The school leadership team ensures that our scholars have the environment, resources, enrichment opportunities, and curriculum to succeed in their education, by providing them with a dynamic and nurturing school community.

Hiawatha College Prep-Northrop

Sherene Judeh
Founding Principal | HCP-Northrop
sjudeh@hiawathaacademies.org | 612-559-6546
Sherene Judeh has been a teacher, school administrator, and advocate for equity in education for over 12 years. She has taught and led in district and charter schools and seeks continuous improvement in service of high expectations, strong community, and strong achievement results for students. Sherene has experience in interdisciplinary learning. social-emotional learning, change management, arts integration, and restorative practices. Through research, collaboration, and design, Sherene has worked with several schools to transform academic programming into authentic, community centered learning experiences for students resulting in dramatically increased student achievement. For the past three months, Sherene has been the Founding Principal, leading the research, development, piloting, and codification of the newest Hiawatha Academies school focused on equity, community and student agency.

Stephanie Lee
Math Foundations and Personalized Learning
slee@hiawathaacademies.org
Stephanie Lee has worked as a high school math teacher in district and charter schools for the past eleven years. Driven by a strong desire to empower students to become leaders of their own learning, she believes that cultivating strong relationships is essential to building effective student-led learning communities. Stephanie has experience in designing math and interdisciplinary curriculum, implementing restorative justice practices, and using action research to improve teacher practice. Stephanie joined HCP-Northrop’s build team in October and is working on designing curriculum for HCP-Northrop’s math program and its personalized enrichment projects.

Kate Palmer
Founding Director of Operations
kpalmer@hiawathaacademies.org
Kate Palmer is the founding Director of Operations of Hiawatha College Prep-Northrop. Originally from a suburb of Detroit, Kate graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in Gender Studies and African Studies. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois, Chicago. In addition to disrupting systemic barriers in education, she is passionate about health equity and has worked for the past ten years in reproductive and LGBT healthcare. Kate lives in south Minneapolis and enjoys spending time with her partner and infant son, Leon.

Beda Martinez
Dean of Instruction
bmartinez@hiawathaacademies.org
Beda Martinez- Cruz was born and raised in a rust belt city in Wisconsin. She identifies as a low-income, first generation Chicana. Her passion for education equity comes from her own experiences as a student in public schools. She grew up experiencing two realities. One reality was that of many other low-income students of color, and the other was that of more affluent white families. This became abundantly clear when she transferred from the comfort of her neighborhood school to a less diverse elementary school. The schools were no more than a few miles apart but the expectations for students were vastly different. After triple majoring at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Beda joined the teaching force and then became an instructional coach in Las Vegas. She went on to work in education policy and advocacy. Now, she will be returning to the school setting to serve as the founding Dean of Instruction for Hiawatha College Prep-Northrop. During her spare time, Beda enjoys playtime with Santiago, her son, and trying out new cuisines with her partner, Edwin. She is excited to call the Twin Cities home.

Matthew Freese
Dean of Students
nfreese@hiawathaacademies.org

Blanca Crespin
Founding Office Manager
nfreese@hiawathaacademies.org
Blanca is the founding Office Manager at Hiawatha College Prep Northrop. She’s coming from Avalon School with years of experience and is excited and anxious to start serving the families of HCP-N. Blanca is currently working on her Masters Degree at Hamline University for Creative Writing. When she isn’t at work, or doing her homework she’s usually hanging out with her daughter waiting for a new adventure to begin.