History of

The Academy

Consistent with the classical Christian education model, Veritas Academy offers a high rigor learning experience for students. Faith is not separate from education, but an integral part of all academic inquiry. The distinctive goal is to develop engaged citizens who are thoroughly equipped for moral contribution.

Founder Susie Brooks was inspired to embark on this journey after being convicted that the essence of education should encompass goals that lead to the ultimate good for the whole society. Basic schooling must do everything it can to make good citizens who are able to perform the duties of citizenship with all the trained intelligence that each is able to perform. However, good is not good enough. For the Christian educator, there is only one standard for goodness. And our society has moved away from this standard, and as a result, we are severely broken.

In 2012, Susie connected with families and individuals who held the same convictions, and by 2014, a team of 10 individuals committed to establishing Veritas Academy. After searching for an ideal location that met the basic requirements of safety and space. The current location in North Branch, MN became the home of a future school. However, unanticipated circumstances led to a 14-month delay in opening the school, a setback that resulted in significant losses. But we are proud to say that our doors were officially opened to three beautiful children in Fall 2015. The seeds planted through expectant faith and persevering prayer rooted in the promises of God during that waiting period set the standard for how Veritas Academy would operate its business. We are growing steadily.

There is a need for us to intervene in the brokenness of our society. Like Nehemiah in the Old Testament, Susie hears the cry of God's people that the walls of our nation are broken down and the gates have been burned with fire (Nehemiah 1:3). Veritas will continually seek men and women who are equipped through education and discipleship to help fulfill this mission of rebuilding our broken walls.

The Leadership Team

Susie Brooks, Founder and President.

Susie is an internationally recognized innovative educator with a demonstrated history of leveraging emerging technologies to improve, engage and educate. While she has a doctorate in education, and a masters degree in curriculum and instruction, with a science education focus, she believes that having experienced learning in three different continents gives her a unique perspective on what really matters in student learning. But above all, her greatest passion is to participate in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) by inspiring others to pursue spiritual maturity, spiritual reproduction and spiritual parenting.

Steven Brooks, Co-Founder and School Pastor.

Steven is a pastor at heart. He obtained his degrees through Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, (MA, MDiv) and has worked cross-culturally and cross-generationally as a pastor, chaplain and adjunct instructor at several Twin Cities colleges. Since arriving in North Branch in 2014, he has been calling the community to come and help restore hope in our community. Imagine if future generations knew that we worked together to create the community that they will be enjoying, one that strives and thrives on Biblical principles and Godly values. Come, help us rebuild through a Christ-centered education!

Bruce (and Cindy) Knutson, Board Member.

Bruce has a heart of gold. As life long Navigators and full time staff for many decades, Bruce and Cindy seek to equip everyday people, right where they are, to reach out to their friends, family, and neighbors with the Gospel. Bruce joined the Veritas Academy board after years of investing in Steve and Susie (founders) and supporting the school right from its inception. He brings years of fundraising experience as well as wisdom and stamina. Every team needs a Bruce. His sacrifices include hours of travel to meetings, events and donor visits, personal financial investment, and much more. Bruce and Cindy truly believe in the vision of the school.

Sharon Petersen, Board Member

Sharon is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the owner of Heartland Counseling, a faith-based counseling practice located in Burnsville, MN. When she isn't counseling, she is spending time with her 3 grown children and their families, or biking, or working out. In 2014, she suddenly became a widow after 41 years of marriage. Her experience enables her to help other women going through similar loss. Sharon's approach to each day is to find reasons to rejoice in all the blessings of the Lord. She is a great asset to the board of Veritas and she wholeheartedly supports our mission.

Diane Johnson, Board Member

Diane values education and is pleased to join the Board at Veritas Academy. She is a CPA and loves to work with numbers, a great help for Veritas accounting and finance matters. Her B.A. is in Business Administration from Concordia College - Moorhead and she holds an M.B.T. from the Carlson School of Management. When she’s not at her job and helping with her family’s business, she enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage son. Veritas is blessed to have Diane on the Board and values her wisdom, countless hours of administrative help in the finance area, community relations and much more.

Tim Schellhammer, Board Member

Tim values family, discipleship and education. He and his wife have three children, and they currently reside in Bloomington, MN. He graduated high school from Chatfield, MN and holds a bachelors degree from the University of Minnesota, masters degree from Concordia University - St. Paul, and a specialist degree from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. He taught high school math and coached football and basketball for eight years in Chamberlain, SD and Minnetonka, MN. He served as high school principal for four years in Arlington, MN. Recently, he and his family resigned from being a principal and have become missionaries serving at the University of Minnesota with The Navigators.

Seraiah Brooks, Board Member (Student Representative)

Seraiah is currently (2018-2019) in 11th grade and enjoys sports, screenplay writing, chess, acting and movies. He is fascinated with science and spends his free time researching and writing on various topics particularly in the medical field. He has been invested in Veritas Academy since its inception, and is responsible for the GECKO mascot, an idea he contributed soon after a science project he had done for school when he was 9 years old. he plays an important role on the Board as he shares from a student perspective. He has invested many hours in growing Veritas and he is responsible for much of its success.