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MNP20 Leadership and Members


 

josiah.litant@state.mn.us
(651) 468-1483

Josiah S. Litant, Executive Director

Josiah S. Litant joined the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership in February 2023 as its inaugural executive director. Josiah's experience as a teacher and administrator spans 20 years, working across a variety of age groups. He most recently served in senior executive leadership roles at Minnesota State College Southeast, a public two-year community and technical college. Prior to that, Josiah was an administrator for ten years at Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts. He is co-founder and former executive director of LightHouse Holyoke, an independent high school in western Massachusetts, and also has teaching experience at the elementary and early childhood levels. He holds a Master of Arts in higher education administration from Goddard College, and a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Hampshire College. He and his family live in Winona, Minnesota.

Partnership Executive Committee

Dennis Olson, Jr., Chair
Commissioner
Minnesota Office of Higher Education

Stephanie Graff, Vice Chair
Deputy Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Education

Dr. Satasha Green-Stephen
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Dr. Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Partnership Members

The organizations and agencies listed below have representatives that serve as voting members to MNP20. Some organizations have also identified additional staff to serve in the voting member's absence.

MNP20 complies with open meeting laws, and invited guests and other interested parties are also welcome to attend partnership meetings.

 

Association of Metropolitan School Districts

Voting member: 
Scott Croonquist, Executive Director

The Association of Metropolitan School Districts represents 47 K-12 school districts and 6 intermediate/cooperative districts that collectively enroll more than half of the state's students. AMSD's mission is to advocate for member school districts so they can lead the transformation of public education. Our primary task is to advocate at the state level for the needs of our member districts.

 

Education Minnesota

Voting member: 
Denise Specht, President

Designee member: 
Carrie Lucking, Executive Director

Education Minnesota is the leading advocate for public education in Minnesota. Our members work in pre-K-12 schools and higher education institutions statewide. They include: Education support professionals, faculty at several university campuses and community and technical colleges, college students preparing for an education career, and retired educators. Education Minnesota gives “voice” to the issues that affect educators and their students. We make sure our members’ voices are heard anywhere decisions get made that affect public education—whether it’s at the state Capitol, in Washington, D.C., or with local school administrators.

 

Generation Next

Voting member: 
Joe Munnich, Executive Director

Designee member: 
Jeremiah Ellis, Director of Partnerships

Generation Next is a coalition of civic, business, and education leaders from across Minneapolis and Saint Paul dedicated to closing achievement and opportunity gaps. Generation Next is a member of the Education Partnerships Coalition (EPC) which unites nine Minnesota communities, working together across the birth-to-career spectrum to close opportunity gaps and ensure all young people have a chance to succeed. As established in Minnesota State Statute (Sec. 124D.99), this locally-driven, data-informed network engages over 120,000 youth and families, harnessing the power of collective impact to improve outcomes for children and families. Guided by a shared vision of student success, thriving communities, and an equitable and prosperous state, the EPC represents a powerful force for positive change in Minnesota.

 

Greater Twin Cities United Way

Voting member: 
Liz Williams, Senior Program Officer for Career Academies

The Greater Twin Cities United Way exists to fuel lasting change that will help us achieve our vision of a community where all people thrive regardless of income, race or place. GTCUW's efforts in education success are focused on working to protect, advance and expand early childhood, after school, and summer youth programs, as well as career pathway programs across the entire state of Minnesota.

 

MINNDEPENDENT

Voting member: 
Tim Benz, President

MINNDEPENDENT connects and strengthens Minnesota's private and independent schools through programming, partnerships and public policy so members can be student-centered and mission-driven. Our vision is a vibrant educational ecosystem that promotes success for all Minnesota students.

 

Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC)

Voting member: 
Heather Charmoli, Program Administrator

MnAEYC promotes quality in early care and education programs and supports the leadership and development of early care and education professionals. We do this through offering accreditation coaching, professional development as well as policy and advocacy work.

 

Minnesota Association of Charter Schools

Voting member: 
Joey Cienian, Executive Director

The MN Association of Charter Schools, as a membership organization, advocates for fair and just education policies for students in charter schools, supports charter school innovation, quality and accountability, and facilitates cooperation in Minnesota's charter school community to promote equitable opportunities and excellence in education for students.

