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.
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.
Dr. Kevin O’Connor is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Education, at Mount Royal University. Dr. O’Connor is the National Chair of the Canadian Association of Teacher Education CATE- Self-Study in Teacher Education Practices SSTEP group, serves as an editor and reviewer for numerous education research journals worldwide and sits as an Advisory Board member on the Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy CRISP, NASA-GLOBE International Science Education Group, European Scientific Institute ESI and The Paulo and Nita Freire International Center for Critical Pedagogy. Kevin recently stated “Connect Charter School is a model school for exemplary elementary and secondary education and is highly sought-after as a professional development school within teacher education.” As a parent of 3 children, he feels very fortunate to be a part of the Connect community as it is committed to facilitating best practices in education and provides a clear roadmap for successful implementation of experiential and place-based education. Kevin continues to volunteer as a hockey and soccer coach for youth.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.