The 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 a 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.

Board Members

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 30 years and currently serves as Vice President and Chief Geologist for Cequence Energy. Dave has observed the benefits that the unique tenets of education at Connect have made in the lives of 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.

Hyacinth Schaeffer has been a director for 2 years and 7 months. 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.

Ron Koper has been a director for 3 years. “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 as a professional I have followed a passion for learning and 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.”

Christy Newson has been a director since 2016. Christy has a background working in public audit practice, serving a wide range of clients in various industries. Currently she works in financial reporting in the energy sector and enjoys making sense of financial data. She is a mother of two who understands the importance of choice in education. She is proud to be a director and to support Connect’s staff and students.

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 11 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.

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; his son is going into Grade 9 this Fall.”

Kathy Buchanan is currently finishing her 1st term as a director. “In my professional life as a school-based Occupational Therapist I have the opportunity to explore a wide range of school environments and teaching approaches, and am a firm believer in the exemplary teaching practices being fostered and researched at Connect Charter School. As a Connect parent for the past 8 years, and with my third child currently in Grade 5, I have a vested interest in supporting the vibrant, creative, sustainable community that is Connect.

David McKenzie is a lawyer in private practice, focusing on business law. David has acted as Chief Compliance Officer for an Exempt Market Dealer and is a Director and Officer of a number or private corporations in the areas of the oil & gas industry services, real estate development and real property management.  David spent 4 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the Canadian government and has practiced law with 4 firms prior to his current office.

David is an enthusiastic community volunteer.  He is a Director and Past-President of the Children’s Cottage Society of Calgary, a Director of Connect Charter School 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 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.



Dana Braunberger

Shelley Jahnke

David McKenzie 

Bryce Monar

Dr. Kevin O’Connor

Mackenzie Regent

Gavin Peat

Linda Trinh