 

Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE)

Voting member: 
Darrell Stolle, President

MACTE's mission is to bring together schools, colleges and departments of education to provide leadership in the preparation of highly qualified professional educators. MACTE is an affiliated chapter of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

 

Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA)

Voting member: 
Deb Henton, Executive Director

MASA is a private, nonprofit, member service organization representing educational administrators throughout Minnesota. Our members include school superintendents, directors of special education, curriculum and technology leaders, central office administrators, and higher education administrators, professors, business partners, and retirees. MASA membership supports excellence in professional practice, enhances our members' leadership networks, and provides members with a variety of valuable benefits. Our services include professional learning opportunities, legal assistance, mentoring, legislative advocacy, and association communications. Our mission: As advocates of a world-class education for Minnesota's learners, MASA's members serve as the leading voice for public education, shape and influence the state and national education agenda, and empower leaders through high quality professional learning, services and support.

 

Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP)

Voting member: 
Bob Driver, Executive Director

The Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) is a professional educational association of over 1,300 active and retired middle level and high school administrators. MASSP supports, advocates for, and provides professional development to our members. We are committed to improving instruction and achievement for all students. MASSP is an affiliate of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), based in Reston, Virginia.

 

Minnesota Business Partnership

Voting member: 
Kurt Zellers, CEO

Designee member: 
Amy Walstien, Senior Policy Director

The Minnesota Business Partnership leverages the knowledge and experience of more than 100 CEOs and senior executives from Minnesota’s largest employers. We analyze our state’s challenges with a long-term, global view, and we make recommendations to strengthen Minnesota’s economy and quality of life. Our members represent a broad range of business interests, political perspectives, and personal philosophies, but they are united by a desire to maintain a high quality of life for all Minnesotans by ensuring that the state’s economy remains strong and globally competitive.

 

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Voting member: 
Lauryn Schothorst, Director of Workplace Management and Workforce Development Policy

The Minnesota Chamber is the state's largest broad-based business organization representing more than 6,300 member organizations and more than half a million employees throughout Minnesota. Our members represent every industry and drive economic growth in every corner of the state. They mirror the state's economy and represent every size of business from small companies to many of the state's Fortune 500 companies.

The Chamber's vision is a future for business that improves the lives of all Minnesotans. Our members help maintain our cherished quality of life in Minnesota. That is why we advocate for public policy that grows jobs and the economy, so that Minnesota businesses stay and grow in Minnesota.

Employers in every community and in every industry report that finding and hiring workers remains one of the biggest barriers to doing business in Minnesota with high taxes first. Minnesota's workforce challenge is both immediate and long-term, requiring strong alignment between education systems, workforce programs, and the needs of employers and the state's economy. The system as a whole must closely track and adapt to changes in the labor market and workforce needs. A more nimble and responsive education and workforce system should have the ability to provide shorter-term pathways to certificates or degrees in areas of greatest demand and promote the longer-term development of core skills and competencies.

 

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)

Voting member: 
Willie Jett, Commissioner

Designee members: 
Stephanie Graff, Deputy Commissioner
Angela Mansfield, Assistant Commissioner
Daron Korte, Assistant Commissioner 

The Minnesota Department of Education is a cabinet-level state agency that provides an excellent education for Minnesota students by striving for excellence, equity, and opportunity. The agency focuses on closing the achievement gap, supporting high-quality teaching, using innovative strategies to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring all students graduate from high school well-prepared for college, career and life. The Minnesota Department of Education develops, builds and maintains collaborative relationships with schools, districts, libraries and other stakeholders through a wide variety of advisory boards, councils and committees.

 

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

Voting member: 
Matt Varilek, Commissioner

Designee member: 
Katie McClelland, Executive Director of Governor's Workforce Development Board

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) serves as the state's principal economic development, cabinet-level state agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.

 

Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP)

Voting member: 
Carlos Mariana Rosa, Executive Director

Designee member: 
Leiataua Jon Peterson, Senior Policy Fellow

The Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) is a nonprofit that transforms systems, structures, and public narratives to advance race equity and excellence in education. Led by People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) thought leaders and experts, MnEEP uses a race equity lens to develop and advance networks, practices, research, and policies to dismantle racism in education and build a more just, equitable Minnesota. MnEEP works alongside communities, educators, districts, and racial equity advocates at every level of systems change to inform, shape, and build a better education system that honors the goals and needs of POCI students.

