2019 Board of Directors Nominees

2019 Board of Directors Nominees

Upper Mississippi Academy
Board of Directors Elections 2019 Slate of Nominees

The Upper Mississippi Academy Board of Directors is composed of nine members representing three categories: 1) school faculty, 2) parents or legal guardians of a student at the school, and 3) community members not otherwise affiliated with the school.

Below you will find the slate of nominees running for open seats.  Each nominee has prepared a personal statement that will also appear on the ballot.

Board elections will be held Thursday, May 23, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Eligible voters (parents, UMA Board members, and school staff) must vote in person at school.

One Board Seat Open – 3-year term

Ella Kearney
I have been with UMA from the very beginning. I am very committed to helping make UMA the best it can be. As a Board member, I will work collaboratively with my fellow board members to creatively help the UMA community accomplish its goals.


One Board Seat Open – 3-year term

Jeffrey Raich
Hi, I’m Jeffrey Raich. My daughter, Mia, attends UMA and is in 9th grade, and soon my son, Jonah, will be in 6th grade. My interest in joining the board is to have a positive impact on the current and future direction of education for the children of UMA by bringing the experiences I’ve had working for the expansion of Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, being Vice President of Linwood’s PTA, and having a genuine love of UMA. When I’m not working as a psychotherapist, I enjoy cooking, reading, and exploring the cities and all of Minnesota through hiking and camping.

Laura Linn
As UMA enters this next stage of growth and change, I’d love to serve as a parent board member. I’ve lived in St. Paul almost 20 years (that went fast). My husband, Rob, and I have three kids, one of whom attends Upper Mississippi Academy as a curious 7th grader. As we’ve maneuvered our way through the public school system, we’ve appreciated the variety of styles that exist through charter schools like UMA. Alongside parenting, my other job is leading marketing for virtuwell, part of HealthPartners. I’m flexible, dedicated, and skilled at making a budget seem larger than it is.

Cynthia Sarver
As someone with a background in teacher education and an eye on national education and employment landscapes, I felt lucky to discover a school like UMA for my son. I know I’m not the only parent out there who’s been delighted to see their child thrive as a result of the outstanding teachers, leadership, learning opportunities, and community that is UMA. As a board member, I would be excited to lend my expertise in secondary education, educational technology, social innovation, organization development, and higher education to the exciting ongoing efforts to help UMA more fully realize its vision for students.

Myisha Holley
I would like to be nominated for a position on the Board of Directors. I believe that as a parent, it’s up to us to advocate to the best of our abilities for not just our own children, but for all children. I have two daughters that are students of Upper Mississippi Academy and truly adore UMA. I believe UMA has the possibility of becoming a beacon of higher education, cultural competency and sensitivity, and of unity and inclusion for all schools across Minnesota to model after. I believe that with my experience in implementing and conducting workshops (centered around anti-racism, microaggressions, inclusion, LGBTQ communities and many more topics), implementing and lobbying for change within Minnesota’s education system, having the ability and knowledge to understand Minnesota education school and budget policies, I can successful help UMA reach that goal if it is desired. I also believe that it important to stay to true to the UMA mission of being a collaborative community that believes in engaging lifelong learners/students in authentic and active experiences. UMA has a lot to offer, I hope to be able to add to the legacy of this fantastic non-traditionalist school. I love it! I will advocate for all students and staff as I recognize how extremely important it is for child to be heard and respected as well as for our educational to be heard and respected. I am currently a student in my final year for social work and hope to earn my Master degree in a year’s time.


One Board Seat Open – 3-year term

Dan Trockman
I am near to completing a first 3-year term on the board of UMA as a community member and have grown to love the mission, program, and people. I am happy to serve again on the board if elected and hope for that chance

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