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

Assistant Superintendent
(p): 651-415-5651
(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): 651-415-5658
(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.

Patrick Jacobson-Schulte


Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, MBA

Executive Director of Finance and Operations
(p): 651-415-5650
(e): pjacobso@916schools.org
(w): department webpage

Patrick Jacobson-Schulte has nearly two decades of experience in the area of finance and operations, and has dedicated his entire career to public service. He most recently served as the vice president and chief financial officer overseeing both the Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College. Previously, he was a finance and operations leader in several higher education institutions in Minnesota and New York state, as well as a private secondary school in the St. Cloud area. He has been a school board member, adjunct professor, education assistant and classroom volunteer. He holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in economics, both from St. Cloud State University. 

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, J.D.

Executive Director of Human Resources and Legal Services
(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.

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

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

Scott came to our district in 2020 with more than 20 years of experience serving as a resourceful leader working to advance equitable access to education, achievement and opportunity.  

He is the former principal of two racially- and economically-diverse magnet schools in the Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley school district. Both schools received national recognition as magnet schools of excellence. Prior to that, Scott served as the executive director for Magnet Schools of America, based in Washington D.C. During this time, Scott worked to develop national standards for magnet schools that define essential characteristics that include leveraging student diversity in meaningful ways, equity, family and community engagement, academic excellence, and theme fidelity. Scott has served as a consultant with school districts on projects related to magnet school design, student selection, evaluation and improvement, and systemic school equity. He also served as a member of several non-profit boards, including the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board, and is Anti-bias Framework Certified Trainer. He is the father of three children and lives with his husband in Eagan. 

Wilkins photo

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), the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA), and the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC) 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.