Board of Directors

2017-2018 Board Members

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors

As of December 11, 2017

P.O. Box 2829Warba, MN 55793

(218) 492-4400 Toll Free (877) 246-6548 Fax (218) 492-4402

Next election date: October 2017


Mike Hamernick, NLCS Director

Becky McCauley, Business Manager

Lee Matson, Financial Consultant

Member Name Board


Date Seated

Term Expiration

Vicki Martin Member / Community Member Seated 10/24/2017

Expires Oct 2020

Matt Alleva Board Chair/Staff Seated 6/13/2013

Expires Oct 2020

Art Norton Director/Community


Seated 6/13/2013

Expires Oct 2020

Shannon Zozgornick Director/Parent Seated 09/20/2016

Expires Oct 2018

Karen Fleming Secretary/Staff Seated 09/2006

Expires Oct 2019

Josie Pitts Treasurer/Staff Seated 10/23/2012

Expires Oct 2018

Don Vidal Director/Staff Seated 08/22/2012

Expires Oct 2019

No board member is related to another board member


Board Schedule 2017-2018 School Year

Tuesday, August 22nd @ 3:30

Tuesday, September 19th @ 3:30

Tuesday, October 24th @ 3:30*

Tuesday, November 14th @ 3:30

Tuesday, December 12th @ 3:30

Tuesday, January 16th @ 3:30

Tuesday, February 20th @ 3:30

Tuesday, March 20th @ 3:30

Tuesday, April 17th @ 3:30

Tuesday, May 15th @ 3:30

Tuesday, June 12th @ 1:00

*annual meeting/board elections

Matt Alleva

Matt_2013_ybBoard Chair/Teacher/Adviser
612 718-1939

Matt grew up in the St. Paul suburb of Roseville, Minnesota. While in High School Matt developed a strong interest in the sciences. After High School Matt attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth and earned a B.S. degree in Hydrogeology. After working as a scientist for 15 years, performing groundwater and soil sampling, eventually managing a multi-million dollar contaminated superfund site, he decided it was time to follow his dream to teach, making science accessible to all students. Matt earned a Masters of Education degree, in science instruction, from the University of Minnesota graduating magna cum laude. Course work included; child psychology, child development, educational psychology, teaching special education, teaching English language learners, learning and cognitive assessments, school in society, developmental differences, gender differences is learning, technology for teaching, teaching culturally diverse students, ecology for educators, cooperative learning strategies and many more. Matt has developed curriculum for and taught environmental science, earth science, astronomy, oceans, geology, geophysics and many more. Making a positive impact on the lives of children and teaching has always been a passion of his. After teaching Earth and Space Science in the Farmington district for two years, Matt jumped at the chance to move to the North Woods and work at Northern Lights Community School where he felt he could maximize the student centered approach for student success. Matt’s son Cody is a sophomore studying finance, at St. Cloud State University. Some of the interesting extra-curricular activities Matt enjoys or has enjoyed are skydiving, running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, performing at First Avenue playing drums with his rock band, moonlight back-country snowboarding in Colorado, and “reportedly” danced one time with Fox news anchor Robyn Robinson. Matt is looking forward to hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping in beautiful Northern Minnesota. Matt delights in helping students become successful and catching big fish (see picture).

Seated 6/13/2013

Expires Oct 2020

Karen Flemming

Secretary/Teacher/Advisor, Karen_2013_yb
218 999-5578

Karen grew up in Alaska and moved to Minnesota with her husband Neil, and two sons, Jason and Travis in 1991. She began working in education as a paraprofessional at an alternative program (MALC) in Grand Rapids. In 2000 Karen earned her Associates Degree at Itasca Community College, and Bachelor of Science Degree in 2002 from Bemidji State University. Karen is one of the co-founders of Northern Lights Community School. The concept for the school began in 2001 while she was working at the Middle Area Learning Center in Grand Rapids. Before NLCS, she taught middle school Language Arts at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school on the Leech Lake Reservation.

One of Karen’s favorite parts of her job is leading groups of high school students through Europe as they experience real world learning. The freedom to be creative and the ability to know each student well, are two of her most important advantages to working at NLCS. She also enjoys camping, geocaching, and writing.

Seated 09/2006

Expires Oct 2019

Vicki Martin

Community Member

Photo & info coming soon

Seated 10/24/2017

Expires Oct 2020

Shannon Zozgornick


Photo & info coming soon

Seated 09/20/2016

Expires Oct 2018

Josie Pitts

Treasurer/Special Ed. TeacherJosie_2013_yb
612 599-8587

Before joining NLCS I worked for many years as a wilderness educator in California, Minnesota, Maine, and Wisconsin. I enjoy spending my time outdoors climbing, hiking, cross country skiing, and canoeing. I received my Bachelors degree at St Cloud State University in Community Psychology, my Masters Degree in Experiential Education at Mankato State University and my Special Education license at Bethel University. I have previously taught for 4 years at a project based charter school in the Twin Cities, and this is my second year at NLCS as a Special Education teacher. I enjoy working at NLCS because of the flexibility our program gives for both students and teachers, and the small community we have that helps foster strong relationships with students and parents. I live in on the St Louis River in Floodwood with my 2 dogs, 15 chickens, 5 guinea hens, and my partner Mike.

