About Us

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

Tyneeta’s experience as an educational leader began in English classrooms in Boutte, Louisiana. She has held faculty and administrative roles in public and private schools throughout the country and currently serves as the Director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at Blake, where she supervises a team that grows the school’s practices around equity and intercultural competency.

Tyneeta actively participates in symposia and programs with the National Council of Teachers of English, College Board, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Big Brothers, Big Sisters and has served as a volunteer mentor for local youth organizations. She is an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator, a member of the Women’s Heads Network and a 2021 NAIS Aspiring Heads Institute fellow.

Tyneeta holds a BA in Secondary English Education from the University of New Orleans (UNO) and a Master of Science in Education in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Committed to supporting and affirming the diverse perspectives that form Pre K -12 communities, Tyneeta engages schools in building curriculum, policies and programs that foster community-wide intercultural competencies. She creates strategic opportunities that activate governing bodies, administrators, parents, faculty and students, establishing a collaborative approach to maintaining vibrant institutional programs.

Contact: tcanonge@themocha.org

ELLIE HOLTE, Secretary

Ellie is an accomplished Communications and Operations professional with expertise in maximizing organizational strengths through skillful interpersonal and written communications, and effective operational strategies.  She is recognized as a creative and collaborative partner, passionate about driving results and creating a positive impact.

Recently, Ellie served as Operations Director at First Witness Child Advocacy Center.  Previously, and relevant to her role as a MOChA Board Member, she served as the Director of Outreach and Community Relations of a Pre-operational Charter High School in Minneapolis.  Also, relevant, Ellie served for two years as a Special Projects and External Relations Manager at Pillsbury United Communities (PUC) Office of Public Charter Schools (a non-profit charter school authorizer) where she reviewed all aspects of new school applications, including curriculum, instruction, management, facilities, finance, governance and law.  

For decades, Ellie has held leadership roles in schools, including the International School Phnom Penh (Cambodia), The American School of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), the Western Academy of Beijing (China), and The Learning Center School (now Awsaj Academy) in Doha (Qatar).  Currently, she serves as Board Chair of New Century School (St. Paul), a public charter school.  Ellie guides all policy development (aligned to law), financial reporting as well as strategic direction. Additionally, she is a Board Member of Family Freedom Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the Black community in the Duluth area by reconstructing sociocultural narratives.

Contact: ellieholte@gmail.com

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.

Contact: jkundan@themocha.org

Joel martinez

Joel brings a multitude of expertise and experience to his role as a MOChA Board Member. In addition to serving on the Board of St. Paul City School, he has worked extensively as a community organizer, implementing coalition-building strategies at the state level and maintaining key relationships with partner organizations. Additionally, Joel led outreach efforts, and promoted issue-based advocacy and policy workshops. 

Since 2017, Joel has been employed as a Talent Acquisition Partner where he has been responsible to develop and execute recruiting strategies and drive all aspects of the talent relationship management process. Joel establishes recruiting sources with outside organizations, colleges, and technical schools, and engages and builds new relationships with government agencies that promote diversity and culturally inclusive hiring practices.

Joel majored in Community Development with a minor in Youth Studies and Business at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Contact: joel.martinez05@gmail.com

Dave Peterson, Managing DIRECTOR (Ex officio)

A relationship-oriented and insightful leader adept at successfully transforming organizations and implementing change, Dave 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, Dave 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, Dave was lead designer and supervisor of the Charter Leader Assessment and Development Center. Prior to his current role as Managing Director, Dave served as the founding Board Chair of MOChA.

Contact: dpeterson@themocha.org


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 and currently serves on the Executive Committee (as Treasurer) of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS). Kevin is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of North Dakota, focusing on increasing basic needs services in Hmong charter schools to increase parent engagement.

Contact: kevin.xiong@nmaedu.org

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