HCPA Leadership Team

  • Leadership Team

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Chief Academic Officer

Mrs. Danijela Duvnjak

Mrs. Danijela Duvnjak, known affectionately by the HCPA community as “Mrs. D”, has over 24 years of experience in K-12 education. Prior to HCPA, she taught at large, traditional school districts. She started at HCPA in 2004 as an English teacher. Since then, Mrs. D moved into roles as a Teacher on Special Assignment, Director of Teaching and Learning, and most recently she serves as HCPA’s Chief Academic Officer.

As a young adult, Mrs. D arrived in the United States as a refugee, and she can relate to many of HCPA families who wanted to create a school that reflects their experiences. Mrs. D has seen HCPA grow from 200 students to almost 2500 students and takes pleasure in seeing generations of students find a special place to learn and grow at HCPA. Mrs. D believes with all her heart that each student can achieve, and that we must never, ever give up on a child.

While a teacher and administrator at HCPA, Mrs. D has seen the school receive recognition from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching and the U.S. News & World Report for high academic growth, and has worked to secure funding from various grant sources.

Mrs. D received her undergraduate degree in teaching English language arts from Hamline University, and her masters degree from Concordia University. She is currently pursuing a charter school leadership certificate from Southwest State University. When she is not at school you can find Mrs. D spending time with her husband and two sons.

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Chief Financial Officer

Mr. David Kloskin

Certified Public Account with 12 + years in Accounting and Finance including Financial Management of Charter Schools. Bachelor’s Degree from University of Wisconsin – River Falls double majoring in Accounting and Finance 

Has experience serving as Board Treasurer of a Charter School. He is an active member of the Minnesota Board of Accountancy and Minnesota Society of CPAs

Clifton Strengths: Strategic, Analytical, Achiever, Relator, Futurist 
Hobbies include Chess and Flyfishing

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6-12 Director of Teaching and Learning

Ms. Jenee Nordstrom

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K-5 Director of Teaching & Learning

Ms. Krista Skoglund

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6-12 Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning

Mr. Jim Lee

Jim grew up in Wausau, WI.  He has six sisters and two brothers.  Jim is the middle of all his siblings. He was also the first born in the United States after his dad was granted access with his family after serving with the Americans during the vietnam war.  His dad navigated the Americans through the jungles of Laos.  He guided the Americans to the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  After the war, the persecution of the Hmong initiated the crossing of the Mekong River onto Thai borders where it was safe.  Shortly after arriving in the United States, Jim was born.

Jim graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education.  He continued his education at the University of Saint Mary’s Minnesota and received his Master's in Educational Leadership.  He is currently enrolled in the Educational Specialist program in Educational Leadership at Concordia University with an emphasis in Minnesota principal licensure.  

Jim has been teaching middle school math for a total of thirteen years.   Eleven of those years were with Hmong College Prep Academy.  Jim’s summers are spent on Wisconsin farmlands working with his dad to cultivate ginseng.  Fall is the harvest season for ginseng.  Jim and his dad averages three to six acres of gingseng to harvest yearly. 

Jim enjoys the application of mathematics to tennis, residential construction, and metal fabrication.  His current project is collecting cast iron steel through friends and family to fabricate a smoker large enough for a 120-pound hog.

 

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Director of Counseling & Student Services

Ms. Cecelia Lee

Ms. Cecelia Lee (Cece) has been in the education world for over 22 years. Cece started her professional career with a non-profit organization that started up a charter school in St. Paul. She later went to higher education and worked with college students. After four years in higher education, Cece returned to the K-12 education system and joined the HCPA family in 2006. Cece started her career at HCPA as a School Counselor with about 400 students. Since then, the school has grown and her role evolved from School Counselor to Counselor Manager, and now she is the Director for Counseling and Student Services at HCPA with a team of school counselors, college counselors, and social workers.

Cece received her Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in Sociology and Anthropology and her Master of Science in Education, Counseling from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. She also has her  K-12 Counseling license from the MN Department of Education.  Cece enjoys working with students of all ages in the different areas of academics, personal/social, and college/career readiness. For Cece, the greatest joy is to be part of the students’ journey as they grow and graduate from HCPA and to see them become contributing citizens in our community. When she is not working with the students, Cece enjoys spending time with her husband and her three beautiful daughters.

