The school leadership team ensures that our scholars have the environment, resources, enrichment opportunities, and curriculum to succeed in their education, by providing them with a dynamic and nurturing school community.
Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield
- Rochelle Van Dijk
Rochelle Van Dijk is a proud African-American and Cherokee educator and mother of three. Rochelle graduated from Harvard University in 2005 with a degree in psychology and earned her Master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado. She joined the ’05 Teach For America corps and taught science in the Rio Grande Valley. In 2011 she founded the top performing high school in Denver: Denver School of Science and Technology in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood. Each of the students in her founding class was accepted to a 4-year college, 80% of which were first generation college-students and over 75% qualified for free-and-reduced lunch. Rochelle went on to become Chief of Schools for Denver Schools of Science and Technology and oversee 4500 students across 12 schools. Rochelle now serves students and families in South Minneapolis as the Chief Academic Officer at Hiawatha Academies.
- Laura Schilling
Laura Schilling is Assistant Principal at Hiawatha College Prep. Previously, Laura taught at Hiawatha Academies as a third, fourth, and sixth grade teacher. Born just outside of Detroit, she attended the University of Michigan and met her now husband, Derek, there while studying Mechanical Engineering. Knowing that engineering wasn’t a lifetime career for her, she joined Teach For America in 2007 with the New York City corps. Teaching eighth grade math confirmed a love of teaching – living in apartments with only two windows and no trees in sight confirmed a need for Midwest living. Moving to Minneapolis has allowed her and her husband to expand their love of food and outdoor adventure while working at a school that drives Laura to improve and learn each day. Laura is an aspiring foodie and will happily eat and discuss food whenever you’d like.
- Cristin Craig
Dean, Culture and Discipline | Lower School
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and moved to the Twin Cities to attend college. After graduating with a B.A. in Youth Development Studies, I began working as a special education paraprofessional. I fell in love with education and quickly got my teaching license and M.A. in Education. I taught middle school and high school students with social/emotional/behavioral needs for eight years. I love being the dean of students at Hiawatha College Prep because it gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of students and help them to be successful in school.
- Brandon Royce-Diop
Dean, Culture and Discipline | Upper School
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University in 2007, and am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Education at the University of St. Thomas. My professional experience is heavily rooted in working with K-12 schools and non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities. My work is communal and collaborative in nature, and is centered around building systemic structures of racial equity in schools. I have served as a Discipline Specialist and Equity Coordinator with Minneapolis Public Schools, and as the Dean of Students at Fair School Crystal, where I developed a discipline model rooted in Restorative Practices. Last year I worked in higher education as a Dean of Students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. In addition I am the founder and co-founder of the Minnesota Solutions Not Suspensions campaign, and the New Lens Urban Mentoring Society, respectively. Over the course of my career I have gained invaluable experience as a policy advocate, community organizer, organization founder, program coordinator, administrator, student and father. My diverse experience in education systems has provided me with the tools to advance the will, skill, knowledge, capacity of the Hiawatha Academies network towards a realization of our equity vision.
- Sabrina Edwards
Director of Operations
Sabrina is the Director of Operations at HCP . In her free time she loves to read, travel and help the community