 

Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association (MESPA)

Voting member: 
Michelle Krell, Executive Director

MESPA is a collaborative, leadership association serving Minnesota elementary and middle level principals. MESPA has represented Minnesota principals since 1950, and is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). MESPA is dedicated to connecting, developing, and providing resources for principals, and serving as a leading voice for Minnesota education. MESPA is committed to ensuring an inclusive, high-quality academic, and social-emotional education for each child by strengthening, supporting, engaging, and celebrating principals as educational leaders in our schools.

 

Minnesota House of Representatives

Voting members: 
Rep. Nathan Coulter, Member of the MN House of Representatives
Rep. Patricia Mueller, Member of the MN House of Representatives

The Minnesota House of Representatives is part of the Minnesota Legislature, which is the lawmaking body for the State of Minnesota. The House of Representatives is composed of elected officials that listen to bill ideas during committee and then debate them on the House Floor and pass policy changes to statute. During budget years, the House will also will set the MN two-year budget for state agencies.

 

Military Interstate Children's Compact *

Voting member: 
Heather Bergeron, Minnesota Family Program Director, Minnesota Army National Guard

Founded in 2008, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) is the governing body of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children or ICEOMC. Commission members include the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five ex-officio representatives, which include the US Department of Defense. The collaborative’s mission is to ease the educational transitions of school-aged, military-connected students attending public schools and Department of Defense schools worldwide. For the state of Minnesota, the P-20 Education Partnership serves as the compact state council, with the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (or their designee) serving as the compact commissioner. When conducting business related to the compact, the partnership also includes a representative appointed by the Minnesota National Guard.

 

Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE)

Voting member: 
Dennis Olson, Jr., Commissioner

Designee members: 
Winnie Sullivan, Deputy Commissioner
Wendy Robinson, Assistant Commissioner
Nora Morris, SLEDS Director
Jen Verbrugge, ECLDS Director

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency also serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends. The agency oversees state scholarship programs, tuition reciprocity programs, a student loan program, Minnesota's 529 College Savings Plan, licensing, and an early college awareness program and initiatives for youth.

 

Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC)

Voting member: 
Paul Cerkvenik, President

Designee members: 
Alison Groebner, Director of Government & Community Relations
Megan Rozowski, Director of Research & Policy Development

The Minnesota Private College Council and its affiliate, the Minnesota Private College Fund, represent private nonprofit higher education in Minnesota. Eighteen institutions are members; they share a liberal arts focus. The Council was founded to maintain the viability of a healthy private college sector in Minnesota. To that end the Council's mission is to serve members' shared needs and advocate for public policy that meets the educational needs of students, enhances private higher education, and strengthens Minnesota's economic and civic fabric.

 

Minnesota PTA

Voting member: 
Amy Nelson, President

The mission & vision of PTA - Every Child. One Voice. PTA's mission is to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. PTA has a proud history of important accomplishments. Minnesota PTA, along with National PTA, is committed to strengthening parent involvement in every school in the 21st century. When parents are involved with their children's education, student achievement increases, school environments improve, and communities grow stronger.

 

Minnesota Senate

Voting members: 
Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten, Member of the MN Senate
TBD (additional appointment pending)

The Minnesota Senate is part of the Minnesota Legislature, which is the lawmaking body for the State of Minnesota. The Senate is composed of elected officials that listen to bill ideas during committee and then debate them on the Senate Floor and pass policy changes to statute. During budget years, the Senate will also will set the two-year budget for state agencies.

 

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Voting member: 
Scott Olson, Chancellor

Designee members: 
Satasha Green-Stephen, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
Jesse Mason, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Minnesota State is making a difference. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities provides access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans, is a partner of choice to meet Minnesota's workforce and community needs, and deliver to students, employers, communities and taxpayers the highest value/most affordable higher education option. Minnesota State is the third-largest system of state colleges and universities in the United States and the largest in the state with 26 colleges, 7 universities, and 54 campuses.