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Senior Special Education Manager

Ms. Nou Her

Ms. Nou Her has been in K-12 education for over 14 years. She started her career at HCPA as a Special Education paraprofessional in 2008, after graduating with her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Psychology from Carleton College. During her initial years working as a paraprofessional, Ms. Her assisted with interpreting at Annual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings which sparked her interest in pursuing a teaching career in the field of Special Education to assist students to reach their fullest potential, regardless of learning differences and to also assist parents with understanding the impact of their child’s learning differences. Ms. Her completed coursework at Concordia University and became a licensed Special Education teacher with specialization in the areas of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD) in 2013. Ms. Her has had classroom experience as a Special Education teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels. In 2015, Ms. Her transitioned out of the classroom to Due Process Coordinator to support and ensure compliant specialized programming and services at HCPA. Ms. Her has also served as a mentor and master teacher to provide instructional coaching to general and special education teachers as part of HCPA’s formal teacher evaluation system and received training with the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), now known as NIET (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching).

Ms. Her also served as a literacy coach at the middle/high school level at HCPA from 2018 to 2021. She participated in professional development provided by the MN Department of Education as a result of a grant opportunity with the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Implementation Work Plan which provided the school with an opportunity to develop infrastructure to implement and sustain high quality, evidence-based literacy practices in core instruction. In addition, she has also received training in the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) to provide ongoing professional development and coaching to K-12 teachers at HCPA with skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and language.

Currently, in her role as Senior Special Education Manager, Ms. Her oversees the K-12 Special Education department at HCPA, which includes curriculum and instruction, programming and due process compliance. She is passionate about her continued work to assist special education teachers and staff with providing compliant special education services as well as coaching around the implementation and use of evidence-based practices to create equitable outcomes for all students.

In her time outside of the school, Ms. Her enjoys spending quality time at the MN Twins games and traveling with her husband, two daughters (an additional daughter expected in late August/early September 2022) and son. 

 

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Director of Family Engagement

Dr. Dao Lor

Dr. Dao Lor has over 20 years of experience working in K-12 education. He started with HCPA in 2006 as a special education paraprofessional and building substitute teacher. Since then, he moved into roles as teacher, department head, mentor teacher, master teacher, instructional coach, assistant director of teaching and learning, and director of operations and community relations. About seven years ago, he left HCPA to become assistant principal, principal, and executive director/superintendent to charter and traditional school districts. In February of 2022, he returned to HCPA. Currently, he serves as Director of Family Engagement. He is also a Professor of Educational Practice with Concordia University, Saint Paul, where he teaches, coaches, and supervises student-teachers in the Bachelor of Arts in Teaching and Master of Arts in Teaching programs. He also serves in a dissertation committee where he supervises and supports students completing their Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree.

As a Hmong refugee student, Dr. Lor's story relates well to many students currently attending HCPA or graduated. He understands first-hand the struggles these students and their families go through and the daily expectations they must uphold at home and school. While a teacher and administrator, Dr. Lor has supported various schools with expansion, curriculum development, program development, increasing fund balance, authorizer transitioning, board development, parent engagement, and other improvement projects.

Dr. Lor received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Educational Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He received his ESL K-12 Teaching Certificate, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Educational Specialist Degree and K-12 Principal License, and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, Saint Paul. Dr. Lor is pursuing his Superintendent License with Concordia University, Saint Paul, and hopes to complete the program in the Winter of 2022. When he is not at school, he volunteers to help the community with public engagement and social services projects and serves on the board of several non-profit organizations. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and son.

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Director of Operations

Mr. Tony Hang

  • Member of HCPA since 2016 and has served in various roles: Marketing Consultant, Social Media Specialist, Transportation and Project Manager
  • Video production, photography, and graphic design
  • Live audio/sound engineer
  • 20+ years of customer service and public relations
  • Volunteers currently as Deacon & Worship Director for Hmong United Church. Serve part-time as a Bass player for Cornerstone Light of Life Church.
  • 10+ years of business related entrepreneurship 

Other Hobbies and Expertise

  • Musician and vocalist (Guitar, Bass)
  • Professional Racing Pigeon Fancier
  • Event Coordination
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Podcast/YouTube Channel
  • Bilingual Hmong and English