Dr. Joshua Hill is an assistant professor in the department of Education at Mount Royal University. Through his teaching, scholarship and service Josh seeks to contribute to (re)storying education as a journey towards agency, wonder, and expansive awareness of oneself-in-the-world. Prior to his professorship Josh worked for many years at Rocky View Schools as a teacher and system leader. Josh is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta and his ancestors trace back to Métis, Eastern European, and English communities. He is currently exploring storytelling, Indigenous land based learning, and heterarchy in the contexts of learning, teaching, and leadership in k-12 and post secondary education.
Rochelle Estep is a parent at Connect Charter School with a son in grade 5 and a daughter in grade 8. Professionally Rochelle holds a P.Eng and a MBA designation with a focus on finance. She has worked in the energy sector for over 20 years in numerous technical and leadership roles. Her current position as VP Development includes the stewardship of multi-million dollar capital expenditures and results along with long term and strategic planning. Volunteering and being a part of her children’s school community is of particular importance and to that end Rochelle has acted as a class parent representative, coordinated school wide sports day’s and has supported elementary classes as an early literacy program mentor. For the last two years Rochelle has also been involved with the Connect Parent Council as Secretary and has organized and supported various school fundraisers. Rochelle is looking forward to leveraging her governance, leadership and planning skills to give back to the Connect community.
I have been an active volunteer for both my daughters time at Connect Charter and have attended numerous overnight and day trips over their time theres. These experiences at Connect have allowed me to create a special bond with my daughters and have created lifelong memories that we all enjoy reminiscing about as well had creating friendships with other parents and teachers within the Connect Community. I am an Information Technology Technical Leader and Manager for over 20 years in the Oil and Gas and high Tech industries. As an avid outdoors person, I love spending my spare time mountain biking, skiing, hiking and use landscape and wildlife photography as my creative outlet.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.