Jon Gutierrez

Founder and Executive Director of St. Croix Preparatory Academy

Andrew Sachariason

Upper School Principal of St. Croix Preparatory Academy


From Research to Reality: Starting and Maintaining a High Performing School

How do you start and maintain a school that is based on sound educational research? Jon Gutierrez, Founder and Executive Director of St. Croix Preparatory Academy, along with Andrew Sachariason, Upper School Principal, will lead this exciting session filled with practical application on bringing research to reality – the challenges of starting a school, hiring, professional development, unwinding progressive thought of administration/faculty/parents, issues in growing from 200 students to over 1,000, succession planning, etc.

St. Croix Prep is a K-12 classical charter school with 1,200 students. Located in MN, St. Croix Prep has been named MN #1 school district for the second consecutive year; and been recognized by the Washington Post as MN’s most rigorous HS for three consecutive years.


Andrew Sachariason completed graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He has taught internationally at Hong Kong International School and ACS Cobham International School in England. Andrew has been in the classroom and administration serving as teacher, Dean of Schools and Teaching and Learning Coordinator. He has focused on developing a wide variety of professional development opportunities examining the challenges of effective instruction and teacher efficacy. Andrew has been at St. Croix Prep since 2006 and serves as the Upper School Principal.

Jon Gutierrez graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in accounting and started his professional career in the accounting and software industry, working 20 years for Touche Ross, Lawson Software, and PeopleSoft. His experience in a high growth industry has formed the foundation for the school’s mission emphasis, operational philosophy, and accountability standards. Jon Gutierrez was one of the founders of St. Croix Prep, which was established in 2004.