Our Board

The Board of Directors is elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Society and is responsible for the governance and overall operation of Connect Charter School in accordance with the Society By-Laws, the School Act and Alberta Education Regulations. Up to a maximum of one third of Directors can be parents of students attending the school and the other Directors are community members with an area of specific expertise who support the charter goals and overall mandate of the school. The board can have between 9 and 21 members, but the desired number is 15 comprised of 10 community members and 5 parent members. Parent Directors are elected for a 1 year term, community Directors for a 3 year term and Directors cannot serve more than 3 consecutive terms. Directors also serve on various committees which make recommendations to the Board.

Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Board Chair

Board

Dave Robinson is a Director at Large and Current Chair of the Board. Dave originally joined the Board in 2004 as a member at large and became a parent representative in 2005 until 2011. After his children graduated from the school in 2012 he rejoined the Board as a community member. In his career, Dave has practiced exploration geology for over 35 years and currently consults as an explorationist for both Western Canadian Helium and Energy companies. Dave has observed the benefits that the unique tenets of education at Connect have made in the lives of the many young learners who have attended the school. He has remained involved because he believes Connect represents the direction education should be going across the province and is proud to be a champion for the school as education evolves in Alberta. Dave is also a member of the Calgary Academy Board and believes deeply in making sure all students develop skills to become lifelong learners.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Hyacinth Schaeffer

Hyacinth Schaeffer

Director

Board

Hyacinth Schaeffer has been a director since 2016. As an educator, researcher, and author, Hyacinth is passionate about student learning and has taught at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. She served as Supervisor of Science for a large urban school district and as Director of Learning for a not-for-profit organization resulting in a deep understanding of promising educational practices in various jurisdictions. She feels privileged to contribute to the innovative direction of Connect Charter School as a leader in providing experiential and inquiry-based education.

Contact

Phone: [email protected]

Salman Mohiuddin

Salman Mohiuddin

Director

Board

Salman Mohiuddin has been working in the energy and construction industries for more than twenty years. He is a registered professional engineer in Alberta and worked on multi-billion dollar projects across the globe with diversified teams of technical and business experts. He is an active director of Alberta Petroleum Storage Systems Contractor’s Association – APSSCA – and a former director for Petroleum Tank Management Association of Alberta – PTMAA.

As a responsible citizen and a parent, he feels he has to service the CCS board and share his experiences, observations, and ideas with the other board members and school administration to prepare the student’s community for a better and sustainable future.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Sarah Salus

Sarah Salus

Director

Board

Sarah Salus is a parent at Connect Charter School with two sons currently in grades 7 and 9. She is an experienced communications and fund development professional and currently works for Parks Foundation Calgary as Manager of Programs and Development. Over the course of her career she has held leadership roles in the private and non-profit sectors in the UK and Canada. She is passionate about health and wellness, with a personal interest in sports and fitness. She is an advocate for building strong communities and has held a number of volunteer roles in her own community and at Connect Charter School. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys the creative arts and spending time outdoors with her family and dogs.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Jo Towers

Jo Towers

Director

Board

Jo Towers joined the Board in 2021. Jo is a Werklund Research Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her areas of expertise include students’ mathematical understanding, student experience and identity in relation to learning mathematics, and inquiry-oriented approaches to teaching, learning, and teacher education. She was the recipient of the 2015 University of Calgary Teaching Award for the Rank of Full Professor, the 2018 Alberta Teachers’ Association Educational Research Award, and, with her co-authors, a 2015 Canadian Association of Foundations of Education Publication Award for their book entitled Provoking Conversations about Inquiry in Teacher Education. Jo is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the journal For the Learning of Mathematics and a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Alberta Journal of Educational Research.

Jo grew up in the UK where she taught in secondary schools and completed her first graduate degree at Oxford University before moving to Canada in 1995 to complete her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. She is a volunteer Puppy Sitter for the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society and fosters animals in need for the Cochrane and Area Humane Society. She also volunteers as a Peer Mentor with the Family to Family Connections Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and is a member of Foothills Concert Band, a community band that contributes to the Calgary community by offering musical events including free concerts in extended care and assisted living facilities (when Covid protocols allow).

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Shelley Jahnke

Shelley Jahnke

Director

Board

Shelley Jahnke has been a board member since 2018, Shelley is thrilled to support the excellent work happening at Connect Charter and the commitment to exemplary citizenship. With a background in finance and consulting, Shelley has broad experience in the energy and transportation industries, most recently supporting technology transformation at Suncor Energy, Through her term as a board member Shelley has brought her experience in strategic advisory, process improvement, governance and decision making to lead the Operations Committee. Growing up in a family with a long history in education, Shelley is passionate about the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the Connect community.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Mackenzie Regent

Mackenzie Regent

Director

Board

Mackenzie Regent is a Chartered Accountant and the Managing Partner of Kalos LLP, a Chartered Professional Accounting firm focused on adding value to the small business community. Mackenzie was previously a Manager for Ernst & Young LLP wherein she was chosen to represent Canada at an international leadership conference. Mackenzie is also a past member of Scotiabank’s Global Investment Banking team. She is a former competitive hockey player having represented Canada in 2006, named the top-student athlete for the Canada West Conference in 2009, and a multiple time Academic All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star.

