CEO & President
Amanda Sappa joined the CIS-TC team as CEO in January 2019. She has over 20 years’ experience in youth program development and nonprofit administration. She is passionate about designing programs that help youth succeed in every aspect of their lives. Amanda earned her Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul MN in 2013. She is a lifelong resident of Richfield MN, a devoted wife and mother, and enjoys travel and photography in her spare time.
Hastings Middle School
Kateri moved to the Twin Cities in 2019 after first serving as a AmeriCorps youth service member and then working as a Program Coordinator for Girl Power with the YWCA. She most recently worked as a Youth Support Specialist with the YWCA St. Paul. She is excited to join the Communities In Schools team and to be working within all facets of student and school support to create positive outcomes. Her hobbies outside of work are taking nature walks/hikes with her family, yoga and dancing.
Hastings High School
Kel graduated from Bethel University with a degree in Communications. She has worked with teens and communities through various nonprofits over the last seven years. She is deeply passionate about creating meaningful relationships with young people in order to help them succeed in school and life. Kel actively seeks out new and exciting ways to connect with young people. Whether she was leading a dirt bike restorative justice program, on a week-long Boundary Waters camping trip for teens who have experienced trauma or leading a youth voice community art cohort, she believes in the value of connection. Kel is excited to bring her passion for relationships to CIS and to see the powerful impact it can have on students and the Hastings community.
Colby Owens joined the CIS-TC team in August 2019. "My name is Colby Owens and I'm originally from Newfolden, MN. I moved to Moorhead, MN to attend Moorhead State University of Minnesota, where I obtained my Bachelors of Social Work. During my time at MSUM I worked for the YMCA as a lead afterschool counselor, where I was eventually promoted to an afterschool program director. Soon after graduation I worked as a counselor at a juvenile detention center. In July of 2018 my wife and I moved briefly to Charlotte NC, where I was working as a behavioral technician at a youth crisis center. We have recently moved back to Minnesota and are very excited for new beginnings and opportunities."
American Indian Magnet School
My name is Kyna Bate-Bolye, my educational journey throughout my 22 years of teaching has brought me here, to Communities In Schools as the new Site Coordinator at American Indian Magnet School. I have taught in a wide range of educational settings, grade levels and districts. Throughout my years, I have taught K-12th grade in both general education and special education. I have a Master’s Degree from Augsburg University in Educational Leadership and a B.S. in Elementary Education from State Univeristy of New York College in Buffalo, NY. My work in charter schools and nonprofit organizations has given me vast experience in working with youth in a variety of settings. My passion is and always will be education and uplifting and supporting our students in every way possible. I am also excited to support my fellow teachers and staff within our community at American Indian Magnet School.
Creative Arts Secondary School
Linnea has dedicated her professional career to ensuring youth have opportunities to thrive. It is important to her that youth are empowered to create lives inspired by their dreams. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls with a degree in Secondary Education. As a social studies teacher, Linnea felt limitations in her abilities to address the needs of her students. She recognized that many factors impacted student success, so she left the classroom to expand her influence as a program director at a group home for at-risk youth. Joining the team at CIS - Twin Cities is the prefect way for Linnea to combine her love of education with her desire to support the diverse needs of youth; she is beyond excited to begin this new journey. On a personal note, Linnea values time with family/friends, laughter, new experiences, and travel. She is the proud mother of two like-minded history buffs who can regularly be heard singing along to the Hamilton and Greatest Showman soundtracks.
Humboldt High School
Mary Vang is a certified family life educator, with a passion to seek out families or individuals of need and building fruitful relationships. Mary has worked in a variety of social service settings and has partnered with different agencies to achieve self-sufficiency for families. She is honored to embark on this new journey and looks forward to what CIS can do for the Twin Cities.