Our TeamDedicated to organizational and professional growth.
Dr. Charles Kyte | Principal Partner
Dr. Charles Kyte is currently an education consultant providing workshops for administrators, conducting searches for superintendents and advising companies that interact with educators. An accomplished presenter, Dr. Kyte has spoken before numerous education groups, church and retreat groups, college classes, and service clubs. As Executive Director of MASA, he was frequently quoted in the media and has been considered to be a leading spokesperson on behalf of public education.
Dr. Kyte also served as a teacher, principal and school superintendent.Under Charlie’s leadership, the Northfield Schools were recognized in Money Magazine’s list of the top 100 schools in the USA (1997). Dr. Kyte was also Superintendent of the Eden Valley-Watkins Schools, a high school principal and taught physics, chemistry, and math. Charlie received his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota. He also holds degrees from Mankato State University, St. Cloud State University, and the University of Minnesota at Duluth. He was a recipient of a Bush Executive Fellowship, participating in the Bush School Executive Fellowship Program. Currently, Dr. Kyte serves as an educational consultant, advising school districts and the businesses that serve schools. He is a Board member and investor with several companies and conducts executive searches or school districts. He is a partner in PEER Solution, an organization that provides leadership support for school districts, nonprofit, governmental, and private organizations to build positive futures and foster individual and organizational growth. Charlie contributed to the development of both PrinEval and ProGrow.
Dr. Greg Vandal | Principal Partner
Dr. Greg Vandal has spent nearly four decades serving students and schools. Greg is currently an education consultant specializing in long range and project planning for school districts and human services organizations. Greg led the Minnesota Task Force commissioned by the professional administrator organizations in 2011 that created “The Evaluation of Minnesota School Principals.” He also served as a member of the Minnesota Department of Education Working Group that produced “Measuring Principal Performance in Minnesota.” Greg has helped school districts develop and implement research-based, evidence-driven systems of performance evaluation. He is a frequent speaker and conference presenter on evaluation systems and other education-related topics.
Dr. Vandal has served as teacher, principal, and superintendent for small and mid-sized school districts. He has been an adjunct faculty member in the Education Administration program for St. Cloud State University since mid-1980 where his course offerings have included personnel and program evaluation. Greg is a past Superintendent of the Year for Minnesota and, in 2009, was named the Polaris Leadership Award winner for his career-long contributions to public education. Dr. Vandal earned bachelors degrees from North Dakota State as well as a masters and a specialists degree from SCSU. His Ph.D. was earned through the University of Minnesota. Along with his ongoing adjunct faculty work and his involvement in Vox Liberi – Greg’s education consulting business, Dr. Vandal is a partner in PEER Solutions, an organization that provides leadership support for school districts, nonprofit, governmental, and private organizations to build positive futures and foster individual and organizational growth. Greg was instrumental in the development of PrinEval and ProGrow, two PEER Solutions products targeted at the professional growth of key school leaders. Contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-247-3739
Dr. Tom Westerhaus, Senior Associate
Dr. Tom Westerhaus comes to PEER Solutions as a committed school administrator and mentor of future administrators, shaped by an educational career path spanning over 45 years. Currently co-director and professor for the Principal Licensure Program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Tom has taught hundreds of Minnesota and Wisconsin educators and district administrators at UWRF, St. Cloud State University, and the College of St. Benedict. Tom has served as superintendent of schools in two Wisconsin school districts (Arcadia and River Falls) and two Minnesota districts (Prior Lake-Savage and ROCORI), for a total of 24 years. In addition, Tom was principal and curriculum director for nine years in both public and private schools. As president of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, Tom was able to provide passionate administrative vision and leadership throughout the state.
Tom earned his undergraduate degree at St. John’s University in Collegeville, his Master’s in Supervision and Instructional Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a 6th year Degree in Educational Administration at St. Cloud State University, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas. Tom’s doctoral dissertation was an in-depth case study of the twenty-first century superintendency, exploring superintendent character and leadership styles, community and School Board forces positively affecting successful superintendents, and the multi-faceted role of the school district superintendent.Tom is a Senior Associate of PEER Solutions with extensive training and expertise in community involvement and leadership, administrative hiring, strategic planning, communications, professional development, administrative and School Board relations, team development, consensus-building, and peer mentoring. Tom was instrumental in the development of ProGrow, the PEER Solutions product targeted at professional growth for key organizational leaders.
Bruce Watkins, Associate
Bruce Watkins has over 35 years of experience in public administration. Bruce is currently a management consultant for schools, cities, counties and watershed districts. As the former Superintendent of the St. Cloud Area Schools, Bruce is familiar with the organizational psychology and community dynamics of both large and small districts. Bruce is a frequent presenter and guest speaker at the local universities, speaking in a wide variety of classes, but always with a focus on how to maximize human potential and how to enhance any organization’s effectiveness. Having supervised thousands of teachers, nearly a hundred principals, and working with dozens of board members and elected officials during his career, Bruce’s understanding of the challenges and dilemmas that today’s public officials face can provide tremendous insight for individuals in administrative positions, governing boards and commissions.
