Jeff Katherman Mr. Katherman is currently an Associate Director/Senior Project Manager at UnitedHealth Group, where he has worked since 2005 in various leadership roles within corporate finance, governance, strategic planning, M&A analysis, and IT project management/release planning.  Prior to his career at UnitedHealth Group, Mr. Katherman worked in the public accounting industry at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where he worked for both external and internal audit clients, primarily in the financial services and manufacturing industries.   Mr.Katherman has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Iowa and is a licensed (inactive) C.P.A from the State of Minnesota.  Mr. Katherman has been an active Cologne Academy School Board Member since 2012, where he has served as the Board Treasurer.  Mr. Katherman was also appointed as the Board Chair of the Cologne Academy Building Company (CABC) in 2014.  Mr. Katherman resides in Waconia, Minnesota with his wife and two sons, the oldest of which attends Cologne Academy.


Dan Perrel –  Mr. Perrel is currently the Admissions Director on the administrative team at Mayer Lutheran High School in Mayer, Minnesota.  Mr. Perrel has been an educator, coach, and administrator for over twenty years and is a passionate advocate for the vital role of reading in academic and career success.  Mr. Perrel serves on the Cologne Academy board as a community member and brings years of education strategic and organizational planning experience.  He lives with his wife in New Germany, Minnesota, and is the parent of four grown daughters.


Amy Neitzel – Ms. Neitzel is currently the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Holiday Companies, where she has worked since 2005. In her role at Holiday, she is responsible for providing financial analyses to facilitate decision making for various departments. Ms. Neitzel began her career in the public accounting industry auditing various non-profit organizations and employee benefit plans. After her public accounting career, she worked in the public business sector in various accounting/finance roles at Nextel International and Supervalu. Ms. Neitzel has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southwest Minnesota State University and is a licensed (inactive) C.P.A in the State of Minnesota. Ms. Neitzel and her husband live in Waconia, Minnesota and have four boys, who all attend Cologne Academy.


Jamie Degen – Ms. Degen is currently teaching 3rd grade at Cologne Academy and has been teaching at Cologne Academy since the school was founded in 2008. Ms. Degen has served as a teacher representative to the CA Finance Committee since 2009, and has served as a CA board member since July of 2015. Ms. Degen’s service on the board keeps her informed and involved in the school beyond her typical teaching duties. Ms. Degen holds a BA from St. Olaf College with Majors in Norwegian and Education. Ms. Degen and her husband live in Waconia and have two children currently attending Cologne Academy.


Amanda Daniel – Mrs. Daniel has worked in the Human Resources Field for 17 years partnering with Sr Leaders in high tech companies to help grow their organizations.  She graduated with an MA in Organizational Development from the University of St. Thomas in 2013.  Mrs. Daniel is currently the VP of HR for Equus Computer Systems leading the HR team (benefits, compensation, HR systems, business partnership, and talent acquisition) and partnering with the Sr Leaders on performance management, employee engagement, organizational development, mergers and acquisitions, change management, employee relations, and talent management.  This is her first year on the board and is “learning a lot about how CA acquires top talent, develops their teachers and retains them.”  Mrs.Daniel will also sit on the Personnel Committee and provide insight on performance management, employee relations and other personnel topics.  Mrs. Daniel and her husband live in Waconia and have two children attending Cologne Academy.



Traci LaFerriere, Chief Financial Officer. Ms. LaFerriere worked at the Minnesota Department of Education from 1995 – 2001 in various positions including Charter School Coordinator in the Office of School Choice Programs.  From 2001 – 2006 Ms. LaFerriere was the Operations Director at Academia Cesar Chavez involved in the initial opening of the school and responsible for the school’s finances, human resources, student admissions, transportation, food service, and facilities.  From 2006 to present, Ms. LaFerriere has been the contracted business manager for Southside Family Charter School, Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (2006 to 2011), Natural Science Academy (2008 to present), and Cologne Academy (2012 to present).  Ms. LaFerriere graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Psychology.


Lynn G. Peterson, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer.  Mrs. Peterson has been employed at Cologne Academy since it opened in the fall of 2008 and has served as its Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer since July 2009.  Prior to entering the education field, Ms. Peterson was a senior marketing analyst for Target Corporation.  Mrs. Peterson has the following education and licenses:  a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration,  Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado, Teacher Licensures, Crown College, St Bonifacius, Minnesota, Masters of Arts in Special Education, University of St. Thomas, St Paul, Minnesota, Education Specialist in Leadership in Educational Administration, Capella, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Superintendent License,  Concordia University (Spring 2015).  Mrs Peterson resides in Cologne with her husband and has four children.