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Governing Board

  • Who are WSA Board Members?

    The Governing Board determines the mission and purpose of Wallace Stegner Academy and keeps it clearly in focus. They are responsible for ensuring that the academic program is successful, that the school program and operation is faithful to the terms of its charter, and that the school is a viable organization.  The Board also oversees the financial health of the school and approves a budget which is published on the Utah Public Finance Website. The Audit and Finance Committee is comprised of the Board President and the Financial Coordinator. 

     Sarah Vaughan, PhD, Board President

    Dr. Sarah Vaughan has been involved with Wallace Stegner Academy from the application stage. Sarah currently works as an agricultural consultant with local and international clients and has previously worked for agricultural research companies as a scientist and manager. She is experienced in project management and working with teams, which is critical experience for her role at Wallace Stegner Academy. 

    Sarah is passionate about education. Sarah competed her PhD in agricultural science at The University of Queensland in Australia where she also worked as a practical tutor of a third year university subject, and worked as an AusAid tutor for postgraduate international students who required additional assistance to complete their written assessments. Her experience as a tutor and extensive education have given her insight into education systems, curriculum, and providing educational support for students that need further assistance. Sarah is committed to improving the availability of a high quality education in Utah and is excited to work with such a committed Board of Directors and exceptional administrators. 

    Jeremy Schow, Board Secretary

    Jeremy Schow has been in the healthcare field for 18+ years. He attended School at the University of Utah where he received four degrees including his business degree. Jeremy then attended Medical School at the Nevada College of Medicine. While at the University of Utah, Jeremy realized his love for the business side of healthcare. Since that time he has been the Director of Commercialization at Linegan, Inc. and over the past six years has worked as the Senior Vice President ofSales and Customer Care s at AAPC and Healthicity. Jeremy loves technology and innovation and is excited to be a part of Wallace Stegner Academy.

    Reed Farnsworth, Board Member

    As Acima Credits COO, Reed is responsible for all things operations at Acima Credit; providing strategic direction, refining the product offering, optimizing processes, creating new policies and procedures and building new teams. Reed has experience in both large and small businesses, working at the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2008 to co-founding the first all-you-can-fly airline (Surf Air) to helping consumers in the bankruptcy and subprime financing space.

    Reed Farnsworth also spent five years volunteering with Singular Humanitarian Experience (SHe). A co-founder of the organization, he led the economic development division and expeditions in Guatemala, Nepal, and Kenya. Reed holds a Bachelor’s (Business Management) degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s (Applied Economics) degree from Johns Hopkins and is currently working on his MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

    Frank Magana, Financial Coordinator

    Frank is committed to supporting education because of the empowerment and opportunities it brings to people’s lives.

    Frank currently works on the community reinvestment team at Ally Bank where he is involved in initiatives and investments that help improve and revitalize low-income neighborhoods. He is particularly involved in investing in the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. Prior to Ally, Frank worked at UBS Bank USA where he managed the bank’s charitable giving.

    Prior to banking, Frank worked in the nonprofit sector as the Director of Operations at Latinos in Action, a nonprofit focused on helping primary and secondary school students graduate from high school and enroll in higher education. In that capacity, he oversaw business development, program expansion and implementation, strategic planning, and community relations.

    Frank received his B.A. in History and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Brigham Young University. He enjoys volunteering in the community, playing basketball, and challenging himself to learn difficult things.

  • When are the Board Meetings?

    2019-2020 Board Meeting Schedule

    April 2, 2020 Board Meeting Agenda 

    April 15, 2020 Board Meeting Agenda

    May 21, 2020 Board Meeting Agenda

    June 18, 2020 Board Meeting Agenda

    All Board of Directors meetings are open to the public. Meetings and agendas are posted at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance on the Public Notice Website. WSA follows the Utah Open Meetings Act. Wallace Stegner Academy board meeting minutes are also made available to the public by request. To request a written copy of board meeting minutes or an audio recording of an open meeting, please email your request to: agerlach@wsacharter.org or asudweeks@wsacharter.org

  • How can I get notified for public meetings?

