Staff Directory

Contact Us with any questions. 


BRAD

Brad Tipka
Executive Director
btipka@sejongacademy.org

Brad is an educator with twenty years of experience as a teacher, teacher-trainer and school leader. He studied K-12 English Education/ESL at St. Cloud State and completed his Master’s in TESOL at the School for International Training. He is currently a student in the Ed.D program the University of St. Thomas in Educational Leadership. Prior to Sejong Academy, Brad was Director of Lincoln International High School in Minneapolis. He has also served as an Instructional Specialist/Coach at Noble Academy in Minneapolis. Brad spent five years teaching in Korea including positions at Dong A University in Busan and Seoul National University of Technology. Brad also served as an English Language Teaching Fellow with the US Department of State for three years in Indonesia and Malaysia. Brad believes in the transformational power of intercultural experience and language study. He is passionate about Korean language and culture and believes the study of Korean language and culture will be an amazing educational option for students in Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughter, a Sejong Academy fourth grader.


SAWLWIN

Sawlwin Si
Office Manager/ Community Liaison
ssi@sejongacademy.org

Sawlwin was born during tumultuous time of civil war between the Karen ethnic group and Burmese Socialist Party in Burma. Sawlwin is native Karen, and speaks Karen, English, and Burmese  and is conversational in Thai. Sawlwin was certified as a Math and Social Studies teacher from the Kaw Thoo Lei Teacher Training College in the Karen state in Myanmar.  Sawlwin was a classroom teacher for 12 years and Principal for four years in a Thai public school.  Sawlwin received his High School Diploma in 1990, and he grew up among the very diverse groups in Southeast Asia and has been now been working for 8 years in United States in the very diverse communities. Sawlwin came to the United States as a refugee and is currently working with Sejong Academy as the school district office manager, community liaison, English-Karen interpreter and translator. Sawlwin loves learning by working with diverse groups, and his goal and dream is to serve people as human being to learn that we are one in this universe.


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Jin Soo Kim Technology Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
jinsookim@sejongacademy.org

Jin Soo was born in South Korea, spent his childhood in the Philippines and was educated since High School in the US. He graduated in 1999 with Bachelors and Masters of Engineering from Georgia Tech and went on to study theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, obtaining his M.Div degree in 2012. He is currently working bi-vocationally, both as Music Director at Church of All Nations in the Twin Cities and as our Technology Coordinator and Admin. He is interested in learning about and navigating the intersection of history, the arts, religion, politics and education in our society.


Seongeun Kim Pre-Kindergarten Class teacher
skim@sejongacademy.org

Ms. Kim was born and raised in South Korea and moved to the States when she was in middle school. She graduated from Crown College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Pre-primary and a Christian Studies minor. She has various teaching experience working with diverse students through practicums, student teaching, and volunteer opportunities. Ms. Kim loves to travel and enjoys going for walks, watching documentaries, and hanging out with her friends and family in her spare time. 


JIYOUNG

Jiyoung Kim Kindergarten Class teacher
jykim@sejongacademy.org

Miss Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea and Oregon, USA. She has BS in Educational Foundations(ECE,ELE) with minor in Business Administration from University of Oregon. She also earned her M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching from University of Oregon with an endorsement in ESOL. Miss Kim’s goal, as an educator, is to provide a safe learning environment for all culturally diverse students to become true scholars and support in their mental, physical and social development. In her free time, she likes to cook, watch movies, and play instruments. 


Dong Jin Choi, 1st Grade Classroom teacher
dchoi@sejongacademy.org

Mrs. Choi was born and raised in Dangjin, Korea. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Gongju National University of Education.  As a certified teacher, she taught first, second, and sixth grades for 8 years at elementary schools in Seoul until moving to America. Mrs. Choi also has her Teaching Foreign Languages Certificate for Korean and she is in a Master’s program of Elementary Education at Western Illinois University. She believes children learn best when they are in a happy, challenging, comfortable, and safe learning place. Her favorite leisure activities are Korean calligraphy and hiking. Now she lives with her husband, two sons, and two parakeets in Shoreview.

 


Eunsil Kang, 2nd & 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher
ekang@sejongacademy.org

Mrs. Kang was born and raised in South Korea. She has a Masters’ of Science in Education from State University of New York at Potsdam and is in the process of completing a master’s in Special Education from Saint Cloud State University in MN.  She has eight years of teaching experience in Soul, Korea: seven years with 6th and 7th graders at a middle school and one year with 2nd and 3rd graders at an English Institute.  Mrs. Kang is an optimistic educator.  She advocates for an education that fits each unique individual and shows compassion for students' and parents' concerns.  She respects each student's unique cultures and special needs.  Mrs. Kang loves to take long walks in the park, relax at home, and travel. She currently resides in Shoreview with her two daughters, ages 6 and 9. 


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Hye Yun Lee, 2nd & 3rd Educational Assistant
hylee@sejongacademy.org

Hye Yun was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She most recently worked over the summer as an Educational Assistant at Sejong Academy. She worked for 3 years as a head teacher for Seoul SongJoong Elementary’s English Center. Previous to that she spent for 5years working for Topia English Academy as a team coordinator, head teacher and teacher in Seoul South Korea. Hye Yun has BA in English Literature from Sung Shin Women’s University and earned her TESOL certificate from Sungkyunkwan University in joint partnership with Georgetown University. She moved to Minnesota last spring and is married. She enjoys walking her Jindo, Maggie around the lake. She likes to travel, exercise and go shopping.


