we've assembled an amazing team!

It takes a community to build a school, so Microschool Builders has been a collaboration from the start. From the vision, to the plan, to the book, to the LLC, many amazing consultants, educators, and families have been part of the creation of our microschool building enterprise. And we've been fortunate to cultivate our leadership team from within our ranks of successful microschool owners!



Mara Linaberger

Founder & COO, Microschool Builders, LLC

Dr. Mara Linaberger believes that each of us has chosen to be here at this moment in time for a specific reason—that we are each on a mission that we chose for ourselves. And that figuring out what we love, what we’re good at, and how we can be of service is the engine we need to fuel a lifetime of joyful learning. Mara also believes that school often slows down or stifles that excitement for students. So she is on a mission to create a global network of 100 microschools in the next 20 years—to harness education toward helping amazing children to develop their highest potentials while making learning fun again!

Mara is a life-long educator, author, technologist, artist, ballroom dancer, and musician, having spent 25 years in service as a public school educator, teacher trainer, and administrator. Completing a doctorate in Instructional Technology, she went on to earn a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility in Pennsylvania. Launching Mindful Technology Consultants in 2013, she continues to train teachers at the masters level on the use of digital portfolios as alternative assessments and on bringing mindfulness practices into the classroom.

Mara is the international two-time best selling author of HELP! My Child Hates School and The Micro-School Builder’s Handbook. Mara currently lives in Harmony, PA, with her husband Michael while she travels far and wide, directly supporting clients in her global Microschool Builders programs.

Amy marotz

Microschools Specialist
and Director & Lead Teacher @ Awakening Spirit School

Amy Marotz helps highly sensitive students to reawaken their love of learning in just three months. Moving into its fourth year of operation, Amy’s microschool expanded to a farm space in fall 2020 to offer students more opportunities for self-directed, experiential, outdoor learning.

Amy graduated with honors from St. Olaf College in 2002 with a double major in English and Studio Art and obtained a teaching certification and a Masters of Education from Bethel University in 2004.  Her formative teaching years were spent instructing 5th-8th grade English at Minneapolis Academy (a college prep school for predominantly low income families) for three years. During these summers she taught Art for K-5th grades with the St. Paul Academy summer art program.

When it came time to send her daughter to first grade, Amy knew she could provide exactly the environment that Alex needed to thrive.  Amy jumped into homeschooling head-first and never looked back.   In 2017, as a direct response to requests from her network marketing and entrepreneur family and friends, she decided it was time to start a new chapter and welcome more students into the fold.  She is an officially recognized nonpublic (private) school in the state of Minnesota. When Amy expanded to a stand-alone farm school location, she also welcomed three new staff members!
Amy Marotz 1
mandy spiczka

mandy spiczka

Communications Specialist
and Founder, President & Tutor @ SHINE Together, LLC

After homeschooling her daughter for six years, Mandy Spiczka opened her hybrid holistic learning center/microschool to support other homeschooling families and offer a full-time option for families who wanted an individualized, homeschool-like education for their children.  SHINE Together empowers one-of-a-kind children to trust their natural brilliance and find their place within a true community.

Mandy has been an educator nearly all her life, with very early memories of teaching her younger brother his numbers and letters.  She studied English and education at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with highest honors in 2000.  Mandy taught English and language arts to 7th and 8th graders in public schools in central Minnesota for almost a decade and has served as a private tutor on and off for years.  She spent the last decade leading various groups for parents and children, including an active, large homeschooling network she mostly built from scratch.

Mandy chose to homeschool her daughter utilizing her interests as a driving force because she wanted a one-of-a-kind education for her one-of-a-kind child.  She extends this unschooling philosophy into her work at SHINE Together, where each child’s learning stems from whatever makes them come alive, with guidance and support and a rich environment for exploration and growth.