaster with Great Hearts Academy, a network of classical liberal arts charter schools, to found and lead two new academies, a K-5 academy and a 6-12 college preparatory academy. During the 2014-15 academic year Mr. Beskar led the effort of opening a third academy and the building of a new campus for the original two academies. Mr. Beskar holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics from the University of Minnesota. He, his wife, and two daughters are parishioners at Saint Peter’s Church in Mendota.

Mr. James Broberg, Math/Science. Mr. Broberg is a graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics, and astronomy and a minor in philosophy. The following year, he received a master’s degree in physics from the Ohio State University. Before coming to Chesterton Academy, he taught physics and astronomy at Savannah State University and Savannah Technical College in Savannah, GA, where he supervised undergraduate student research in astroparticle theory and cosmology, and led professional development seminars for educators in astronomy and geology. In addition to his interests in the sciences, he trained from early childhood as a classical concert pianist, and has played the Renaissance vielle with the Goliards Early Music Ensemble in Savannah. He and his family enjoy reading and discussing theology and philosophy, and are parishioners at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Minneapolis.

Mrs. Theresa Krueger, Dean of Women, Math/Science. Mrs. Krueger is a veteran teacher of private, public, and homeschool education. She began her career at Trinity School at River Ridge in Eagan, MN, teaching history, literature, writing, drama, Scripture, geometry, pre-Calculus, physics, and biology over her nine year tenure. Mrs. Krueger then took on the role as a homeschool teacher to her three children, developing a classical elementary curriculum. She took this experience to her next position as an elementary teacher at Archway Classical Academy – Trivium in Phoenix, AZ. After two years of serving as a fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Krueger moved into the position of Headmaster at Archway Classical Academy-Trivium. In this role, she implemented a new math and science curriculum for the upper elementary grades, a new reading program for the lower elementary grades as well as oversaw the completion of construction of a new campus for the K-12 school. Mrs. Krueger holds a bachelor degree in history from the University of Minnesota. She and her family are parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church in West St. Paul.

Miss Maya Audi, Math/Science. Miss Audi has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a minor in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. She also has a background in Chemistry working as a tutor, researcher, and as a laboratory assistant. She has volunteered for Ver Sacrum, a Catholic organization that runs youth camps for young women. Mrs. Audi’s other interests include playing and coaching soccer.

Mr. Greg Billion, M.Ed – Math/Science, Humanities. Mr. Billion joins the Chesterton Academy community this fall to help in the establishment of the East Metro campus. He earned his B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, where he majored in philosophy, Catholic studies, and pre-med studies. For the past two years, he held the role of Teaching Fellow with the Alliance for Catholic Education, during which he taught science in inner-city Oakland, CA, and earned his M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Billion plans to complete his graduate study in the humanities while teaching at Chesterton. He is passionate about classical education, and his long-term goals include making such an education accessible to more people through the establishment of schools and intellectual/spiritual communities. Some of his hobbies include playing the guitar, singing in choirs, snow skiing, hiking, going to concerts, cooking, exploring cities, and traveling.

Mr. Mitchell Klein, Math/Science. Mr. Klein received his Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of St. Thomas, where he was also a tutor and mentor in mathematics. He also participated in the UST Liturgical Choir and the Students for Human Life club. He has been a research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM. Mr. Klein has also been a part of the STEM learning community for the Center of Applied Mathematics in St. Paul, where he worked with students in the study of Calculus.

HUMANITIES

Mr. Julian Ahlquist, Humanities. A founding faculty member of Chesterton Academy, Mr. Ahlquist has played a role in developing the school’s curriculum in the areas of history, philosophy and literature. Mr. Ahlquist attended Trinity High School at River Ridge, receiving the River Ridge award for Leadership. He double majored at Christendom College in Philosophy and Theology, graduating magna cum laude. In addition to having been in dozens of theatrical productions and independent films, he has taken part in dramatic productions on EWTN (Eternal World Television Network) and has worked as personal assistant and film editor to Ronald Maxwell (Director of the Hollywood films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals).

