Astein Osei began his career in education as a Health and Physical Education Teacher at Cretin-Derham Hall (CDH) high school in St. Paul. Following his time at CDH, Astein took an administrative position in the Osseo Area School district. During his tenure in the Osseo Area School district Astein served in several different leadership roles (Assistant Principal (Park Center Senior High and Maple Grove Senior High), Division of Leadership, Teaching and Learning Principal on Special Assignment, Director of Educational Equity and Assistant Superintendent). Astein also spent time in the St. Paul Public School district as the Principal of Johnson Aerospace and Engineering High School.
Having the opportunity to serve in multiple sites and district-level leadership positions helped him to develop a system-level perspective and better understand the strategic nature in which school districts must operate for successful implementation of strategic plan strategies. Astein is a firm believer in the power of public education and understands that in order to create an anti-racist democracy we must have effective public schools that produce citizens who are change agents. Astein joined St. Louis Park Public Schools as Superintendent July 1, 2017.
In 2017, he led the District in the successful passage of a $100.9 million bond referendum and enewal of the operating levy. During the 2018-19 school year, he helped to facilitate a successful start-end time change process which resulted in the School Board approving the change in start-end times for the 2020-21 school year. He focuses his daily work on the achievement of the District’s mission and strategic plan.
Astein provides leadership throughout the St. Louis Park community as a member of the Children First Executive Committee, St. Louis Park Noon Rotary, St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission, St. Louis Park Crime Prevention Board, Perspectives
Board of Directors, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Community Advisory Board and Keep Every Youth Safe (KEYS) Initiative.
Astein Osei serves on the Board of Trustees
For the last 15+ years, Chuayi (she/her) has worked side by side with low-income, first-generation students of color and their families in various educational roles and spaces. She has worked in collaborative community-centered programs providing food access, housing support, and educational equity, in federally-funded college access programs, and on college and university campuses in student retention and campus climate efforts, racial advocacy and justice, and student leadership development.
Chuayi graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Arts in English and received a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program from Saint Catherine University. Chuayi has served as a past board member for the Minnesota College Personnel Association (MCPA) as a Professionals of Color Commission (POCC) co-chair, with College Possible Alumni Corps, and with STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience). Chuayi currently serves as a Board Member for the Hmong Museum, a local museum without walls focused on highlighting the intersection of all things Hmong - language, arts, stories, and traditions.
Chuayi believes in the power of people coming together and the positive impact they can create in their own communities, by identifying solutions to dismantle systems that no longer serve them and building partnerships that lift up possibilities.
Chuayi Yang serves as a Scholar Advisor
As the director of Development, Troy partners closely with Wallin EP’s executive leadership team to develop and implement fundraising strategies that ensure the continued growth, success, and sustainability of the organization.
A passionate believer in the power of education to increase racial equity and economic mobility, Troy enjoys helping companies, individuals, and philanthropists bridge the space between profit and purpose. Prior to joining Wallin EP, Troy served as Vice President at Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation. Previously, he held positions of progressive responsibility in a variety of organizations—from government agencies and nonprofits to for-profit consulting and a successful startup.
Troy is a Minnesota native and his family calls south Minneapolis home. He earned a BA from Macalester College and is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he is recognized as a Neubauer Civic Scholar.
Troy Groenke serves as Director of Development
Elizabeth Hawn started her career as an Assistant D.A. in the New York County District Attorney’s office after graduating from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Virginia Law School. After moving to Minneapolis in 1979, she briefly practiced law and mediation and then turned her attention to community organizations dealing with law and education.
Elizabeth served as a Guardian Ad Litem and tutored in the Minneapolis Public Schools and the Hennepin County Men’s Workhouse and mentored children through Hennepin County Services. She was the chair of the Orono Planning Commission and also served on and chaired the boards of the Ripley Memorial Foundation and the Stevens Square Foundation. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, and Loring, Nicollet, Bethlehem and has participated in an advisory capacity on committees of the Minneapolis Foundation and the YWCA. More recently she has been involved with the work of Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota and Friends of Ngong Road.
