Our highly skilled middle school teachers also serve as advisors to our middle school students. They are confidants, counselors, and experts in the teen years, who motivate their students with meaningful literature, math concepts, Talmudic studies, science labs, and more.
Steve Mintz, Operational Leadership Facilitator and Middle School Science Teacher, earned his B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Jewish Studies from the University of Minnesota. He joined the Heilicher faculty in 2011. Steve's educational career spans more than 30 years in both formal and informal education. He taught third through eighth grade, all subjects, during 11 years at The Tesseract School in Eagan, prior to becoming Herzl Camp’s director for six years. Steve continues his independent work as an educational consultant, writer, and workshop facilitator, helping schools around the country develop vibrant and effective learning cultures. He can often be found playing guitar with the band Stereo Kitchen. Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, making music, camping, skiing, and cooking.
Davida Cytron, Middle School Team Coordinator and Math Teacher, earned her B.A. in History and Hebrew from the University of Wisconsin and her Masters in Adolescent Education from Bank Street College. Prior to joining the Heilicher faculty in 2007, Davida taught fourth grade at The Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago. Davida is also the parent of two Heilicher alumni. In her free time Davida enjoys cooking, reading, yoga and amateur mixology.
Mollie Divine, Middle School Math Teacher, earned her B.S. in Elementary Education with a Minor in Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to teaching, she has taken graduate level courses at Hamline University with a focus on math education in both elementary and middle school. Prior to joining the Heilicher faculty in 2007, Mollie taught a fourth and fifth grade resource class at Shabonee Elementary School in Northbrook, Illinois. Mollie currently resides in St. Louis Park with her husband Jason and her sons Rudy and Arne. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, attending yoga classes, cooking, and being at the lakes as often as the Minneapolis weather will permit.
Jessica (Jessie) Gitles Fine, Middle School Math Teacher, joined the Heilicher faculty in 2014. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics Education with a Minor in Technology from the University of Indiana. Over the last ten years, Jessie has primarily taught high school Mathematics. Jessica most recently taught at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, Ramah Jerusalem High School (TRY) in Israel, and Solomon Schechter of Westchester in New York before moving to Minnesota. Jessica lives in St. Paul with her husband Jeremy, and daughters Annie and Trudy. She loves the White Sox, travel, and spending time with her family and friends.
Annika Graif, M.A.T., Grade 6 General Studies Teacher, earned her B.A. in History with a Religious Studies certificate from the University of Wisconsin and her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Hamline University. She has taught a variety of grades including fourth, fifth, and middle school social studies. No matter the grade or subject, Annika enjoys cultivating students' curiosity, creativity, and love for learning. She lives in Minnetonka with her husband and two sons. In her free time, Annika enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling and visiting museums
Jon Keljik, Ph. D., Academic Council Social Studies Coordinator and Middle School Social Studies Teacher, earned his B.A. in History and Journalism from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in history from The George Washington University, where he specialized in U.S. immigration history. Before moving back to his hometown of Minneapolis and teaching at Heilicher, Jon taught high school history and social science courses for more than four years at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. He's also taught at George Washington University and Northern Virginia Community College, as well as spent one year teaching junior high school English classes in rural Japan. Jon lives with his wife and cat in Minneapolis and when not teaching history, enjoys traveling, biking around the lakes, and camping in as many national parks as possible.
Lynn Slobodien, M.Ed., Grade 6 General Studies Teacher, earned her B.A. in History from Wesleyan University and her M.Ed. from UCLA. Lynn started her teaching career with toddlers in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and taught writing and literature for almost 15 years at the middle and high school levels in California. She relishes the intellectual challenge of working with students who love learning, and Heilicher students have kept her busy since she joined the Heilicher faculty in 2007. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and son. She is also a teacher development coordinator at Heilicher.
Morgan Stair, M.A., Academic Council Facilitator and Middle School Language Arts Teacher, joined the Heilicher faculty in 2016. He served as seventh and eighth grade Humanities teacher at St. Patrick's School and Language Arts teacher at the Cesar Chavez Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. He also taught fifth grade Humanities at Gatson College Preparatory, a KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) in North Carolina. A Knoxville, TN native, Morgan and his wife Elana and have two sons.