Mackenzie is an alumnus of Connect and joined the Board in 2014. Mackenzie is proud to give back to the Connect community as she has experienced firsthand the difference an engaged, diverse, and supportive learning environment can make. Mackenzie feels it is important to approach governance from the lens of what is best for our students and shares her insights from her student experience to achieve that perspective. Mackenzie is a passionate volunteer having organized numerous United Way corporate campaigns, championing EY’s inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer team as well as numerous other initiatives.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

DJ Kelly

DJ Kelly

Director

Board

DJ Kelly is a Calgary-based community engagement professional and has a child in Grade 4 at Connect. He is the Manager of Community Engagement at the University of Calgary and chair of the PechaKucha Night Calgary speaker series. DJ is the former president or chair of Winston Heights/Mountview Community Association, Nuit Blanche Calgary, Calgary Professional Arts Alliance, and Betty Mitchell Professional Theatre Awards. As a citizen, he has successfully advocated for the creation of the City of Calgary’s Open Data Catalogue and Poet Laureate Program as methods to increase the transparency and accountability of government. Projects he’s led have received United Way of Calgary and Area’s President’s Award, International Association of Facilitators Platinum Impact Award, and the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Organization of the Year. For his volunteer efforts, DJ has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was named a Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Kara Langlois

Kara Langlois

Director

Board

Kara Langlois has 15+ years’ experience as a Chartered Professional Accountant, providing audit and consulting services for customers ranging from local owner-managed businesses to large multinational corporations. She currently works with the Alberta Energy Regulator, implementing policy to address the growing number of oil and gas wells and facilities in Alberta which have reached the end of their economic lives. Kara joined the Connect Board in November 2020, and believes strongly in inquiry-based learning and outdoor education. She was a founding board member for Calgary Nature Kindergarten, the first kindergarten of its kind in Alberta. She enjoys camping, biking, skiing and climbing with her family.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Michelle Rousseau

Michelle Rousseau

Director

Board

Michelle Rousseau joined the Board in 2016. She has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, holding a broad variety of leadership positions at Suncor Energy. She has a Degree in Business and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. She is married with an 13 year old son. Her past volunteer activities include serving on the board of Medical Mercy of Canada, chairing the Sarnia/Lampton Terry Fox Run, leading the Junior Achievement program, and as a coach and volunteer for minor hockey. She enjoys learning more about school systems and brings her governance knowledge to ensure policies are adhered to and that the strategic direction of the school is aligned to the school charter and ultimately the best interest of the student’s education.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

David McKenzie

David McKenzie

Director

Board

David McKenzie is a lawyer in private practice, focusing on business law. David has acted as an Officer and Director of a number of private corporations in the areas of oil & gas services, health care services, real estate development, real estate finance and real property management. David is currently a trustee of a mutual fund trust and was previously a Chief Compliance Officer for an Exempt Market Dealer. Interspersed, David spent 4 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the Canadian government.

David is an enthusiastic community volunteer. He is a long-time volunteer with the Children’s Cottage Society of Calgary, including time as a Director and as President, and is active in federal and provincial party politics. David has previously been President and a Director of the Calgary Multicultural Centre, a Member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet, a past Instructor of the Alberta Bar Admission Course and a youth hockey and soccer coach. In 2017 David received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, an Honour awarded by the Governor General of Canada.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Ron Koper

Ron Koper

Director

Board

Ron Koper has been a director since 2017. “Having two outstanding educational leaders as parents, Janet and Larry Koper, I grew a deep appreciation for what remarkable schools look like and how important they are. Since 1982 I’ve pursued a passion for learning, leadership development, business and organization effectiveness and Human Resources, holding internal and external consulting, managerial and corporate executive roles. Serving the people, place and community of Connect has been a rare gift, combining a career passion with truly important work and marvellous people.”

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Meghan Leary

Meghan Leary

Director

Board

Meghan Leary joined the Board in 2021. Meghan is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 10 years of experience in financial reporting and accounting under different accounting standards. Currently she works as Manager, Financial Reporting for a Canadian pipeline corporation. She previously provided audit and assurance services on a wide variety of clients ranging from large publicly listed international corporations to smaller private, non-profit, and public sector companies in various industries, including energy and resources, construction, and real estate. She has expertise in reporting complex accounting issues and ability to communicate such issues to senior leadership and audit committees. She enjoys hiking and camping and is interested in applying her financial background and her love of the outdoors to contribute to the Connect community.

Contact

Email: [email protected]

Mangesh Kumthekar

Mangesh Kumthekar

[email protected]

Board

Mangesh Kumthekar has been a Director at Connect since Fall 2017 and has been a part of the Audit & Finance and Facilities Committees. He is an Engineer & has a Masters in Business Administration and has been with Suncor Energy for the last 9 years. He is interested in all kinds of sports and has coached basketball & soccer teams; he has also worked extensively with Canadian Diabetes Association for multiple years to raise funds. Mangesh is excited & proud to be engaged with the School, share his experiences and passion to excel and at the same time gain an appreciation of the exceptional work that goes on at Connect. He has been a Connect parent for the last few years.

Contact

Email: [email protected]