Schoen, Mary
Curriculum Advisor & K-3 Small Group Instructor


I live in Chaska with my husband, Doug. We moved after we got married over 40 years ago. I had recently begun teaching second graders at Chaska Elementary, and we felt Chaska would be a good place to raise our family. We loved the small-town atmosphere, community values, and the good educational system District 112 offered to its students. We have three adult children and five grandchildren who all live in the Minneapolis area, enabling us to enjoy family time with them.

What do you like most about BA?
As the Director of Primary Education Curriculum, I have supported all of the primary students in each academic area. I enjoy working with all of the students, and I am fortunate to support learners in various ways. Breakaway also has smaller class sizes which is a bonus as it lends itself to more individualized learning and personalization. It has also been exciting to give students opportunities to explore their hockey passion and develop their skills socially, emotionally, and physically.

Why did you get into education?
I had always wanted to be a teacher and have been so lucky to have spent my 43 years educating students in the Eastern Carver County School District. I love learning with children and watching the “spark” light up their eyes as they learn new concepts! Students are resilient, creative, and positive, and I have loved encouraging and challenging them on their educational journeys.

Which coach or teacher had the biggest impact on your life and why?
I was fortunate to have Mrs. Jean Brady as my 4th and 7th-grade teacher. She had the same passion for reading that I had, and she cared deeply for her students.

What is the best advice you can give students at BA?
The most important advice for students is to believe in themselves and always try their best in everything they do! Never give up on your dreams! Believe, and you will achieve!

What are your credentials and teaching experience?
I attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a BS degree in March 1976. I started teaching second grade at Chaska Elementary two weeks later. I continued teaching second graders and finished my Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota in 1981. I then moved to Jonathan Elementary when it opened in 1991. I was fortunate to facilitate the opening of this new elementary building and keep working with second graders. In 2013, after 37 years of teaching second grade, I was encouraged to move with a teammate to third grade. I saw this as a wonderful learning opportunity and was able to take my second graders with me to third grade. It was a great decision, and I came to love and enjoy third graders, as well. I continued teaching third graders until my retirement in the spring of June 2019. In addition, I participated in many committees over the years, such as Volunteer Recognition, P.B.I.S. (Positive Behavioral Intervention System), the McREL teacher evaluation system, and the Hooked on Books district event. I have been truly blessed to have had a full career teaching and encouraging children with their learning. I am lucky to be able to facilitate our Breakaway Academy learners further.