Seated 10/23/2012

Expires Oct 2018

Don Vidal

Don_2013_ybDirector/Teacher/Band Director
218 327-0148

Growing up on the east side of St. Paul, Don’s first musical encounters were at the young age of 7 when he began taking organ lessons from longtime Twin Cities Polka aficionado and musician, Ed Lewendowski. At age 8 he began singing in his church choir under the direction of Robert Kaiser, giving him the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and sing on the Musical Heritage Society’s album, Benjamin Britten’s, “Mass of Saint Nicolas.”

After grade school Don continued to perform music playing saxophone in the high school band. He then joined the U.S. Army. Upon arrival in Anchorage, AK, Don was accepted into the 176th Light Infantry Brigade Band where he played lead alto saxophone. The band performed music at civilian and military functions throughout the state. He was awarded the Alaska Gold Pan Award, for loyalty, devotion and contributions to the Band.

When he was  discharge from the Army, Don joined the Minnesota National Guard spending time serving with the 136th Mechanized Infantry out of Bemidji and the 47th infantry Brigade Band (The Governors’ Own) in St. Paul, MN. The highlight being a trip to Vaxho, Sweden, where the band,  the first uniformed American Military Personnel in Sweden since WWII marched in the Vaxho Military Tattoo, performed for Minnesota Days and attended the first European exhibition pro football game in history between the Vikings and the Bears.

Don attended Bemidji State University where he studied saxophone under Dr. Steve Konecne. While attending BSU he was a three  time recipient of the Joe Plumer memorial Jazz Scholarship. Graduating cum laude in 1991 with a degree in Music Education.

He has had the opportunity to perform with talented artists and bands such as Captain Jack McDuff, Willie Murphy, Jim Miller, Spider John Koerner, Bill and Judy Hinckley, Richard Street of the Temptations, Frank Mantooth, Wayne Newton, Big John Dickerson and Downright Tight, Prudence Johnson, Renee’ Austin, Frankie Avalon, Booka Michel, Carl Michel, R.C. Banks, Bobby Rydell, Dick King Classic Swing Band, Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Blew Monday, 5 on the 4, Conga Se Menne, Mr. Pumpkinhead, Ruby Sky, Sam Miltich and the Clearwater Hot Club, The Incredible Ides, The Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks, Big Walter Smith and the Groove Merchants, Annie Humphrey, Ginger Commodore, Gary Hines, Greg Kaczor, Jimmy Thackery and of course NLCS staff Matt Alleva and Annie Humphrey.

 In this spare time Don volunteers for the M.S. Society and as an on air host for KAXE 91.7 FM, a community radio station where he has programmed many shows and interviewed over 28 jazz and blues artists. For this he received the Bill McKeever Award for creativity and excellence in on air artistry. Don also keeps busy recording in his studio, Mr. Pumpkinhead Productions. With regards to “Some Of These Days,” an album Don recorded and played on with Sam Miltich and the Clearwater Hot Club, the January 2008 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine states, “Sammo joins forces with Don Vidal, an experienced reedman who’s been around the block a few times. Together they’ve crafted a stellar collection of classics reborn with stylish playing and eloquent solos. Vidal moves between soprano, alto, tenor saxophone and bass clarinet on his arrangement of Duke Ellington’s ‘The Mooch.'”

Don has been teaching music at Northern Lights Community School for the last seven years and has been quoted as saying ” I enjoy performing music with my students as much, if not more than some of best in the music business and sometimes I learn more from my students”. In his spare time he enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Seated 08/22/2012

Expires Oct 2019

Art Norton

Director/Community Member

218 259-3414

From 2005-2012, Art was the Itasca Field representative for The Nature Conservancy, working for the Minnesota Forest Legacy partnership.  Before that, he worked for 15 years as the Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District manager and Itasca County water plan coordinator.

Art received a master’s degree in glacial landscape geology from the University of Minnesota,

Duluth in 1983.  He enjoyed working as a geologist in northern Minnesota during the 1980s.

He and his wife have lived off the grid with solar electric power since 1982 on a small farm close to Warba.  Now that they are retired, they have turned their attention from raising sheep and children, to managing their 60 acre woodlot.  Art enjoys working with people of all ages to explore ways to increase our connections to the natural world and to increase stewardship of the land.

Seated 6/13/2020

Expires Oct 2017

 Board Committees

Finance Committee

Lee Matson
Becky McCauley
Mike Hamernick
Josie Pitts

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