Meet the School Board

Board Member Biographies

The Board of Directors

  • David Baker

    holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University and has a lifetime of experiences as an art educator and art exhibitor in a variety of venues. Most recently he worked as an art instructor and artist in residence for the Federal Correctional Institute in Sandstone. He brings governance and leadership experience as the current Vice President of the board of directors of the Old School Arts Center.   Contact David

  • Elizabeth Anne Nephew

    holds an M.A. in education and remedial reading from the University of
    Minnesota. Ms. Nephew was founder, elementary teacher, and principal of the nonprofit Montessori School of Duluth. Ms. Nephew brings great school start up experience as she started the Highland Community School in Milwaukee in 1969, which later became Wisconsin’s first charter school.   Contact Anne

  • Victoria (Vicki) Kroschel

    has extensive experience in human resources in various positions at  Grand Casino Hinkley, and is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.   Contact Vicki

  • Carolyn Tuckner

    taught 30 years in Pine City, then 7 years in the East Central School District teaching family and consumer economics.  She recently retired from teaching (for a second time) and has a current vocational license and secondary 7-12 teaching license.   Contact Carolyn

  • Julie Kimmey

    is a wife and mother of three who reside in Askov.
    She has 19 years of school office experience ranging from middle school secretary to district office.
       Contact Julie

Senior Advisers

Hon. Becky Lourey

is business owner of Nemadji Research Corporation in Bruno, MN. She served three terms each in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate. During her legislative career she was Chair of the Health and Family Security Committee and served on numerous committees regarding health, human services, environment, natural resources, and agriculture. Ms. Lourey has been a volunteer leader on multiple boards, including the Central Minnesota Workforce Investment Board, Pine County CARE Council, and Pine County Developmental Achievement Center Board of Directors.

  • Janet Kurhajetz

    was co-founder and lead teacher of the alternative program Crossroads Learning Center in Sandstone from 1993-2012. She provides expertise in start-up of school operations and in establishment of a teacher leadership group for the school.

  • Commissioner Catherine Colsrud

    is a resident of Sandstone, and Commissioner of Administration for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Previously, Ms. Colsrud served as General Manager for Winn-A-Vegas Casino in Iowa, as General Manager of Black Bear Casino and Resort in Carlton, MN, and in a variety of other casino positions in administration, operations, marketing, capacity building, finance, budgeting, and strategic planning.


Ember Reichgott Junge

is a former Minnesota state senator and author of Minnesota’s 1991 first-in nation charter school law, also authoring the award-winning book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story. An attorney, former nonprofit executive and current political analyst, Ms. Reichgott Junge is a national speaker, trainer and consultant on education policy, nonprofit board governance, and charter public schools.

Former Board Members

John Cambronne

is a retired educator with 23 years of teaching experience in Biology and Chemistry, 4 years of administrative experience as a principal, and 8 years as superintendent of East Central School District. Mr. Cambronne currently serves on two other boards, Rhine Lake Retreat for the physically and mentally handicapped and Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment, Inc.