Scott Jones has made a career out of cultivating a love of learning through pioneering educational approaches. He has been involved with opening and running successful and groundbreaking charter schools that speak to the heart of the child since 1999, starting in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV. As an entrepreneur at heart since the age of 14, he has been involved in many innovative business ventures outside of education. Those experiences have given him a distinct advantage in terms of building school cultures that work and nurturing strong organizational vision and mission. He is ardent about being an agent for change and influencing new education models.
His own educational experiences during his upbringing left him disenchanted with the U.S. traditional educational system. He knew there was a better way of approaching learning not only for himself, but also for the myriad of kids who respond to more creative and individualized methods, and he is passionate about executing on those methods. As a father of six fully and not so fully grown children, he is firmly invested in enriching the lives of this emerging generation of divergent learners and has a unique understanding of the needs and challenges which they face.
Growing up, he spent a majority of his spare time in his father’s workshop building, carving, wrenching, designing, inventing and problem-solving. As a result, he is a fierce advocate for STEAM, Project-Based Learning, Technology, Design and Math/Engineering initiatives. His drive and enthusiasm to know how things work and what make people tick invoke many thoughtful discussions and shape his decision making.
Scott enjoys spending time with his awesome wife and kids, adventure riding long distances on his motorcycle exploring hard to reach destinations, backpacking trips in the high Uinta’s and eating anywhere Guy Fieri recommends. His top three favorite books are The Four Agreements, Atlas Shrugged and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Stacey Thompson is thrilled to be a part of American Academy of Innovation’s inaugural year! Stacey’s philosophy on education comes from Albert Einstein. He says, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” She values each student as an individual, with the ability to learn and grow, no matter what his or her circumstances may be.
Stacey has earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Utah University in elementary education (K-8) and a master’s degree from University of Southern California in school leadership. She has taught a range of grades and has served as team lead, a member of a district wide report card committee, leadership committee, and an administrative intern, in addition to other educational leadership roles. Stacey knows education is a team endeavor and is excited to see great results that come from working together with the faculty and staff here at AAI!
Roma’s love of books started young when she figured out she could entertain adults by memorizing Dr. Seuss and other children books She hasn’t stopped reading since. Her interest in Library Science started in 2014 at another local Charter School. Since then, Roma has yet to stop feeling excited about talking to students about the stories they love and helping them create their own narratives.
Her favorite books often shift with the weather. But you can always see The Anatomy of Peace, Thoreau’s Walden, and The House on Mango Street on her bookshelf.
Her unorthodox educational and creative endeavors have always required to her be self- directed and stay curious. She is currently pursuing her degree in Midwifery and trying to figure the secret to world peace. When she isn’t reading or running libraries, you can find her at the Farmers Market, kickin’ it on the dance floor, or frolicking through the Wasatch mountains
As the daughter and granddaughter of lifelong educators, Chellee’s career may have been fostered in her earliest years. She often reminds her students that, like herself, most people’s pathways into their chosen field are not linear nor direct. Her careers have been varied including banking, politics, sales, and management. A move to Bozeman, Montana spurred her return to schools through the backdoor of mediation and conflict resolution. She worked for a decade as a behavioral specialist, mediator, and trainer of student mediators in the Bozeman schools. Chellee’s desire to make more of an impact propelled a return to college for her Master’s in Education specializing in school counseling at Montana State University. She has since worked as a school counselor in both Montana and Utah at every level from PreK through 12th grade.
Chellee’s passions include experiential learning, travel, and service. She feels fortunate to combine these with her greatest passion—teenagers—to find great satisfaction in her work. She has enjoyed the opportunity to experience learning outside the walls of the classroom through student travel and service-learning. Chellee and her husband, Greg, have a son, a daughter-in-law, and two daughters. They love Daybreak and enjoy its amenities with their children and pets.
Cayenne DaBell is a big believer in lifelong education. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Utah. Currently she works at Early Light Academy as a paraprofessional in the sixth grade. Her past employment includes substitute teacher, girls’ camp counselor, veterinarian assistant, and plant genetics lab technician. She has served as president of a local spinning guild and is a professional fiber artist in her free time. Cayenne lives in South Jordan with her husband, Mark, and their three children.