On-boarding New Board Members! Part 1

Our mighty team is growing! This spring, MOI’s crew welcomed six new board members aboard, each with the skills necessary to help our crew navigate the seas of literacy, all dedicated to our mission to provide students with the tools to think creatively, write effectively, and succeed academically.

Get to know three of our new board members by reading their answers to the following interview questions below. Follow MOI on Facebook @mspmoi or Twitter @moi_msp to know when part 2 of this blog is available!

  1. What is your favorite sea creature?

  2. What is your favorite book, and what about that book captivates you?

  3. Why did you decide to join MOI's board? 

  4. Why is empowering students to think creatively, write effectively, and succeed academically important to you?

Al is a principal consultant at Aurora Consulting in Minneapolis, specializing in evaluation and data-based planning.

Al is a principal consultant at Aurora Consulting in Minneapolis, specializing in evaluation and data-based planning.

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Al Onkka

1. Sea Turtle

2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

I’ve read it three times—in my teens, my twenties, and thirties—and will read it again in another phase of my life. I love trying to figure out the philosophies in this book—especially the ways that the lightness and heaviness of our lives contribute to who we are. 

3. I knew about MOI before joining the board but had never interacted with the organization. I wanted to join the board because of the mission of the organization, and I hope to have an impact on MOI as it grows. Before I joined, I saw a class come to MOI for a field trip and was delighted to see the way that MOI tapped into the students’ enthusiasm for creativity. 

4. I think when youth are encouraged to write something that they care about, everyone benefits. Through the process or product of writing, youth build a little piece of their identity. Holding someone’s creative work in their hands, readers make a connection they might not have otherwise.

Jeff Shi, Education Program Specialist in the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota.

Jeff Shi, Education Program Specialist in the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota.

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Jeff Shi

1. Giant Pacific octopus

2. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel 

While the post-apocalyptic setting might initially seem boilerplate, I find its singular focus on the preservation of and appreciation for human culture to be really beautiful and memorable.

3. I joined the MOI board to deepen my involvement in our organization and to help expand our network and roots in the Twin Cities community. I've been a longtime supporter of and member of the greater 826 National network, and it's an amazing opportunity to be here and help us grow and flourish as we transition to being an official chapter.

4. Students are facing a more uncertain and challenging world than ever, with enormous pressures both local and global, great and small. Empowering them to think creatively, to write and communicate effectively, and to be able to succeed academically is the best way for us to help students prepare to face and surmount the many issues they will face in a changing world and environment. In my own career, I am dedicated to making all facets of education more inclusive and accessible to all, so that we can develop critical and creative solutions to these challenges.

Max is the Upper School principal at the Saint Paul Academy and Summit School.

Max is the Upper School principal at the Saint Paul Academy and Summit School.

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Max Delgado

1. Peppermint shrimp

2. The Sandman, Niel Gaiman (a graphic novel series)

It’s old-school, certainly, and began its run at the tail end of the 80s, which means I discovered it just as it was hitting its stride and just as I was navigating high school. Gaiman is a master storyteller, and his idea was to take an old comic book character and reinvent him in a new way, mixing magic with fantasy. I loved — and still love — this idea of reimagining the old for new meaning.

3. I’m a strong believer that strong writing leads to strong thinking, and that the greatest gift anyone can give to a young person is the ability to express themselves with written language. I love, too, MOI’s dual commitment to the student and the volunteer—each had much to learn and offer.

4. I believe these are the keys to success, self-discovery, and making a positive change in the world.