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.
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.
Jon Schroeder’s career in public affairs and journalism has spanned more than 45 years. He is currently a senior fellow with Education Evolving, having been associated with E|E and previous joint ventures of the Center for Policy Design and Hamline University since 1996. From 1996 to 2003, Jon was founding director of Charter Friends National Network (CFNN), which linked more than 75 state-level charter school leaders. He then led the transition from CFNN to the National Alliance for Charter Public Schools and served on the Alliance’s board of directors and executive committee and chaired its policy committee. Once the CFNN/Alliance transition was complete, he became E|E’s coordinator, then administrative partner, until his retirement from Hamline in 2014.
Previously, Jon played a major role in creating the federal charter school program while on the staff of former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger. Jon has also held volunteer leadership positions in a number of organizations, including service as a director and board chair of the National Youth Leadership Council and EdVisions, Inc. Previously, he was appointed to state commissions on education policy and service learning by Governors Al Quie, Rudy Perpich and Arne Carlson. Most recently, he was elected to the board of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools. In 2012, his national leadership on charter schools and education policy was recognized through his induction into the National Charter School Hall of Fame.
Dr. Walter Enloe is Professor Emeritus at Hamline University after forty five years of teaching and leadership. He began his career at the Paideia School in Atlanta teaching K-12 and earning his doctorate in human studies at Emory University. For several years he taught the normative child development rotation for pediatric and child psychiatry residents at Emory’s medical school, and consulted a county health department on children mental health in daycare centers. In 1980 he became lead teacher and headmaster of Hiroshima International School, Japan and over the next eight years helped to establish HIS as the “international school of peace and culture.” He came to the University of Minnesota in 1988 to direct the rural component of the National Models School Project in Global Education under the leadership of John Goodlad. Over the next six years he worked closely with schools developing multicultural and international programs, was the university liaison forone of the pilot schools in Ernest Boyer’s Basic School network, and partnered with Harry Boyte’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship in the H.H Humphrey Institute.
He joined the Hamline faculty in 1994 and for the past twenty three years co-created and co-developed the university’s MAED and EDD Learning Community programs. He began working with public chartering in the 1990s and consulted on developing Twin Cities Academy and Avalon School; he has worked as a consultant and board member for EdVisions since 2001. His professional work-life may be found at www.walterenloe.com Walter's most recent 2020 project is the thematic, interdisciplinary learning distance project, www.birdsofpeace.org
Joe Rice (Choctaw) assumed the Executive Director position at Center School in July
2001. He taught high school in South Dakota for 17 years, first at Little Wound High
School on the Pine Ridge reservation for nine years, followed by eight years at Central
High School in Rapid City. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis
Urban Indian Directors and the Metropolitan Federation of Alternative Schools. He
served on the United Way Allocations Panel in 2003 and also lectures on Native
American education and related issues. He helped to launch and acts as coordinator of
Phillips Indian Educators (PIE) which convenes teachers to discuss best practices in
Indian education and was primarily responsible for developing a website to post
information and curriculum on Best Practices in Indian Education.( www.pieducators.com
) . He was also part of the team responsible for the establishment of a Memorandum of
Agreement between Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis urban Indian
community. (Still the only one of its kind in the Nation)
He has taken numerous graduate-level courses in Native American issues and speaks
Dakota and some Ojibwe.. He graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in History
and earned a B.S. in Social Studies Education from Black Hills State University in South
He has successfully managed a number of internal and collaborative projects including
the Healthy Choices Program, Children of the Seventh Fire, the Nawayee Native
Languages Program, Phillips Indian Educators (PIE) and Center School’s Medicine
Wheel Health Program.
Joe has presented locally and nationally (NIEA) on Indigenous Education and Pedagogy.
Jay Haugen is a retired public school educator of 35 years with 24 years as a superintendent. His final nine years were spent in the Farmington Area School District, a growing district of 7200 students. Under his leadership Farmington was named one of Minnesota's first Innovation Zones and became one of the most visited school districts in the State giving hundreds of tours to people who’d say they can see the future of education in it’s hallways. Prior to this, Jay was Superintendent of Schools in West St. Paul, Mendota Heights and Eagan Area Schools, as well as in Sleepy Eye, MN. In 2019 he was the Minnesota Superintendent of the Year and Past-President of The Minnesota Association of School Administrators.
Haugen began his career as a high school science teacher, eventually moving on to pursue graduate studies while providing pioneering work in the development educational software. He returned in an administrative capacity serving a consortium of seven southwestern Minnesota school districts near Redwood Falls, MN as director of curriculum and staff development, also developing an on-line interactive learning program between all member schools. He next served as a regional coordinator for Minnesota Department of Education’s MEEP Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from North Dakota State University and a Masters of Science in Education and a Sixth Year Credential in Educational Administration from Tri-College University.
Keely Brenno is Communications Director at UnitedHealthcare. Keely’s background includes 15 years of experience leading internal and external communications, public relations and crisis communication strategies for health care, financial, operations and technology organizations. Her professional experiences including strategic planning and senior executive coaching, program management and staff development. Previously, Keely held leadership positions at Optum, Ameriprise Financial and Wells Fargo.