Ignite Afterschool is governed by a Board of Directors which oversees the organization's finances and operations. In addition, Ignite's programmatic work and vision is guided by the Strategic Leadership Team, which includes representatives from leading afterschool and youth-serving organizations in Minnesota (See list of SLT Partner Organizations here).
Meet the current members of Ignite Afterschool's Board:
Ann Marie DeGroot
Ann Marie DeGroot has been the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board since October 2008. She comes into her current position after serving 21 years as the founding Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota. Ann serves as the Chair of the Board of Athlos Leadership Academy, a Minnesota Charter School. Ann has presented at numerous conferences on topics as diverse as board development, fundraising, the role of the Executive Director, tax issues for non-profit organizations, how to set up a fiscal sponsorship program, class and age issues in community organizing and electoral strategies for non-profit organizations.
Carol is retired having worked about 20 years for the MN Dept of Education as a project manager, supervisor and director in areas related to health, safety, and engagement. Prior to that she was an Executive Director at a local nonprofit focused on preventing youth alcohol/drug use. In addition, she has volunteered on nonprofit boards, PTAs, and other youth-focused initiatives. She has an MBA with an emphasis on public/nonprofit management from the University of St. Thomas.
Richard Delroy Calhoun is the retired Center Director for Project for Pride in Living’s Bethlehem Community Center (formerly of LNBCC). Delroy has worked with youth in the Twin City area for over 40 years and was one of the originators of the Minneapolis Education Recycling Center (MERC) Alternative High school. He has been active in the Whittier Community in south Minneapolis where he both works and lives. Delroy was appointed to the Cities 2007 project for youth, was appointed a Howland Fellow through Minnesota 4H and, was selected to serve on the Minnesota Commission on Out-of-School Time.
Jack is a Progressive Community Educator who has for over 30 years created strategic alliances with organization and governmental leaders to impact low income youth. One program area of the department serves over 18,000 youth participants annually. To ensure effective programs, a nationally recognized quality tool called Youth Program Quality Assessment has been used with impressive results for the past six years. In addition, he has also been part of an 18 year Beacons partnership with YMCA, YWCA and the Boys and Girls Club which provides enrichment programs for youth in lower income Minneapolis communities.
Joellen Gonder Spacek
Joellen Spacek is Senior Director of the Mentoring Partnership Network for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, strengthening and expanding the network of local affiliates. For the past 20 years, Spacek served as executive director of the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota. Spacek has 30 years of experience in resource and board development, training and consulting, communications, community collaborations, leadership, and program management. Spacek received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business communications and marketing from Creighton University and received her Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute while on a Bush Leadership Fellowship.
Kathy’s professional career in strategic planning, community building, program creation, youth development and grants management spanned over 25 years, including top leadership positions with the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis and Greater Twin Cities United Way. In addition to her board membership on Ignite Afterschool, Kathy serves on the board of Family Pathways. For the past two years, she has been a consultant to Greater Twin Cities United Way during their Education and Safety Net grants review processes. Kathy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and received her Masters of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership from the College of St. Catherine. In addition, she received a degree in Radio-Television Broadcasting and Broadcast Journalism from Brown Institute. Kathy retired from Greater Twin Cities United Way in 2013.