The Leadership Team brings a broad range of leadership, management, consulting and education experience to CSP. Knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate, the group has come together with a single mission – to raise the academic achievement of Minnesota’s charter schools.
After 16 years at General Mills working in brand management, consumer research, and sales, Al launched a new career focused on bringing his strategic planning and results-driven collaborative approach to the area of social philanthropy, with a special interest in working with high-performing charter schools in Minnesota. Al’s work included leadership positions with Social Venture Partners, a venture philanthropy organization; Cookie Cart, a North Minneapolis non-profit providing employment skills training for youth; Hiawatha Leadership Academy; and KIPP Minnesota. He received his BA and MBA from UC Berkeley and is currently in the administrative licensure program at the University of Minnesota.
Katie Barrett Kramer
Director- New Schools Development
Katie brings hands-on, academic skills along with a deep respect for school leaders, teachers and their students to the mission of developing and fostering high-achieving charter schools in Minnesota. Katie taught middle school in a New York City public school and was a corps member and leader for Teach for America in the Big Apple. For four years, she was also a leader of teacher professional development in a Minneapolis parochial school. Katie has an intimate knowledge of what it takes to achieve academic excellence in the inner city classroom. She was a founding board member of Hiawatha Leadership Academy, Minneapolis. A Boston College undergraduate, Katie received her Masters in Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. Katie is Director of CSP’s Fellowship program.
Director of Public Affairs
For over twenty years, Brian has maintained a passion for and an ongoing professional commitment to educational choice and quality. In addition to founding (and co-founding) two schools in the Twin Cities that reflect both public and non-public school choice options, he has direct hands-on experience as a school director, has consulted with dozens of charter schools, and has served on boards of directors for numerous schools – from the pre-school to the college level. He was also a board member of the Wilder Foundation’s Achievement Plus program in St. Paul. Brian served as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of St. Paul where he headed up a Charters School Initiative for the Mayor. He was an Urban Studies major at The George Washington University, Washington, DC and did graduate work in public administration at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Director- School Relations and Board Governance
Morgan Brown has spent the last decade advocating for education reform, innovation, and charter schools at both the state and national levels. Morgan served at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) as an Assistant Commissioner (2008-10) and the Director of School Choice and Innovation (2003-06). At MDE, he oversaw programs for school choice, special education policy, and American Indian education. Morgan also gained national experience from 2006-08 as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. There, he led the federal agency’s programs and initiatives in such areas as school choice, teacher and principal quality, education technology, and history and arts education. Prior to 2003, Morgan had 11 years of experience in nonprofit and public policy positions, many of which focused on K-12 reform and outreach to families on education options. He received his B.A. from Carleton College and has completed fellowships at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and the Claremont Institute in California.
Director- New Schools Impact
Dan Cooley comes to CSP eager to apply his experience as a teacher and school administrator in service of equity for all children in the Twin Cities. Dan taught in and directed the special education programs at a public middle school in St. Louis, Missouri as a Teach For America corps member and then at Gary Comer College Prep, a campus of Noble Street Charter School in Chicago. At Gary Comer, Dan managed the resources and talents of the Special Education team to ensure that 100% of graduates with special needs matriculated into an appropriate college program. Dan brings strengths in data analysis and performance management, interests in talent recruitment and management, and a belief that all children can achieve at the highest levels in a context of high expectations and rigorous supports. Dan received his B.A. from St. Olaf College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Director – Community Outreach and Partnerships
Mark, a third-generation native of the Rondo community in St. Paul, has worked in the nonprofit world to give back to the Twin Cities communities that have given so much to him. After ten years with Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) working on multiple initiatives: Ramsey County – Community Systems Navigation model implementation, Community Cultural Economic Development, entrepreneur trainings (CWC and NDC trainer), cultural classes – group facilitation and training, curriculum development, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI – Ramsey County), up-stream initiatives in education. Mark joined the Charter School Partners team to help lay the foundation for authentic community partnerships, to better understand and meet the needs of the most underserved and underrepresented scholars and their communities. Mark was an African American studies major at the University of Minnesota and is pursuing a law degree. Mark credits the knowledge philosophy of IKI and the 20 years of study and apprenticeship under Seba Ahmed and Elder Atum Azzahir, as a major piece of his philosophical foundation and cultural community consciousness.
Our Bus Charter Services: https://comfortexpressinc.com/our-service/