Mr. Gino Charmoli, Humanities. Mr. Charmoli is a graduate from Chesterton Academy in the Class of 2012. Upon leaving Chesterton Academy he attended the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. While pursuing a degree in Social Studies Education, he also participated in many extracurricular activities such as Student Government and Theatre. Mr. Charmoli graduated in the spring of 2016 with a degree in Social Studies Education and student teaching experience in Lima, Peru. He joined the Chesterton Academy faculty in 2016.

Dr. James Chastek, Humanities. Dr. James Chastek graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in 2000, received an MA from Claremont Graduate University in 2005, and a Ph.L. and Ph.D. from the Pontifical University of Thomas Aquinas in Rome (The Angelicum). Dr. Chastek began teaching in 2000 and has taught every grade from 1-12. He has taught at two different classical curriculum high schools: St. Michael Academy in Dallas, Texas and St. Monica Academy in Pasadena, California, in addition to constructing and implementing a classical curriculum in West Covina, CA and working as a philosophy instructor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He has taught most of the high school curriculum in both the Humanities and the Sciences. He joined the faculty of Chesterton Academy in 2010 and was made the Head of Humanities in 2015. He lives in Saint Paul, MN with his wife Jessica and six children. He is a parishioner at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Oakdale, MN.

Miss Alyssa Bormes, Humanities. Miss Bormes is a founding faculty member at Chesterton Academy and teaches Theology and Speech. In addition to teaching, she is a popular author, speaker, and radio host. Miss Bormes helps ignite in her students and wider audiences a newfound sense of wonder in the Church, through humor, analogy, and an innate gift of storytelling. Her passion is to inspire others to take on greater personal responsibility for their faith and to grow in spiritual maturity. She received a master’s degree in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas with study at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a parishioner at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.

Miss Lydia Eby, Humanities. Miss Eby is a graduate of Wyoming Catholic College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. While there she was active as a prefect. She has experience tutoring as well as working with students in outdoor leadership programs and is currently working on getting a Masters in art history at the University of St. Thomas. Her diverse interests include martial arts and firearms. She is a parishioner at Sts. Peter and Paul in Medina.

Mr. Shane Dowell, Humanities. Mr. Dowell is a founding faculty member of the Chesterton Academy East Metro Campus. He teaches Latin, History, Ancient Literature, and Philosophy. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College (2004) and a Master’s Degree in philosophy from Marquette University (2006). Mr. Dowell has taught at numerous Twin Cities schools, including Providence Academy, St. Agnes School, and Trinity School at River Ridge, and has taught students of all ages and ability levels from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition to playing a leadership role in developing the Latin curriculum, Mr. Dowell has written on the Socratic discussion method and analytical essay writing and has been influential in implementing and developing discussion-based analysis and critical thinking in the Literature program at Chesterton Academy. In addition to his academic interests, he and his wife have owned and operated a “beyond organic” vegetable operation over the last eight years with their three daughters. They live near the St. Croix River in Scandia, MN and are parishioners at St. Michael Catholic Church in Stillwater.

Mrs. Pamela Patnode, Humanities. Pamela Patnode is a Catholic wife, mother of five children, a Benedictine Oblate – and she is delighted to be a part of the Chesterton Academy team. Patnode will be teaching Spanish and Theology, and she will be found at both the Edina and the St. Paul campuses. Patnode holds a BA-Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Arts-Theology degree from the Augustine Institute, and is a Registered Instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Patnode is currently earning her doctorate in Education through Bethel University. Pamela has authored four books (all of which carry the Imprimatur), she is a regular guest of the national Catholic radio station Relevant Radio, and has been a guest of EWTN television and radio.

Miss Isabel Brown, Humanities. Miss Brown graduated from the University of St. Thomas where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Catholic Studies. She spent two years at Franciscan University of Steubenville in the Honors Program before transferring. While at the University of St. Thomas she was active in St. Paul’s Outreach and was accepted into the selective Catholic Leader’s Interns Program. After graduating, Isabel taught a Theology of the Body program at Holy Family Church for sophomore through senior-year students. She was trained as a Thrive Educator as part of the Life Edge Solutions team under Abria Pregnancy Resources. She is a parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church.

