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

Dan Mott, Esq, Vice Chair
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Mr. Mott is an attorney with the law firm of Fredrikson and Byron where he counsels cooperatives and other businesses in meeting their legal and business objectives.  Mr. Mott has worked with charter schools for almost 25 years and previously served as a member of the MDE Charter School Advisory Council.  He also was a staff person for the Minnesota Senate Education Finance Subcommittee as Minnesota was creating the nation’s leading school choice policies. Mr. Mott has served on the IQS board since its inception.

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. 

Sarah Tucher, Treasurer
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Sarah Tucher is an attorney with the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron and a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) who helps public and private companies buy and sell products and services nationally and internationally, communicate with investors and comply with complex disclosure regulations and regulatory requirements for U.S. government contracts and grants.

Mary Otto
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Mary Otto is a citizen of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the Tribal Liaison for MN Department of Commerce.  Prior to her current role Mary worked for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe's Education Department for seven years in varying capacities from elementary teacher to Director of Education, during this time Mary was also part of the Tribal Nations Education Committee which is an appointed seat to serve between MN Department of Education and the 11 federally recognized tribes to engage in Tribal consultation, policy and all things related to Indian Education in the State of Minnesota. 

Ed Dirkswager
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Mr. Dirkswager is a retired health care executive and has held positions as: Chief Administrative Officer of Group Health (now Health Partners); Chair of the Board of the National Cooperative Bank; Assistant Professor at St Thomas College (now University) and Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare (now Human Services). He is the editor of the book “Teachers as Owners” and with Kim Farris-Berg co-authored “Trusting Teachers with School Success: What happens when teachers call the shots.”

David Johnson, PhD
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Associate Dean
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
While on the Rockford District Board, Dr. Johnson was instrumental in the initiation of "Skills for Tomorrow," a charter school in St. Paul.

Kristin Anderson, EdD
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Former Superintendent of Rockford Area Schools and Fertile-Beltrami Schools.  She currently serves of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of MN College of Education and Human Development as well as on the Curriculum Advisory Council for the Education Leadership Department of the University of St. Thomas.  Anderson served as the founding Board Chair of IQS.

Bennice Young 
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Bennice is the former principal of Elizabeth Hall International Elementary School in the Minneapolis Public School District.  She is a skilled instructional coach and supports the ENVoY program, focused on promoting healthy relationships between educators and students.  

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.