Board Members

Yinghua Academy 2019-20 School Board

Nathan Bode –
Board Secretary
Nathan Bode is a Yinghua parent and a resident of Northeast Minneapolis and works as an IT Applications Manager at Cargill. He is interested in working with the School Board 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 is a Yinghua parent and native Indonesian. She came to the U.S. in 1995 to pursue her education–a BA in Communication from the University of Minnesota and a Master of International Management from the University of St. Thomas. Ms. Bursell is a VP and Manager in Credit Risk Assessment at U.S. Bank and a member of the bank’s Risk Management and Compliance Women Business Resource Group. Previously she worked in public finance at CPA firm Grant Thornton. She joined the Yinghua Finance Committee in 2017 and is parent to three Yinghua students.

Brooke Darrah-Hage –
Chair, Academic Committee
Yinghua parent Brooke Darrah-Hage has called Minnesota 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 –
Chair, Governance Committee
When Yinghua parent 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.

Kaishan Kong –
Dr. Kaishan Kong is an assistant professor of Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She received her B.A. in English Education from Zhanjiang Normal University in China, M.A. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota. She has more than ten years of professional experience in China and the US, as a professor, researcher, and teacher educator. She chairs the Teaching and Learning of Culture Special Interest Group at ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), and reviews manuscripts for academic journals. As a board member, she hopes to contribute her knowledge of language education to the continuing success of Yinghua Academy.

Joel Luedtke –
Chair, Development Committee
Yinghua parent Joel Luedtke is a Senior Program Officer at the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. In this role he helps design and manage the grant-making 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, he served as the Director of the Minnesota Council of Churches’ Refugee Services program. A Northeast Minneapolis resident, he is an avid badminton player and helps coach the Yinghua team. Mr. Luedtke holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Lisa Matre –
Yinghua parent Lisa Matre works in staffing and recruiting for marketing and creative jobs 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. She spent ten 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, she and her family moved back to the Midwest (Minnesota). She joined the Yinghua Governance committee in 2014, helped with the school’s gala fundraisers, and serves as a Classroom Coordinator. She is active at her local church, volunteering as both a Sunday school teacher and on the Board of Children, Youth, and Families.

Cindy Moeller –
Chair, Personnel Committee
Yinghua community member Cindy Moeller is now retired after a varied and interesting career. After earning a BA from Northwestern and an MSW from Western Michigan University, she served for four years as as school social worker in Battle Creek, MI. She then pursued an MBA at Northwestern followed by 20 years of work in various human resource leadership positions, including more than eleven years at General Mills. Her work at General Mills included serving as the Director of Human Resource Development and as an Innovation Leader. In 2003 she pursued her long-time interest in having an impact in public education. After participating in the year-long New Leaders for New Schools program in Chicago, she returned to Minnesota to direct a new charter school. Though that school was not able to attract enough students to open, she had the opportunity to take what those school founders had achieved (a charter, an authorizer, and a federal grant) to create Yinghua Academy. She served as Yinghua board chair for the first five years of the school’s existence and has helped in various ways over the years.

Erica Rasmussen –
Erica Rasmussen is an English Language Arts teacher at Yinghua Academy. In 2019, she received a KS95 Teacher of the Week award recognizing her teaching philosophy to prepare students to be lifelong learners and engaged members of society. She previously taught in Milwaukee and graduated from South Dakota State University with an Early Childhood Education degree and an emphasis in Elementary Education. To the School Board she brings her interest in and strong knowledge of academic issues and looks forward to forging connections that can be helpful to the school.

Suzanne Reider –
Board Treasurer
Born in Taiwan, Yinghua parent and Northeast resident Suzanne Reider has spent about half her life in Asia and half in the U.S. She received her BA in Economics from Carleton College. She speaks Chinese, Taiwanese, and English and has  studied French and Japanese. Suzanne served as registrar on the Yinghua staff for several years. Prior to working at Yinghua, she served on the Yinghua Academy School Board and finance committee. She currently works Digi International as Manager of Planning.

Charles Robinson –
Yinghua parent Charlie Robinson has lived within five miles of the University of Minnesota since receiving his Civil Engineering degree there. He has been a Structural Engineer at BKV Group in Minneapolis for most of his career, working on multi-family housing projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In the summertime, you can find him either bass fishing or boating at the cabin, with non-summer months packed full of ice fishing with the family and attending Gopher activities.

Amanda Schneider –
Board Chair
Yinghua parent Amanda Schneider has more than 18 years 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 joined the Finance committee in 2015 and has served as a Classroom Coordinator.

Jane Steiner –
Yinghua parent and Northeast resident Jane Steiner is an educator with more than 18 years experience teaching English, Theater Arts, and Film and providing teacher leadership and staff development as an Achievement Coach in Anoka-Hennepin School District. She serves as Achievement Acceleration Specialist at Earle Brown Elementary in Brooklyn Center. Her degree in English Education–Writing is from Winona State, and she holds a Masters in Education–Multicultural Literature from Xavier University as well as a K-12 Principal Licensure from Hamline University.

Yinghua Board Roster 2019-20

You may contact all board members by emailing