Meet our New School Leaders

Meet our New School Leaders

This fall, Athlos Academies opened two fully-implementing schools — Athlos Academy of St. Cloud and Athlos Academy of Utah. We are excited to announce the hiring of our two new school leaders, Kathy Mortensen, Ed. D and Esther Thompson.

Executive Director, Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Kathy Mortensen, Ed.D. 

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud is pleased to announce the hiring of Kathy Mortensen, Ed.D as the new charter school’s principal. Dr. Mortensen previously served as executive director and acting superintendent of Minneapolis Academy Charter School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Athlos Academy of St. Cloud will serve as a flagship school in Minnesota,” said Mortensen. “As the school leader, I intend to work hard to establish a strong school culture and provide a quality education for students.”

Prior to leading the Minneapolis Academy Charter School (2014-2016), Dr. Mortensen was an administrator at Brainerd Public Schools (2013-2014), Brooklyn Center Public Schools (2011-2013), Paladin Academy Charter School (2006-2011), and the Minnesota Department of Corrections (2001-2006). From 1994-2001, she served as a teacher and assistant principal in the Cambridge-Isanti Public Schools.

Dr. Mortensen earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in special education from Bethel University, a sixth year certificate in educational administration from St. Cloud University, and doctorate of teaching and learning from Argosy University.

Dr. Mortensen and her husband, Steve, have two children and four grandchildren.


School Director, Athlos Academy of Utah: Esther Thompson

 Athlos Academy of Utah is pleased to announce the hiring of Esther Thompson as the new charter school’s director.  Thompson previously served as the assistant director of Pacific Heritage Academy in Salt Lake City.

“I am personally committed to and believe in the power of the Athlos Performance Character traits, knowing the necessity of having grit, perseverance, and optimism when facing a challenging task,” Thompson said. “I feel strongly that I am able to model these traits and move employees, families, and students towards a bright future with Athlos.”

Prior to her work at Pacific Heritage Academy (2012-2016), Thompson was both the administrative intern (2011-2012) and a secondary teacher (2007-2012) for Liberty Academy in Salem, director of Odyssey School (2003-2006) in Genola, an elementary classroom teacher at Mountain Valley Private School (1997-1999) in Bluffdale, and an elementary teaching aide at Avon School District in the United Kingdom (1991-1993).

Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Utah, a certificate in secondary education at the Utah Higher Education System Office, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Governors University.

Thompson resides in Draper. She is the mother of four children and enjoys the outdoors and being physically active.

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