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Our Team

We have a dedicated group of staff and board members who make our work possible. Staff positions and short bios are below. You can access a list of our Board of Directors and their affiliations here.



Chair, Beth Moncrief, Community Member

Secretary, Britt Robb, Safe Haven Shelter & Resource Center

Treasurer, Karl Schuettler, Northspan Group, Inc.



Kathy Bergen, retired – City of Duluth Parks and Recreation

Anthony Bonds, Duluth Public Schools

Jamie Delacruz, Duluth Public Schools

Jen Jaros, Duluth Public Schools

Ted Hoffman, Community Action Duluth


Ex-officio Members:

Kelsey Gantzer, Duluth Community School Collaborative


Kellsey Firehammer

Myers-Wilkins Youth Development Coordinator (she/her)

Kellsey comes to the team with over ten years of experience supporting young people. She moved to Duluth in 2016 and has enjoyed working with youth in a variety of organizations including Neighborhood Youth Services, Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center, and the Duluth Area Family YMCA. Kellsey has a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is interested in exploring unique ways to connect people not only to resources and supports across systems but also to each other. In her free time Kellsey enjoys supporting food justice through the Duluth Community Garden Program and exploring Duluth's many outdoor spaces with her husband and dogs. She is excited to foster youth curiosity and connection at Myers-Wilkins Elementary!



Kelsey Gantzer

Executive Director (she/her)

Kelsey brings experience in nonprofit management, educational leadership, and youth development to her work with the Duluth Community School Collaborative. Prior to joining the Collaborative, she served as Food Access Manager and Rutabaga Project Manager at the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency and the Operations and Communications Manager for the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association. She has a passion for building sustainable community connections and holistically supporting youth. She holds a BA in Business Management and English from the University of St. Thomas. 

Contact: or 218-212-5952


Angel Nustad-Peluso

Program Director (she/her)

Angel has been a youth work professional since 2004, directing programs in mental health, school-based, and community-based settings. Before taking her current role in 2020, Angel joined DCSC as the Community School Coordinator for Denfeld High School in 2018. She has a BA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in Women's Studies from the College of St. Catherine. She has earned several youth work action research fellowships, authored an article for the Journal of Youth Development, and contributed to the Hubert Project E-Study, A Youth Work Lens on Human Development. She also serves on the board of directors and the continuous program improvement systems building workgroup of the MN statewide afterschool network, Ignite Afterschool.



Anne Parish

Denfeld Out-of-School Time Coordinator (she/they)

Anne has been a youth work professional since 2003, coordinating programs that build opportunities for stronger youth-adult partnerships, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL),  Service-Learning, and youth leadership in both school-based and community-based settings. Before taking her current role at DCSC in 2023, Anne served in several youth-serving Minnesota nonprofits in Carlton County and the Twin Cities, as well as international NGOs. They have Master’s Degrees in Education and Youth Development Leadership from St. Catherine University and The University of Minnesota respectively. Anne authored a chapter in the book Service-Learning by Design for the National Youth Leadership Council. In 2020, they received a Fellowship from the National Mentoring Summit. Anne currently serves on the board of directors for The Minnesota Alliance with Youth


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Lisa Parks

Volunteer Coordinator (she/her)

Lisa is a new member of the Duluth community, as well as the Duluth Community School Collaborative. She comes from the sunny land of New Mexico where she has lived for the past 23 years. Lisa holds a BA in Community Health from New Mexico State University.  Lisa has many years of experience working with kids in various settings. She has been a Volunteer Coordinator with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) supporting children in the foster care system. She has also worked as a Home Visitor in the First Born Program, supporting families prenatally until the child is three years old. Lisa is passionate about creating a more just and equitable community for kids to thrive! 



Saraiya Piantek

Denfeld Site Coordinator (she/her)

Saraiya began her position as Denfeld Community School Site Coordinator in 2020. She has been working with children in nonprofit settings, including the YWCA Duluth, Boys & Girls Club, and Northwood Children's Services since 2013. She attended the Education Studies Program at the University of Minnesota, focusing on Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Saraiya specializes in mental health, trauma, and emotional and behavioral needs. She currently serves as co-chair for the MLK Planning Committee of the Duluth NAACP. She enjoys going on hikes and spending time outside during her free time. Saraiya cares deeply about building a safe place for all students to meet their needs and reach their full potential.



Caitlin Smith

Myers-Wilkins Site Coordinator (she/her)

Caitlin Smith started with the Collaborative in September, 2021. She brings her experience working with youth who have been impacted by homelessness living in permanent supportive housing. She attended UMD’s Unified Early Childhood program and has a passion for understanding brain development and the impacts of trauma on the brain. She is an experienced Circle of Security Parenting facilitator and has recently been trained in Restorative Practices. Caitlin also serves on the board of The Duluth Center for Women and Children. She loves to spend her free time with her loved-ones. Any activity by a body of water is her favorite, including paddleboarding, rowing, swimming, fishing, rock-picking, and pontooning.



Rachel Thapa

Lincoln Park Site Coordinator (she/her)

Rachel works alongside a collaborative leadership team composed of families, school staff, and community partners to create, strengthen, and maintain the bridge between school and community. She has been in her current role since 2016 and has been involved with the Collaborative since 2003, including several years on staff at the Myers-Wilkins site. Rachel has a B.A. in Behavioral Arts and Sciences with emphases in Psychology and Education, and more than fifteen years of experience in youth development and full-service community schools. She is inspired by the strength and resilience of people around her and a vision of a more hopeful future. Rachel is committed to co-creating the conditions of well-being necessary for all people to learn and thrive through authentic connection and collaboration.


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