Board of Trustees

Kenneth Schoen, Chair 
     The bulk of Ken’s working experience has been in corrections and broader criminal justice administration. Now retired, his employment included directing the Institute on Criminal Justice at the U of MN Law School which concentrated on research in sentencing, corrections, and juvenile justice. He served as special master for the Federal District Court overseeing a consent decree relating to New York City’s corrections system and directed the Justice Program of a major New York City foundation for some 19 years. He served in several capacities in Minnesota State Department of Corrections ranging from probation officer to state Corrections Commissioner.
     He has held leadership roles with the YMCA and Boy Scouts. He and his late wife, Connie, have a married daughter living in Washington DC. Their son died of cancer in 2004. They established a scholarship fund within the Duluth Superior Foundation for students who are late in achieving success in high school.

Shari Rud, (Advisor) Web Coordination/Communications
     Shari’s longtime connection with the Duluth Public Schools began at age four as a kindergarten student. She graduated from Duluth Central High School and then studied at UMD, graduating with an Elementary Education degree. Shari holds a master's degree and Sixth Year Program in Educational Administration and the Superintendency through St. Cloud State University. Her 36 year career with ISD #709 includes work as a Head Start teacher, an elementary teacher, an assistant middle school principal, and concluded in 2008 as an elementary school principal. She boasts of the proud tradition in that the fourth generation of her family is currently attending the Duluth Public Schools.
     "As an educator, I’ve seen amazing things happen as communities of learners created their vision to implement innovation. As a trustee, I encourage teachers to apply for these DPSF grants to continue to think differently for the improvement of teaching and learning opportunities for students, staff, and families," said Rud.

Darlene Anderson, Treasurer

Al Chepelnik, Vice-Chair and Secretary
     Al Chepelnik was born and raised in Duluth and is a 1971 graduate of Morgan Park High School and a 1975 graduate of the University of Minnesota - Duluth. He has worked for the Duluth Public Schools for 34 years primarily as a Work Experience Teacher-Coordinator with middle school and high school disadvantaged and handicapped students.
     Al has served as a member of the Duluth Teachers Relicensure Committee, helped to create and serve as the Chairperson of the Duluth Teacher of the Year Committee which recognizes outstanding Duluth Public School teachers and has served as the Chairperson of the Interagency Coordinating Council of Duluth which connects Special Education teachers, social workers and agencies in Duluth that work with students and adults that have disabilities.
     Al is eager to support teacher grants that will create innovative programs for teachers in the Duluth Public Schools.

Mark Boben
     Mark is a native Duluthian who graduated from Morgan Park High School, received his bachelors degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and a masters from UMD. After graduation Mark and his wife, Linda, began a 35 year odyssey working for ConocoPhillips around the world, spending 6 years in Norway and 9 years in China. Although Mark and Linda had the opportunity to explore the world, it was always their intent to retire in Duluth. Mark is currently self employed as a consultant to the oil and gas industry.
     Mark believes that education is an essential component for an individual to achieve success in life. "Teachers who are committed to providing a challenging learning environment pave the way," said Boben, Being involved with the Duluth Public Schools Fund allows Mark to be a partner in promoting excellence in education in Duluth.

Marge Fisher
     Marge is a lifelong Duluthian, having been educated in the Duluth Public Schools before pursuing a degree in education. Her teaching career started by teaching special education before switching to third grade, which she taught for 29 years at Chester Park and Congdon Park Schools. Through the years of teaching third grade, she served on various district curriculum committees, including health, phy ed., language arts, reading, and math. Retiring in 2014, Marge is glad for the opportunity to stay connected with the Duluth Public Schools by working on the DPSF Board to encourage teachers to use the funds for innovative ways to enhance the quality education already provided in Duluth.


Kisty Haller
     A native Duluthian, Kisty is a 1970 graduate of Morgan Park High School. Upon graduation from high school, she attended UMD where she obtained both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Hired in 1974 by the Proctor School District, Kisty taught Physical Education and Health to both the general and special needs population in the district. In 1998 she was the Proctor School District's nominee for Minnesota Teach of the Year. After 35 years of teaching children at every age level, she retired.

 Rosie Loeffler-Kemp

 Phyllis Makila
EDUCATION: University of Wisconsin, Superior, University of Minnesota, Duluth, St. Thomas University, Concordia College,
EMPLOYMENT: Duluth Public Schools Teacher for 43 years
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Internal Coach for Americorps, reading corps, for 3 years President of ADK,Epsilon, a women’s education sorority for many years President of Lakewood Elementary School Foundation for 3 years, member for 6 years Supervisor for Lakewood Preschool for 3 years Volunteer for Grandma’s Marathon for many years Member of First Lutheran Church
ACTIVITIES AND HOBBIES: Quilting, scrapbooking, golf, reading

Cindy Upton
Moving to Duluth in 1997, Cindy has been a resident and an
educator with Duluth Public Schools for 20 years at Lowell Elementary, teaching 3rd and 4th grade, and is currently a Math Interventionist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bemidji State University and holds a Masters of Education Degree from UMD. Over the years, Cindy has been an active participant in District Math and Social Studies Curriculum Committees, Lowell Leadership, DFT, and PTA. As a member of the DPSF board, she looks forward to supporting and encouraging teachers with grant opportunities that will enrich and engage the lives of their students.