Great people make great schools

Link Team Photo

Dynamic Leadership

We are energetic and inspired, organized and driven, compassionate and caring. We’re committed to solving big problems together, honoring our community, and uniting with you to form a stronger whole.

Link's Leaders & Design Team

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

Brad White is Founder & Executive Director of Link Public Schools, an intentionally diverse school community near Minneapolis, 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.

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller, educator

Link Community & Partners

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.

Community & Design Leads

Cheniqua Johnson

Board Liaison, Executive Assistant

Cheniqua has 7 years of experience in public policy, youth and education advocacy, and community organizing. Over her career, she has held several roles including being the Legislative Correspondent for the Office of Congressman Keith Ellison. Cheniqua became the youngest woman to be DFL-endorsed for State House in Minnesota House District 22B. She is a first-generation, TRIO college graduate with a B.S. in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities College of Education and Human Development.

Danny Brink Washington

School Design Lead

Danny is a School Design Lead for Link Public Schools. Prior to his work with Link, Danny has spent the past 15 years as a teacher and leader in district, independent and charter schools in New York City and Buffalo. Danny was the founding Director of Student Support Services for Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, an intentionally diverse, open-enrollment, International Baccalaureate school, and most recently has been coaching school leadership teams in Western New York in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from New York University, and an M.S.Ed. in Special Education from the College of Staten Island. He lives with his wife and two children in Buffalo, NY.

Gabrielle Grier

Family & Community Partnerships Consultant & School Design Lead

Gabrielle’s work centers around being a facilitator and participant of growth, perspective shifts and intentional responses to political and social change to act as a bridge between community and schools. She has spent 15 years partnering with schools and organizations in Wayzata, Minnetonka, Medina, Orono, and most recently Minneapolis both in charter and district schools. She holds a Master’s in Education in Youth Development and Leadership and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts and Youth Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Susan Jefferson

Family Ambassador

Susan has served in education as a mentor, educator, and coach for over 15 years in the Eden Prairie and Minneapolis Public Schools districts. Her passion is connecting people and providing unique spaces for youth to explore who they are, what they value, and where they see themselves now and in the future. Susan joined Link’s team in December of 2021 leading in family recruitment and engagement. She is the founder and owner of ItSpeaksArt, an independent company that creates customized print products and donates portions of the proceeds back to the community. 

Partner Organizations

Board of Directors

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.


Ebyan Abdulle

Ebyan Abdulle

Director, Chair of Governance Committee

Ebyan has multifaceted experience in education, leadership, writing, and relationship building. Originally from Somalia, Ebyan has served as a board member at West Side Summit Charter School and a committee member for the St. Paul Library, Minnesota Home Visiting Coalition, and Council of Crime & Justice about the Somali Victimization Awareness Campaign. She has been a Program Coordinator and Parent Mentoring Manager for the Minnesota Literacy Council and now serves as the Education and Development Director for the Women Organizing Women Network.

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.  


Mike Baur

Mike Baur

Director

Mike Baur currently leads efforts within Amazon’s Education Technology team. Prior to this, Mike managed a portfolio of investments with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. His grantees included state, district, CMO, and vendor organizations that empower educators and students through the use of data. Before this, Mike was Managing Director at Academic Partnerships and led efforts to promote the utilization of technology in delivering universal and affordable access to higher education institutes around the world.

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.

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