Carrie Leopold received her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2004 in Biology, her Master’s in Education from the University of Mary in 2010, and recently finished a PhD in Educational Research at the University of North Dakota. She worked in a research lab for two years before deciding to pursue her passion for education. Miss Carrie has taught in public education, informal settings and at the college level and worked as a STEM Outreach Coordinator before opening the Inspire Innovation Lab. She now focuses on her passion which includes creating innovative learning opportunities for teachers, students and the community with a focus on building resilience. Miss Carrie is a creative problem solver who is devoted to her family and her pets (which include an expansive number of birds and dogs). She believes in the power of asking questions, even the difficult messy ones, and encourages others to embrace the benefits of up-to-your-eyeballs-in-alligators levels of messy, chaotic learning.
Chief Cat Herder and Head of the Unicorn Division
Sara Gurath has over 25 years of teaching experience, including starting and running two schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also done a deep dive into curriculum development, including work done at Stanford in reading, writing, history, and discussion. Her passion is creating independent, passionate, critical, and lifelong learners. Miss Sara finds deep joy in singing with the kiddos and sharing her love of reading with them. When she's not busy teaching, Miss Sara is an active runner, an enthusiastic reader, a joyful music maker, and above all, she is a dedicated family woman.
Keeper of the Brains
Rachel Geinert studied English Education at NDSU before she realized that she really hates the current model of education and set aside her lifelong dream of being a teacher. They met Carrie while doing improv and quickly fell in love with the mission of Inspire Lab and has been working here ever since! They have a background in teaching theatre to children, both here in Fargo/Moorhead at FMCT and North Dakota Governor's School and in New Jersey, through the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. She is also very active in the local LGBTQ community and believes strongly in creating an open, accepting place for children to discover their own identities. Mx. Rachel loves reading, telling stories, laughing, theatre, and giant bear hugs.
Creativity and Kindness Guru
Isa Herrera has over eight years of experience guiding youth-led public art projects and is excited to take their dedication to teaching in a new direction with Inspire Lab. Isa is passionate about finding and focusing on the intersection of arts and sciences to create a new generation of innovative and compassionate learners and creators. They are constantly working towards improving access to educational opportunities for queer youth and youth of color and are looking forward to finding new ways to incorporate that goal at Inspire Lab. In their free time, Isa enjoys cooking, fashion and travel. Isa is currently the lead teacher for this year's class of Explorers and is loving getting to work on math, play and motor skills with them!
Instigator of Lightbulb Moments
Stella Snyder is a mother to 3 children and 2 bonus children! They range in ages from 5-15 years old so she has a wide array of personal at home experience with all sorts of personalities, learning and helping her kids through tough times. Besides being a mom, Stella has worked as a paraprofessional at various public schools in Fargo and West Fargo for about 5 years. Stella is also working on getting her bachelors degree in Psychology. Stella has a big spot in her heart for kids who are typically misunderstood in the regular school setting and kids who have gone through trauma. She hopes to utilize her knowledge of psychology to create a safe space for kids of all ages to feel comfortable and safe in their learning environment at the lab. In her free time, Stella enjoys photography, art and gardening.
Rachel Johnson is a licensed case manager for individuals with disabilities with degrees in social work, gender studies, and sociology. Miss Rachel is also a regular foster mom for both dogs and kids, making her one of the most impressively patient people we know. Miss Rachel has worked at the lab covering special events and birthday parties since the fall of 2018.
Joe Cleys is a graduate from MSUM (BA in Communications) and NDSU (MS in Natural Resources Management). He has experience in running book clubs through the public library back home and creating a fun, cohesive community while he was an RA. Mr. Joe loves playing games with the kids and being a mentor for them. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, reading, and playing Dungeons and Dragons along with his many other board games.
Mr. Joe currently works full-time at NDSU as the Activities Coordinator in Thundar's Game Room in the Memorial Student Union. However, he will be back at the Lab part-time, running Dungeons and Dragons games with the kids.
Inspire Innovation Lab
810 4th Ave S, Suite 101, Moorhead, MN 56560
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