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Perfect Alignment (by Lori Openshaw)

Todd and I have been working together for about three months now and honestly, it’s a minor miracle that we connected. I heard through the grapevine that Todd was interested in opening a new school in Santaquin - how exciting! Me too! I reached out to him and a couple weeks later we met to get a feel for each other’s style and see if we could work together.

My palms were sweating and my internal dialogue was bombarding me with wild What Ifs - “What if he’s strict?” “What if we have similar educational philosophies, but we both want to do the exact same part of opening and running the school?” My worries were for naught because it turned out that Todd and I were a great fit!

We both feel strongly that children learn best when they’re interested and physically engaged, have ample time outdoors, and can connect to their community through heritage projects and partnerships.

We both love STEM - both of my graduate degrees are in engineering and Todd is a passionate science and math teacher who integrates subjects seamlessly and playfully.

We each had a vision for our role within the school and they happened to align great - Todd loves the hands on aspect of teaching and school administration while I thoroughly enjoy curriculum design and business management. Our past work has aligned nicely to round out school development roles - I have a doctorate in Engineering Education, 11 years of K-12 engineering programming, and worked in fundraising for an engineering non-profit. Todd was the director of a charter school and knows what attributes help teachers guide students towards their learning goals.

I married the love of my life who happens to be a fifth generation farmer in Santaquin and supports my ambitions to start a new, outdoorsy STEM school. Todd married his sweetheart who wanted to move back to Utah to be closer to family.

To sum it up - Todd and I have been incredibly fortunate to have met because we get to work together to make our dreams a reality in our community.

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