amy_larsen.jpgAmy Larsen

Executive Director

alarsen@blueskyschool.org

Where do you live?

I live in Southern Minnesota, in Byron, which is near Rochester. I live out in the country with my husband, three kids, dog, and cat.

Why did you become an educator?

I chose to be an educator in a roundabout way. I started in the medical field and intended on becoming a physician. While I was attending college, I started a family. That is when ALL of my well-thought-out plans changed! I realized how important my children were to me and was able to relate this to every other child.

My parents are educators and I guess it was in my blood, so I decided to change career paths. As an educator, it is an incredible feeling to know that you play a role in shaping the future of a child and is incredibly satisfying to see that student graduate and become a productive citizen.

Why did you choose BlueSky?

I chose BlueSky for the same reasons many of our students choose BlueSky – FLEXIBILITY! Life is so busy, hectic, and demanding. BlueSky offers a flexible work schedule not only for our students, but also for our staff. This allows for many of our teachers to be available at all different hours of the day.

I also chose BlueSky because I am a person who is not comfortable with consistency – I love change. And that happens a lot at BlueSky as we are changing things while we learn what works and what doesn't. Online high school education is a fairly new experience and there is not a lot of historical information to draw from – so we do a lot of learning as we go. It is frustrating at times but also incredibly stimulating and NEVER boring!

What do you think makes BlueSky special?

Our staff and students make BlueSky special. Everyone staff person is willing to do what it takes to help each individual student. EVERY student gets the attention they need.

What do you like to do when you're not working at BlueSky?

I rarely have free time for myself because I have a family that keeps me busy when I am not working. But my family and I enjoy camping in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. I also really enjoy playing BINGO (please don't tell anyone)!

If there were one thing you could tell people about BlueSky, what would it be?

I would really like people to know that BlueSky is a GREAT option for students who are in need of a change from the “typical” high school setting. There are many different reasons that students come to us, but no matter what the reason, ALL students are given individual attention from more than just one person at BlueSky. Every staff person has a role in helping each student succeed. We offer a personal touch that is often lacking at other online schools and traditional schools.

Experience

I began my career as an X-ray/CT technologist at Mayo Clinic. I continued my education and received my Bachelor's of Science degree in Microbiology and used that to become a Health Inspector (Environmental Health Specialist) for Olmsted County in Rochester. Still continuing my education, I received my graduate teaching licensure in Life Sciences and began work as a teacher at BlueSky Online School after doing my student teaching at Byron Middle School and High School.

Education

  • B.S., Microbiology, Chemistry minor, from University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
  • M.S., Science and teacher licensure, from The College of St. Scholastica, St. Paul
  • Minnesota Teaching Licenses: 5-8 Sciences and 9-12 Life Sciences