YUN

Yun K Cho, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher
ykcho@sejongacademy.org

Mrs. Cho was born and raised in South Korea and Liberia.  She has a BA in Oral Communications and Speech Communication with double minors in Promotional Communication and French from St. Catherine University. She also earned her MA in Elementary Education from Fairfield University in CT. Upon completion of her studies, she moved back to MN with her husband and taught 4 years in several schools teaching 4th, 5th and 2nd grade.  Mrs. Cho believes in a Community of Learners and uses Responsive Classroom Management to help her students learn with joy and achieve their highest potential in a friendly and respectful learning environment. Apart from teaching, Mrs. Cho loves to take long walks in the park, garden, make floral arrangement and of course eat, sleep and relax while getting a pedicure with friends. She currently resides in Apple Valley with her husband, Simon, and her two sons, Micah and Titus.


Kelsey Crowder, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher
kcrowder@sejongacademy.org

Mrs. Crowder graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.  After graduation, she spent a year teaching English in Paju South Korea.  She returned back to Minnesota in 2011 and spent a year as a youth program coordinator for a community education program.  In 2012 Mrs. Crowder moved to Chicago and was accepted into the AUSL residency program where she was able to earn her master's degree in Urban Education from National Louis University. She taught kindergarten and first grade in Chicago at O'Keeffe School of Excellence.  During her time in Chicago she was very active in math teacher development and was able to spend two weeks in Japan observing high quality math instruction.


Aaron Fitzgerald, 6-8th Grade Classroom Teacher
afitzgerald@sejongacademy.org

 


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Youngjin Lee, 6-8th Grade Classroom Teacher
ylee@sejongacademy.org

Mrs. Lee was born in South Korea and spent much of her childhood years in California and her late adolescent years in Europe . She graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea with a Bachelor's degree in Polish Language. She worked in the Political and Economic Section of the Polish Embassy in Seoul for about 14 years before pursuing a career in teaching. Mrs. Lee is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) from St. Cloud State University. During her studies in the graduate program, she has taught adult English learners in the IEC (Intensive English Center) of the university. Mrs. Lee is married and has two children who are 11 and 9 years old. 


SAJIN

Sa jin Kwok, ESL and Community Expert
sjkwok@sejongacademy.org

Sa Jin’s diverse experiences intersect in the classroom, where he is focused on education as a building block for individual and community empowerment.  After graduating with a BA in East Asian Studies from Grinnell College, he worked alternatively as a social activist and a mixed martial artist in Hawaii, South Korea, Japan, and Minnesota.  He worked as a residential counselor for troubled teens, battled against human trafficking to US military bases in South Korea, performed grant-writing at Asian Women United Minnesota, volunteered for the Korean Service Center, and conducted research for the South Korean National Human Rights Commission.  Sa Jin taught English throughout his twelve years in Seoul, working with a variety of students (from elementary to graduate school) and professionals (from university professors to surgeons) in a variety of settings.  After moving back to Minneapolis in 2014, Sa Jin began working at Sejong Academy.  He strives to make ESL instruction meaningful by connecting it to students’ personal background, their community and their struggles. Sa Jin lives near Lake Calhoun with his wife, Lisa and their cat, Bunny.  In his free time, he likes to exercise, cook, and write.


Heasook Shin, Special Education Teacher
hshin@sejongacademy.org

Heasook Shin was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea.  She graduated from Korea University, majoring in Korean Language and Literature Education. Mrs. Shin received her secondary school teaching license and taught Korean language arts and literature in middle schools for 5 years. She also led a Korean Traditional Music club and taught Korean Drumming.  For two years, Mrs. Shin was on special duty helping students with reading disabilities. With this experience, she became interested in teaching students with learning difficulties. After moving to U.S, she earned her M.Ed. from Ohio State University and her Ohio state Special Education teaching license under Mild to Moderate disability. Mrs. Shin has a passion and interest in teaching and helping students with learning difficulties, as well as teaching Korean language and culture.


Minhui Choi, Special Education Teacher
mchoi@sejongacademy.org

Minhui Choi has been teaching special education at Sejong Academy since August 2016. Previously, she was teaching English as a Second Language for one year at Hope Community Academy and Universal Academy Charter School in in St Paul. Minhui is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Teaching ESL from St Cloud State University and completed a Special Education Graduate Certificate Program from SCSU in August 2016. She is currently licensed to teach both ESL and Special Education in the state of Minnesota. She also has teaching certificates from Korea. Minhui is fluent in both English and Korean. She grew up in South Korea and misses its mountains and natural beauty. Minhui currently lives in Mahtomedi, MN with her husband.

 

 


Sarah Shapiro, Librarian
sshapiro@sejongacademy.org

Sarah Shapiro was born and raised in the Twin Cities. She graduated in 2014 from Northwestern College in Iowa with a bachelor's degree in social work and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. Before coming to Sejong, Sarah served two years in AmeriCorps at nonprofits in Minneapolis. Sarah has 6 years of experience working with adult English language learners and new Americans. She has always been interested in the intersection of literacy and community and is happy to be serving families at Sejong.