There are three positions up for Board election:  one parent member, one community member, and one at-large member.  We have seven nominees to fill the three positions.

Note these important dates:

  • Candidate Forum        Monday, January 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm (at DaVinci Academy, everyone is invited)
  • Voting Starts                Monday, February 11, 2019 (Ballots can be downloaded here or picked up in the office)
  • Voting Ends                 Monday, February 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm
  • Results Announced    Monday, February 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the Annual Meeting (at DaVinci Academy)

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.

Board and Committees Calendar


Mon 25

Annual Board Meeting

February 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Mar 04

Curriculum/Technology Committee Meeting

March 4 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Mar 18

Finance Committee Meeting

March 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Board Members

Matt Manning, President, At-Large Board Member
Term expires: 2021

Mr. Manning currently serves as President of the Board.  Mr. Manning is currently employed by Medtronic in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota as a Principal Technician.  Mr. Manning received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Business Management from the National American University and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown College in Minnesota.  Mr. Manning received a Project Management Professional certificate from the Project Management Institute of Minnesota.  Mr. Manning has one child attending the Charter School, plus three alumnus.

Melanie Persellin, Vice President, Parent Board Member
Term expires: 2020

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 .

Valerie Slaymaker, PhD, Treasurer, Community Board Member
Term expires: 2020

Dr. Slaymaker has served on the Board since January of 2015, was elected Board Treasurer on February 22, 2016, and currently chairs the Finance Committee.  Dr. Slaymaker is the Vice President of Education, Quality and Research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and also serves as the Chief Academic Officer and Provost in the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies.  Dr. Slaymaker received a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is trained as a scientist-practitioner.

Brian Mueggenberg, Teacher Board Member
Term expires: 2020

Mr. Mueggenberg  has been a teacher since 2012, and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in mathematics education.  He is involved in the kids’ growth and learning throughout the year, including after school clubs, tutoring, math masters, and soccer. He chooses to work at DaVinci Academy for its close-knit community and dedicated families, and is a student favorite in the PTO dunk tank in the spring carnival.

Michelle Maciej, Teacher Board Member
Term expires: 2021

Mrs. Maciej has served on the Board since August of 2016.  Mrs. Maciej joined the DaVinci Academy Community in 2015, she loves the close community feeling from the families and staff that create an environment for success. Mrs. Maciej earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota in 2013. She has been teaching since 2009 in 4th and 5th grades. She loves working and learning through technology and is always reading a good book!

Ross Meisner,  At-Large Board Member
Term expires: 2018

Mr. Meisner had two children attend DaVinci Academy, and now serves as a Community board member, having previously served as Board President for four years, as Treasurer for one year, and as a finance committee member for two years.  He is a Managing Director in Navigant’s Life Science Practice, which in 2016 acquired the company he had co-founded, Dymedex Consulting.  At Navigant his team delivers strategic marketing insights to the medical technology industry.  Mr. Meisner previously worked in Silicon Valley and lived in Tokyo for three years.  Mr. Meisner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from DeVry Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Jane Ahlstrom, Community Board Member
Term expires: 2021

Ms. Ahlstrom was elected to the board in February 2018, as a community member.  Ms. Ahlstrom has been a quality and regulatory professional in the medical device industry since 2015 and is currently employed as a Sr. Regulatory Specialist with TE Connectivity.  Ms. Ahlstrom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from University of Northwestern.  

Andy Wallschläger, Parent Board Member
Term expires: 2020

Mr. Wallschlaeger has served on the Board since February 2014 and was a member of the Policy, Human Resources and Facilities Committees.  Mr. Wallschlaeger is currently employed as a board certified Pathologist Assistant and Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  Mr. Wallschlaeger received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, and holds Fellowship status with the American Association of Pathologist Assistants (AAPA).  Mr. Wallschlaeger has two children who currently attend the Charter School.

Mark Guy, Parent Board Member
Term expires: 2019

Mr. Guy was elected to the Board on February 22, 2016.  Mr. Guy is an international development professional with experience in the areas of early childhood development, child welfare and protection, and global health.  Mr. Guy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  Currently, Mr. Guy serves as a Global Development Program Officer serving the GHR Foundation and the Better Way Foundation, and he manages strategic programs across the United States, and in the countries of Zambia, Tanzania and Lesotho.  Prior to his work with the GHR and Better Way Foundations, Mr. Guy served as a Senior Program Associate at PATH, a global health nonprofit organization. Mr. Guy is the parent of two children enrolled at the Charter School.

