Krystal Shatek

Program Director

Krystal is an equity-driven leader who has worked in the education and non-profit sectors for 20 years. She has served in various educator and administrative roles ranging from teacher to senior program director, primarily serving under-resourced communities impacted by racial and socioeconomic injustices. The primary focus of her work has been on trauma informed, culturally responsive early childhood development and programming. She has a master’s degree in education - Differentiated Instruction and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education & Administration.

Krystal was appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to serve on the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. The group designed a 10-year plan for the State of Minnesota to raise the quality standards for childcare, to ensure culturally responsive care is priority, to make childcare more affordable and more equitable, and to provide early childhood teachers with salary and benefits that reflect the important work they do.
Krystal grew up in a low-income area of East St. Paul raised by her dad who worked hard to support her and her two siblings, despite overwhelming obstacles. She is grateful to have had a handful of positive mentor figures while growing up and can attest to the power of having even just one positive and supportive adult in a child’s life. Because of these caring adults she was able to overcome the barriers of her childhood with resiliency and grit, earn a master’s degree and becoming a successful educator and administrator of children’s programs for underserved communities. She is raising two smart, kind and empathetic children, and learning to be a handywoman to fix up her home. Because of these lived experiences, she is passionate about equity driven education and social systems reform, and strongly believe in utilizing the power of collective impact within the community to achieve these goals.

Krystal believes is a privilege to be able to partner with parents and caregivers, supporting them as they achieve their dreams and goals for their children and their families, helping to break the cycle of poverty and overcome systemic barriers. She believes that Friends of the Children’s program model is the key to breaking down barriers and ending cycles of poverty for the children in the Twin Cities.