The DaVinci Academy Board of Directors consists of parents, teachers and a community representative. All members are elected to the board, unless an opening occurs mid-term, in which case the board has authority to fill that position.
Our school charter provides the board with the following major duties and responsibilities:
- Providing overall direction for the development and growth of the school
- Selecting and evaluating the school’s key administrative staff
- Establishing and approving all major educational and operational policies
- Approving the school’s annual budget and overseeing all fiscal affairs
- As needed, acting as a resource for school staff
- Approving the school’s personnel policies and monitoring compliance
- Approving all major contracts
The board has established various committees, which focus on key components of school operations. As circumstances warrant, committees are abolished or added to address specific needs or challenges. Parent, teacher and community member participation on any of the committees is welcomed by the board.
Currently, there is an open position on our School Board. If you are interested in applying, please use this document.
Melanie Persellin, President, Parent Board Member
Term expires: 2023
Ms. Persellin has served on the Board since December of 2015, and was elected as Board Secretary on February 22, 2016. Ms. Persellin is currently employed as a partner at the law firm of Jensen, Sondrall, Persellin and Woods, P.A., in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Ms. Persellin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota, and a JD from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Ms. Persellin has two children who currently attend the Charter School.
Lenny Ulloa Silva, Teacher Board Member
Term expires: 2022
Profe Lenny has served on the Board since May of 2019. Profe Lenny graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 2016 with a degree in Spanish and Secondary Education. He is from Valparaíso, Chile, where he completed most of his high school. Then he went to United World College of the Adriatic, an IB school, in Duino, Italy for 2 years before he moved to the United States in 2012. He student taught at the United World College USA in Montezuma, New Mexico and Willow Creek Middle School in Rochester, Minnesota. For the past two summers he has been at Concordia Language Villages working as a counselor and as a credit teacher. He loves tea and in his free time he likes to cook and hike. He taught at school in Forest Lake and now he is really excited to start another adventure at DaVinci Academy.
Todd Paulsen, At-Large Board Member
Term expires: 2022
Todd Paulsen has served on the board since May of 2019. Todd is currently a Sales Executive for Hawk Ridge Systems selling SOLIDWORKS engineering and manufacturing software and several 3D printers to businesses across the country. Prior to this current role, Todd was the Executive Director for a few colleges in Minnesota and Texas lastly Carrington College a Nursing School in Dallas Texas. Todd has prior board member experience as a community advisory board member for a Children’s Hospital and Duke University wellness center in Mesquite Texas. Todd graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. He currently has 2 kids and 1 future attending DaVinci Academy. Todd lives in Blaine, is married, with 3 kids under the ages of 7. Todd recently started coaching Blaine Youth Hockey and if he gets spare time, loves to travel, downhill ski, bike-ride, grill, and spend time outdoors.
Katherine Borg, Board Member
Term Expires: 2022
Katharine Borg is a Kindergarten teacher at DaVinci Academy. She attended Northwestern College of St. Paul and graduated in 2009 with an AA/Bible degree. Katharine then transferred to Bemidji State University online education program where she obtained her B.S in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Middle School Social Studies in 2012.
DaVinci Academy is a school that has a great community of support. Katharine loves that she can collaborate with teachers within her team about student’s academics. She appreciates the support and resources given to her to differentiate and meet her students at their levels and needs.
Idara Uko, At-Large, Parent Board Member
Term Expires: 2023
Idara Uko has served on the board since February 2020 and serves on the finance committee and the school development committee. Idara is an Engineering Director at Medtronic Plc where he works with high performing teams to deliver therapies and solutions that improve the lives of patients around the world. Idara previously served on the board of AXIS Medical Center, a non-profit clinic in Minneapolis providing primary care to underserved populations in Minneapolis. Idara obtained his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Management (B.Eng & Mgt) from McMaster University, Canada, a Masters in Applied Science (MASc) in Electrical Engineering from University of Toronto, Canada, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Minnesota -Carlson School of Management. Idara is married with three children ages 10, 7, and 4, with two kids attending DaVinci Academy. Idara enjoys playing soccer, listening to podcasts, reading and has recently picked up hiking.
Dan Rhinhart, Parent Board Member
Term Expires: 2021
Dan currently works as an Educator Solutions Consultant at Edmentum. Prior to that, he worked as an International Account Executive for MakeMusic, Inc. Mr. Rhinhart attended Metropolitan State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in advertising.
Dan enjoys giving back to the DaVinci community and has participated in several volunteer opportunities, including the campus move, golf tournament fundraising, playground build, and some tile work in the teacher lounges. Dan has one child who currently attends DaVinci. In his spare time, Dan enjoys family time, cooking, DIY projects, golf, photography, and traveling.
Ojonimi Ocholi, Vice Chair
Term Expires: 2022
Nimi Ocholi is a Senior Director for Product Security at Medtronic with over 14 years in the Medical Device Industry. More recently, he has helped the Neuromodulation & Cardiac Rhythm Management and Heart Failure businesses in managing ongoing challenges related to Product Security of Medical Products. Nimi is actively involved in several industry forums including the Health Sector Coordinating Council – Joint Cybersecurity Working Group and is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation committee. Nimi grew up and benefited from strong education in Lagos, Nigeria and London, UK. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and security training from the SANS Institute. He currently lives in Blaine, is married with 2 kids. Nimi loves to travel, loves to play sports and is an aspiring kids soccer coach.
Agenda & Meeting Minutes
Live Board Meetings:
CLICK HERE to watch the latest board meetings and view board meetings when they are live.
Meeting Minutes 2020-21:
Chair: Idara Uko
Manages the finances of DaVinci Academy with the highest integrity and ensures professional accounting practices are followed.
Chair: Rohan Venkatesh
Vice Chair: Lenny Ulloa Silva
Reviews and recommends appropriate and supportable compensation and bonus programs for teachers and staff that are in DaVinci Academy’s best interests and aligned with its business mission and strategy to reward and retain quality employees.
Chair: Andy Wallschlaeger
Vice Chair: Todd Paulsen
Documents and tracks current policies and practices, reviews and recommends changes to existing policies and practices, and drafts and recommends new policies and practices, as needed.
Vice Chair: Melanie Persellin
Coordinates all fundraising and grant application activities conducted at the school to ensure those opportunities are maximized.
Facilitates quality communications within DaVinci Academy and from the school to stakeholders and the general public.
Vice Chair: Andy Wallschlaeger
Reviews, prioritizes, and recommends budgetary and other actions to the administration and the DaVinci Academy School Board in order to maintain and enhance the school’s buildings and grounds. This includes, but is not limited to, the recommendation of additions and upgrades to facilities, development of budgets necessary for short- and long-term facility maintenance, and review and selection of facility maintenance-related bids and contracts, and prioritization and recommendation of large equipment purchases.
This is an Ad-Hoc group committee specifically working on the school expansion. They are not currently seeking additional members.
High School Ad Hoc
Chair: Holly Fischer
Takes a leading role in assisting the administration and the DaVinci Academy School Board in developing a plan to expand the school to include grades nine through twelve. This will initially include assistance in hiring a high school coordinator to oversee the project and in creating a vision for the future high school program.
This committee was disbanded when it completed its task.
School Director Search Committee
Chair: Doug Hiatt
Coordinates all activities associated with identifying, interviewing and recruiting potential candidates to fill the school’s open School Director position.
This committee was disbanded when it completed its task.
Chair: Mike Hebert
Chair: Michelle Ingram