Team and Board of Directors
WEST began in 2009 and is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization offering tutor-based weekly classes for home-educated students in 5th through 12th grade.
Our class schedule allows parents and students to choose from a variety of tutorial courses taught by skilled and passionate tutors.
WEST allows for 90-minute academic sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at two different locations in Maple Grove, MN.
WEST is led by a team (see below) and Board of Directors
Robin Fraser, Director
Robin desires to support homeschoolers as they seek to teach and influence as well as love and empower their children. As a homeschooler herself, Robin sees the need for homeschooling families to have educational options. Opening the doors of WEST has been a long time vision of Robin’s. She enjoys using her leadership experience and skill set at WEST.
Robin holds a degree in education – has taught in the inner-city public schools at the middle/junior high level. In 1993, Robin won the Sallie Mae First Class Teacher of the Year Award for Wisconsin. She has also served as an inner-city youth director, worked in the corporate world and has served in church: council member/teacher/event planner/ministry lead and more.
Robin is a home educator of 16 years. She is the founder of the homeschool co-op Fellowship In Christian Homeschool Education (FICHE), co-founder of WEST and has earned certification as a Spiritual Director.
She and her family live in Maple Grove where they serve in their church, neighborhood and wider community.
Robin’s heart is to engage, encourage and empower parents and students in a variety of ways – one being WEST.
Kathy Hanson, WEST Office Assistant
Kathy began homeschooling when she and her two daughters wanted to spend the year touring with her musician husband. That was nine years ago! They enjoyed homeschooling so much that they never went back.
Kathy graduated from the University of Minnesota with an Elementary Education degree. She spent 8 years teaching kindergarten in St. Louis Park prior to moving to northern Minnesota to help develop an Outdoor Education program at Camp Shamineau. This was a perfect pairing of Kathy’s love for teaching & students with a love of the great outdoors.
Kathy, her husband Joel, and two girls live on a hobby farm in Greenfield where they share their lives with 5 goats, 15 chickens, 2 cats and one dog. They are passionate about growing things not only in the ground but also in people. They love gathering groups to worship, mentoring young musicians & families, and providing space for others to slow down and listen.
Kathy loves watching the friendships and relationships that develop at WEST and she is excited to be a part helping WEST serve homeschooling families.
Amy Fleigle, Registrar
Julie Burkstrand, Treasurer
Julie Burkstrand has been a part of the homeschooling community since the year 2000. She is pleased to join the WEST team and hopes to encourage fellow homeschoolers in their journey.
After graduating from Bemidji State University, Julie worked as an exercise consultant for 5 years at a local health club, before leaving that position to be a stay at home mom. She and her husband, Todd, have four children and have made their home in Osseo, MN for the past 27 years.
Julie has served in a variety of roles in her community, church, and homeschool co-op, the latest of which has been on the leadership board as treasurer for the past 9 years.
Tiffany Pavlish, Website Communications
Tiffany Pavlish has been a part of the homeschooling community since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of the WEST team and continue supporting the homeschool community by maintaining WEST's website and encouraging families on their homeschool journey.
Tiffany graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus with a degree in Business Education. Currently, Tiffany also teaches a Computer Applications class for WEST during Fall semester. Tiffany and her husband, Andy, have four children and have made their home in Rogers, MN since 1996.
Tiffany has served in a variety of roles in the homeschool community and church encouraging women to forge ahead even when life seems bleak.