Team

Our team members have diverse backgrounds in teaching, government, research, communications, and policy, but we all have one thing in common: We know that every Minnesota student can excel in a rigorous and engaging school, and we’re ready to work to make this happen.

Brandie Burris-Gallagher

Policy Director

Brandie works in partnership with educators, parents, and advocates to advance policies that will help Minnesota families choose the best educational models for their children.

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Josh Crosson

Senior Policy Director

As EdAllies' Senior Policy Director, Josh advocates to ensure that all Minnesota students, especially those most underserved, have access to a great education.

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Bethany-Israelson

Bethany Israelson

Operations Associate

Bethany's drive to see all students receive the education they deserve has led her to EdAllies, where she provides development, finance, administrative, and communications support.

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ariana-kiener

Ariana Kiener

Senior Strategic Communications Director

Ari works to spark a new dialogue about education policy in Minnesota, overseeing EdAllies’ publications, blog, media relations, social media, email marketing, and more.

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Katherine Raths

Policy & Research Intern

Katherine conducts research, analysis, and data collection to strengthen EdAllies’ policy campaigns and public outreach efforts.

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andrea roethke

Andrea Roethke

Managing Director of Strategy and Operations

Andrea builds EdAllies’ capacity and impact by developing internal systems, managing a high-functioning team, and advancing educator and community engagement programs.

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daniel sellers

Daniel Sellers

Executive Director

As EdAllies’ founding executive director, Daniel sets the direction for the organization’s work to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to an excellent education.

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EdFellows

CJ Ellsworth

Through his EdFellows, CJ researches self-directed and independent learning strategies, and then shares them with educators around the state so that they better serve their students.

Through EdFellows, CJ researches self-directed and independent learning strategies, and then shares them with educators around the state so that they better serve their students. Originally from New Jersey, CJ began his education career as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia. There, CJ taught AP Calculus at a charter school before uprooting his life and career to help found Venture Academy High School in Minneapolis. As a teacher, team-leader, and board member at Venture, CJ continues to research and implement self-directed learning strategies in the classroom. He is constantly working to find the most useful and effective strategies for teachers of all experience levels to implement in their classrooms, making them more student-centered and effective. When not at Venture or coaching various sports, CJ can be found on the golf course or relaxing at home with his wife, Sara, a Minnesota native. He received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University with a double major in Economics and Political Science.

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Linnea Mengar

Through the EdFellows program, Linnea aims to work alongside families to identify barriers relating to school transparency in Minnesota.

Through the EdFellows program, Linnea aims to work alongside families to identify barriers relating to school transparency in Minnesota. She is currently in her fifth year teaching elementary school in the Twin Cities, working most closely with lower elementary learners. She developed an interest in education during her undergraduate years at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which eventually led her to the University of Minnesota to earn a master's in Elementary Education. Through these experiences, Linnea identified an urgent need to address the systemic forces shaping our current educational system, ultimately sparking her interest in policy. Outside the classroom, you can find Linnea exploring Twin Cities restaurants and coffee shops or enjoying a lake walk.

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