Board Members

Yinghua Academy 2018-19 School Board

Nathan Bode – nathan.bode@yinghuaacademy.org
Nathan Bode is an 18-year resident of Northeast Minneapolis and works as an IT Applications Manager at Cargill. He is parent to a kindergartener and a second grade student at Yinghua. He looks forward to cooperating with other board members to evaluate and set long-term financial strategies for the school. His undergraduate degree in finance and accounting and his MBA are from the University of Minnesota. He also has served on the Eastside Meals on Wheels board as treasurer.

Cindy Bursellcindy.bursell@yinghuaacademy.org
Cindy is a native Indonesian and came to the U.S. in 1995 to pursue her education. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Master of International Management with a focus in International Finance from the University of St. Thomas. Upon her graduation, she worked for 6 years at a CPA firm (Grant Thornton) in the Public Finance department. She moved from Grant Thornton to U.S. Bank in 2008 to work in the Operational Risk Management and Internal Control division. She is currently a VP and Manager in the Credit Risk Assessment department and a member of the U.S. Bank Risk Management and Compliance Women Business Resource Group. She joined Yinghua Finance Committee in 2017. She is married to her husband (Jeff) and live in Dellwood with their 3 children (Kaia, Mila, and Liam) and their dog (Gabi). Kaia is a first grader at Yinghua and will be joined in the Fall 2018 by Mila and Liam who will be Kindergarteners. She enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and movie night at home.

Brooke Darrah-Hage – brooke.darrah-hage@yinghuaacademy.org
Brooke Darrah-Hage is parent to a second grader and a kindergartener at Yinghua. Minnesota has been home since her undergraduate days as an astrophysics major at Macalester, but she hails from Wichita, Kansas. Bicultural and bilingual education are abiding interests: She studied music education at the U of M and furthered her studies in Accra, Ghana. Teaching is a passion, and for many years she has served as a volleyball coach at several area middle schools.

Paul Haller – paul.haller@yinghuaacademy.org
Chair, Governance Committee
When Paul Haller was in high school, his mother served on the school board of their rural Minnesota community. Her enthusiasm for education propelled him to Moorhead State University where he earned a degree in psychology. Subsequently he graduated from the University Of Minnesota Medical School. He then began teaching medical students and residents while working in the emergency room at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. More recently, he has been practicing at community hospitals in Stillwater and Hudson, Wisconsin. Over the years, he has had the privilege of practicing medicine abroad at sites in New Zealand, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Haiti. He has served on the board of directors for the YMCA of Shoreview and on the Ramsey County public health advisory committee. Married to Lisa Lau Haller they are raising their daughter Maggie who attends De La Salle High School and their second daughter, Ming, who is entering firth grade at Yinghua
Academy. He enjoys coaching sports at the park and rec level, biking with Lisa, and a good magazine.

Shu-Mei Lai – shumei.lai@yinghuaacademy.org
Shu-Mei Lai is a third grade teacher at Yinghua Academy. She was the lead teacher for the third grade team from 2008 to 2012, and has served as Mentor Lead for the new teacher mentoring program since 2012. In addition to her teaching role, she also serves as a member of the Academic Committee as well as the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, to help oversee academic development and set common goals to strengthen future operations of the school. Prior to Yinghua, Shu-Mei taught Chinese in Oregon for one year and was an English teacher in Taiwan for twelve years. She also has 8 years of administrative experience in private sectors in Taiwan and the US focusing on translation and office management. Shu-Mei holds a M.Ed. in Second Language and Culture from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Shu-Mei and her husband, J.T., live in Shoreview, Minnesota.

Rosemary Lawrence – rosemary.lawrence@yinghuaacademy.org
Rosemary currently works with three universities: she teaches and supervises principal-interns at Hamline, is an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s, and works with the Minnesota Principal Academy through the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lawrence received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and taught for two years prior to moving to Illinois. There she became a curriculum specialist with a primary focus on reading. After moving to Minnesota, Rosemary received a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration, and a Doctorate in Leadership. While in Minnesota, she taught remedial reading and gifted/talented classes before becoming a principal in the Anoka Hennepin Schools. Dr. Lawrence became the principal at Eisenhower Elementary School, and started XinXing Academy, the Chinese Immersion program in Hopkins. She retired from this position two years ago and has continued her connections with Chinese immersion education through a XinXing Confucius Institute Grant and her involvement now with Yinghua. Rosemary and her husband, Granville, live in Minneapolis.

