Meet Our Leadership Team

Administration

Nicole Nelson, Ed.S.

Nicole Nelson, Ed.S.

Co-Founder & Director

Nicole has served as a classroom teacher and administrator for over 14 years in charter schools.  Nicole began her career as a substitute teacher for 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.  Nicole 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.   Nicole currently serves as a cadre for Innovative Quality Schools an independent educational consultant and professor in the department of education at Minnesota State University Mankato.

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.

Dr. David Kimori

Dr. David Kimori

Board Chair

Dr. Kimori earned his undergraduate in Bachelor of Education Science in Physics and Chemistry from Kenyatta University, Kenya in 2007.  In 2011 he attained masters in Science Education from the University of Minnesota and later proceeded to get a PhD from the same university in STEM Education with emphasis in Science Education in 2016.  Dr. Kimori has over ten years teaching in high school, and has supervised teacher candidates in middle school and high school science. He currently is a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Dr. Kimori also serves as  a Board Director for Minnesota Kenya Development Agency (MKIDA). ​
Abdi Mahamed

Abdi Mahamed

Director

Mr. Mahamed earned his Bachelor’s degree in science from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis and Master’s degree in social work from Western Governor’s University in Utah.  He has worked in urban schools for over ten years in the Twin Cities in a variety of capacities including academic and behavioral dean, social worker, and teacher’s assistant.   Mr. Mahamed has also served as a community liaison in supporting families as their children complete their K-12 academic careers.  He currently works at the Minnesota Internship Center in St. Paul where serves the dean of students and social work.  Among his many responsibilities, Mr. Mahamed conducts public meetings for school community members in order to educate families on student needs and also obtains feedback on how the school can enhance its programming for its students.
Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Board Secretary

Mr. Smith received a bachelor of science in secondary education from the University of Minnesota and a master of arts in education from Hamline University.  His career in the public schools has spanned more than two decades. Starting out as a social studies teacher at Centennial Middle School in Minnesota, Mr. Smith developed a fascination with assessment early in his career that continues today. As the school began to adopt a PLC model, he developed an assessment and data position to help teachers create collaborative common assessments and to use the ensuing results.  During this time, the school became one of the highest performing in the state, winning the School Spotlight Award from the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation for high levels of student achievement and innovative educational practices.

Jeramie Steinert, J.D.

Jeramie Steinert, J.D.

Board Treasurer

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.  

Dr. Lakisha Witter

Dr. Lakisha Witter

Director

Dr. Witter’s educational experience  includes the University of Florida in Sociology(BA), Special Education (ME), and Educational Leadership (Ed.S) and (ED.D) from Minnesota State University.  Dr. Witter has used her background in special education and educational leadership to strategically plan, create, develop, rebuild and support current schools infrastructure for special education programs and compliance in the United States and Africa.  She has been a leader within the domain of education for over a decade serving in the capacity of special education educator, coordinator, director, and school board member.
Ms. Emma Hansen

Ms. Emma Hansen

Director

Ms. Hansen currently serves as the grade 5 & 6 teacher for Progeny Academy.   Ms. Hansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education and Master’s Degree in educational leadership.  She has served as an educator for eight years.   
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