Our Staff

Dr. Lisa Snyder

Executive Director


Dr. Lisa Snyder has served in public education as a teacher, principal, technology director, curriculum director and superintendent. She is committed to continuous improvement and transformation in public education through innovation and personalized learning. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in creating new opportunities for student-centered learning through career-focused programming, the development of choice and charter schools and transforming systems and schools. She serves as Executive Director for EdVisions, an organization that supports creating and supporting learning environments that promote personalized learning and teacher empowerment.

Mary Moening

Office Manager and Finance Assistant


Mary Moening, recently completed 26 years with Lakeville Schools, with the last 15  as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board. She has recently become an assistant to the Executive Director of Edvisions in an opportunity to continue her work with innovative educators who are promoting personalized learning and teacher empowerment.

Signe Swenson

Director of Finance and Operations


Signe is a creative problem solver who is passionate about enabling others to build and create. After working in higher education fundraising at MIT and the MIT Media Lab, she has a keen interest in innovative learning environments the tools that make it possible. Signe has a bachelors in studio art from Carleton College and a masters in arts administration and certificate in non-Profit Fundraising from Boston University.

Dr. Ron Newell

Director of Assessment


Dr. Newell is presently the Director of Assessment for EdVisions Schools, and has served as the Director of Learning Programs for the Gates/EdVisions replication efforts. Dr. Newell was a founder of the Minnesota New Country School and EdVisions Cooperative. He has published four books that explain the rationale and practices behind the learning program and governance of the EdVisions Schools. His work with development of coaches training, staff development and evaluation has lead to creation of processes and materials that enhance the development and sustainability of newly created charter schools. His work with Mark Van Ryzin in development of the Hope Study has lead to an assessment of school culture that is becoming nationally recognized.

Dr. Newell was a high school history teacher and coach, a mentor teacher, a college professor, a Director of Clinical Experiences at two universities, and is a founding member of the EdVisions Leaders Center. His interests are learning theory, adolescent development, alternative assessment, decentralized distributive education, use of technology in education, and development of new curriculum for the development of Life-long Learning Skills.

Dr. Newell graduated with a B.A. from St. Olaf College, an M.S. from Minnesota State University – Mankato, and an Ed.D. from the University of South Dakota.

Krissy Wright

Professional Development Director


Krissy Wright is the Professional Development Director who works with educators and teams to develop personalized systems and programming.  She will also provide additional training and support to maintain and grow your program.She believes that all educators are leaders and all students deserve a school where they feel safe and successful.

Krissy is a special education teacher and former school leader at a teacher-powered charter school before joining the EdVisions team.  She was a 2016 Education Policy Fellow and serves on a number of boards in the education community including Academic Arts and Avalon schools, Education Evolving, EdVisions Cooperative, and Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP).  Krissy is also on the Government Affairs committee for the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS).

Krissy earned a B.A. in psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato and completed her teacher licensure program in special education - EBD at Bemidji State University.  She will be completing her M.S. in Educational Leadership at Minnesota State University Fall 2017 with a capstone on creating an innovative, progressive and relevant teacher preparation program.

Dr. Steven Rippe

Director of the Hope Survey and Organization Development


Dr. Steven J. Rippe has over 20 years of experience working with educators and school leaders designing and implementing innovative schools and programs throughout the United States. A successful teacher, principal and University administrator, Steven has worked with passionate educators to create nationally recognized schools and works with struggling schools to reinvent themselves into high performing, dynamic learning organizations.

Doug Thomas

Director of Development


Doug Thomas is an entrepreneur and former teacher, and was the founding Executive Director of EdVisions Schools from 2000-2012. Doug was also a founder of the Minnesota New Country School and the founding president of EdVisions Cooperative, the affiliated teacher professional practice cooperative. He also spent ten years as Southern Minnesota representative for the Center for School Change at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and served as a board member of Le Sueur-Henderson Public Schools for four terms.

Doug is a strong advocate for small public schools, teacher leadership and innovative learning strategies and has a special interest in sustainable community development. He earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Bemidji State University and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University-Mankato, where he taught a graduate course in educational reform and leadership for ten years.

Scott Wurdinger

Research Partner


Scott Wurdinger, PhD is a professor of experiential learning and leadership studies at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota.  His early teaching experiences, with mostly middle and high school students, included non-traditional learning environments such as Upward Bound, Environmental Learning Centers, Psychiatric Hospitals, and Outward Bound. He has been teaching in higher education since 1992.  He has taught undergraduates, Master's and Doctoral students and is currently the Coordinator of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the Mankato campus.  He has published numerous articles and books on experiential learning, project based learning, and education reform.  His research focuses on life skill development in experiential learning environments and his most recent book is titled Changing the status quo: courage to challenge the education system published by Rowman and Littlefield.