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The Board of Directors of the MN Association of Charter Schools is composed of eight representatives from member schools and three at-large community members with expertise, skills and networks that will aid the Association and the charter school movement. (Community members may not be employed by, under contract to, or serve on the Board of any charter school.)

 

Meet our 2022-2023 Board Members:

Abdur Salaam, Tonicia Thumbnail Image Abdur Salaam, Tonicia

(2024 - Seat A) - Member Relations Committee, Chair

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Tonicia Abdur Salaam is the Founder and Principal Consultant of JT Salaam & Associates, where she provides executive coaching, professional development, and organizational consulting.  Tonicia uses a combination of her lived experience and intense professional training to provide coaching and professional development that is personable, yet impactful.  Tonicia lives by two creeds, "Speak truth to power," especially for those who are unable to advocate for themselves, and "Work to give others the grace you so desperately want for yourself."  Tonicia believes in Ubuntu, that all humanity is interlinked; that belief shines through her facilitation. Tonicia is a caring, thought-provoking, yet honest caretaker of the truth regarding race and believes that it is only through truth and care that racial inequity can be addressed. Of all of the accomplishments in her life, the ones that bring her the most pride and joy is being a wife, mother and “Lita.”

Dansingburg, Jodi Thumbnail Image Dansingburg, Jodi

(2023 - Seat A) - Board Governance Committee

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Jodi Dansingburg has served as the director of Ridgeway Community School (C.S.D. #4083) since it opened as a conversion charter school in September, 2001.  The rural Pre-K to 5th grade charter school has grown from 50 to 125 students and doubled its square footage of instructional space.  The school’s two major expansion projects were supported by a capital campaign that raised over $1,000,000 in cash and in-kind donations.  Jodi has served on the MACS Government Affairs Committee and the Administrator Qualification/Evaluation and Professional Development Task Force.  Prior to leading Ridgeway Community School, she served for over 20 years in leadership positions in several food access and sustainable agriculture non-profits in Minnesota.

Groh de Aviña, Katie Thumbnail Image Groh de Aviña, Katie

(2024 - Seat D) Board Governance Committee, Chair

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Katie Groh de Aviña currently leads El Colegio High School as its Executive Director. Her academic background includes a BA in Chicano Studies from the University of Minnesota, and is currently finishing her Masters in Youth Development & Leadership at the University of Minnesota. She has worked with youth and with the Latinx community for over 20 years in a variety of settings. She has served on the MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), was part of Multilingual Equity Network, and is a strong advocate for increasing teachers of color and American Indian teachers in Minnesota via “grow your own” initiatives. 

Being a mother of four children has motivated her to work even harder towards making systemic change in schools.  She has always believed that her students’ full potential can be achieved with the right support!  She is passionate about working on systems-change to dismantle historic catalysts of oppression, and believes that learning should be liberating and centered around youth voice.

Ly, Dr. Mongsher Thumbnail Image Ly, Dr. Mongsher

(2023 - Seat B) - Member Relations Committee

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Dr. Ly is the Superintendent and Co-Founder of the Urban Academy Charter School in St. Paul since 1999. Prior to Urban Academy, Dr. Ly was the Director of Children Youth Services at Model Cities of St. Paul and a Faculty member with Hamline University in the department of the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching.

Pierson Evans, Shelly Thumbnail Image Pierson Evans, Shelly

(2023 - Seat C) - Executive Committee, Secretary

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I believe when we work together as a collective community with a common goal, we can make a world of difference for our students today and for our community in the years to come. I have over 25 years of experience at the Prek-12 and college level. My charter experience began as a college student working with a group of community members over a year and a half to start the Toivola-Meadowlands Charter School {TMCS) in 1993. I spent four years teaching and serving on the Board of Directors for TMCS. After 20 years with other districts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nevada, I have returned to Minnesota and to the charter world serving as the Executive Director for North Shore Community School.

Rasmussen, Nicole Thumbnail Image Rasmussen, Nicole

(2023 - Seat D) - Member Relations Committee

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I started working in education nearly 25 years ago as a coach and paraprofessional.  Since then I have worked at a large public district, private school, small state run public school and now a charter school. I have been a paraprofessional, coached multiple sports, classroom skills teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director.  My family lives in Minneapolis, with students at charter and private schools.  I am proud to work as an educator truly working to make a difference in the lives of students. Education: BA: St. Olaf College, MA: St. Cloud State University (Principal & Superintendent License) MBA: College of St. Scholastica.

Schlueter, Carl Thumbnail Image Schlueter, Carl

(Community Member Seat A - 2025) - Member Relations Committee

Carl is the Executive Director of Banyan Community, a community development non-profit serving the East Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. He has 13 years of charter school administrative experience and appreciates charter school operations, challenges, and opportunities. Carl has served or supported other non-profit boards, including the MACS Governance Committee, Firehouse Performing Arts, Cycles for Change, and Heart of Dance. He is a licensed K-12 administrator who has actively participated in MACS programs, MDE advisory and work groups, and Great MN Schools gatherings. Carl has a degree in Public Affairs with a non-profit leadership focus from the U of M's Humphrey Institute. He understands organizational structures and education policy well and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in creating and sustaining safe, successful, joyful schools.

