Faculty / Staff

Brad Blue


Brad Blue was the founding Director of the Minnesota Guild (a single-purpose charter-school authorizer), an organization he guided for nine years. He served on the founding board of Upper Mississippi Academy (UMA), a non-districted public chartered school, and as the school’s founding Director. Dr. Blue holds a Minnesota K-12 Administrative license. Prior to his work at the Guild and UMA, he was the Founder and Director of Guys in Science & Engineering (GISE) and Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (GEMS) – collaborative public/private partnerships supporting 700 students in Minneapolis. Dr. Blue created logic models and programmatic structure; secured funding; managed personnel and fiscal matters; created and coordinated partnerships within the STEM community and higher education; collected and analyzed short- and long-term growth and achievement data.  brad.blue@nepolytech.org

Nathan Strenge

STEM/Mathematics Program Designer

Nathan Strenge’s drive to launch Northeast Art & Science Polytechnic comes from his belief that all young people should learn in active, personalized, and stimulating environments. Nathan’s decade of mathematics teaching includes integration of blended learning, growth mindset, and interdisciplinary connections. In 2014 he and three colleagues won a national teaching award called Redefining Excellence in the Classroom after taking an urban charter school’s math program to the top 1% in statewide proficiency. Outside of his pursuit to reimagine education around a learner-centered paradigm, he loves spending time with his wife and two young daughters. nathan.strenge@nepolytech.org

Samuel Neisen

Social Studies / Humanities

Education is in Sam Neisen’s blood – both his parents taught in Minnesota public schools for over 35 years and his sister teaches English to new Americans in Minneapolis. After earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota, Sam accepted a position at JFK American School of Queretaro, Mexico where he taught high school humanities. His international experience – teaching IB, and creating multicultural, inclusive, and globally-minded curriculum for students from around the world – proved to be illuminating and engaging. Returning to Minnesota, Sam began teaching social studies across all grade levels at Minnetonka High School. While there, he founded Vinyl Club, coached Track & Field, lead teacher professional development workshops, and won the WCCO Educator of the Week Award. A Northeast resident, Sam also serves on the Hennepin County Library Board, and in his free time he enjoys being outside,biking, swimming, skiing, playing basketball, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family throughout the summer months. samuel.neisen@nepolytech.org

Ellie Holte

Director of Outreach and Community Engagement

Ellie Holte brings over 20 years of experience with Minnesota public, and international private not-for-profit schools. She comes to us from Pillsbury United Communities Office of Public Charter Schools where she served as Special Projects and External Relations Manager. Prior to that, Ellie worked for 9 years in international school strategic communications, admissions, and marketing in Doha, Qatar; Beijing, China; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Before going overseas, Ellie was a founder, administrator, and learning facilitator for 8 years at an urban experiential charter high school in St. Paul.  ellie.holte@nepolytech.org

Board of Directors

Clark Bremer

Board Member, Chair

Clark Bremer lives in NE Minneapolis and has owned and managed successful business endeavors there. Mr. Bremer is an engineer by training and has extensive board experience, serving on Board of Directors as the Vice-president of the Timber Framers Guild, a national nonprofit with 1,500 members whose mission is educating the public and practitioners about the craft of timber frame construction. Mr. Bremer also served as President of the Seward Coop, a Minneapolis consumer coop. Recently, he served as Board President of Madison Lofts, a condominium association in NE Minneapolis. Mr. Bremer is active in formal and informal teaching/learning settings: as an instructor at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, instructor of Sketchup (3D Cad Software) at Timber Framers Guild events, and volunteer leader of the community service team that built the new pavilion at Beltrami Park in NE Minneapolis.  clark.bremer@nepolytech.org

Jitendrapal Kundan

Board Member, Treasurer

Jitendrapal Kundan serves as the Executive Director of The Origins Program; Education for Equity. Mr. Kundan was the founding Principal of New City School – a 2013 Reward School as recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education. He holds a Minnesota K-12 Administrative license and has extensive experience as a school administrator and an instructional leader. Mr. Kundan serves on a number of boards, including: UMO JA Drum and Music Co-op, Minnesota Leadership Academy, and Upper Mississippi Academy.   jit.kundan@nepolytech.org

Nativida Osland

Board Member, Secretary

Nativida Osland resides in NE Minneapolis with her family. A former teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools, she currently works in service to teachers all around the Twin Cities in non-verbal classroom management strategies. She also weaves for Kelly Marshall at Custom Woven Interiors (located in NE Minneapolis as well).  Ms. Osland embraces social-justice, knitting, music, brewing kombucha, learning many lessons about life from her two sons, and breathing.  nativida.osland@nepolytech.org

Said Sheik-Abdi

Board Member

Said Sheik-Abdi serves as a Partnerships Officer for the American Refugee Committee supporting diaspora Somali communities, as well as consulting on international humanitarian aid efforts around the world. As the former Program Manager of I AM A STAR campaign, Mr. Sheik-Abdi is intimately knowledgeable about grass-roots efforts to bring together members of the Somali diaspora community worldwide. A manager of programs, including fiscal and governance structures, he is knowledgeable and effective in a variety of leadership roles. said.sheik-abdi@nepolytech.org

Heidi Sime

Board Member

Heidi Sime is an artist, educator, and interior designer. As a community leader who delivers design and arts instruction in a variety of technical areas, Ms. Sime has created a nexus of connections in the NE community. Through her liaison efforts at Vesper College, she has established and maintained critical and significant relations in the business and arts communities. Her volunteerism is significant and includes sharing her time and talents with schools, shelters, art centers, and the theater. Her passion is to inspire curiosity about the natural world of art and design through the fire arts.  heidi.sime@nepolytech.org

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