Mr. Ian O’Hagan, MA, Humanities. Mr. O’Hagan is a 2014 graduate of Benedictine College. He received a Master’s degree in History from St. Louis University in 2016. Before coming to Chesterton, he taught Latin for Kolbe Academy Homeschool Program and Rockhurst High School. When he’s not teaching or translating, he can be found gardening, swing dancing, singing, or planning his next mission trip. His home parish is the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mr. Jarrid Thelen, Humanities. Mr. Thelen has a Master’s in Theology from Villanova University. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with a minor in Philosophy from Ave Maria University. He spent two years on an Navajo reservation, teaching and serving at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School. He has also volunteered in working with young adult groups by going on mission trips to Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Israel. While finishing his Master’s, he was also a campus ministry intern at Villanova, serving on-campus residents through outreach.

FINE ARTS

Mrs. Laura Ahlquist – Fine Arts / Business and HR Director. Mrs. Ahlquist was a founding member of Chesterton Academy and has played a role in developing the Fine Arts Curriculum at Chesterton. Since then Mrs. Ahlquist has taught Spanish, Music and Drama at Chesterton. Currently, in addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Ahlquist serves as Director of Operations at Chesterton Academy. Mrs. Ahlquist was born in Treviso, Italy, and grew up in Mexico City. During her youth, she traveled extensively throughout Europe and is proficient in Italian, Spanish, English and French. She taught Spanish and Italian with a company specializing in translation and the training of corporate executives doing business in foreign countries. Mrs. Ahlquist received her B.A. from Carleton College where she continued her studies in languages and majored in music (piano, choir, music history and music theory). In the past ten years, she has written two children’s plays and has directed 34 theatre productions, both at Holy Family Academy and Chesterton Academy. She has six children and is a parishioner at Church of the Holy Family in St. Louis Park.

Mr. Nick Chalmers – Fine Arts. Mr. Chalmers earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and history from St. Olaf College in May of 2007, and a Masters of Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota in May of 2017. Mr. Chalmers is the Artistic Director of the Mirandola Ensemble, and performs with various groups around the Twin Cities and nationally including The Bach Society of Minnesota, The Rose Ensemble, Oratory, and Glorious Revolution Baroque. Mr. Chalmers is the Associate Director of Music at Holy Family Church in St. Louis Park, where he is also a parishioner.

Mr. Christopher Ganza, Fine Arts. Mr. Ganza is the Associate Director of Choirs, and assists Mr. Chalmers in all aspects of the choral program at Chesterton Academy. Mr. Ganza received a Bachelor of Music in Church Music from St. Olaf College, a Master of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Oklahoma, and recently completed doctoral coursework at the same institution, and hopes to defend his research in 2017. In addition to his duties at Chesterton Academy, he is the Organist and Choirmaster at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Minneapolis, where he directs an active sacred music program that includes the semi-professional parish choir, cantors, and the choir of Vespers at Lourdes.

Mr. Timothy Jones, FIne Arts. Mr. Jones has taught and developed the fine art curriculum at Chesterton Academy since 2012. His prior experience includes teaching undergraduate university courses, private students, professional workshops, public school classes, and summer youth programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in fine art in 1984, and master’s degree (University of Arkansas) in 1987, and worked as a professional designer and illustrator before beginning his full time career as a painter in the classical realist tradition. He is a member of Oil Painters of America and National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society. He continues to paint and exhibit, and has earned recognition and a number of awards in regional, national, and international competitions. He is a parishioner at Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids.

CHAPLAINCY

Father Adam Tokashiki, School Chaplain. Fr. Adam Tokashiki, PES, joined Pro Ecclesia Sancta in 2006. He was studying classical guitar in the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru, when the Lord called him to religious life. He also served for two years as a youth minister in the Catholic Advance (Pro Ecclesia Sancta’s lay movement) before becoming a brother. He arrived to Minnesota in 2009, where he helped lead a variety of apostolates at the Church of St. Mark in St. Paul and in the University of St. Thomas. He made his perpetual vows in 2014 and in May of 2016 was ordained to the priesthood. Fr. Adam has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas and a Masters in Divinity from the St. Paul Seminary.