About Our School

What is a folk school?

The folk school tradition traces its origins to Scandinavian countries, with NFS Grundtvig of Denmark coining the term ‘schools for life’ as part of his philosophy of education, and of his vision for strengthening and empowering communities. Our folk school focuses on an unplugged, deliberate approach, with an emphasis on intergenerational learning that is fun, collaborative and restorative.

Our mission is to provide opportunities for lifelong learning that strengthen community through hands-on educational experiences which reflect the culture, natural environment, history and traditional arts and crafts of the St. Croix Valley and its peoples.

Our Board

Emily Anderson - arts education and community organization background with an extensive network of artist contacts developed through her shop 'The Highway North'.

Robin Brooksbank -  community volunteer, former city council member and board member for a variety of non-profits, retired co-owner of manufacturing company.

Kathy Marker - recently retired from YMCA organization as Day Camp Project Manager and Director of Volunteers, long time community volunteer.

Nanc MacLeslie - on founding Board of Marine Community Library, professional skills in Marketing & Communications, singer and musician who has often performed for local non-profit benefits.

Matthew Smith - local resident and volunteer, currently County Manager of Dakota County, prior to that was Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Reveue , and Director of Finance, City of St. Paul.

Andy Wallace - owner of construction company for 20+ years, long time local volunteer for a variety of organizations.

Cathy Wegener - recently retired Stillwater Area Schools educator, was a long time teacher at  Marine Elementary School prior to its closing.

Marine Mill, MN Historical Society
Photo Credit: MN Historical Society

History of Marine Mills

Founded in 1839, Marine Mills was the site of the first commercial sawmill in what would become the state of Minnesota.  As lumbering became less of a dominant economic force, Twin Cities residents became increasingly interested in the area for its natural beauty and access to the St. Croix River.  In an effort to emphasize the area's  pastoral beauty, the city name was changed to 'Marine on St. Croix' in 1912, as 'Marine Mills' was felt to be too industrial.