The Board of Directors consists of dedicated community members who are invested in choral excellence and will advance the mission and vision of LSYC.
For more information on the LSYC Board of Directors, please contact the Executive Director, Jenna Kelly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members feature from left to right beginning with the back row include: Grace Nelson (President) Ryan Kern (Director), Nicole Ottjes (Vice President), Stacy Jardine (Parent Representative), Meghan Caine (Parent Representative), Marilyn Odean (Treasurer), and Penny Mayer (Director).
*Not pictured: Sheila Shusterich (Recorder), Lindsey Dueland (Director), Kristina Solon-Boe (Director), Jenn Moses (Director)
Senior Secondary Market Analyst, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
Grace began her involvement with LSYC in 2018 by participating in various parent volunteer opportunities throughout the season. The positive experiences she had and the connections she was able to make with other members of the LSYC community prompted Grace to seek out ways to become even more involved with the organization. She is grateful for the opportunity to represent such an amazing group of choral artists as a part of the LSYC Board and is dedicated to furthering the mission and values of the program.
Music Teacher, Harbor City International
Nicole is a music teacher currently teaching 9-12 music at Harbor City International School in Duluth. She teaches choir, chamber ensemble, jazz band, music history, African drumming, introduction to guitar, and private lessons. Nicole also enjoys helping with the music direction for musicals at her school and the Duluth Playhouse. Before returning to her hometown of Duluth in 2016, Nicole spent fifteen years in the Twin Cities teaching at colleges and k-12 schools while earning a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Minnesota. She is happy to be joining the LSYC community this year as a board member and a parent!
Director, Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research
Marilyn has a long history with the organization, now in its 29th year. She was an important part of the organization’s incorporation in 2005 and the development of the Executive Director position in 2018. Marilyn was the recipient of LSYC’s Outstanding Service Award in 2019 for her invaluable support and dedication to LSYC. Marilyn continues to play a critical role in financial developments for the organization.
Retired Music Educator
Sheila K. Shusterich retired as the middle school choir director at Ordean East Middle School in 2019 after having taught music for 37 years at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. The Ordean Grade 8 Choir, under Mrs. Shusterich’s direction, collaborated with the Lake Superior Youth Chorus and their guest artists in 2009 (Sowah Mensah concert). Sheila selected students to participate in the Lake Superior Youth Chorus Honor Choir program from its inception through 2019 and continues to encourage students to sing in LSYC.
President/Founder, Kern and Kompany
Ryan is the founder of Kern and Kompany and is responsible for creating, promoting and producing some of Minnesota’s largest and most unique events including the award winning and nationally recognized Duluth Airshow. Ryan is also the founder of Rylin Entertainment and is heavily involved in several community civic and non-profit organizations. Ryan and his wife Lindsay have had two daughters involved in the Lake Superior Youth Chorus Resident Choral Program.
Early Childhood Educator, Cromwell School District
Penny is a passionate advocate for the transformative power of music and the vital role it can play in the lives of all young people. As an educator, she has extensive experience working with students and relishes the way that music can make new connections for young learners.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Penny was a performer who worked in theater and traveled to underserved communities. That experience illustrated the profound beauty of empowering youth and fostering their individual strengths through productions.
As a lifelong Duluth resident, University of Minnesota graduate, and parent of an LSYC singer, she is thrilled to meld her experiences, skills, and love of music to serve on LSYC’s board as a Parent Pepresentative.
Director of Development, Northwestern Mutual
Lindsey has been a part of Lake Superior Youth Chorus for many years and was a member while the program was in its infancy. Her love of music started as a toddler in the Suzuki program playing violin and continued throughout adolescence in the Symphonia Youth Orchestra and a number of choirs throughout her school years. Lindsey is excited to pass down her musical prowess to her son who has joined the newest resident choir, Cadenza. In her day to day Lindsey works at Northwestern Mutual Duluth helping create impact not only in the lives of the clients they work with but the communities they live in as well.
Activity Director, McCarthy Manor Assisted Living
Kristina has an extensive background in music, theater, and dance. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from University of Minnesota-Duluth and a minor in dance. An accomplished pianist, Kristina taught piano lessons to children and young adults for 25 years. Driven by her passion to help others and by the multitude of positive effects that music has on those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and overall holistically for wellness, Kristina received a Minnesota Educational Grant to return to school for a healthcare career in aging services. She graduated with honors with an Associates of Applied Sciences degree in Gerontology and is dementia-care certified. A strong advocate for both youth and elders, Kristina is passionate about striving to utilize the power of music in a collaborative effort to bridge the gap between these generations. Kristina is an adult competitive tap dancer at Madill Performing Arts Center, is on the Twin Ports Walk to End Alzheimer’s Community Engagement Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors for The Beautiful Strength Project.
City Planner, City of Duluth
Jenn joined the Board after seeing the demonstrated, transformative impact Lake Superior Youth Chorus has on our youth. Jenn grew up playing violin in school ensembles and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s Sinfonia and Youth Orchestras, and as an adult has enjoyed singing with choirs. She believes music and the arts are a vital way to foster creativity, community, and self-expression. She works as a city planner for the City of Duluth, is a Past President of Junior League of Duluth, and is also a proud LSYC parent.
Early Childhood Educator, St. Louis County Schools
Meghan is a preschool teacher and also has worked as a parent and family educator. She has been involved with LSYC since 2019, when her daughter joined the resident choir program. Meghan looks forward to the opportunity to support families in LSYC as well as help reach prospective families. Meghan values the mission of LSYC and the community it creates with children, families, and staff.
K-12 Academic Coach, South Shore School District
Stacy and her family were instantly drawn to the LSYC family back in 2016 after their son was invited to participate in the Honor Choir event by his 4th grade music teacher! After experiencing a fun filled day and an amazing performance...the family was hooked. Stacy looks forward to working as a parent representative on the board to encourage whole family involvement as we all work together to help our youth find their voice; not only in the arts but in their daily life as well.