Board Committees

Chair: Valerie Slaymaker
Vice Chair(s): Brian Mueggenberg

Manages the finances of DaVinci Academy with the highest integrity and ensures professional accounting practices are followed.

Vice Chair:

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.


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Meeting Minutes:

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Chair: Andy Wallschlaeger
Vice Chair: Matt Manning

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.

Chair: Mark Guy
Vice Chair: Melanie Persellin

Coordinates all fundraising and grant application activities conducted at the school to ensure those opportunities are maximized.

Communication Committee
Facilitates quality communications within DaVinci Academy and from the school to stakeholders and the general public.

Facilities Committee
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.

Technology Committee
Chair: Mike Hebert

Curriculum/Technology Committee
Chair: Michelle Ingram

Board Positions Open

The DaVinci Academy Board of Directors annual election process has begun. The terms of three board positions are expiring this coming February:

  • Parent seat (currently held by Mark Guy)
  • Community seat (currently held by Valerie Slaymaker)
  • At-Large seat (currently held by Ross Meisner)

We now invite nominations of individuals to fill these positions.  The parent seat must be filled by a parent / guardian of a currently enrolled student.  The community seat must be filled by someone not otherwise affiliated with the school.  And the at-large seat can be filled by a parent/guardian, a teacher, or a community member.

All of these positions carry three year terms, commencing in February 2019.  The board asks that you seriously consider getting involved and participate in this rewarding opportunity.  Nominate yourself, or nominate someone who you feel has the competence and vision to provide skilled governance for our school.  Nominations deadline has been extended until January 7, 2019.

Please download the nomination form here.  A description of the nomination and election process is below, along with a description of current board needs.  Our goal is to ensure that individual members of the board bring the necessary skills and commitment to continue our efforts to fulfill the mission, vision, and goals of our school.

In accordance with DaVinci Academy’s bylaws, our board of directors shall consist of at least five but no more than nine members, and will be comprised of at least two Minnesota-licensed teachers employed at the school, at least three parent/legal guardians of children enrolled at the school, and at least two community members who are neither employed at the school nor have children enrolled at the school.  The remaining two at-large members can be from any one of the three categories.
Each board member brings skills that they contribute towards governing DaVinci Academy.  As a result, our board membership includes a wide variety of professional backgrounds and competencies.  Details on each of our current board members are available on our school’s website,, under the Board of Directors tab.

Serving on the Board of Directors is an important role, one with high accountability to our family stakeholders, Friends of Education (our Authorizer), and the Minnesota Department of Education.  The time commitment varies and can be large, yet rewarding.  Such commitment is critical to the success of our school and the education of our children.  One of the board’s primary strategic objectives right now is the expansion of our program in our new building to serve many more students. In the coming years a plan for a high school will also be explored.

The election process will follow this sequence:

  • All nominees will receive an information packet containing detailed descriptions of the requirements of board service.  It will also contain a Candidate Questionnaire for each nominee to complete.  Nominees must submit this completed questionnaire in order to become an official candidate for election.
  • With the information from each candidate, the board will compile a Voting Guide that lists the candidates, their qualifications, and their views on school governance.  All stakeholders will receive the Voting Guide on January 18, 2019.
  • You will be invited to a Candidate Forum that will take place at the school during the school board meeting on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 6:30 p.m..  This forum will provide an opportunity to meet and question all of the candidates who are running for election.  All candidates are expected to take part in the forum.
  • Voting will begin on Monday, February 11, 2019 and end at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 25, 2019.
  • Election results will be announced at the school’s Annual Meeting, which will take place at the school on Monday, February 25, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

This election is critical to the continued success of our school.  We are asking you, as members of the DaVinci Academy community with a strong vested interest in our school, to nominate potential board members (including yourself) using this “Call for Nominations” form.

Thank you for your consideration,
Matt Manning
President, DaVinci Academy Board of Directors