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Board of Directors


Stephanie Kinney, Board President
Business Sector Representative

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 as a Realtor of Exit Realty Legacy in Layton Utah. She is married to Pat Kinney and has a grown daughter who is now married.

Megan Ellis, Board Treasurer/Budget Officer
Parent Representative

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
Education Representative

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.

Elisa Nelson, Board Member
Community Leader Representative

Elisa Nelson is the first Utah Connections Academy school board member to be a Utah Connections Academy graduate! Elisa graduated from Utah Connections Academy at age 15 with high honors and as the school’s first English Sterling Scholar; she also received four scholarship awards for university. Elisa was elected to serve on the board at age 19.

Elisa had the honor of speaking at Utah Connections Academy’s graduation ceremonies in 2018 and 2019. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in business administration and concentration in strategic leadership. Elisa graduated magna cum laude at age 19 and is working toward earning her master’s degree and a doctorate in the same field. She is on the dean’s list and serves as an ambassador for her university.

After Elisa completes her education, she plans to pursue a career in international business and teaching. She has been an active animal advocacy volunteer for many years. Attending Utah Connections Academy challenged Elisa as an advanced student and also gave her time to volunteer.

As a graduate of Utah Connections Academy, Elisa can share firsthand knowledge of her school experience with other board members, providing insights that will help them gain an understanding of a student’s perspective. She appreciates the honor of serving on the board.