Board of Directors
Greg Friess - Board Chair,
Treasurer, & Founder
Friess holds a B.A. in both Economics and Political Science. He earned an M.S.
in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also worked as a
teaching assistant. He has spent his career as a financial analyst providing
investment research to professional money managers, working on forecasting and
regulatory issues in the utility industry, and working with small
business. Mr. Friess is been with Parnassus since it's inception.
He believes that charter schools offer an additional educational choice to
families in the northwest suburbs and that choice is a key to improving the
educational outcomes of all children in the area.
Ben Ark - Director
Mr. Ark has a B.S. in Computer Science from Delaware State University and has worked in the IT field for nearly 20 years as a developer, consultant, and manager. He is the father of three Parnassus scholars and is an avid supporter of the Parnassus mission. He is currently the Senior Vice President of Software R&D at COGENCY GLOBAL, a registered agent and legal/financial service company, where he oversees the development of software for businesses, law firms, and financial institutions engaging in business formation, compliance, litigation, and secured financial transactions. Mr. Ark speaks regularly at conferences on the topic of electronic standards and best practices for document filing and retrieval between businesses and government agencies. He is excited to contribute to the school’s success as a parent, an advocate for Classical Education and academic rigor, and as a member of the Parnassus Board of Directors.
Barbara Rose – Director
Ms. Rose, teacher since 1997, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bemidji State University with a major in Elementary Education, minor in Art, and an emphasis in reading. She earned her Masters degree in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary's in 2001. After teaching at a large district school for most of her career, she joined the Parnassus team as a 4th Grammar teacher when the school opened. Ms. Rose is passionate about implementing the Classical Education model and the difference it can make in the academic growth of her students.
Heather Ross - Vice Chair & Founder
Ms. Ross has a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota with
majors in History and Political Science and a Masters of Education degree from
the University of Minnesota. Ms. Ross’s experience with 7-12 education includes
teaching in both public and private high school settings. Ms. Ross holds a
current Minnesota Teaching License and brings a wealth of teaching and
education experience to the team.
Kenneth D. Zigrino - DirectorBoard Directory:
Mr. Zigrino is an original founder
of Aspen Acquisition Corporation, and has been the Chief Intellectual Property
Officer, Secretary and a director of the Company since its inception. For the
past 30 years, Mr. Zigrino has been an entrepreneur and corporate lawyer,
focusing on emerging firms. From March of 2001 to the present, Mr.
Zigrino was in the private practice of law, advising emerging businesses in a
wide range of industries, from medical devices to manufacturers to renewable
energy. From June of 1998 to March of 2001, Mr. Zigrino was the Vice President,
Secretary and General Counsel of Velocity Express, Inc., North America’s
largest same-day delivery company with annual revenues in excess of $550
million. Prior to that, he was Secretary and general counsel to Primo Piatto,
Inc., a Twin Cities based pasta manufacturer that was sold to Dakota Growers.
Mr. Zigrino served as President of the law firm of Zigrino & LoGalbo, P.A.
from January 1990 to June of 1998. Prior to 1990, Mr. Zigrino practiced
corporate law at two well-known Twin Cities law firms. He received his
law degree cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1985.
Board Chair, Founder, & Treasurer, Greg Friess: email@example.com
Vice Chair & Founder, Heather Ross: firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Founder & Secretary, Ken Zigrino: email@example.com
Board Director, Ben Ark: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Director, Barbara Rose: email@example.com
Founders and Advisors:
Laura Bottenfield - Founder & Parnassus Director of Academics and Programs
Ms. Bottenfield holds a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in marketing from the University of St. Thomas; a Master of Business Administration with an International Business concentration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; a Master in Education Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Department of Organizational Leadership,Policy, and Development. Ms. Bottenfield is the original founder of
Parnassus and served as the Board Chair for five years from its initial development until 2013
when she resigned from the Board Chair position to accept the Director of
Academics position. Ms. Bottenfield has visited several classical charter schools and classical private schools in and out of state. She has observed classes at these schools, has seen first hand the results of the rigorous classical curriculum and the trivium teaching methods, has participated in workshops, engaged in many discussions with experts in the field, read many books on education and the classical trivium, and continues to conduct extensive research about classical education.
Constance Ford, Parnassus Executive Director
Ms. Ford is the current and founding Executive
Director of Parnassus Preparatory School. She was also one of the
founders of the first classical charter school in our neighboring state and one
of the first charter schools in her region. Under her leadership, the school
grew to full capacity, nearly 500 students in grades K-8 with a large waiting
list in the hundreds each year since its inception in the 1990s. The school was
identified as one of the top charter schools in Wisconsin based on student
performance, low staff and student attrition levels, and high academics
standards. Ms. Ford holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from
Lawrence University and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership.