About Us » Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Hiawatha Academies Board of Directors is tasked with ensuring that the mission and values of the Hiawatha schools are met and providing guidance to ensure Hiawatha’s long-term growth and vitality. The Board of Directors works closely with the network leadership team to chart a course for Hiawatha Academies and meets regularly throughout the year. Our Board members are drawn from the fields of business, education, healthcare, legal, and philanthropy and share a commitment to grow Hiawatha scholars into leaders.

In accordance to open meeting law (OML), which applies to public bodies including School Boards, Hiawatha Academies is required to conduct business publicly, or at an open meeting.

Contact Information
Board Members can be reached at: [email protected]
For media inquiries, please contact: mediarequests@hiawathaacademies.org

Upcoming Meeting

June 6, 2024 | 5 - 7:30 pm
Location: Hiawatha Collegiate High School | Virtual Link
Public Comments
Written public comments can be submitted by emailing [email protected]. This includes comments for board policies in review as well. Comments need to be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the meeting to be included in the board book for review by the board.

5/3/24 Annual Election Notice

The Board Chair has determined that the 2024 - 25 board election will be held by electronic ballot May 29 - May 30, 2024. All Hiawatha Academies staff members, current board members, and parents /legal guardians of Hiawatha Academies’ scholars are eligible to vote. 
Individuals may express interest in running for open teacher, parent/guardian, or community member seats by emailing [email protected]. Details about open seats and candidate biographies will be posted here the week of May 20th.


Chair | Dr. Yolanda Majors
Hurston Institute for Learning & Development
Dr. Yolanda J. Majors (she/her)  is the Founder and Director of The Hurston Institute for Learning & Development, MN. and an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois in Learning Sciences. She has been an Assistant Professor of Education at The University of Georgia, Athens, Associate Professor of Education with the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Visiting Associate Professor of Education with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with her most recent academic role as Associate Director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research. She has 23 years of experience focusing on learning within and across K-12 and non-school-based learning experiences. Dr. Majors has led the design, implementation, and evaluation of various institutional learning programs to understand how individuals and organizations transform through social, institutional, and cultural engagements. Dr. Majors is a member of the Academics Committee.

Vice-Chair | Madaline Edison
Madaline Edison (she/her) is a Minneapolis resident, educator, organizer, and parent. In her professional career, she has previously worked as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher, a founding executive director, and chief of staff for a national education nonprofit organization. Now a self-employed consultant, she supports organizations on people engagement strategy and operations. She brings governance experience having served on two charter school boards in the past and is excited to join the Hiawatha community. Ms. Edison is a member of the Academics Committee.

Treasurer | Robbie Soskin
Yum! Kitchen and Bakery
Robbie Soskin (he/him)is an entrepreneur and business leader. He has served as President of MOBE, LLC, President of Ovative/group, CEO and owner of Compass Marketing, and President of Weisman Enterprises.  Mr. Soskin was also formerly a trial lawyer and partner at Winthrop & Weinstine.  He now serves on the Advisory Board of US Bank, as a Director of Hospitality Minnesota, and as a Director of Intergenerational Living & Healthcare, Inc. Mr. Soskin received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Patti have four children, Zach, Maddie, and Jorie, and his wife Stephanie, and two grandchildren, Riley and Parker. Mr. Soskin is board treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee, and chair of the Finance and Facilities Committee.

Secretary | Charles Braman
Bio coming soon (community member)

Director | Dr. Alicia Muñoz
Macalester College
Dr. Alicia Muñoz (she/her)  is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Macalester College. She is originally from East Los Angeles and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She is thrilled to have now taught two Hiawatha graduates at Macalester. Dr. Muñoz is the chair of the Family and Community Engagement Committee.

Director | Jose Gomez
Hiawatha Academies Parent
Originally from Mexico, Jose Gomez has been living in Minnesota for over 16 years. He has been with Hiawatha as a parent for 7 years.  As part of the Hiawatha Family Association, over the years he has had the pleasure of being part of different initiatives such as the envisioning of the then new high school building and culture, programs like Happy Saturdays, and Family Academy, among others. Mr. Gomez is currently part of the Family and Community Engagement Committee and represents the Family Association. His goal is to provide a voice for all Hiawatha families.

Director | Eric Hanson
Hiawatha Academies Parent
Eric Hanson (he/him) grew up in Richfield and lived on the East Side of St. Paul for over 10 years before moving to South Minneapolis in 2016. Mr. Hanson has two children who attend Hiawatha schools. He is excited to serve as a parent representative and learn more about how our schools operate to become a better advocate for students and families. Having worked in healthcare for over 20 years, his passion lies in mental, physical, and nutritional health as well as the personal safety of students. Mr. Hanson is a member of the Finance and Facilities Committee.

Director | Jabari Bunch
Hiawatha Academies Teacher
Bio coming soon

Executive Committee
Dr. Yolanda Majors
Madaline Edison
Robbie Soskin
Charles Braman
Family and Community Engagement
Dr. Alicia Muñoz
Jose Gomez
Dr. Yolanda Majors
Madaline Edison
Charlie Braman
Finance & Facilities
Eric Hanson
Robbie Soskin
Dr. Yolanda Majors
Jabari Bunch
  • July 17
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8
  • December 13
  • January 10
  • February 28
  • March 13
  • April 10
  • April 15
  • May 8
  • June 6

Board of Directors Meeting Agendas | Minutes