The School Transformation Collaborative (STC) is an organization whose mission is to serve families and community stakeholders of academically low performing schools to improve the performance of those schools while respecting the school’s educational autonomy.
To have a region filled with high performing schools. In which families within these communities have access to attend a school which is responsive to their student’s identities, needs, aspirations and values parent input.
We approach each partnership with the mindset that while we can share what has worked elsewhere, we must seek to understand the current culture and context of each district and school, recognizing and valuing the strength and uniqueness of each.
Through our work we have developed deep expertise that we build on with every new district we support. We amplify the strengths of each district and school leadership team while filling in gap areas.
I have a Finance degree with years experience at Fortune 500 companies leading various Accounting teams. My skill sets are Management- Oversight- Leadership- Team Building- Mentoring- Staff Development.
I moved to Minneapolis, MN in 1981. I am a long time Northside resident. I raised my family in North Minneapolis. As a family we experienced the public and charter school systems and saw the iniquity and inequality in both sectors. My experiences moved me to leave the Finance field, to pursue a role in the education sector.
I have a shared belief that all children deserve schools worthy of their potential and that those who are most directly impacted by educational iniquity and inequality, must have leadership and authentic decision-making power in the work of reforming our schools and systems.
Community-Driven School Change:
I come to the work of community-driven school change through my personal experience as a leader and board chair of the first school, LoveWorks Academy, that pursued community-driven school turnaround (CDT). This process helped me translate my personal commitment to the education of my children – and the children in my community – into authentic leadership and decision-making about the future of a school that means so much to me as a parent and a lifelong citizen of North Minneapolis.
My engagement with CDT led me to learn about charter school authorization, academic philosophy and programming, school finance and operations, philanthropy, policy and board governance. I was able to put that learning into practice as the board chair of LoveWorks Academy, as a founding member of the Regional Turnaround Strategy Group and a co-author with the team at The School Leadership Project of the region’s first and only guide for community-driven school change, Community-driven School Turnaround in MN: Principles & Practices for CDT.
I bring to the work of community-driven school change a commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully with members of a school community who seek to improve the quality of their school; further, I am committed to advocating for their efforts and their right to shape the future of their school and their community.
Research suggests that thoughtful, planful board governance is critical to improving and sustaining school quality. Additionally, charter school board governance represents a powerful and important pathway to community leadership in the life of a school. To ensure that board live into their fiduciary and ethical responsibilities for their schools – and that they authentically represent the will and desires of the school community – boards need both technical and strategic guidance. Having served as a Board chair and Treasurer of LoveWorks Academy, I bring a unique perspective on board governance: I work with boards and school leaders to plan for the technical aspects of board governance and procedure and to take those actions in service of a values-based strategic vision for their school’s performance and contribution to the community. Accordingly, I create a customized, high-touch approach to working with boards that begins with creating a strategic vision in alignment with the school’s values and aspirations and then I support the board to pursue the technical work of board governance in pursuit of that vision. Further, relying on my experience with finance, earned through work in the corporate world and as a board treasurer, I help board members work to create values-aligned budgets and financial models.
Parent Organizing for School Transformation:
I believe that the families and members of school communities have unique insights into the needs and promise of their students. My work organizing parents seeks to help these leaders, who are too often left out of school-level and systems-level decision-making processes and initiative implementation plans, understand the “business of schooling” and the extent of their power as advocates and critical education stakeholders. My parent organizing begins with building a shared understanding of the dreams and desires of families and community members and then supporting those leaders in pursuing initiatives that align with their aspirations and with the work of social and educational justice. I bring a personal history of moving from the seat of a parent into a seat of school and system leadership – I know it’s possible for all parents, armed with the right information and supports, to change the course of their student’s education and to leave their mark on the work of educational change.
I participated in a case study by Pillsbury United Communities (PUC) entitled "Community-Driven Change: An Idea whose Time has Come." After completing a successful school turnaround, I was invited by The School Leadership Project (TSLP), to co-author a Field Guide entitled "Community-Driven School Turnaround in MN" and to participate as a panelist, speaking to groups of education leaders.
In the vision to catalyze and spread community-driven school change as a unique form of parent engagement, I participate and lead in national conversations and conferences.
I currently lead the Regional Turnaround Strategy Group (RTSG). A group comprised of educational professionals, research and policy makers, authorizers, philanthropists, board members and community organizations.
Today our pool of talent, enables collaboration between a number of committed partners and
schools who are actively seeking meaningful transformation.