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2014-2015 Leadership Team

Mo Chang

Experience: I believe that my strong connections and relationships with our wonderful students and parents is key to the success of CSE. Everything I do is focused on what is best for our students. 

Why CSE: I truly believe in the work that we are doing for our kids here. I love the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of teachers, students and parents as we seek to maximize learning for our students and put them on the path to success as young adults. 

CSE’s Greatest Asset: Our greatest assets are the people here. Our students, parents and staff drive our success. Simply put, they are the reason our school exists. 

What I want to tell CSE Parents: I love and care so much about your children. I will do whatever it takes to provide the best learning experience for them. CSE is an example of a school that I wish my own children could have attended and, because of that, I feel compelled to ensure that your children receive only the best that we have to offer. 

What Mo likes to do for fun: Travel, cook, spend time with family, and enjoy a good movie. But I really love being here at CSE and find it incredibly rewarding and fun. 

Mo’s favorite book: The Late Homecomer

Ger Kue
Director of Elementary Education

Experience: I have 18 years of experience in education. My educational experiences comprise of teaching, professional development, modeling/coaching, management, and strategic planning. 

Why SEC: I am here to ensure that every student has a quality education so they can compete in a global marketplace.

CSE’s Greatest Asset: The CSE community – the students, staff, and parents

What I want to tell CSE Parents: I am committed to the vision and mission of the school and pledge to do everything I can to make them come alive.

What Ger likes to do for fun: I love to spend time with my family and play table tennis for fun.

Ger’s favorite books: The Excellent 11 by Ron Clark, A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and the Bible

Chente Xiong
Family and Community Engagement Manager

Experience: I serve as a family/community liaison. My passion aligns in building rapport with families, individuals and creating an inclusive environment for them. Generating a warm welcoming relationship ensures a positive outlook. 

Why CSE: My values align with the mission and vision of CSE. There exists differences between families, community partners and CSE staff but those differences are united into one common theme: to serve the needs and wants of all students by giving them the necessary resources and support for success. In regards to students, also informing and educating parents to get involved in making decisions that will affect their child’s experience at CSE. 

CSE Greatest Asset: The families, the students, staff, Board of Directors and the environment. 

What I want tell CSE Parents: Collaboration between parents and teachers who share the same goal of ensuring their students learn and feel successful will be the benefit for all.

What Chente like to do for fun: My kids serve as my life stone and their time is love for me. Enjoying family time at the movies and going to dinner afterwards is my weekend. Traveling is a hobby I am striving to include as well. 

Chente’s favorite books: "Your Best Life-Begin Each Morning" by Joel Osteen; “Oh, the Places you’ll Go!" by Dr. Seuss, still my favorite book.

2015-2016 Leadership Team
Kazoua Kong-Thao
Chief Operations Officer

Experience: I am a lifelong learner. I have over 20 years of community and professional experiences in the field of education, government, private and non-profits organizations. My experiences include Leadership, Management, Strategic, Workforce and Professional Development, Equity and Diversity, Human Resources, Training, Investigation and Mediation, Executive Coaching, Mentorship and Community Engagement. Why CSE: I believe that every child had the right to a quality education regardless of their race, gender, disability, social or economic situation. A quality education will open up a world of opportunities for our students and their families. 

CSE’s Greatest Asset: The commitment of excellence in the students, their families, the staff and the community stakeholders. 

What I want to tell CSE Parents: I am passionate and committed to the success of all of our children and understand that it will take all of us, the staff, parents and community stakeholders working together for the betterment of our children and future. 

What Kazoua likes to do for fun: I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends, traveling and learning new things. 

Kazoua’s favorite books: Dia's Story Cloth, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul (series) and The Bible.

Anne Vang-Lo
Director of Middle School Education

Experience: I have 14 years of experience in education--all in K-12. During those years, I have taken on leadership roles such as Building Designee (Assistant Principal without the pay) for three years and summer school coordinator (aka Summer School Principal) for three summers. I taught some of the lowest readers and the end results were very positive. 

I am a very proud educator knowing that my rewards are my students' successes. I love my students for the rich background they come with, but I also understand that we all have our challenges every minute of the day. I work at CSE to share what I have already learned, but I am also looking forward to learning from each and every one of you. By fine-tuning the methods we use to teach students, I am confident that every student can and will succeed. With everyone working together, I look forward to building a stronger and bigger experience at CSE. 

Why CSE: I never dreamed about becoming an educator until I witnessed first-hand the differential treatment between the main culture and the diverse cultures of Asian and Latino in a mainly Caucasian community. It was then that I made my decision to make sure all students get the same opportunity at understanding what it means to have and hold onto a college education. 

CSE is a good school and a good place to work because of the students I see, talk to, walk and laughed with. It's knowing that all the staff here are welcoming, warm and caring people not only to other colleagues but to the students and adults who walked through the front door. It reminds me of my Hmong dream: having a school of my own, to educate my own. This is what the American dream is all about for Hmong such as myself.

I know that being new to CSE, I will be challenged with new projects but also know that children learn best when an adult can give tools of success and guidance. I am ready to be challenged and willing to go all the way with CSE students, parents and educators to the next level of success. This is the reason I am here.

CSE’s Greatest Asset: The greatest asset for CSE is the community’s togetherness: the big smiles, hallways filled with laughter, footsteps of happy running feet of our students, parents’ excitement on visiting the school, teachers with open classroom doors and arms to welcome any concerns or compliments, and administrators with revolving doors make up this BIG asset.

What I want to tell CSE Parents: I would love the opportunity to meet and get to know each and every one of you, and for you to know me as well. I strongly believe in CSE's vision and mission, and know that together we can make this the BEST school for everyone, especially the children, who are my students.

What Anne likes to do for fun: I enjoy expanding my knowledge by taking classes, traveling when possible, and hiking with my friends or family.

Anne’s favorite book: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 

Brandon Ferdig
Communications Manager

Experience: For about ten years, I have been a writer for websites, newspapers, and my own blog. Also during that time, I've lived in other parts of the world, taught at several schools, and worked with small businesses to improve their marketing. In all, I've developed a relevant skill set for helping Community School of Excellence share their stories and improve the way they communicate within and with the community.                 

Why CSE: I actually did a story on CSE five years ago for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I knew then that CSE was a school with many great stories to share. Coming on board in the fall 2014, I've seen how this is indeed the case. Whether the Global Connections trip, the Hmong New Year Celebration, or just highlighting the learning that goes on in the classrooms, there is always something worthy to share about CSE. And with a student body so bright and high-spirited, it's a pleasure to help this school in any way I can. 

CSE’s Greatest Asset: The Hmong community, the families, and their children whom we are blessed to teach.

What I want to tell CSE Parents: Encourage them to experiment, work hard, and focus on a goal. 

What Brandon likes to do for fun: I love to travel. I like to write, exercise, read, and have good conversation.

Brandon’s favorite books: The Power of Now, A Compact History of the World, any world atlas