Link Leadership & Community Partners

Link Team Photo

Our Team

It takes all of us, together, for our Link students to reach
their potential and live connected, purposeful lives.

Our Stories

Our stories- the personal and professional experiences that have shaped each of us and our approach to this work- are different, and those differences strengthen our shared vision.

Brad White

Brad White

Founder, Executive Director & Principal

Brad White is Founder, Executive Director & Principal of Link Public Schools, an intentionally diverse school community in Frogtown, St. Paul, Minnesota centered on academic excellence for all and igniting student passion and purpose. Prior to founding Link, Brad spent 13 years as a K-12 teacher and leader in Roseville, Minnesota, Tokyo, Japan, and Denver, Colorado. Brad served as the Founding School Director of DSST: Byers Middle & High School, two of Denver's highest performing public schools and a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. He has degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish from Luther College and an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from California State University Northridge. He lives in Roseville, Minnesota with his creative wife and two hilarious children.

People and Organizations

The depth of our gratitude for the community Link belongs to cannot be measured. Learn more about the people and organizations, without whom, this work is not possible.

School Leaders

Adara Robbins

Director of Operations & Office Manager

Adara Robbins serves as Director of Operations at Link Public Schools.  Adara graduated with her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. Prior to attending business school, Adara was a 2013 Teach for America Houston Corps Member and taught English at YES Prep Public Schools for a total of six years. Adara was named a Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching National Finalist in 2014. Deeply passionate about thoughtful charter school growth strategy, Adara partnered with DSST Public Schools Finance Team during business school, and also completed summer internships with Deloitte Consulting and the US Department of Education. She was most recently the Senior Manager of Strategy for Rocketship Education.

Shawn Smith

Director of school Culture & Vice Principal

Shawn Smith serves as the Director of School Culture for Link Public Schools. Prior to joining Link, Shawn spent 12 years as a teacher and leader at DSST Public Schools in Denver, Colorado, widely considered one of the leading STEM charter networks in the United States. Shawn has a degree in Integrated Social Studies Education from Miami University, Special Education Graduate Study and Licensure from the University of Colorado at Denver, a MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver and is a Relay National Principals Academy Fellow alum. He currently lives in St. Paul.

Partner Organizations

Board of Directors

Link’s board is reflective of being a “diverse by design” organization and school community. In a state where only 3% of public school board members identify as people of color (2017, MPR), four of eight (50%) members of Link's Board identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC).

Alongside racial diversity, leaders also reflect our mission and community in other ways. We have grounding family relationships that include being a parent/sibling of individuals with significant disabilities, having interracial marriages and multiracial children, and LGBTQIA+ loved ones.

Our leaders are multilingual, immigrants, have lived abroad, and have community roots in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Leaders draw from these personal and professional experiences consistently in discussions and decision-making.

This founding board will serve for the first 2-3 years of the school, at which point an election will be held to establish the "Ongoing" Board of Directors. We are so grateful for the service of these committed leaders!

Deron Carrington

Deron Carrington

Director

Deron Carrington is a graduate of St. Paul Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and Valparaiso School of Law. Currently Deron works with the Department of Human Services as a Senior Attorney in the Office of Inspector General in the Background Studies Division. Prior to working at DHS, Deron worked as an attorney at the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office providing legal representation to those who were indigent and otherwise unable to secure legal services.


Jinah Chernivec

Jinah Chernivec

Chair

Jinah is an accomplished human resources executive with expertise in business organizational culture, change management, talent development, and risk mitigation. Jinah is a strategic leader with strong communication skills and skills in building an engaged workforce. She has served as Chief HR Officer at Goodwill-Easter Seals of Minnesota, VP of HR at The SEED Partners LLC, and led in HR at DaVita and Lutheran Social Service of MN. Jinah has two adolescent children and brings her perspective as a professional and a parent to the board.

Margie Soran

Margie Soran

Director

Margie Soran brings her organizational experience and passion for working with children and families to her work as an educator and community volunteer.  Her education and career history was focused on music education where she was a secondary vocal music teacher and children’s choir director for 25 years. Margie has involved herself as a community volunteer, activist for children and families, and as a nonprofit board member.  The current boards are: The Family Partnership, The Minneapolis Foundation, Dougherty Family College, KIPPMN and MNComeback.  Margie is focused on strengthening organizations and finding solutions to increase effectiveness.  


Sarah Johnston

Sarah Johnston

Secretary

Sarah has served as a teacher in Roseville, Minnesota for over 20 years. A specialist in Cognitively Guided Instruction math pedagogy, Sarah now coaches other teachers while also serving as a teacher. Sarah was founder Brad White's cooperating teacher when he was a student teacher in Roseville 13 years ago and has continued to serve as an education mentor to Brad for many years.

Tobias Knight

Tobias Knight

Director, Finance & Facility Committee member

Tobias is a graduate of Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of St. Thomas who plans to bring his experience in both settings to the board due to his passion for ending educational inequity and ensuring all students have world-class education opportunities. Tobias served as an intern with Congressman (now Attorney General) Keith Ellison, as well as at Thomson Reuters, JP Morgan Chase, and Stone Arch Capital. After serving as a portfolio manager with U.S. Bank, Tobias now serves as a project manager for 4mativ technologies, an innovative provider of K-12 transportation solutions in MN.

Tyler Baier

Tyler Baier

Treasurer, Chair of Finance & Facility Committee

Tyler is a development executive with a deep passion for the education sector and a commitment to improving education opportunities for students in the most challenging circumstances. Experienced in school operations and finance, talent management, non-profit strategy and mergers, and school facility development and financing. Tyler current serves as a director with Level Field Partners and was the CBO for Bright Star Schools in LA. Tyler has also served in CBO roles with Minnesota charter schools and helped with facilities acquisition efforts.

View our schedule of board meetings & minutes here.

Interested in joining the team? 

It takes a village to raise a child and we’re building a village to help raise hundreds of children. We’re still getting off the ground and we’d love to connect with you to build a relationship.

See open positions