Innovative Quality Schools



Steve Kelley, Chair
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Steve Kelley is a Senior Fellow at he Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  He teaches classes related to science and technology policy, public budgeting and education law and policy.  Before joining the Humphrey School, he served in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives where among other roles he served as chair of the Senate Education Committee.  Steve also practiced commercial litigation in Minneapolis for many years and has served on the boards of several civic organizations

Holly Dayton
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Ms. Dayton focuses on pension policy for the State of Minnesota and lives and works in the Twin Cities. She attended Avalon School, a chartered school in Saint Paul, and continued the path of personalized learning by completing an individualized Bachelor's degree in Environmental Communication and Public Policy through Metropolitan State University. 

Tash Bottum
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Tash Bottum is an attorney with the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron who helps companies with strategic planning that often involves acquisitions, mergers, and financial transactions.  She also supports companies with their general corporate needs and governance related matters.

Shannon Mitchell
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Shannon Mitchell is an attorney who works as a lobbyist at Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A.  Her experience includes working as a Director of Policy and Director of External Affairs at Educators for Excellence.   

Ali Akhtar Shaikh
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Ali Shaikh works with General Mills, supporting the company as a Global Brand Building with a special focus on innovative practices.  Mr. Shaikh has a special interest in both innovation and education.  His work has span multiple countries across the globe, resulting in a strong personal and professional network.  Mr. Shaikh is a strong advocate for students, serving on the IQS Board and supporting schools overseas.  

Katie Pekel
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Dr. Pekel is the Executive Director of Educational Leadership at the University of Minnesota.  She leads the Minnesota Principals Academy, co-coordinates the Executive Ph.D. cohort for educational leaders within the department of Organizational Leadership, and co-directs the U of M’s Urban Leadership Academy.   

C. Bennice Young 
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Bennice Young is the former principal of Elizabeth Hall International Elementary School in the Minneapolis Public School District.  She is a skilled instructional coach supporting the Catalyst Approach
, which supports teachers with classroom management techniques centered around equitable practices that create spaces where students can be surrounded by adults who understand, nurture, inspire, and support them.  

Haben Ghebregergish

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Haben Ghebregergish is the Lead Math Facilitator at the High School for Recording Arts. Haben is an alum of the University of Chicago and a current student at the Hamline University Graduate School of Education.  Haben has the pleasure of facilitating social justice mathematics courses at HSRA. She also coaches for Bridgemakers, a nonprofit, youth-led organization that works on issues such as education reform and economic justice for marginalized Minnesotans ages 14-25. One of Bridgemakers’ most recent victories was passing a law that made high school students in Minnesota eligible for unemployment benefits.

Greg Thelen
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Greg Thelen is a Certified Public Accountant at the professional services firm CliftonLarsonAllen. Greg is a Manager at CLA who works to provide audit, nonprofit tax and consulting services to health care organizations, with a focus on hospitals and health systems.