 

Tribal Nations Education Committee (TNEC)

Voting member: 
Jennifer Murray, TNEC Member

TNEC was established by Tribal directive and is the primary liaison between tribes, rural/urban Indian communities, and the Minnesota Department of Education in all matters relating to Indian education. TNEC serves as the advising and communicating group on behalf of all tribes in the state and as the main point of tribal contact. TNEC is the consultative body for the Minnesota Department of Education per state statute.

 

University of Minnesota

Voting member: 
Jeff Ettinger, Interim President

Designee members: 
Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Jennifer Kunze, Director of Ramp up to Readiness

The University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive universities in the nation, with offerings to meet the interests of every student and the changing needs of our society. The University is proud of its land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and commitment to partnering with communities. The University serves 68,600 students across five distinct campuses. The University's participation in the P-20 Education Partnership also includes representation from Ramp-Up to Readiness, a grade 6-12 college and career readiness program based at the University. Ramp-Up strives to make sure all students have an equitable opportunity to achieve social and economic mobility through higher education, whether it be at a two or four-year college, a trade school, or an apprenticeship. Ramp-Up helps students kickstart their postsecondary planning, find quality institutions of higher learning, and prepare for good jobs that require ongoing learning.

*Only participates and votes for matters related to the Military Interstate Compact

 

Affiliate Organizations

Affiliate organizations are actively engaged in the partnership, but in non-voting roles without specific participation obligations. They may attend meetings, participate in committees, and join other MNP20 initiatives.

 

 

21st Century Skills Committee

Member: 
David LaPorte, Chair

The mission of the 21st Century Skills Committee is to facilitate the training of preK-12 students in transferable skills, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and written/oral communications. These skills are mission-critical for employers and will be essential for workers to thrive in the digital economy where workers are already competing for jobs with artificial intelligence, robots, and other forms of automation. These skills also benefit many other aspects of personal and civic life. This committee is composed of practicing preK-12 educators, subject matter experts, preK-12 administrators, and educational researchers.

 

Citizens League

Member: 
Jake Loesch, Executive Director

The Citizens League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers people to engage in civic life and public policy to make Minnesota a better place to live and work for everyone. Leading with a multi-partisan approach, the League develops leaders in public policy, builds awareness of issues, and creates strong public policy. The League brings this vision to life through our Capitol Pathways internship program, convening events on public policy issues, and conducting impactful policy projects that bring together people with varying viewpoints and perspectives to develop solutions.

 

Joyce Foundation

Member: 
Chibuzo Ezeigbo, Program Officer

The Joyce Foundation is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. We support policy research, development, and advocacy in six program areas: Culture, Democracy, Education & Economic Mobility, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, and Journalism. We focus our grant making primarily in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, while also exploring promising, evidence-informed policy solutions nationally and at the federal level.

 

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI)

Member: 
Kate Perushek, Deputy Commissioner

The Department of Labor and Industry is a cabinet-level state agency that ensures Minnesota’s work and living environments are equitable, healthy and safe. The agency oversees the state's programs for apprenticeship, construction codes and licensing, dual-training pipeline, occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, workers' compensation and youth skills training programs.

 

Minnesota Longitudinal Data Systems (SLEDS and ECLDS)

Members:
Nora Morris, SLEDS Director, and Jen Verbrugge, ECLDS Lead

The Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) matches student data from pre-kindergarten through completion of postsecondary education and into the workforce. By bridging existing data with other incoming data, a range of education programmatic and delivery questions can be answered to identify the most viable pathways for individuals in achieving successful outcomes in education and work, and inform decisions to support and improve education and workforce policy and practice. Minnesota's Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) links data collected by programs at the Minnesota Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health into one public, online, interactive database that enhances our state's ability to answer broad and meaningful questions about the status and outcomes of Minnesota's youngest children.

 

Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA)

Member: 
Bob Indihar, Executive Director

MREA serves rural school districts by advocating for the issues that matter to them, communicating changes and the impact they'll have, and providing high-quality professional development and networking. MREA membership consists of teachers, administrators, and school board members from across Greater Minnesota and partners with education cooperatives, higher education, nonprofits, businesses and community members.

 

Minnesota School Boards Association

Member: 
Kirk Schneidawind, Executive Director

The Minnesota School Boards Association supports and empowers Minnesota School Boards through advocacy, board development, and policy and legal guidance. MSBA represents all of our public school districts school boards.