Mount Parnassus – in ancient times was known as the home of the Muses, the emissaries of literature, the sciences, and the arts.

Board of Directors

Mr. Greg Friess – Board Chair

Mr. Friess holds a B.A. in both Economics and Political Science. He earned an M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also worked as a teaching assistant. He has spent his career as a financial analyst providing investment research to professional money managers, working on forecasting and regulatory issues in the utility industry, and working with small businesses. Mr. Friess has been with Parnassus since its inception. He believes that charter schools offer an additional educational choice to families in the northwest suburbs and that choice is key to improving the educational outcomes of all children in the area.

Mr. Ben Ark – Director

Mr. Ark has a B.S. in Computer Science from Delaware State University and has worked in the IT field for nearly 20 years as a developer, consultant, and manager. He is a Parnassus parent and is an avid supporter of the school’s mission. He is currently the Chief Information Officer at Cogency Global, a registered agent and legal/financial service company, where he oversees IT strategy and the development of software used by businesses, law firms, and financial institutions engaging in business formation, compliance, litigation, and secured financial transactions. Mr. Ark speaks regularly at conferences on the topic of electronic standards and best practices for document filing and retrieval between businesses and government agencies. He is excited to contribute to the school’s success as a parent, an advocate for classical education and academic rigor, and a member of the Parnassus Board of Directors.

Ms. Barbara Rose – Director

Ms. Rose, a teacher since 1997, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bemidji State University with a major in Elementary Education, a minor in Art, and an emphasis in reading. She earned her Masters degree in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary’s in 2001. After teaching at a large district school, she joined the Parnassus team as a Fourth-Level School of Grammar teacher when the school opened. In 2019, Ms. Rose became the School of Grammar art teacher. Ms. Rose is passionate about implementing the classical education model and the difference it makes in the academic growth of her students.

Dr. Surbhi Barber – Director

Dr. Barber joins Parnassus as our newest Board Member. Dr. Barber earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW-Madison. Her M.A. in Education and B.A. in Psychology were attained from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She currently holds a Superintendent license, K-12 Principal license, and Director of Special Education license. With nearly 20 years of professional experience in education, Dr. Barber has held positions as a teacher, district leader, and administrator in classical, private, and public schools. She has teaching experience abroad in Madrid, Mumbai, and Shanghai. Dr. Barber is deeply grateful that her children attend Parnassus. She is honored to serve and is eager to contribute to an academic institution that has maintained integrity toward what it means to be truly classical.

Mr. Kenneth D. Zigrino – Director

Mr. Zigrino, a member of the Parnassus founding Board of Directors, currently serves as the General Counsel of Johnson Screens, Inc. a global manufacturer established in 1904 in St. Paul, MN.  For the past 40 years, Mr. Zigrino has been an entrepreneur and corporate lawyer, engaging in a wide variety of business transactions and holding a number of positions of responsibility – from corporate founder, officer and director to general counsel and an attorney in private practice. Since 1990, some of his corporate affiliations and clients include Aspen Research Corporation, a sustainable materials manufacturer which his management team purchased from Andersen Windows; NASDAQ-listed Velocity Express, Inc., at the time North America’s largest same-day delivery company with annual revenues in excess of $550 million; AGA Medical Corporation, an innovative medical device manufacturer sold to St. Jude Medical in 2010 for $1.3 Billion; and Primo Piatto, Inc., a Twin Cities-based pasta manufacturer (Creamette® and other well-known brands) that was sold to Dakota Growers. Prior to 1990, Mr. Zigrino practiced corporate law at two well-known Twin Cities law firms. He received his law degree cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1985.

Board Directory:

Board President:                       Mr. Greg Friess

Board Vice President:              Mr. Ben Ark

Board Secretary:                       Mr. Ken Zigrino

Board Member:                        Dr. Surbhi Barber

Board Member:                        Mr. Barbara Rose


Founders and Advisors:

Ms. Laura Miranda Bottenfield – Founder

Ms. Bottenfield holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of St. Thomas; a Master of Business Administration with an International Business concentration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management; and a Master in Education Leadership from the University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development. Ms. Bottenfield is the original founder of Parnassus and served as the Board Chair for five years from its initial development until 2013 when she resigned from the Board Chair position to accept the Director of Academics position in the school. Ms. Bottenfield has visited several classical charter schools and classical private schools in and out of state. She has observed classes at these schools, has seen first-hand the results of the rigorous classical curriculum and the Trivium teaching methods, has participated in workshops, engaged in many discussions with experts in the field, read many books on education and the classical Trivium, and continues to conduct extensive research about classical education.

Ms. Constance Ford, Parnassus Executive Director

Ms. Ford is the current and founding Executive Director of Parnassus Preparatory School. Under her leadership, Parnassus has tripled its enrollment, expanded to include all levels of the Schools of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, and completed an extensive $27 million building project to give the school the beautiful 147,000 square-foot campus it has today. As a pioneer in the charter school movement for twenty years, Ms. Ford was one of the founders of the first classical charter school in the neighboring state of Wisconsin and one of the first charter schools in her region. Under her leadership there, the school grew to full capacity with students in grades K-8 with a large waiting list in the hundreds each year since its inception in the 1990s. During her tenure, the school was one of the top charter schools in Wisconsin based on academic performance, low staff and student attrition, and high overall standards Additionally, Ms. Ford served on an advisory committee that reviewed new charter school applications and charter application renewals for over sixteen schools. Ms. Ford holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from Lawrence University and a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.


Come see for yourself what makes Parnassus unique and discover all the possibilities that are here for your children.

11201 – 96th Avenue North, Maple Grove, MN 55369 – Main Office Hours: 7:30am – 4:00pm – Main Number: 763.496.1416
Bus Company: 763.425.2542
Animus & Accendo Programs: 763.496.1416 ext. 319
Technology Support for Families: