Board of Directors

A Simple Purpose:
Ensure the Success of UMA

The Upper Mississippi Academy Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for the success of the students and the school. From direction of the school’s strategy and finances to oversight of school activities, the board works to make sure the school continues to operate smoothly and maintains a high priority for student education and well-being.

Our first elected Board assumed their responsibilities at the July 2016 Board meeting. In accordance with new charter school statutes, the previous Board was appointed in 2013, UMA’s first year of operation.

Board of Director Election

Directors serving on the Upper Mississippi Academy (UMA) Board are elected by our community; eligible voters are all parents and legal guardians of current UMA students, all current UMA Board members, and all current employees of UMA.

Elections will take place on 05/04/2020 via online voting from 9:00am – 8:30pm. If you are not able to access email and need to vote via other means, please contact Lesley Ernst at

For the following document contains more information on the Board of Directors Call for Nominations – 2020.

Board Meeting Information

Regular meetings take place on a monthly basis, and special meetings are called as needed.

UMA Board of Directors meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at UMA, unless otherwise noted.  Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Check the UMA Calendar for dates.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for an archive of meeting minutes by school year.

2019-2020 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors includes UMA staff members, current parents, and community members, all of whom come from a wide array of backgrounds. Through this diversity, the Board is able to incorporate a wonderfully broad and holistic approach to managing and maintaining general school functions.

Joseph Klancher, UMA Board Chair

Community Member

Research Safety Program Manager, University of Minnesota

Term: 07/01/2017-06/30/2020

Email Joseph

Vacant, UMA Board Vice Chair

Lesley Ernst, UMA Board Secretary

Teacher, UMA

Teacher Licensure Number: 276912

Term: 07/01/2016-6/30/2020

Email Lesley

Genna Thompson, UMA Board Treasurer

Teacher, UMA

Teacher Licensure Number: 468700

Term: 07/01/2018-06/30/2021

Email Genna

Cassie Rouse

Community Member

Corporate Sales Rep–Central – Talend

Term: 09/17/2019-06/30/2021

Email Cassie

Ella Kearney

Teacher, UMA

Teacher Licensure Number: 496455

Term: 07/01/2019-06/30/2022

Email Ella

Zoe Breimhorst 

UMA Parent

Product Manager – Datasite, Merrill Corporation

Term: 03/17/2020-06/30/2021

Email Zoe

Myisha Holley

UMA Parent

Student at Metropolitan State University

Term: 07/01/2019-06/30/2022

Email Myisha

Chad Lauber

UMA Parent

Vail Resorts

Term: 03/17/2020-06/30/2022

Email Chad


UMA Parent

Term: start date-06/30/2020

Pat Maxwell

Community Member

Board of Overseers – St John’s School of Theology

Term: 03/17/2020-06/30/2022

Email Pat

Meeting Minutes

Governing Policies