Elizabeth Hawn serves on the Board of Trustees
May is a change maker who has always been committed to empowering historically underrepresented and underserved communities. She enjoys bringing people together to build collective power and working towards equitable systemic change. May has spent several years working in educational equity and has experience in community engagement and organizing, policy development, and leadership programming.
Most recently May directed statewide advocacy efforts and policy initiatives focused on closing the opportunity gap in Minnesota. This included issue-based community organizing efforts to advance solutions on issues affecting BIPOC college students and prioritizing basic needs in higher education. As part of this work May led a campaign establishing Minnesota’s first law addressing food insecurity amongst college students. In this role May also developed and delivered an anti-racist and cultural agility leadership curriculum which served over 500 students annually.
Outside of work May is a nature enthusiast and enjoys living a cruelty-free lifestyle. She has an exorbitant amount of plants and is always down for a round of karaoke. In her free time you can find her cooking, reading, or hanging out with her rabbits."
May Yang serves as a Scholar Advisor
Helen Meyer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) from William Mitchell College of Law. She then practiced civil litigation for 20 years and was recognized by her peers as a leading mediator and trial lawyer.
Helen then had the privilege of being appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, serving from 2002- 2012 as an Associate Justice. After stepping down from the high court, Meyer played a major role in establishing the Child Protection Program at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The program promotes legal-system reform on behalf of children and families, and engages in education and training, research, and the development of best practices in child protection.
She then joined the law firm of Briggs & Morgan, P.A. whether she assisted lawyers in writing and arguing appeals to appellate courts across the country.
She is a past board member and chair of the board of Mitchell Hamline School of Law. and was a founding board member of Global Rights for Women. She currently serves on the Guthrie Board as Chair of the Marketing Committee and the State Board of Public Defense.
She received the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in recognition of her service to the school and the community. In 2017, she was awarded the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award, the highest non-degree award conferred upon distinguished alumni by the University of Minnesota. She is a recipient of the Rosalie E. Wahl “Justice for Children” award, Minnesota Lawyer’s “Outstanding Service to the Profession” award, and the 2018 Minnesota Icon Award by Finance & Commerce.
In her free time, she enjoys the arts, golf, cooking, and travel. She is the proud mother of three sons and lives in Minneapolis.
Helen Meyer serves on the Board of Trustees
Dennis Carlson served as superintendent for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the largest school district in Minnesota, from 2008 to 2014. He also served as Superintendent of Minnesota Transitions Charter School, the largest public charter school in Minnesota, from 2016 to 2018. He currently works as an education consultant in the Carlson Consulting Corporation.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota and Master’s Degree in Community Education from Mankato State University. He began his career as an art teacher in Mercer Common School District, Mercer, Wisconsin. He spent a year as recreation supervisor at the Christian Youth Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin and then became a Community Education Director, serving in the Glencoe and Elk River School Districts before accepting a position as community education director for Anoka-Hennepin School District in 1986. He held that position until 2003, when he was named Assistant Superintendent, and became Superintendent in 2008.
He has held many leadership positions, serving on the Minnesota Community Education Association board for five years, including a year as president. He was co-chair of the National Council of State Community Education Associations and served on the Board of Directors of the National Community Education Association. He was also co-chair of the membership committee of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and regional chair of the legislative committee for Schools for Equity in Education. In addition, he served as the president’s appointee on the Minnesota School Public Relations Association Board of Directors and was given that organization’s District Leadership in Communication Award.
Dennis earned numerous awards from the Minnesota Community Education Association, including its President’s Award in 1983, Director of the Year Award in 1985, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He also earned the National Community Education Association’s Special Service Award in 1985 as well as the organization’s Outstanding Contribution to State Legislation Award in 2002.
Dennis also received the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Award for being a positive agent of change in Anoka County in 2013, and in 2014 he received the Achievement in Education Award from the North Suburban Optimist Club and the Administrator of Excellence Award from MASA.
Dennis was active in the community as a member of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Advisory Council, the Coon Rapids Rotary Club and served a term as their president. In retirement he has served on the Wallin Education Partners Board of Trustees for four years (September 2015 to present) and also serves as their Governance Committee Chair.
Dennis Carlson serves as Governance Committee Chair