Rachel Larson's 25+ year career in education began as a high school social studies teacher. Her rich depth and breadth of experience also includes roles as a high school dean of students, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, elementary school principal, and district administrator. In her role at CESO, Rachel provides leadership consulting for school communities across administrative support, systems assessments, and development programs.

As an education veteran, she has seen firsthand the importance of CESO’s work and is honored to be part of a team to help districts design programs to retain high quality staff.

This year, she will finish her certification as an iPEC executive coach as well as her doctorate degree with a focus on human-centered leadership. She also enjoys time on the lakes and rivers, is an avid reader, and plays golf and tennis.

Kate Howard believes that Human Resources teams should be approachable, nurturing, and empowering to build authentic, positive relationships with employees. In her role as an Employee Experience Consultant at CESO, she finds energy by building sustainable cultures, processes, and systems for our clients. 

She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in HR Development from the University of Minnesota and her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Hamline University. In addition to teaching high school language arts, she also has over 15 years of experience with human resources and organizational development work in nonprofit, private, and educational settings including building departments from the ground up.

She lives with her husband and their two daughters in the Twin Cities East Metro and can often be found reading, practicing yoga, or hiking.

Michele Carroll brings 23+ years of school district experience across human resources management and school nutrition administration. In addition to her role providing employee experience expertise for CESO clients, she also will continue to serve as Director of Human Resources for a Twin Cities Metro school district.

Michele earned her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and her master’s degree in Human Resources & Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Her previous experiences, passion for K-12 education, ability to build strong relationships across school communities, and strategic perspective beautifully align with CESO’s mission to provide an equitable learning journey for every student.

She is equally busy outside of work as an avid runner, volunteer, and mother to her son and two daughters. Michele provides HR support for Every Meal, a nonprofit organization that fills food gaps for students in between school meal programs. A breast cancer survivor herself, she now also dedicates time to support others who are battling the disease.

With over 25 years of experience working in and with school districts of all sizes, Jolene Kroschel-Salmonson joined CESO ready to make an immediate impact with our clients. Throughout her career, she has often been the go-between for Human Resources and Finance departments. Knowing firsthand how crucially connected these areas are to each other, she guides clients toward holistic operations solutions.

Along with working within Minnesota districts like Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, Hinckley Finlayson and Spring Lake Park, she provided product and program solutions and support through the TIES Consortium and Education Benefits Consultants.

After growing up in northern Minnesota, Jolene now enjoys spending summers in Bayfield, Wisconsin near the Apostle Islands and exploring Florida in the winter. She can often be found group camping with her six children, their spouses and her five grandchildren.

Tom began his career in education over 40 years ago as a teacher on the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, co-negotiated the first West Metro Education Program's Master Agreement for teachers as the HR Director for Edina Public Schools (MN), and most recently was the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan (MN) HR Director. He holds a Bachelor of Industrial Education degree from Bemidji State University and has done graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. Tom also served as President of the Minnesota Association for School Personnel Administrators and as Facilitator of the State Negotiations group for 20 years.

Teresa has provided thoughtful and effective human resources support for 28+ years in both private and public organizations. Her experience includes over 13 years of partnering with educational leadership in several public school districts including Kalamazoo Public Schools (MI), Eden Prairie Schools (MN), Apple Valley-Rosemount-Eagan Schools (MN), and West Saint Paul Schools (MN). She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Iowa State University, a Master's degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Iowa, and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.  She values a collaborative approach with a focus on sustaining high performance levels to positively impact each and every student.

Stephanie has been an advocate for educational equity for over 30 years. She was hired as the first African American school social worker for Robbinsdale Area Schools (MN) and went on to serve as the first Director of Diversity and Inclusion before retiring in 2020 as Executive Director of Human Resources. During her 25-year tenure in the district, she led the development of strategies for inclusion, diversity, and employee engagement to ensure positive learning environments for students and an integrated approach to building a diverse workforce.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Tuskegee University, a Master of Education in School Guidance and Counseling from Chicago State University, and a Master of Social Work degree from Augsburg University.

Sam joined CESO as an intern before graduating in 2023 from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. With a double major in Human Resources and Industrial Relations, she's passionate about strong relationships between employees and their employer. Sam develops plans to promote a greater sense of purpose and belonging for everyone at CESO.

Rachel has been devoted to HR - both in practice and through continuous learning - for the past decade with experience supporting education and healthcare operations. She most recently was a consultant for school districts and hospitals and thrives on providing innovative solutions for her clients. In her role as Employee Experience Consultant at CESO, she loves helping school districts succeed by strengthening their HR processes.

She has robust business education through the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Nonprofit Management, and a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

With more than ten years of experience as a human resources professional, Christa is passionate about putting care for people at the heart of HR functions and  supporting organizational decisions using data analytics to shed light on key questions. Prior to joining CESO, she was the backbone for all human resources in Spring Lake Park Schools (MN). As Vice President of Consulting Practice, she now focuses on developing processes, systems, and analytics to ensure we are delivering the biggest impact and results for our clients.

Becca brings more than a decade of progressive HR experience to CESO. In her years serving within the St. Michael-Albertville School District (MN), she supported leaders in building a culture that empowered people to be their best at work. In her own work, she leads with enthusiasm and takes an intentional, people-first approach.

After graduating from St. Catherine University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Becca went on to earn a Master of Science in Human Resource Management degree and her SHRM-CP certification from Capella University.

An experienced educator and professional learning leader, Laura Eiden began her career as a teacher before falling in love with professional and personal development work as a teacher innovation coach and student teacher supervisor. As the Vice President for CESO Human Resources, Laura now focuses on building authentic relationships with clients through thoughtful questioning and deep listening to help them think differently about systems and practices that impact the experience of each person within their organizations.

As a bilingual principal, Elizabeth has led the successful development of three Twin Cities Metro Spanish immersion schools while working with diverse staff and students in St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, and Spring Lake Park. She has a passion for working with school and district leaders to build collaborative communities that attract and retain the most inspired educators, develop teacher leaders, improve academic achievement for students, and maximize home/school partnerships.

During her 35-year career, Elizabeth has served as a coach for intern teachers and principals including many international candidates. Fueled by her belief that there’s inherent greatness in every person she works with, her coaching combines high expectations, self-care, and humor as key levers of success.

Sara joins CESO with 7+ years of experience as a human resources professional, specializing in employee benefit administration, employee compensation and HRIS analytics. Prior to joining CESO, she worked as a Compensation and Benefits Specialist with Edina Public Schools and as an Assistant Manager of Benefits and HRIS with Lakeville Area Schools. Sara is passionate about helping education institutions by guiding process improvement and increasing efficiency, leading to a greater experience for staff and students they serve.


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