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[Meet the Team] The Minnesota Team Behind It All

[Meet the Team] The Minnesota Team Behind It All

Edmentum has been a pioneer in online education since its inception, tracing roots back to 1960 with the creation of the PLATO system, which started as a research project at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Although nearly 60 years have passed, our commitments remain the same—we are committed to being educators' most trusted partner in creating successful student outcomes. We support educators across the country with educational technology tools featuring comprehensive digital curriculum, assessment, and education consulting.

What some people may not know is that one of our two headquarters is located in Bloomington, Minnesota—Land of 10,000 lakes, the Mall of America, and the almost Super Bowl contenders, the Vikings (too soon?). However, our ties to Minnesota run deeper than state slogans, landmarks, and sometimes disappointing sports teams. So, let’s peel back a few layers and explore our roots as a Minnesota-based company.

Currently, we have 136 employees at our Minnesota office. As Minnesotans, we have a vested interest in education in the state, as well as nationally. For many of us, including myself (I went to White Bear Lake High School), this state has given us our education, and we too are products of the Minnesota education system. Additionally, as a company, we have the privilege to partner with schools across the state. A few schools in which we have volunteered with:

  • Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion School in Eden Prairie
  • East Side Learning Center in St. Paul (and we’re currently doing a companywide book drive for the school!)
  • Indian Mounds Elementary in Bloomington

We have a dedicated team of Minnesota partners who understand Minnesota education and policy, want to support our community, and most importantly, help students and educators succeed. A few fun factoids about some of your MN partners:

  • Daryl Vavrichek, M.Ed., Education Consultant: “I have had about every educational job you can name: classroom teacher (4th and 5th), district assessment coordinator, curriculum coordinator, technology integrations guy, education director, assistant principal, and janitor (just kidding, but not really).”
  • Anne Marie Pfaender, Business Development Manager: “I went to Cretin-Derham Hall for high school and the University of St. Thomas and where I earned a B.A. in journalism and English. The reason I choose to work in education is because the best way to never stop learning is to surround yourself with educators.”
  • Jeff Reistad, Regional Vice President: “I grew up and went to high school in Burnsville and graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. I am the founder and former Board Chair of a charter school, Aspen Academy.”
  • Heather Whatley, Business Development Representative: “I graduated from Minnetonka High School and Bethel University where I earned a B.A. in Biology. As a parent and basketball coach in the Roseville area, I love partnering with dedicated educators across the Midwest to implement innovative practices for personalized learning.”
  • Jill Stenzel, Account Representative: "I grew up in southern MN and attended Concordia University, where I earned a BA in Organizational Management/Communications. Prior to joining Edmentum, I worked in education as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional. I have two daughters who attended K-12 is District 196 (Rosemount/Eagan/Apple Valley). I believe student success is driven by the dedicated teachers and administrators that I have the privilege of interacting with on a daily basis!"

So, from the outside, we may appear to be an EdTech company, but we are so much more than that. We are educators, neighbors, and friends who have a true passion for supporting students and our local communities. Interested in learning more? Contact Anne Marie to get started!