Schroeder, Jon Thumbnail Image Schroeder, Jon

(Community Member Seat C - 2024) Board Governance Committee

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Jon Schroeder is a Senior Fellow with Education Evolving (EE), having been associated with EE and previous joint ventures of the non-profit Center for Policy Design and Hamline University from 1996 until his retirement from Hamline in 2014.  His interest in Minnesota’s pioneering charter schools program stems from his long-standing support for expanding public school choices and improving learner outcomes for all students.  Along with Ted Kolderie, he co-founded and was director of Charter Friends National Network (CFNN) — which served as a de-facto national charter school organization from 1996 to 1994.

Jon has served on the MACS Board for the last 3+ years and is currently serving on its Subcommittee on Board Development and its Policy Development Committee.

Prior to his work with Hamline and Education Evolving, Jon played a major role in creating the Federal Charter School Program and the Corporation for National and Community Service (Americorps) during his ten years in senior communications and policy positions on the staff of former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger.  He was then Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications for Scholarship America, best known for its ‘Dollars for Scholars’ program and the nation’s largest non-profit college scholarship management organization.  He subsequently served as a founding board member of Minnesota Dollars for Scholars.

Earlier in his career, Jon was Communications Director for the Minnesota Constitutional Study Commission, a Research Associate for the Citizens League, which helped conceive the chartering idea, was Publisher and Editor of the Grant County Herald and part-owner of Quinco Press, a central printing plant in West Central Minnesota.  While still in college, Jon had a Congressional internship, played a leadership role in successful state and national initiatives to lower the voting age and expand civic engagement by young people and served as Consultant on Youth for what is now the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Jon has held volunteer leadership positions in a number of non-profit organizations, including service as board chair of EdVisions Schools and the National Youth Leadership Council and as board vice chair of the Jefferson Center.  In the mid-1990s, He served as chair of a Citizens League Committee that advised Governor Arne Carlson’s ‘Brandl-Weber Project’ on K-12 policy and other issues then confronting a deficit-threatened state government.

In 1994, Jon was a founding director, executive committee member and policy committee co-chair for what is now the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  At that time, he also served on the policy advisory committee for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.  In addition to MACS, he’s currently on the boards of People for PSEO and EdVisions Schools.  And he remains involved in state and national initiatives to link service learning and education reform, including his current work as a member of the National Service Learning Coalition.

Jon was appointed to state commissions on education policy and service learning by Governors Al Quie, Rudy Perpich and Arne Carlson. In 2012, his national leadership on charter schools and education reform was recognized through his induction into the National Charter School Hall of Fame.  Jon has a BA degree in Political Science from Macalester College, where he was elected to Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honorary fraternity.  He and his wife, Dana, live in Minneapolis and have three adult children and two grandchildren.

Slocum, Linda Thumbnail Image Slocum, Linda

(Community Member Seat B-2023) - Board Governance Committee

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Education: 

1988 Graduate study, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota

1972 B.A., Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa

 

Career Experience:

2006-2018:  State Representative, Minnesota Legislature

1991-2014:  Teacher, 7/8 American History/English, Minneapolis       Public Schools

1988-1991:  Teacher, St. Luke’s School, St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Community Involvement:

1998-2005:  Member, Community Services Commission, City of Richfield

2000-2005:  Vice Chair, Human Services Commission, City of Richfield

1990-1992:  Co-Chair, Hennepin County Women’s Political Caucus

1979-1982:  Member, Minnesota State Crime Control Commission

 

Professional Leadership: 

In Teaching:  Mentor teacher, Department Chair, Building Leadership Team, “Kids Win” Star Tribune curriculum writing, Junior Achievement grant writing, Minneapolis Teacher of the Year 1992

 

In the Legislature:  Serving on the E-12 Education Finance Committee, Higher Education Workforce Development Committee, Bioscience Workforce Development Committee, Commerce Committee, Taxes Committee, Past Vice Chair Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.

Wieczorek, Peter Thumbnail Image Wieczorek, Peter

(2024 - Seat B) - Executive Committee, Chair

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Peter Wieczorek is currently the Director of Northwest Passage High School in Coon Rapids. He has been at NWPHS since 2004 and has served as a Biology Teacher, Advisor, Expedition Coordinator, Board Chair and Director. Peter is a husband, dad, teacher, youth worker, administrator, explorer, part-time Jedi Master and life-long learner.

Xiong, Kevin Thumbnail Image Xiong, Kevin

(Seat C - 2024) - Executive Committee, Treasurer

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Kevin Xiong is currently the Executive Director of New Millennium Academy (NMA). He ls currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of North Dakota, where his dissertation is focused on increasing basic needs services in Hmong charter schools to increase parent engagement. He has a Master of Arts in Professional Development and Human Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Human Resources Management. With over 15 years of HR and Organizational Development experience, Kevin has worked and consulted for public institutions, for-profit businesses, and non-profit organizations before accepting the ED position at NMA. As a queer-Hmong man, he believes that diversity and justice drive innovation. His impact on the work he does for the community includes infusing equity into all of his decision-making process.

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