The Commissioner of Education approved the Minnesota Office of Charter Authorizing in August 2019 to serve as a single-purpose authorizer of public charter schools in Minnesota.
MOChA Mission: to improve all pupil learning and all student achievement.
MOChA Board of Directors
Marcia Houtz, Secretary
A career science teacher, Marcia served in numerous leadership roles including team leadership and staff development chair. Her most enjoyable experiences included designing theme-based interdisciplinary curricula with colleagues. Marcia also designed and implemented a program to compact the curriculum for gifted and talented students.
While teaching, Marcia was a member of the Best Practices statewide teacher network and later the Director of School Service at the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) from 1991-2000 where she built and nurtured partnerships with businesses, community leaders, and schools. During her tenure at the SMM, Marcia served as a board member of the Minnesota Academy of Science as the Science Museum of Minnesota representative, as well as serving on the board of the Minnesota Science Teacher’s Association representing Informal Science Education.
As an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas and Hamline University, Marcia instructed and advised pre-service teachers. Marcia has served as the board chair of a Minnesota charter school as well as an advisor for a Minnesota charter school authorizer.
Jitendrapal Singh Kundan, Treasurer
Jit has over 20 years of experience creating, leading, and managing multicultural educational teams coast to coast and internationally through major organizational change(s). A consultant, trainer, coach and speaker in building resilient, equitable, and inclusive organizations, Jit has committed the last ten years to help organizations – nationally and internationally – build equity culture, working with government agencies, nonprofits, and foundations across the country to help their staff and stakeholders learn how to work in more inclusive cultures.
Jit holds a MN Principal and Teaching licenses from University of Minnesota, Masters in Physics from Bemidji State University and a B.A. in Education from Augsburg College. A former science and math teacher and School Director/Principal (New City Charter School – 2013 Reward School), Jit’s commitment to public education and the public good has shaped his professional career.
In addition to his formal work in education, Jit has extensive experience as a board member, including UMOJA Drum Coop, Hamline Advisory Board, Minnesota Leadership Academy, Upper Mississippi Academy, and MN Youth Coordinating Board – successfully creating cohesive annual school fairs amongst Charter and Districted Schools.
Dave Peterson, Chair
A relationship-oriented and insightful leader adept at successfully transforming organizations and implementing change, Dr. Peterson served 27 years as a practicing school principal – high school, middle school and elementary levels – and 10 years as a charter school administrator, authorizing director and consultant with charter schools in Minnesota.
As a faculty member of the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Peterson provided instruction and advisement for over 750 graduate students as they pursued principal or superintendent licensure. In addition, he served as the Director of Charter School Authorizing for St. Thomas, building a portfolio of charter schools and the infrastructure to support the approval and monitoring of schools.
While at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Peterson was lead designer and supervisor of the Charter Leader Assessment and Development Center.
As an effective strategic leader, Kevin utilizes inclusive approaches to organizational development and strategic management while embracing the importance of organizational success through cultural and social change lenses. Kevin has served as the Director of Hmong American Partnership (HAP), overseeing 150+ employees who design and deliver culturally relevant programs to the Hmong communities of Minnesota.
As a former Business Director and current CEO/Executive Director of New Millennium Academy, Kevin brings extensive experience and acumen to MOChA as an effective charter leader. Dedicated to supporting community-driven programs, Kevin has served on charter school boards in Minnesota as well as multiple non-profit organizations.