Connie Hayes


Connie Hayes

Superintendent
(p): 651-415-5656
(e): chayes@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Connie Hayes has nearly four decades of experience in public education in Minnesota. She has been a superintendent since 1997, and has led Northeast Metro 916 since 2006. Connie served in the same role at the LaCrescent-Hokah, McGregor, and Lynd school districts. She also provided leadership in curriculum, special education and school psychology. For a brief period, she also worked in the private sector for Springsted Incorporated. Connie holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and health education, as well as a master's degree in school psychology from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She earned a 6th Year Certificate in educational leadership from Minnesota State University Mankato.

Dan Naidicz


Daniel Naidicz

Executive Director of Programs
(p): 651-415-5658
(e): dnaidicz@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Dan Naidicz’s experience working in the field of special education includes many years as a school psychologist, special education coordinator and director of special education. Dan worked very closely with Northeast Metro 916 special education programs while working for 20 years in Stillwater Area Public Schools. In 2010, Dan joined Northeast Metro 916 as the director of special education and in 2018 he became executive director. Dan is a Fulbright Scholar and has provided leadership training to school administrators in Argentina and Brazil. He was appointed to the Board of School Administrators by Governor Mark Dayton, representing directors of special education. Dan has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and recreation therapy and a master's in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. In 2003, Dan obtained his director of special education license from the University of St. Thomas.

Val Rae Boe


Val Rae Boe, Ed.D.

Director of Special Education
(p): 651-415-6203
(e): vboe@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Val Rae Boe has served the students and staff at Northeast Metro 916 since 2006. In her tenure, she has been a teacher, assistant manager, manager, leader of secondary and transition programs, and assistant director of special education. Val Rae is a respected researcher and conference presenter, having focused on topics including animal-assisted therapy, staff resilience and retention, and nature-based education programming. She was named a WCCO Excellent Educator in 2014. Val is a licensed superintendent, director of special education, and principal; a licensed teacher of students with emotional/behavior disorders (EBD) and specific learning disabilities (SLD); and holds a doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education.

Jean Jordan


Jean Jordan, Ed.D.

Director of Educational Services
(p): 651-415-5609
(e): jjordan@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Jean started her career in early childhood education and then moved to the role of a middle school art teacher. In 2001, Jean became an elementary principal in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and after nine years of leading Lakeview Elementary, she was asked to create a new middle school program for the district. In 2012, she was nominated by her staff for the Southeast Minnesota Principal of the Year award, which she received in 2013. After 17 years of leadership in Albert Lea, Jean found herself looking for a new challenge. In the summer of 2013, Jean accepted the position of director of educational services for Northeast Metro 916. She enjoys the challenge of working with principal/managers from all the programs and guiding the teaching and learning department. Jean received her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, her master’s degree from the University of Iowa and her doctorate from Hamline University. In 2007 she was a Fulbright Recipient traveling to Turku, Finland.

Elam Noor


Elam Noor

Director of Technology
(p): 651-415-5504
(e): enoor@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Although Elam Noor was born in Hilton, South Africa, he has made the east metro of the Twin Cities his home since 1996. After graduating with degrees in enterprise computer technology and technology operations management at Minnesota State Universities (MnSCU), Elam assumed technology roles at several private sector fields from banking to real estate until he discovered a passion for education technology. He has served as part of the technology teams at MnSCU, Stillwater Public Schools and Hill-Murray School. In 2016, Elam joined Northeast Metro 916 as the technology director and a member of the leadership team. In addition to his work at the district, Elam is the president of the non-profit NGO Bantfwana Phambili, which provides secondary education and support for underprivileged students in South Africa. A self described geek, Elam enjoys working with his fellow geeks in the technology department, and spreading a passion for improving education with technology districtwide.

Ilissa Ramm


Ilissa Ramm

Director of Human Resources and District Legal Counsel
(p): 651-415-5652
(e): iramm@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Ilissa Ramm has extensive experience serving as a strategic advisor, human resources generalist and legal counselor for local governments across the state. She was most recently associate general counsel for the National Joint Powers Alliance near Brainerd, Minnesota. Her other experiences include being a labor and employment attorney for Crow Wing County, an assistant county attorney for Crow Wing County, an assistant city attorney in Windom, and a law clerk for the Minnesota Department of Information-Information Policy Analysis Division. Through these experiences, Ilissa has gained significant experience in staff recruiting, wellness programs, benefits administration, performance management, employment law, labor relations and more. Ilissa enjoys working for a mission-driven organization like ours, where she can combine her legal expertise with her passion for collaboration, innovation and creative problem solving, with the aim of making a real difference in the lives of our staff and students.

Syreeta Wilkins

Syreeta Wilkins

Director of Communications
(p): 651-416-5607
(e): swilkins@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Syreeta Wilkins began working in school communications in 2010. She worked for Minneapolis Public Schools, Saint Paul Public Schools and a charter school network before joining the team at Northeast Metro 916. Syreeta specializes in internal communications, digital strategy and multilingual outreach. Her work has been recognized by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA) for excellence. Before her career in communications, Syreeta worked extensively with immigrant populations in the U.S. and abroad. Syreeta holds a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College.