Board of Directors for the 2016–17 School Year
Stephanie Kinney, Board President
This is Stephanie's first time serving on a Charter Board, and she was one of the original founding members. She first connected with Connections Academy while looking for an alternative for her sister, who was not doing well in a traditional brick and mortar school, but did amazing with the National Connections Academy program and graduated in the spring of 2011. Ms. Kinney felt that more parents needed this program in the state of Utah and is willing to do whatever it takes to make this a successful school. She has a degree from Weber State University and graduated with Honors. Ms. Kinney currently works full time with a division of Hertz rent a center in the pricing department. She is married to Pat Kinney and has a daughter who keeps her very busy with all her school involvements.
Megan Ellis, Board Treasurer/Budget Officer
Megan is a Utah native having lived and appreciated the state all her life. She is married with three beautiful and smart daughters and enjoys crafts, gardening, scrapbooking, woodworking, and participating in her children's learning and activities. Megan believes education is very important and has strong feelings towards the school system so that is why she agreed to join the UCA Board. She is interested in helping children all over the system. She is currently a member of the local PTA and Connections Academy's Club ORANGE which are very important organizations to help support your children's school. Megan is very happy to be working with the UCA Board of Directors and hopes the Board can make great accomplishments for the school that will benefit all children.
Kaydee Phillips, Board Secretary
Kaydee graduated from Weber State University with a B.A. in English, before pursuing her M.S. in American Studies and graduating from Utah State University. After USU, Kaydee studied at the University of Leeds, UK where she researched mountaineering literature and enjoyed time on the cliffs and crags learning about the rich climbing history of the UK. Kaydee has been teaching composition at the university level since 2000—currently at Weber State University and Brigham Young University-Idaho. She has also been teaching at the secondary level since 2005. Kaydee taught for Utah Connections Academy for the 2013-2014 school year. During this time she was impressed with the dedication of the staff to make sure every student was able to succeed. Kaydee is excited to be on the UCA Board because she truly believes this school is providing each student with an individualized education. Kaydee lives in Bountiful with her two young daughters, husband, and pet where they enjoy spending time as a family reading, playing games, and going on walks.
Debbie Dye, Board Member
Debbie Dye currently works for Smith's Food and Drug Centers, Inc. in the Seasonal Department of their corporate office. Debbie began her career with Smith's 35 years ago after graduating from high school as a checker paying for college. Her schooling is in accounting, and she moved into auditing with Smith's. Now, 35 years later, she still loves the career path she has chosen.
Debbie and her husband Jim are the parents of three daughters and grandparents to James. Debbie considers her children her greatest achievement. Her third daughter was born with a chromosome disorder 15 years ago and passed away at the age of 7 months. It is because of their experiences with their third daughter, Morganne, that they have both served on the board of directors of a 501c3 nonprofit support group SOFT (Support Organization For Trisomy) to help other families going through the same journey. They have served on the board of directors for SOFT since 2003, and Debbie was recently named the organization's Secretary. She loves to help others and was asked by the former UCA board president to run for the UCA board and is happy to help where she can. It has been a great experience to be on the UCA board thus far, and she looks forward to another year working with such accomplished people.
Gretchen Brown, Board Member
Gretchen has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Gretchen began her education career as a 1st grade teacher in Las Vegas, NV in the Clark County School District. She then taught kindergarten through 2nd grade at Nevada Connections Academy and has spent time working for Connections Education as a School Support Trainer and a Teacher Manager for their Connections Learning division. Gretchen currently works as an Instructional Coach for Think Through Math and trains teachers and students on the use of this program across the state of Utah. Gretchen’s diverse experience in education has led her to the belief that all students learn differently and there must be choices in education. Gretchen is excited to join the UCA board as she strongly believes that UCA provides a needed choice in education for Utah families. Gretchen lives in Midvale, Utah with her husband, two daughters, and the apple of her eye, her new granddaughter.