Faculty and Staff
In most cases, please use the last 4 digits of the listed phone numbers when calling from any campus.
Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.
Phone: (218) 723-7052
Dr. Chery Takkunen is an associate professor and Chair of Graduate Programs for the School of Education at The College of St. Scholastica. Dr. Takkunen oversees the Master of Education and the Graduate Teaching Licensure programs. Her Ph.D is from Capella University where she focused on educational technology. She received a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Minnesota, and an M.Ed. in science and math education from The College of St. Scholastica. She is a licensed K-12 administrator and K-6 teacher. Previously, Dr. Takkunen taught at Churchill Elementary School in Cloquet, MN. She has served on the Minnesota Digital Learning Plan Committee, Minnesota Innovations Council, and the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee for Mathematics. Her research and teaching interests include online learning, educational technology, inquiry based learning, teacher education, and Web 2.0 technologies.
Phone: (218) 723-5992
Valerie began her teaching career at the Bugonaygeshig School on the Leech Lake Reservation, where she taught for three years in a self-contained classroom for children with emotional/behavioral disabilities. Valerie then moved to the Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School in Cass Lake, Minnesota. The Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School is a public school with an American Indian population of 80%. In Cass Lake, Valerie continued to work with children with emotional/behavioral disabilities. After three more years in special education, she moved to regular education and taught in a fifth grade classroom. In 1997, Valerie accepted a position with the Department of Children, Families and Learning-Office of Indian Education as supervisor for the Duluth Field Office of Indian Education. In the fall of 2003, she began to work as an assistant professor for the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Currently, Ms. Tanner resides as Chair of the Undergrad Program in the School of Education. Valerie received her B.S. from the University of North Dakota, her M.S. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and has taken course work in the Doctoral Program, "Educational Leadership", at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Valerie is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Reservation and the mother of three awe-inspiring children.
Phone: (218) 625-4995
John earned his B.S. in Elementary Education from Moorhead State University. His M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction was earned at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. John taught elementary students in the towns of Wabasso, MN and Northfield, MN. He is currently working to complete his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through the University of St. Thomas. John teaches in the School of Education, works as the institutional licensure officer, and is the chair of the SOE undergraduate admissions committee. His passions include his family, Faith, reading, numerous outdoor activities.
Phone: (218) 723-6739
Randy brings 34 years of experience as a principal, teacher and coach to our education staff. Before joining the CSS School of Education, Randy was the 7-12 Principal in the Esko schools, a position he held for 7 years. Prior to that assignment he was the 7-12 Principal and AD at the Willow River school. His secondary teaching experience was at the Hermantown High School where he taught Physical Science, General Science and Biology. While at Hermantown he coached football and basketball for 24 years. He earned a bachelor's degree from Bemidji State University, an M.Ed. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and completed his Education Administration Certification at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. Randy lives in Hermantown with his wife Marlene and they have two grown children.
Phone: (218) 723-5971
Phone: (218) 723-6724
Gail has 15 years of elementary education teaching experience, 5 years as an elementary classroom teacher and 10 years as an elementary media generalist. She received a B.A. in elementary education from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and an M.L.S. from the University of Iowa. Gail is the graduate teaching licensure coordinator for the Duluth campus and also teaching courses in that program as well as the online teaching and educational technology certificate programs. Her educational interests include teaching the adult learner, as well as 21st century teaching and technology practices.
Phone: (218) 723-6110
Tom graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sociology. He worked in retail and wholesale sales for three years before returning to the University to earn a degree in Elementary Education. Tom has fifteen years of teaching experience in grades one through six. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in elementary reading. Tom's educational interests include the writing process, teaching poetry, and teacher research.
Phone: (218) 723-6014
Phone: (218) 723-6612
Meridel received her B.A. (English Major) at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN, and her M.Ed. at Shippensburg State University, Shippensburg, PA. She has taught English and Speech to high school students for 18 years in Bloomington, MN, Newville, PA, and North Branch, MN. Meridel has been with St. Scholastica since 1986, and is currently teaching Secondary Education courses along with Human Relations, Women's Studies, and English courses. Meridel enjoys reading memoirs, walking, cooking vegetarian meals, gardening, weaving, engaging in stimulating conversations with friends, and trying to relate to her cat, Isadora.
Beth received her bachelor's degree in Natural Science from The College of St. Benedict. She completed a teaching certificate at UMD, and an M.Ed. from St. Scholastica. Beth has taught middle and secondary level science classes including life, earth, and physical science for 13 years in the Duluth Schools. Her focus is on increasing teacher's abilities to use hands-on science activities that promote critical thinking.
Phone: (218) 723-6108
Rachel earned her B.A. in English from the University of Rochester. She pursued a career in the media industry in Chicago until she moved with her family to Duluth in 1993. She earned her Bachelor's degree in education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and her Master's degree in education from St. Mary's University. She has taught in the Duluth public schools for the past six years. Her academic interests are technology integration, elementary math methods, working with at-risk students, and educational reform. She enjoys reading, gardening, traveling, theatre, and spending time with her husband Bill, sons Connor and Nate, and her dog Cosmo.
Phone: (218) 723-6026
Betty is associate professor in the School of Education. She served as Chair of Education for eight years and now teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in research methods, critical thinking, Universal Design for Learning, and special education/inclusion. Previously she was at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, as a researcher, administrator and consultant. Her publications are on disability in higher education, organizational change, teaching action research, authentic instruction, and technology in teacher education. Betty has a B.A. in English, M.S. in special education, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership. Her interests include fostering high quality intellectual work in K-12 education, qualitative research methods, and professional development of teachers.