Laura Jeffrey Academy Start-up team
As with any new organization, the ability to succeed is often predicated on the people starting it – in this case, on its board of directors, founder, and project leadership team. Following are brief profiles of the individuals involved in starting LJA.
Cindy Reuther – Executive Director
Cindy has spent much of her adult life working to better the lives of women and girls in organizations and community. LJA brings together two of Cindy's passions. The first is to provide urban girls access to educational opportunities currently available to those with financial means. Second, she is interested in developing an organization with infrastructures that support excellent learning, financial sustainability and organizational resilience. Her long-term plan includes documenting the process and replicating the model across the country and internationally. Laura Jeffrey Academy has been a dream in the making for over a decade.
Kai Michels - Co-Founder
Kai’s work was crucial in obtaining LJA’s charter and start up funding. A former elementary school teacher, she remains dedicated to the concept that education can change the world. She created the LJA tagline ‘Asking Questions, Making Choices' to express the teaching and learning philosophy of LJA. As an Organizational Development and Financial Management consultant, Kai specialized in work process redesign, providing both the vision and methodology for process reforms. Kai provided project and financial management consultation for Fortune 500 business divisions across a broad array of industries. Her previous experience includes Account Manager, Dun & Bradstreet Software; Director of Budgets and Forecasts, and Manager of Accounting, Itel Corporation.
Management expertise and a solid financial base
Charter schools thrive when they have a high quality plan that addresses governance, management, and the learning and teaching model. LJA’s plan is comprehensive. It details the steps that are being taken to ensure the school’s success as it progresses from a sound concept to an exciting educational experience.
LJA's board of directors and educational design teambring proven experience in research and finance, organizational development and management, human resources, curriculum development, women’s studies, and teaching.
The State of Minnesota approved the school's charter and Audubon Center of the Northwoods became Laura Jeffrey Academy's sponsor in 2006. Laura Jeffrey Academy has a strong base of planning and operating funds from the Walton Family Foundation grant and a Federal Planning and Implementation Grant.
Laura Jeffrey Academy is one of twenty schools sponsored by the Audubon Center of the Northwoods.
The center is located on 800 acres of woods, water, and fields near Sandstone, Minnesota, approximately 90 miles north of St. Paul.
All LJA students will have the opportunity to attend a residential environmental education experience at Audubon Center of the North Woods.
1550 Summit Avenue • Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105 • 651-414-6000