    To receive an email or RSS feed whenever the WSA Board of Directors has a public meeting, in addition to other tools for public meetings within the state of Utah, visit the Utah Public Meeting Notices website, then perform a search for Wallace Stegner Academy.

  • Where can I find the Utah Code Ann. Section 53G-7-309?

    In accordance with Utah Code Ann. Section 53G-7-309, the governing board receives a budget report each month. This budget report includes the following information: (i) the amounts of all budget appropriations; (ii) the disbursements from the appropriations as of the date of the report; and (iii) the percentage of the disbursements as of the date of the report. The report is also available for public review. To receive a copy of a budget report(s), please email your request to agerlach@wsacharter.org. Budget reports will be made available within five (5) business days of the request.




  • Who is Wallace Stegner?

    Wallace Stegner was an author who lived in Utah in the early half of the 20th century. Like many Wallce Stegner Academy students, Stegner attended Salt Lake City’s East High School and also attended the University of Utah. Stegner is most famous for his 1971 novel “Angle of Repose” in which he won the Pulitzer Prize (the highest honor for an American author). In addition to being an internationally renowned author, who wrote about the American West (including Utah), Stegner was also a professor at several leading universities, including Stanford University and Harvard. The school was named after Wallace Stegner because the founders valued people like Stegner who are devoted to academics and pursue the advancement of knowledge and art throughout their entire lives.

  • What makes Wallace Stegner Academy (WSA) unique?

    Wallace Stegner Academy (WSA) is a college preparatory school that is specifically designed to help students achieve academic excellence by utilizing rigorous and scientifically proven techniques.

    Our number one goal is to ensure every student attends, and graduates from at least a four-year college. At WSA, we are laying foundations of financial security for our students and we are training future doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientist, artists, and presidents.

    Teachers are the number 1 factor in the success of a child’s academic education, and we have the best-trained teachers. Our teachers receive over 100 in-class training sessions and evaluations per year (compared to just 1 to 2 at a traditional school). They also receive over two weeks of in-service training days per year compared to 2-4 days at a traditional school.

    Personalized Math and Reading classes that start where your child is ready to start. Not everyone is in the same place and we get that.

    Students in every grade receive science instruction every day, most schools don’t start daily science instruction until middle school. By teaching science every day, we aren’t just preparing them for the jobs of the future; we are capitalizing on the natural curiosity of children.

    WSA students are taught how to stay organized with daily learning planners and binders.

    All students are offered to attend daily study hall/ tutoring hall/ music class/ library time from 3:30-4:30. This creates a culture of reading, and studying and homework time that will be vital for our students in their future college years.

    All students (even kindergartners!) get to attend PE and Art classes taught by trained teachers in those fields.

    We don’t ask parents to bake brownies or sell wrapping paper for the school; we want something more important! At WSA, parents sign a compact with the school promising to do everything they can to ensure their child’s academic success. This includes checking student’s learning planners every night, and reading to their children for a minimum of 30 minutes every night.

    We set the bar high and students rise to meet it! This is what we mean when we say high expectations:

    All students are called on randomly throughout every lesson.

    Homework is provided daily.

    Quizzes and studying are part of the school’s culture.

    Students are taught to speak and answer questions in complete, and grammatically correct sentences. We call this the language of opportunity.

    Classrooms operate with a sense of urgency. There’s so much to learn!

    Teachers and parents have each other’s cell phone numbers and teachers hand out business cards with their cell phone numbers to all parents because we know communication is vital to student success.

  • What is a charter school?

    Charter schools are publicly funded, free, and are not private schools. Charter schools are authorized to operate as public schools by the Utah State Office of Education and are open to all students. Charter schools were created with the intention to improve public education, demonstrate a record of student achievement, and have specific educational missions and focuses. Similar to other public schools, charter schools may serve students from Kindergarten through to 12th grade

  • Does WSA charge tuition?