Joel Luedtke – joel.luedtke@yinghuaacademy.org
Chair, Development Committee
Joel is a Senior Program Officer at the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. In this role he helps design and manage the grantmaking initiatives of this small philanthropy focused on the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. His primary areas of emphasis are workforce development and K-12 education. From 1999 to 2007, Joel served as the Director of the Minnesota Council of Churches’ Refugee Services program, which provides resettlement services to refugees and asylees from around the world. Joel earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. In addition to serving on Yinghua’s Board, Joel helps to coach the school’s badminton club, a sport of which he is both a passionate player and fan. Joel and his wife Emily Dyer live in Northeast Minneapolis. Their son, Elijah, is a third grader at Yinghua. Their younger son Win will start kindergarten in the fall of 2016.

David Mair – david.mair@yinghuaacademy.org
Board Secretary
David is a psychiatrist at South Metro Human Services, where he does assertive community treatment for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. He works with a team of nurses and social workers, and sees most patients in the community, usually in their homes, as symptoms or circumstances prevent traditional office visits. He also moonlights at Innovative Psychological Consultants, a private practice clinic in Maple Grove. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and he completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Iowa. He enjoys film-making, and his short films and screenplays have won awards and screened at several film festivals. He lives in Vadnais Heights with his wife, Colleen O’Brien, and their three daughters. Their two oldest daughters, Norah and Ada, are current students at Yinghua Academy and their youngest, Louise, will start in the Fall of 2017.

Lisa Matre – lisa.matre@yinghuaacademy.org
Board Chair
Lisa works in staffing and recruiting for marketing and creative jobs, currently as the Operations Manager of True Talent Group. She covers a broad range of functions from being the point person for day to day business operations, to human resources, and event planning. Lisa spent 10 years in the hospitality industry after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Iowa State University. After adopting her son from China in 2008, Lisa and her family moved back to the Midwest (Minnesota). Lisa is active at her local church, volunteering as both a Sunday school teacher and on the Board of Children, Youth and Families. She and her husband, Jay, live in St. Anthony. Their son, Benjamin, is in fourth grade at Yinghua Academy. Lisa joined the Governance committee in 2014, has helped to plan/run the Lantern Festival Gala the last two years, and is a classroom coordinator.

Annie Nelson – annie.nelson@yinghuaacademy.org
Yinghua parent Annie Nelson has daughters in grades three and six at Yinghua. She grew up about a mile from Yinghua in a family that embraced diversity—locally and globally—by hosting exchange students, travelling and learning about other cultures, and building lifelong relationships with families around the globe. Currently she serves as Chief Advancement Officer at Summit Academy, an adult vocational school located in North Minneapolis. Additional nonprofit leadership experience includes fundraising, strategic planning, and extensive work with board committees. For eight years she served as principal of a consulting firm assisting college athletics departments across the US. She holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, a mini-MBA in nonprofit management from the University of St. Thomas and a certificate from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Amanda Schneider – amanda.schneider@yinghuaacademy.org
Board Treasurer
Amanda has over 18 years of experience working in the financial services industry and is currently the Chief of Staff for the CFO of Ameriprise Financial. She also leads the Financial Leadership Development Program at Ameriprise Financial for recent college graduates, has oversight of summer interns, and manages the Ameriprise work study program in partnership with Cristo Rey High School in Minneapolis. Amanda has an MBA from Carlson School of Management as well as a Master of Arts degree from Concordia University. She and her husband, Joseph, live in Maplewood. They have two daughters, Geneva and Bella, who attend Yinghua Academy. Amanda joined the Finance committee in 2015 and has been a classroom coordinator for the last two years.

Jane Steiner – jane.steiner@yinghuaacademy.org
Jane’s career in education over 18 years has included teaching English, Theater Arts and Film and providing teacher leadership and staff development as an Achievement Coach in Anoka-Hennepin School District. This school year she begins a new adventure as Achievement Acceleration Specialist at Earle Brown Elementary in Brooklyn Center. Jane has a degree in English Education–Writing from Winona State; a Masters in Education–Multicultural Literature from Xavier University; and her K-12 Principal Licensure from Hamline University. If she’s not at school, you can find Jane with her family in NE Minneapolis, within eyesight of Yinghua, typically with a book in hand, surrounded by boys on wheels being chased by dogs. Her children, Ian and Sukris, both attend Yinghua. This summer, the Steiners, including husband and dad John, visited their 33rd Minnesota state park in their mission to hike all of the 76 state parks as a family.

Pamella Stommes – pamella.stommes@yinghuaacademy.org
Licensed teacher Pamella Stommes serves as head of the middle school math program at Yinghua Academy and is parent to a Yinghua second grader. She also serves on the Finance Committee. As a School Board member, she strives to offer an ideal education to all students in harmony with Chinese language and culture.

Yinghua Board Roster 2018-19

You may contact all board members by emailing board@yinghuaacademy.org.