District Leadership Bios

Dr. Michael Favor is the Superintendent of Intermediate School District 917.  Dr. Michael Favor brings a wealth of experience in educational leadership to ISD 917.  Most recently, Dr. Favor served as Assistant Superintendent of Roseville Area Schools.  Prior to that, Dr. Favor's district leadership roles include Interim Superintendent of Monticello Public Schools and Executive Director of Robbinsdale Area Schools.  Dr. Favor holds a Master of Education degree as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.  Most recently, Dr. Favor received his Director of Special Education licensure. Dr. Favor is widely known as a transformational leader in the area of educational equity in the Twin Cities metro area and beyond.  A strong advocate for traditionally underserved student groups, Dr. Favor's strategic leadership has been instrumental in improving academic and social and emotional outcomes for students in each of the districts he has served.  In addition to a successful career in educanal leadership, Dr. Favor experienced great success on the football field at North Dakota State University.  He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Dr. Melissa Schaller is the Executive Director of Student Services for Intermediate School District 917. Melissa is responsible for the oversight of district special education programming as well as the district's efforts for all students through the oversight of the director of teaching and learning. Melissa has experience as a director of special education in a single district in greater Minnesota as well as a special education teacher in metro area school districts. She has her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota. Melissa has served many state level organizations in the field of education including the Minnesota Administrators for Special Education and the Minnesota Council for Exceptional Children. Melissa currently serves as a governor appointee representing directors of special education on the Board of School Administrators.

Eric Van Brocklin is the Secondary Schools Principal.    Eric is responsible for the oversight of the Alternative Learning Centers and Career and Technical Education Programs.  Prior to joining ISD 917,  Eric worked at  Centennial High School and Albert Lea Area Schools and was responsible for administration of alternative learning programs and general education programs dealing with high school aged students.  He also worked with special education, targeted services, summer school, and general school oversight for a variety of programs.  Eric has been with ISD 917 since 2013.

Nicolle Roush is the Executive Director of Business Services.   Nicolle Roush is responsible for directing, planning and implementing district business and financial operations, overseeing the processing of the District’s payroll, benefits, payables, receivables, and budget, maintaining financial records and assisting with preparing of financial reports including the budget and audited financials records, provides costing models and data to assist in negotiations under the direction of the Superintendent.  Work involves setting policies, goals and supervision over business office staff.   Nicolle Roush has been with ISD 917 since 1997.

Cory Langenfeld is the Technology Coordinator.  Cory is responsible for providing leadership for the development and implementation of the District’s technology plan, and for maximizing the use of technology at all District sites. Implementation includes instructional technology, administrative applications, related staff development, and technical support.   Prior to joining ISD 917,  Cory worked at Hastings Public School and was responsible for being the Lead PC Technician.   Cory has been with ISD 917 since 2004. 

Jennifer Hetland is an Assistant Director of Special Education/Principal for Intermediate School District 917.    Jennifer is responsible for supervising Anthony Louis, Lebanon Education Center, Options, New Chance, Riverside, and Speech.   Prior to joining ISD 917, Jennifer worked as a 4th grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Hawaii.  Jennifer has been with ISD 917 since 1995.

Don Budach is an Assistant Director of Special Education/Principal for Intermediate School District 917.  Don is responsible for the supervision of the TESA, DASH and PACES programs, as well as the special education programming in DCALS.  Don also serves as the District 504 Coordinator, District and Human Rights Officer.  Prior to joining ISD 917, Don worked as a Special Education Teacher in Iowa.  After moving to Minnesota Don became a Special Education Teacher at Henry Sibley High School and later the Dean of Students.  Don has been an Assistant Director with ISD 917 since 1999.

Dr. Brooke Peterson is the Director for Teaching and Learning for Intermediate School District 917.  Dr. Peterson is responsible for oversight of testing, curriculum, professional development, due process, assistive technology, and continuous improvement planning.  She is also responsible for the supervision of Reading Specialists and School Psychologists.  Prior to joining ISD 917, Dr. Peterson worked in various roles (Literacy Coordinator, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program Facilitator, Reading Specialist, and Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing) at Intermediate District 287.  She has taught in the Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Program at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to that she worked as a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing at Eden Prairie Schools.  Dr. Peterson joined our administrative team in July, 2017.

Jamie Dalbesio is an Assistant Director of Special Education/Principal for ISD 917. Jamie joined the team in 2018. She is currently the principal of Concord Education Center in Inver Grove Heights. Jamie also supervises the DAPE staff and occupational therapists for ISD 917. Prior to joining the ISD 917 team, Jamie worked as an Assistant Director of Special Education for the Goodhue County Education District in Red Wing, Minnesota. Jamie has taught at all levels and has been working with individuals with autism for 18 years. 

Jennifer (Jen) Olson is an Assistant Director of Special Education at the Cedar School. Jen provides supervision for the district board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), school social workers, school psychologists, and supports Social Emotional Learning (SEL) within the district. Most recently, Jen served in dean and lead roles within the Mounds View Public Schools. Much of her career was spent in Northeast Metro 916 as a school social worker and TOSA. She joined ISD 917 in July of 2020.

Shannon Brennan is an Assistant Director of Special Education at Alliance Education Center (AEC). Shannon is responsible for supervision of the IDEA, SUN, and CASE programs. Prior to joining ISD 917, Shannon worked in both general education and special education as a teacher, curriculum coordinator and administrator. Her experiences include working in Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools as well as with the Minnesota Department of Education. Shannon joined the ISD 917 team in July, 2020.

Taylor Thomas is an Assistant Director of Special Education for Intermediate School District 917.  Taylor is responsible for the supervision and administration of the Intermediate School District 917 Deaf/Hard of Hearing Resource Programs (preschool, elementary, middle, and high school locations), as well as the following ISD 917 itinerant programs and services available to ISD 917 member districts: Audiology, Blind/Visually Impaired, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Interpreter/Transliterator, Physical and Health Disabilities, and Physical Therapy.  Prior to joining the ISD 917 administrative team, Taylor worked in various roles within the district over the last 10 years (Teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Lead Teacher, and Dean of Special Education).  Taylor has been with ISD 917 since 2011 and joined our administrative team in July 2020.