MinnCAN was founded on the belief that a committed group of concerned citizens could make a difference by joining together to advocate for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address. As the Star Tribune wrote at our launch in January 2011: “the organization may have the political will and power to chip away at the achievement gap in an unprecedented effort.”

Over the past five and a half years, we have worked hard to turn that potential into concrete progress for our kids. We have accomplished a lot together and none of that would have been possible without the strong support of our local partners, funders and fellow advocates.

We have also been fortunate to learn from two dedicated leaders. Founding executive director Vallay Varro led us to several victories in our early years on high-quality pre-K, teacher certification, teacher evaluation and charter-district collaboration. She was followed by Daniel Sellers, who built on this foundation by advocating for further investment in high-quality pre-K, charter school accountability, better student data and a streamlined out-of-state licensure process for teachers.

Daniel Sellers will be stepping down today as executive director and I will transition to the role of interim executive director. In this position, I will lead our team of advocates forward as we tackle new opportunities on the horizon.

I’ve been proud to work alongside Daniel as MinnCAN’s deputy director for the past two years, serving as the manager of our staff and advocating for big changes for Minnesota’s kids. We thank him for his unwavering commitment to education reform and for all he has done to strengthen schools across the North Star state.

On behalf of the whole team here at MinnCAN, thank you for all your support. We look forward to working with you as we write the next chapter in MinnCAN’s history together.

Andrea Roethke is MinnCAN’s interim executive director.


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