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Center of Excellence

Statewide System of Support

Resource has received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, one of three in the state to create a regional Centers of Educational Excellence.  The Center will serve identified schools in 9 Resource counties and 38 additional counties in Minnesota within the purview of the goals and guidelines established by the MN Department of Education. 

The Center of Excellence will coordinate improvement efforts for all students. These regional support centers will serve as the Statewide System of Support (SSOS) and provide leadership teams in Focus and Priority schools with the basic components of:

  • continuous school improvement
  • including needs assessment
  • data analysis
  • standards alignment
  • instructional strategies
  • formative assessment
  • instructional leadership

The Center of Excellence team will assist leadership teams in setting goals, developing professional learning teams, effectively managing change, building intentional cultures and improving communication; to enhance instructional leaders’ capacity to support, promote, lead, and sustain professional learning that improves both teaching practices and learning outcomes for all students.

The primary goal of the Minnesota School Improvement and Support System is to focus schools and districts on closing the persistent achievement gap between high and low performing children, especially the achievement gap between minority and nonminority students and between disadvantaged and their more advantaged peers. An emphasis on leadership and professional development at all levels creates and maintains an environment that supports powerful learning and high expectations for all learners. Guiding principles for all programmatic school improvement programming include data driven decision making, culturally-relevant pedagogy, and evidence-based practices. 



Susan Burris

Director of the Center of Excellence

Resource is pleased to announce that Susan Burris is the new Director of the Center of Excellence. Susan has over 20 years of experience in education - as a teacher, principal, curriculum director, and most recently Director of Teaching and Learning for the Cambridge-Isanti School District.

Susan will be responsible for providing direction and oversight of all Regional Center of Excellence activities in collaboration with MN Department of Education (MDE). Susan will work with the MDE Director of School Support and other Regional Center Directors to develop the Center of Excellence model for the statewide system of support. 



Shana Bregenzer-Brenny

English Language Development School Advocate

Shana Bregenzer-Brenny is both a secondary English language arts teacher and a K-12 English language development teacher.  She has taught in WI, GA, CA, and for the past ten years in MN.  Her teaching experience has been both in ALCs and traditional elementary and high schools in both rural and urban communities.  She is passionate about opportunities to support all students’ academic success.  Outside of work, she and her husband are busy with their three school-age children fishing, camping, gardening, and riding horse. 



Edward Colón

Math School Advocate

Ed Colón has been a K-12 Math Specialist for eleven years, most recently in Minneapolis Public Schools. For the past six years he has specialized in multi-level math intervention with diverse students. Prior to teaching Ed worked as an applied statistician and project director on state and federal education studies, and as a psychometrician. He has also served on the Executive Board of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights), and acted as an organization effectiveness/development consultant for private nonprofit and government agencies throughout Minnesota. His consulting has included strategic planning, organization assessment and performance improvement, organization design, training, leadership development, conflict resolution, management coaching, and other areas. Ed has a Master’s Degree with significant graduate work in psychometrics, statistics, human development and education. He was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and has lived in Minnesota for the last twenty four years with his wife and three children.



Emily Hoeschen

Reading School Advocate

Emily Hoeschen received her Bachelors of Science Degree and Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She also received her K-12 Reading Licensure from Hamline University - St. Paul. Her classroom experience includes teaching 4th/5th/6th grades in Austin, Brainerd and most recently Grand Rapids, MN. Professionally, she has been a part of her school literacy teams and professional learning communities. Emily is extremely excited for the opportunity to become an advocate for the schools in Central/Southwestern Minnesota. She believes through collaboration, collective efficacy and bit of faith we can be the change we want to see in our schools. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to “run” into this marathoner whose goal is to support the schools in closing the achievement gap at the end of the finish line. 



Mary Jenatscheck

Implementation Science School Advocate


Mary Jenatscheck works as the Implementation Specialist for our region.   In this capacity she works with the science of implementation to seek out broad-based, skillful and goal oriented participation in the work of school achievement and closure of any achievement gaps. For the six prior years she was the Lead Regional Service Provider for South Central Minnesota. In this capacity she oversaw school improvement implementation processes of regional schools. She led schools and district teams in processes of organizational development through effective communication, teamwork, organization, and establishing a vision, decision making, and concrete strategies. For thirteen prior years Mary was an Elementary Principal. From 1999-2006 Mary was the Elementary Principal at Hartley Elementary in Waseca Public Schools, Waseca, Minnesota and from 2005-2006 a Director of TEAM Academy, a charter school in Waseca. She provided leadership that led Hartley Elementary being named a Blue Ribbon School, a TAP nationally recognized school, and a School of Excellence.  In addition, Mary was principal at North Winneshiek School District in Decorah, Iowa from 1993-1998. Mary has teaching experience as an adjunct professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and K-12 teaching experiences in Hokah, Minnesota and Mabel, Minnesota. Mary has received extensive training on school improvement initiatives including: Tregoe Analytics, Teacher Evaluation, Professional Learning Communities, Cognitive Coaching, Teacher Leadership, RtI and SIOP. Mary has received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Superintendent and Principal licensure, a Masters in Physical Education and undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Physical Education.