Meet Our Leadership Team
Nicole Nelson, Ed.S.
Co-Founder & Director
Ms. Nelson has served as a classroom teacher and administrator for over 15 years in charter schools. Ms. Nelson began her career in the St. Louis Park and Hopkins public school districts and then transitioned to serving students as a social studies teacher and administrator in charter schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Ms. Nelson earned her bachelor’s degree in social studies education from St. Olaf College and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University, St. Paul. She is licensed in social studies education (grades 5-12) and hold’s a K-12 principal’s license from Concordia University St. Paul. Ms. Nelson has served as a cadre for Innovative Quality Schools, an independent educational consultant, and professor in the department of education at Minnesota State University Mankato. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Nasha Shkola, a K-8 Charter School in Brooklyn Park.
Board of Directors
Progeny Academy’s Board of Directors is dedicated to the mission of Progeny Academy. In addition to their passion for learning they bring experience and expertise critical to charter school needs including school leadership, teaching and learning, community relations, human resources, school finance, law, and governance.
Jeramie Steinert, J.D.
Board Treasurer, Community Member
Mr. Steinart currently serves as vice president/general council of American Heritage National Bank in St. Cloud. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hamline University, then went on to earn a juris doctorate of law from Washington University in the St. Louis School of Law.
Mr. Peter Zwach
Director, Teacher Member
Mr. Zwach earned his undergraduate degree in science from the University of Minnesota. He has been teaching for the past four years. Before joining Progeny Academy he taught 4th grade in Saint Paul. He joined Progeny in 2019 as a founding teacher and currently serves as the English language teacher/Coordinator and interventionist where he works with students in all grade levels. Additionally, Mr. Zwach provides instruction with physical education and grades 3 and 4 language arts.
Yelena Hardcopf, MA. Ed.
Director, Community Member
Ms. Hardcopf is the executive Director of Nasha Shkola Charter School in Brooklyn Park. She has served the school for ten years in teaching and administration. Her educational background includes the following: University of Minnesota | Curriculum & Instruction: Teaching 2nd Languages & Cultures, MEd; University of Minnesota | Curriculum & Instruction: English as a Second LanguageFar Eastern State University, Vladivostok Russia | Philology, Russian Language and Literature.
Important Information & Documents
- World’s Best Workforce Plan & Annual Report (2019-2020)
- World’s Best Workforce Plan & Annual Report (2020-2021)
- 2020-2021 District Report Card (link)