After serving as Proctor High School Principal for 21 years, Bruce became Assistant Superintendent/Director of School Operations for the Duluth Schools in 1999. In 2004, he was appointed Superintendent of the St. Cloud Area Schools, a position he retired from in July of 2008 and returned to in 2010 at Board request. In 2013, Bruce was privileged to receive the Minnesota Association of School Administrators “Administrator of Excellence” Award for Region 6. Bruce did his undergraduate work at St. Cloud State University and earned his graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.The thrust of Bruce’s consulting work has been to assist school districts and local government units in finding successful administrative leaders, identifying collaborative organizational goals and community goals, and assisting boards, administrators and staff to effectively focus on their core missions. Management coaching, organization success plans, and non-adversarial communication are the underlying principles of his work. His direction helps entities maintain a focus on the need for strong leadership and organizational mission and efficiency.
Mike Spanier, Associate
Mike Spanier has served as an educational leader for over 40 years. A majority of his career was in Central Minnesota as Principal, Director of Learning Services and Superintendent in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. He has led during times of significant growth, which included a variety of building and facilities projects. Mike has been a consultant for districts of various sizes with expertise in organizational programming and culture, conflict resolution and mediation, administrative coaching and professional development. Mike is noted for identifying and hiring high-quality individuals at all levels. He has also supported and mentored several principals and superintendents through coaching, mentorship and professional development.
Mike is currently serving in a variety of leadership capacities to support education. Mike consults with districts on facilities projects and supporting program restructuring and development. He is an active member of the Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation; Partner for Student Success, a group that unites businesses, community organizations and public schools to support student success; and on the steering committee for the Sartell-St. Stephen Community Schools Planning Initiative. Mike also works with a local building construction company specializing in school facilities and design.Mike earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at St. Cloud State University. He also participated in the Bush Principals Leadership Program through the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Mike was recognized four times as Principal of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals and awarded the SCSU College Leadership Award for the College of Education in 2009.Mike is well-respected in the field of public education. He also is on the field, the football field that is, as he has served as a National Football League (NFL) official since 1999.
Dave Marlette, Associate
Dave Marlette has spent 45 years as an educator, serving as a teacher, curriculum director, coach and school superintendent. His career spans both South Dakota and Minnesota as he moved from small to mid sized school districts. Along the way he was elected to two terms on the South Dakota State School Board and served on many state level boards and committees. He is known as a collaborator that brings boards, staffs and communities together.
After retirement as the superintendent of the Watertown Mayer School District, he has engaged in a search practice and is also an executive for a company within the insurance industry. As an active superintendent he was recognized as a regional administrator of excellence by MASA, and served as a director of the MN State High School League.In addition to Watertown Mayer, Dave served as school superintendent in Tracy, MN, and the Deuel and Parker School Districts in South Dakota. He has also had experience in the private sector serving as sales manager for the state of South Dakota for Evans Financial Corporation.Dave received his Specialist degree in school administration and a Masters degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. He completed his Bachelors of Science Major degree at the Northern State College, Aberdeen in mathematics and received a BS Minor degree from the South Dakota State University, Brookings in Chemistry and Physics.Dave is an active member of service organizations including Kiwanis and Lions clubs, has served a church financial director and is a member of the American Legion. He is married to Corrine, a now retired elementary teacher, for over 44 years, has 4 grown successful children and 6 grandchildren of which he is especially proud!
Eric Bartleson, Associate
Eric Bartleson has been involved in education since 1967, beginning as a math and English teacher in northeast Minneapolis. Since then he has held positions as teacher, principal, education services cooperative director, and superintendent of schools in small and large school districts.
He retired from full time work in 2004 and since then Eric has held positions as the Executive Director of a math and science partnership, interim superintendent in two schools, part-time faculty for an online university, and most recently adjunct faculty at a private university.
Eric Bartleson has collegiate degrees from Waldorf College, Iowa, three degrees from Minnesota State University and he earned a PhD from the University of Minnesota in Educational Administration. He was also selected as a participant in the Bush Educational Fellowship Program.
He is known by his colleagues as a thoughtful and innovative education leader.
Dr. Bartleson has a proven track record as a leader in Minnesota education including:
- Over thirty years of significant contributions as a high school principal and superintendent in Minnesota schools.
- A proven ability to lead experienced teaching/administrative staffs with vision, flexibility, and sensitivity.
- Expertise in fiscal management, collective bargaining, strategic planning, staff development and evaluation, program development and grant writing.
- A commitment to building positive and dynamic relationships with community and governmental organizations.
Dr. Bartleson was elected to and served for six years on the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators and he has been active in the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and serves as a trustee on the MASA Foundation Board.
Pam Raden, Johnson Group Marketing
As an active owner for over 20 years, Pam leads client strategy and public relation efforts. She is an elected official on the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board, working closely with the technology and curriculum committees. Pam successfully led a volunteer group of engaged citizens in passing a levy and bond referendum for Independent School District 748 and she has served client school districts with their own levy information efforts. Pam has been involved with successfully marketing many political campaigns. Pam brings with her an unmatched knowledge of building brands, developing strategy, creating successful campaigns, and writing marketing plans that generate desired results. Pam is an active volunteer and executive board member in such organizations as the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sartell-St.Stephen Education Foundation, and the CentraCare Foundation Board.
Brian Johnson Design
At Brian Johnson Design, we specialize in building attractive, modern websites for small and medium-sized businesses. We specialize in working with and developing WordPress websites to offer the power of a full-featured CMS to our clients. Our experience base includes work with over 150 clients in such areas as: website design, custom website development, responsive design, mobile optimization & development, website maintenance, website hosting, search engine optimization, and WordPress support & troubleshooting.