News release: Great MN Schools names Jennifer Stern managing partner

July 25, 2016Great MN Schools, which provides funding and technical assistance to develop and grow high-performing and high-potential schools, announced Jennifer Stern as its new managing partner.

Jennifer has deep and varied experience in education, including high-quality school development, human capital management, and strategic consulting. Her leadership positions include executive director of talent management and strategic programs at Denver Public Schools, vice president and partner of the Charter School Growth Fund, director of human resources for the New York City Department of Education, and president of Spark Strategic Consulting. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Jennifer began her career in the private sector as a consultant with Bain & Co., and at American Express in venture capital and marketing.

Jennifer‘s hire is a real step forward in our work to accelerate the growth of high-performing and high-potential schools. The expertise that Jennifer brings to Minneapolis is game changing,” said Ben Whitney, chair of Great MN Schools.

Jennifer shared, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead Great MN Schools. I’m excited to partner with others in the community — including the MN Comeback coalition and the amazing school leaders here in Minneapolis — to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education. And I’m looking forward to calling Minneapolis home!” Jennifer and her family are relocating from Denver.


MN Comeback incubated Great MN Schools, which is now an independent nonprofit organization focused on investing in high-potential and high performing schools. It will remain closely affiliated with MN Comeback’s growing coalition of schools, education groups and funders developing a citywide plan to ensure low-income children have access to an excellent education in great schools. Together, MN Comeback and GMS will intentionally develop 50 additional great schools by providing the critical resources and conditions that high-performing schools need to succeed and grow — funding, leaders, teachers, policy and facilities. By this unique strategy of building on success, MN Comeback offers the most concrete path to ensure that by 2025 all children in Minneapolis — no matter the color of their skin or their socio-economic status — will have access to a rigorous and relevant education.

Great MN Schools has this year provided funding to support school replication at Hiawatha Academies and a growth strategy at Prodeo Academy. Currently, Great MN Schools is evaluating a school turnaround proposal and has submitted a request for proposals from three Community Partnership Schools in the Minneapolis district.

To ensure strong coordination with MN Comeback, Al Fan, MN Comeback’s executive director, is a founding member of the Great MN Schools board of directors. Other Great MN Schools directors include Beth Finch, Alberto Monserrate, Phil Soran, Sean Walker and Ben Whitney.

For questions related to Great MN Schools, contact Morgan Brown (mbrown@greatmnschools.org952-297-6791); for questions related to MN Comeback, contact Nicholas Banovetz (nbanovetz@mncomeback.org651-815-5999).

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