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Career Pathways Charter School Monthly News October 2020

Career Pathways is 5 Years Young!

This month the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools recognized Career Pathways for serving students for five years. 

Starting a school is no small task.  There are 4 Career Pathways leaders who have continued the hard work of fulfilling our founding vision to serve students by opening their minds to the world of careers. 

The four leaders are,
  • Mr. Ken Vreeland
  • Ms. Elizabeth Lonetti
  • Mr. Abshir Hirsi
  • Ms. Hamdi Farah

They responded to these prompts:
When you began this journey what did you expect and what happened?
What has pleased you the most about the 5 years at MEFE/ Career Pathways?
What would you like the school to be doing in 5 more years?
...or anything else you would like to say.

Mr. Ken Vreeland, Founding Community Leader, School Board Chairman, “It has been 8 years for me and MEFE, then Career Pathways.  It took 3 years from conception to opening.  The work for me is not so much work as such, but more like trying to be an abolitionist educator that wants more for students.  Along the way there has been and continue to be amazing people who exhibit the passion I love to be a part of.  We have worked toward new goals, developed a strong team of teachers, teacher leaders, and all are well served by Dr. Joan.  We seem to be moving in a direction that will keep us around for moving the ball forward for students and families.  Thank you all.”

Ms. Elizabeth Lonetti, Founding Teacher Leader, School Board Director, “Five years and so many names! I am so blessed and proud  of those who have worked so hard to build the Cpath community. The original founders spent two years designing and planning for opening day. And then the school took on a life of its own, much the way a gift is shaped by the receiver. There was change along the way- including a move from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Teachers and staff have come and sometimes left on other adventures. Through it all, I get a real joy in watching our students grow academically as well as make strong personal connections to staff and each other. While graduation day is truly a highlight of the year, I see everyday how hard our students work... and play!

As I look to the future, we are continuing to push all students to prepare for any number of possibilities- everything from the four year college route to amazing apprenticeship opportunities and trade training. My goal is that each student leaves the school in charge of their own destiny. I want them all to know I believe in them!”

Mr. Abshir Hirsi, Founding Teacher Leader, School Board Director, “When we began this journey, I was unsure if the school would succeed in serving the community, but it has blown my mind how well we have done. I have been most pleased with how we at Career Pathways have transformed not only our students but our community to be a part of their education. In five years, I would like to be in school administration.” 

Ms. Hamdi Farah, Founding Teacher Leader, “To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of expectations when I began my journey five years ago.  I was straight out of school and didn’t know what I really wanted. Working with Mr. Raymond [lead EL teacher, 2015 to 2017] has changed my life and gave it a new purpose.

There are so many things that pleased me in the past 5 years. Seeing our students succeed and further their educational pursuit is by far the most rewarding thing in the past 5 years. The staff and how dedicated they were/are still to their students is pleasing and inspiring.  

I would like the school to continue doing what they are doing for our  students, by continuing to give them a voice and choice. I would also like the school to continue the different ways in which students can earn credits, be it Plato, project, and or in class.

In the past 5 years, which feels like yesterday, I have lived my dream of wanting to make a difference in at least one student’s life. I have students who graduated years ago still reach out, to either seek help with college applications or just to check-in. I can’t put into words how amazing the past five years have been. I look forward to 20 more years to come.” 


Covid 19 has brought many changes to the way we teach and support students at Career Pathways. What has not changed are the ways that teachers personalize and support students. Instruction has always included technology and online options, but this year to protect our community we are using more technology and more online learning.

Students have zoom classes four days a week and advisory and elective options one day a week. 

When we designed our program for this year, we tried to limit screen time as much as possible while making sure that students have the opportunity to learn all of the required courses plus fun options. Now that we are ending our second month of this extraordinary school year, we are inspired by the resilience of our students and the opportunity for innovative teaching that Distance Learning brings. 

Not easy but we got this… 

Ms. Thu teaching College Prep Math via zoom 

Ms. Cassi supporting a student at school 

Ms. Hamdi preparing to teach English Language Arts 

Career Pathways is a Teacher-Led School. 

Teacher-Led means that the teachers are responsible for the programming we provide to our students.  It is written into Career Pathways' charter school bylaws that teachers have autonomy to manage the school. Teachers also have a majority on the school board.

This month Career Pathways Teachers attended the National Teacher Powered Virtual Schools Conference. To learn more about the conference, read our feedback below...

Hannah Glowczewski, Teacher Leader,  School Board Director, “I’ve really enjoyed going to the teacher powered conference this year. It was different being virtual but we were still provided with many opportunities to learn. We were able to go on virtual tours of teacher powered schools all over the US and listen to speakers on various education topics. We are excited to bring back and apply these new ideas at Career Pathways!” 

Analuns Brambila, Teacher Leader,  School Board Director, “I loved seeing how the Twin Cities and our local politics and community were highlighted by HSRA [High School for the Recording Arts], an amazing teacher-powered school that we are lucky to work with and learn from.”

Thu Vien, Teacher Leader,  “The conference I went to was very helpful. I got to learn more strategies about how to get to know others and get connected quickly. I can see that those could help me build relationships with new students as well as maintain it with other students and staff.”
Brittany Schmidtknecht, Instructional Leader, “The Teacher Powered Conference allowed me to connect with educators across the country and think about how we can improve our own little school right here in St. Paul.  I was able to gain ideas around committees, teacher leadership, and culturally responsive teaching.  However, the most important takeaway has been the need for all voices and building the space for those voices as a school, teacher, and advisor.  Every member of our school community needs to be at the table, especially our students!”


  • 11 / 19 END OF Q1
  • 11 / 25, 26, 27 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Our door is always open to new students.


We are raising money for outside furniture to expand our learning areas.

We hope to purchase two high quality picnic tables and benches so that students have a place to sit and work on our playground.

Thank you for your support!


Hi all! My name is Cristina Cuevas and I am a returning Promise Fellow at Career Pathways. I started at Career Pathways in January.

As a Promise Fellow, I work with students  to build attendance rates, focus on school work and emotional support. I also make sure that I am another support system for students in and out of the classroom. My goal is to make sure all students have a safe space at their school, where they feel comfortable being themselves. 

Last year, I was lucky enough to work and build relationships with so many of our great students while supporting them in the classroom. This year, as we are in distance learning, I’ve been finding new ways to support students virtually. Monday through Friday I hold a study hall for students from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM via Zoom. Students typically come to chat and catch up on school work. Sometimes, we even end up playing games like "Among Us." You can also see me attending classes throughout the day to learn from both our students and teachers. 

The Promise Fellow Experience.

We prepare students for future success with three kinds of learning:
Important Information
Enrollment and Transportation questions to Dr. Joan -
Blended / Online Learning questions to Mr. Abshir -
Work Credit and Internship information to Ms. Liz -
Other questions? email or call 651-400-1781

Fadlan noo soo sheeg haddii aad u baahan tahay in lagaa caawiyo turjumaanta fariintan. Mahadsanid.

Yog koj xav tau kev pab, peb muaj txhais lus Hmoob. Thov hais rau kuv paub. Ua tsaug.

Traducción en español disponible si nos solicita. Avísanos si podemos ayudar con eso. Gracias.

Let us know if you need help with this message.  Thank you

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Our mailing address is:
1355 W Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul, MN 55104

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Career Pathways · 1355 W Pierce Butler Rte · Saint Paul, MN 55104-1359 · USA

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