Meet Our Board of Directors

Don Lorr
Community Member

Donald Lorr lives in the Railroad Island neighborhood since 2000. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Maude. Since 2014 he has help lead the Railroad Island Neighborhood Group (RING) worked to grow the outreach to all members of the neighborhood (residents, businesses, and local organizations) to ensure that all voices are included in our discussion & planning. Railroad Island Neighborhood Group (RING) and HOPE Community Academy have partnered on many occasions. Don hopes to foster additional collaborations.

Donald Lorr works at Thomson Reuters as a Taxonomy Manager classifying news stories for better search & retrieval. Don has worked at there since 1999 in a variety of roles including phone technical support, training, and database management. Don received a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Dominican University in 2007 and Master of Arts in American Literature from the University of North Dakota in 1995.

Don enjoys running and usually can be found rambling around the paths and trails of the East Side, including Swede Hollow, Bruce Vento, and Battle Creek.

Staci Ahrens
Teacher Member

Staci Ahrens is serving her first term as a teacher member of the school Board of Directors. This is her 10th year at HOPE teaching math to middle school and now high school students. She lives in Hastings and has 4 adult children. She has participated in many HOPE committees prior to joining the School Board. Staci prides herself in being a very detail oriented person and a strong advocate for students and staff at HOPE. She is passionate about student success and wants to continue to help students by giving them unconditional support and resources to grow academically.

Hayley Ball
Community Member

Hayley Ball is serving her first term on the school Board. She lives in St. Paul and has experience teaching in charter and public schools with students K-12. Currently, she serves as Executive Director of Urban Roots, overseeing all operations of one of the longest running youth development organizations  Her strengths are in school and nonprofit finance, curriculum development, evaluation metrics, fundraising, grant writing, relationship building and partnership collaboration.  She hopes to provide learning opportunities to HOPE students through collaboration with Urban Roots and other organizations.

Patchia Xiong Vang
Parent Member

Patchia is serving her first term as a parent Board member. She has four children attending HOPE. She lives in St. Paul and works as an HR Generalist at Spring Lake Park School District. She is a strong advocate for quality and equitable education for all children. She has also been a part of the Charter world for many years and is excited to serve on the Board of Directors to support the mission and vision of the school and district.

Brian Shaw
Teacher Member

There are two rules that I govern my life by, “leave it better than when you came” and “you only keep what you have by giving it away.” My adherence to these rules has led me to an occupation and hobbies that serve the communities I’m a part of. I’ve served in a handful of elected roles from college, to local city government, to party-affiliated positions. I want the voices of HOPE staff and the needs of our students to be reflected in the decisions being made by the leadership. There’s a ton of potential for growth in our building – I want us to seize it.

Kimberly Wildebuer
Community Member

Kimberly is parent of two students at Hope Community Academy and lives in the Railroad Island Neighborhood. This is truly a school close to her heart. She currently works as a corporate trainer in the medical insurance industry and sees the value of education that includes a rich influence of ones history and culture. She looks forward to working for a strong school with good core academics and a full offering of extra-curriculars.

Lao Lu Hang
Community Member

Lao Lu Hang is a former Thai/Chinese restaurant owner turned banker turned Senior Loan Officer and Financial Specialist at Propel Nonprofits. Over the past couple decades, he used his financial savvy to help entrepreneurs and nonprofits achieve their goals. Lao Lu is passionate about helping nonprofits improve quality of life, particularly in underserved communities. He’s been with Propel Nonprofits for over ten years and as a “not-so-silent” nonprofit partner, and love providing financial advice and technical assistance in accessible and easy-to-understand terms. Lao Lu served on the Board of Regents for Concordia University St. Paul, Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, City of Lakes Community Land Trust. He currently serve as a Board of Directors for the Hmong Nationalities Organization and is on the Finance Committee for Neighborhood Development Center.