    No. Charter schools are public schools and may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make monetary contributions (although donations are accepted and appreciated). Charter schools are subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other traditional district public schools.

  • What is the purpose of a charter school?

    Charter schools offer parents and students additional choices about their school’s location and the emphasis the school has on how they teach the core curriculum. Charter schools allow educators freedom to try new strategies to inspire students and to experiment with innovative ways of educating students. Also, charter schools allow individuals and organizations outside of the traditional education system to create and run public schools.

  • How do charter schools benefit the community?

    Charter schools offer a choice in education styles, and because they operate independently from the school districts they are more flexible and able to adapt to the needs of its students. As schools of choice they may also be more responsive to the communities they serve.

  • Can anyone attend a charter school?

    Yes! Similar to traditional public schools, charter schools must be open to every child regardless of race, religion, disability, or academic ability. However, charter schools have an enrollment cap, as legislated by the State of Utah, which limits the number of students. Student applications are placed into a randomized lottery if the number of enrollment applications surpasses the maximum enrollment allowed at WSA.

  • What are the main differences between charter schools and traditional public schools?

    A charter school operates as its own school district, this provides greater flexibility in curriculum adoption, increased opportunity for local input, more parental involvement, and the ability to fine tune its educational model/methodology to meet the needs of its specific student population. Students tend to be motivated by an interest in the school’s focus or teaching methods instead of its location. Charter schools have a cap on enrollment, which leads to more flexibility in the classroom.

  • What is the age restriction for enrolling my student in Kindergarten?

    Students must be five (5) years old on or before September 1 of the school year to be eligible for enrollment in Kindergarten.

  • How are charter schools funded?

    Charter schools are funded in much the same way that traditional district schools are funded. They receive the same funds available from the state and federal government sources; however, charter schools do not levy property taxes. Instead the Utah legislature has appropriated additional monies for charter school funding.

  • Are parents welcome to volunteer?

    Yes, parents are welcome to volunteer. The best way to support your child's education is-

    • Provide your student consistent routines at home.
    • Ensure that your student has a consistent bed time.
    • Ensure that your student attends school every day school is in session.
    • Ensure that your student arrives to school on time.
    • Ensure that your student is picked up from campus on time.  
    • Communicate with your student about attending college after they have completed high school. 
    • Provide your student a library card.
    • Create a space in your home for your student to read.
    • Provide a space in your home for your student to do their homework.
    • Limit/eliminate screen time Monday-Thursday.
    • Encourage your students academic future.
    • Help your student understand personal accountability.
    • Encourage your student to participate in rigorous physical outdoor activities.  

  • Do charter schools have the same testing requirements as traditional public schools?

    Yes. Charter schools are public schools and have the same requirements as all Utah public schools in regards to student assessments.

  • What are WSA’s credential requirements for teachers?

    Consistent with all public schools in Utah, all of WSA’s teachers are licensed, certified teachers or will be qualified to teach under the Utah State Office of Education’s Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) Program, or otherwise authorized through the Utah State Office of Education. Charter schools hire from the same pool of qualified and certified teachers as the school districts.

  • How do I find out what qualifications teachers hold?

    Parents have the right to request and receive information on the qualifications of their child’s teacher.  If you have any questions or want more information, please contact the school administration or refer to the student information system.

  • Will there be bus transportation for WSA students?

    Wallace Stegner Academy does not offer bus services to and from campus. 

  • Is there a Special Education Program?

    Yes!  Please click here to find out more information. 

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    Wallace Stegner Academy is committed to making https://wsacharter.org compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. At this time we recognize that not all areas of our website are compliant. We are currently in the process of redesigning and creating new website content to be compliant with the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines.


    This is the link to the Utah Online Education Program. https://utahonline.org/