Director of Charter School Authorizing
David Greenberg has been at the Audubon Center of the North Woods since 2012 and brings to his role broad and deep experience in charter schools as a teacher, school leader, and authorizer. David holds a secondary teaching license in Social Studies, and has taught multiple subjects on waivers during his time as a teacher. David grew up in the Twin Cities, and after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, moved to Madrid, Spain where he taught English and university test preparation 3 ½ years while learning Spanish. Upon returning to the States, David earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. During this time he spent 3 months in Santiago, Chile teaching high school history in Spanish. After teaching Social Studies in St. Paul Public Schools for three years, David co-founded El Colegio Charter School in Minneapolis and served as start-up coordinator, board member, advisor, special education teacher, lead teacher, and executive director during his 13+ years at the school. He also managed the school’s affiliated building company, including facilities financing and construction projects. He has served on the board of directors of EdVisions Cooperative and the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools as well as on the advisory committee for the Innovative Special Education Services. David is committed to working collaboratively with the schools authorized by ACNW, MDE, and other authorizers to ensure high quality education for all students in Minnesota. David is married and has a daughter who attends middle school in the Minneapolis Public School District. He is an avid hiker and canoeist.
Authorizing Specialist, Governance and Operations
Rhianon Sargent joined the Charter School Division in 2016. Her background is in operational management, including charter school operations, and student support. Rhianon is from south Minneapolis and earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota. She has also completed graduate work in the field of education. Rhianon has worked at several local schools, non-profits, and for-profit corporations. She began her career in education at Aurora Charter School where she gained experience in charter school administration. From there she worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities where she successfully expanded the non-profit’s Hispanic Mentoring program. Afterward she worked for Columbia Heights High School in student support before moving to the corporate world, spending some time at Target Corporation in a finance position. Because of her passion for serving youth, Rhianon decided to move back into the education sector, most recently in a role with Hiawatha Academies as the Director of Operations at the Northrop campus. Rhianon is committed to using her experience and education to support great schools. She believes that every child has the capacity to be a successful learner and through her work as an authorizer, she strives to empower great schools in serving their students. Working for ACNW in the Charter School Division allows Rhianon to align her passion for education with her love of the environment.
Authorizing Specialist, Environmental Education
Erin has been with the Audubon Center of the North Woods since 2012, and in her current role since 2014. She was drawn to the work through her passion for environmental education and is personally committed to the Audubon Center’s mission and vision. Erin holds a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her work experience includes exhibition, program, and evaluation work for the Audubon Center of the North Woods, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, International Spy Museum, Carver County Historical Society, Carver County Parks, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and the Mill City Museum. She has presented workshop sessions on environmental education, object-based learning, exhibit planning, and museum evaluation. Her specialties include school and public programming, evaluation, and environmental education. She is a passionate advocate for audience accessibility, and was named a 2012 Smithsonian EdLab Education Innovator. Erin is originally from South Dakota, where she reigned as the 2004 State Oratory Champion, and enjoys photographing her cats, grilling, fishing, and Mel Brooks.
Authorizing Specialist, Academics
Nalani McCutcheon started with the Charter School Division in 2018. Nalani comes to ACNW from Cannon River STEM School, an ACNW authorized charter school where she was the Founding Executive Director for nine years. Prior to starting Cannon River STEM School, Nalani served for eight years as the Executive Director for River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, MN. She has a Master’s in Environmental Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and prior to leading River Bend Nature Center she worked for the School Nature Area Project at St. Olaf College, which helped 211 Minnesota schools set up and use nature areas within walking distance of the classroom. Nalani has been involved in environmental stewardship and education throughout Minnesota by serving in the past on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the boards of Eco Education, the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, and the Faribault Rotary Club. Currently Nalani contributes to her local community by serving on the Faribault Foundation Board as well as the Faribault Youth Investment Board. Nalani grew up in floodplain forest and prairie on the banks of the Platte River south of Omaha, NE. Nalani is thankful now to live with her wife on a ten acre patch of “Big Woods” to the west of Kenyon, MN, where their life long work is buckthorn control and eradication! Working for ACNW in the Charter School Division allows Nalani to pursue her passion for providing all children with quality educational options that use the environment as an integrating context for learning.
Jolene joined the Charter School Division in a part-time role in 2018 and has worked at the Audubon Center in Sandstone as Finance Manager since 2015. Jolene grew up in the berry fields and orchards of Bayfield, WI and on the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior where her grandparents were fishermen and farmers. At the age of five she was given her first camera and has been photographing nature and people ever since. Jolene eventually moved to Superior, WI and earned degrees in Accounting and Computers. Life always seems to have a way of leading her to work with nonprofits with strong missions focused on helping people, children, or the environment, typically in roles related to finance and accounting. Ultimately she ended up in Sandstone on a beautiful 160-acre hobby farm in the “middle of nowhere” with her husband. In her free time Jolene loves to bake, four-wheel, garden, and be a photographer.
Chief Barketing Officer
Foster is the newest member of the Charter School Division team! He first joined us as a short-term employee in 2017 and returned full-time in 2018. Foster is originally from Rice and moved to Minneapolis in 2016, hoping to enjoy his retirement as a city dog. Foster’s role includes security, janitorial services, and emotional support, and although he spends most of his time on the clock snoozing, he’s always at the ready to perform his duties. His past experience as a wannabe cow dog (not an actual cow dog) prepared him well to wrangle stray schools and keep them on the right path. In his free time, he enjoys pets, snacks, chasing squirrels, and dreaming of catching squirrels.