In February 2015, five Utah parents who were looking for a better educational opportunity for their children teamed up to create a new public charter school. These parents found this educational model at Williamsburg Learning, an Educational Services Provider that was already powering a national private school and a public, online charter school in Nevada. When this group of parents joined forces with Williamsburg, Leadership Academy of Utah was born! LAU was approved by the UT State Board of Education on February 5, 2016, acting on the unanimous recommendation of the State Charter School Board in January.
Busch Jones, Board Chair
In the past six years, all three of our children have been able to experience the incredible Williamsburg curriculum and have been inspired by the many mentors and students with whom they have interacted. We enjoyed the curriculum and experience but found the process difficult of going through a third party curriculum provider to get access to the curriculum and instructors. I have been privileged to be a part of the startup committee that worked to get the charter school application approved and have since then served on the Leadership Academy of Utah board of trustees. I am excited that LAU will be able to bring the great Williamsburg curriculum and instructors to many more Utah families.
Suzanne Christensen, Vice Chair
I graduated from Brigham Young University in 2000 with a BS in Sociology, and minors in English and Business Management. I have served in leadership positions in various organizations, including the Wasatch Independent Debate League board and United Families Pennsylvania. I coach teams in Utah for Mock Trial and Model United Nations. I am the mother of four boys, two of whom are students at LAU.
Dale Millsap, Board Treasurer
I am a licensed engineering professional living with my wife and eight children on a small farm in Northern Utah. I am an avid outdoorsman and love to travel and serve others. My family has benefited significantly since integrating the Williamsburg model into our education. I joined the LAU board to help make this great curriculum and model available to others through a charter school. I have past board experience with the Center for Documentary Expression and Art (CDEA). I obtained my BS in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University in 1999.
Amy George, Board Secretary
I believe that the relationship between parents and educators should be communicative. That relationship, coupled with a curriculum meant to inspire and mentor students to become self-motivated learners. is what allows the Leadership Academy of Utah to provide an outstanding education for your student. LAU’s access to state funding along with the ILC experiences they offer and their use of Williamsburg Learning’s exemplary online education model gives your student the key to preparing for their future. I joined the LAU Board of Directors to actively assist this school in its mission to provide a balanced education to students for years to come.
I am currently an instructor at the Family Lyceum in Ogden, Utah, and run a family school co-op from my home. I love spending time creating memories with my family and taking some time to sing and write songs.
Natalie Boyack, Board Member
Every student is unique in their strengths, talents, interests, learning style, and aptitude. I genuinely believe that the Leadership Academy of Utah provides foundational principles for developing leadership skills and helps students gain confidence by mentoring them through a challenging curriculum. My goal as a board member is to help LAU continue this philosophy for Utah families today and in the future.
I have raised and homeschooled three children over the past twenty-five years. I take a particular interest in health and wellness, and I love to spend time serving others. It has always been important to me that children learn leadership skills, self-confidence, and a love of service for others both inside and outside their communities.
Holly Brinkle, Board Member
I love to learn, uncovering truths through the exercise of curiosity and the process of discovery. I hold a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University. After graduation, I certified at the Intermuse Kodaly International Academy at Brigham Young University. I currently teach at Belmont Classical Academy and seek to challenge my students to think deeply, guiding them in expressing themselves effectively and respectfully. I have continued my organ studies through the American Guild of Organists and have performed in such locations as Temple Square, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London Chapel.
I previously served as a board member for the Washington state Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange that educated the public on how to grow food in a sustainable way. Additionally, I served as president of my Homeowner’s Association, working to reduce dues and protect the rights and value of homeowners while improving culture and friendship in my community.
In addition to serving as a local master gardener, I love spending time with friends and family in the outdoors in whatever adventure finds me. I am excited to journey with Leadership Academy of Utah to prepare, develop, and magnify the students and families that we serve.
Molly Foster, Board Member
We are in a constant state of development and learning. Throughout our challenges, our roots often return us to our connection with those around us, and the most important thing I’ve learned is that we are all born to belong to each other. The Leadership Academy of Utah community is a perfect place for students to accelerate their most important, lifelong relationships.
I have served on testing boards in both Utah and Wyoming, owned a curriculum writing company, and directed several commonwealth schools. My most extraordinary adventures in life have been exploring central Utah with my family of eight.
Jana Stout, Board Member
I love being active, learning, creating, being a mom, and a good adventure. I am passionate about education and I love Williamsburg Learning’s vision and mission. I have homeschooled my four children for eleven years. Currently, three of my children are involved with Williamsburg Learning, one of those three is attending LAU. Previously, I created and ran Ignite Academy, a weekly homeschool support, where I taught academics, art, character and martial arts for four years. Last year I ended that to work as an Epic Day teacher and then Assistant Director for Distance Education at Canyon Grove Academy. Currently, I am working for Canyon Grove Academy as the Discovery Day Director, organizing and running learning experiences for around 400 students each week. I am a graduate of Brigham Young University.
Emeritus Board Members
- Catherine Scott
- Busch Jones, Chair
- Suzanne Christensen, Vice Chair
- Ben Lindsey, Treasurer
- Annie Fisher, Secretary
- Bryon Richardson
- Dale Millsap
- Valden Longhurst
- Brian Langford