South Washington County Schools

Cultural Liaisons

Community/Cultural Liaisons help to connect District 833, families and the community. They are advocates for equity and inclusion, empowering and supporting families to promote student academic success. Community/Cultural Liaisons assist and support students and families with cultural adjustment and social emotional development; and they work in collaboration within school staff, families and the community.

Tracy Barries


Phone: 651-425-5881

  • Cottage Grove Elementary
  • Middleton Elementary

Assisting at:

  • Bailey Elementary
  • Red Rock Elementary
  • Crestview Elementary
  • Woodbury Elementary
  • Woodbury High School

Tracy Barries is an advocate for helping students who have faced challenges in their lifetimes and making changes for the better. Tracy grew up in Northern California and moved to Morris Minnesota to attend college at the U of M.   There, he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree, was captain of the football team and was nominated Second Team All American.  Moving back to California, Tracy quickly realized his passion to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth.  He served a very urban community by providing positive alternatives for gang affiliated youth.  In this gang coordinator role, he provided outreach, intervention, and prevention services and collaborated with agencies such as local law enforcement, alcohol tobacco firearms (ATF) and federal bureau investigation (FBI).  During his time as coordinator, he was able to reduce gang related homicides by 26%. Before joining South Washington County Schools, Tracy served as a mental health case manager serving the greater St. Paul area.  In this role, he was able to help struggling families and children gain crucial supports and services.  Tracy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota - Morris. Other previous experiences in education include working as a coach in the areas of: basketball, track and field and football and as a Special Education Behaviorist.  He is looking forward to joining the Park High School Wolfpack as he joins the football team as their offensive coordinator coach in the fall.  Tracy can be reached at 651-425-5881

Trina Patterson









Phone: 651-425-4524

  • Cottage Grove Middle School
  • Lake Middle School
  • Royal Oaks Elementary
  • Woodbury High School
  • Woodbury Middle School

Trina Patterson is an advocate for academic excellence and student success.  She comes to the district having worked with educational institutions across the country on both the secondary and postsecondary levels in various capacities.  Her compassion for others, coupled with her ability to forge strong, collaborative relationships allows her to connect with and work effectively with diverse communities.   Trina worked eight years in Corporate America in Sales and Marketing before transitioning into the nonprofit sector as the Program Coordinator for a youth mentoring organization where she recruited, screened, and trained volunteers; assessed and enrolled mentees; connected participants to wraparound resources in the community, and organized monthly trainings and educational programs.  For the last two years Trina was a Career Coach, helping students and graduates with their job search, resume development, and providing guidance for professionalism and employment readiness.  She is a children’s author and for more than twenty years, Trina has developed and facilitated personal growth and character development workshops for women and youth in the United States and Africa.   Trina is a native of Flint, Michigan.  She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Master of Science Degree in Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.  Trina has been an engaged and invested member of the South Washington County Schools community for the past six years and is looking forward to working closely with students and families in the district.  Trina can be reached at 651-425-4524.


Tania Sprague









Phone: 651-425-6633

  • Crestview Elementary
  • District Program Center
  • Early Childhood
  • Pine Hill Elementary

Tania Sprague is passionate about working with immigrant/refugee families and has invested more than ten years of service to public schools in Minnesota doing this line of work. She was born in Venezuela and is bilingual (English and Spanish) as well as bicultural. Tania has a Bachelor Degree in Communications: Mass Media from the Central University of Venezuela. Tania has 15 years of experience working with immigrant/refugee families in the Twin Cities and has implemented successful workshops and parent groups to help parents support their children’s academics. Tania educates immigrant/refugee parents on how to navigate the school system in the U.S.; collects valuable recommendations from parents to improve their children’s education; develops partnerships within the school district and community; organizes and facilitates educational forums and workshops with Latino, Hmong and Somali families in diverse community-based organizations; connects families to resources in the community; and collaborates with teachers, social workers, counselors, and special education to increase student attendance and promote positive behavior. Tania is a real asset to District 833 as she works to build community connections, provide Spanish translation and interpretation services and support outreach efforts to families who are new to the United States and new to our district. Tania can be reached at 651-425-6633.


Greg VanLeer









Phone: 651-425-3754

  • Oltman Middle School
  • Park High School
  • Woodbury High School

Greg VanLeer Jr. makes a difference by putting the best interest of each student first. Greg grew up in Southern California and moved to Woodbury, Minnesota during high school. Greg has a Bachelor Degree in Communications from the University of Wyoming, where he also played football on scholarship. Greg began his career as a Home Supervisor and substitute teacher at Cathedral Home for Children in Laramie, Wyoming. His experience taught him how valuable it is for youth, who have experienced difficulties in their lifetimes, to have positive role models in their lives. Greg also brings four years of experience as an Admission Director/Counselor at Summit Academy OIC. In less than a year, Greg tripled enrollment for the Hundred Hard Hats Program, Community Health Worker, and Administrative Programs. Greg built relationships with organizations and connected students to resources that impacted their daily lives. Greg is a real asset to District 833 as he brings knowledge of business, experience working in the non-profit world, and a desire to build community connections through coaching football and being an active member of our community. Greg can be reached at 651-425-3754.


Brooke Crosby

Phone: 651-425-3712

  • Park High School

Brooke Crosby started working for the South Washington County School District Fall of 2016 as the American Indian Community Cultural Liaison.

She joins the District with a diverse work history in education and politics. Before moving to Minnesota, Brooke worked as a Legislative Aide for Washington State Senator John McCoy (Tulalip). She also managed and taught at an extended campus Tribal College and worked for the Snohomish county YMCA Minority Achievers Program where she provided outreach to middle and high school students. She earned her M.A.Ed from Antioch University Seattle and her B.A. in American Cultural Studies with a concentration in Native American Studies from Western Washington University, Fairhaven College.

Brooke’s passion is to help Native American students realize their hopes and dreams while teaching them to successfully navigate the educational process.