Board of Directors

The Syracuse Arts Academy (SAA) Board of Directors is a non-profit governing body made up of caring and experienced parents, grandparents and community members established to oversee the implementation of the school charter as approved by the Utah State Charter School Board.  The Governing Board of Directors adheres to the philosophy that the ability of the school to carry out its mission and meet its goals depends heavily on the ability to provide strategic direction, select and support strong school leaders, and ensure the financial stability of the school. For more detailed information, view our Board Rules of Order and Procedure.

Board Members

June 2024

Mary Johnston was born and raised in Ogden. She attended Weber State University for her Bachelor’s degree in English and history. She has a Master’s of Education from WSU as well. Mary earned her Administrator’s Endorsement from Utah State University. Her education experiences were all in WSD. She taught English, drama, speech, and cheerleading at a junior high school. She then went to a high school and taught English for 11 years where she was the drill team and student government adviser.

As a 15-year veteran administrator, Mary was an assistant principal at a high school, principal of a junior high school, and Supervisor of Secondary Education at the district.

After 25 years, she retired from WSD and moved on to teaching at NUAMES as a teacher. She then became principal of HighMark Charter School for 8 years. She was a council member for Washington Terrace for three terms as well.

She is a widow with four adult children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  She has been on SAA Board for nine years.

mjohnston@saacharter.org

June 2025

Nate Schow was born in Ogden, Utah.  Nate now lives in Clinton, Utah with his wife Chantell and 2 of his 3 children.  Nate attended Weber High School, then Weber State University on a music scholarship where he majored in business management.  Nate graduated with his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2011.

The most important part of Nate’s life is his family.  Nate is a devoted husband and father.  Nate and his wife Chantell have 3 children, Misha, Taryn and Emeri.  All 3 of Nate’s children attended SAA. 

Throughout his life, Nate has been committed to service. In addition to serving on the SAA board for over 13 years, Nate served for over 9 years as a member and Vice Chair of the Clinton City Planning Commission.  Nate has also served on the Clinton City Board of Adjustments.

For his profession, Nate works in business operations leadership and project management.  Nate currently leads and directs the logistics and customer success teams for a medical technology company.  In business, his passion for people helps him succeed.  He truly believes “people matter”.  Nate is honored to serve on the SAA Board of Directors.

 

nschow@saacharter.org

June 2026

Rene Dreiling was raised in Victoria, Kansas.  Upon graduation from Ft Hays Kansas State University, he entered the U.S. Air Force and was commissioned a 2nd Lt.   He completed Navigator Flight School and then flew multiple fighter & bomber aircraft.  Rene completed his military career as a headquarters staff officer managing flight training /exercise budgets and developing on-site inspection diagrams for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.   After retiring from the military, he was appointed Chief Deputy Treasurer for Sarpy County, Nebraska’s third largest county, where he served for twenty years before retirement.  In addition to his degree from Ft. Hays, Rene has completed an additional bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bellevue University and a master’s in administration from Georgia College & University.  He also graduated from Air Command & Staff College.

Rene is married to Marilyn (Mimi) Dreiling, and they have two adult children, Stephanie, and Mark. Their decision to move to Utah was predicated on being closer to their only grandchild, Katelyn, a former student at Syracuse Arts Academy, and now attending NUAMES. Rene and Mimi both enjoy time with family and friends, travel, reading, and outdoor adventures to include off-roading & kayaking.

Volunteerism has always been part of Rene’s life. He has spent many years serving on boards of the American Diabetes Association Leadership Council, Lions Club, Military Officers Association of America, and Boy Scouts of America. He currently serves as a docent at the Hill Aerospace Museum and the morning crossing guard at Syracuse Arts Academy. He enjoys safeguarding the children on their way to school every morning and greets every child, teacher, and parent with a smile. Rene values a school environment that encourages every child to do their best and achieve all their dreams, and he sees that ideal offered at Syracuse Arts Academy. 

rdreiling@saacharter.org

June 2027

Neil Garner is a long-time resident of Ogden, Utah. He graduated from Weber State University with a BSN in Nursing and a BS in Health Administration.  He has worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 44 years. He specialized in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. Currently specializing in surgical services.  He served for 8 years on the Ogden City Council as an elected official. During this time, he served twice as chair of the council. He served for 12 years on the Weber-Morgan Health Department, during this time he has held the position of chair and vice chair. He served as the chair of the Weber County local homeless coordinating council. He has worked with the youth in the community as a Boy Scout leader and Religious leader. He recently was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding leadership in scouting.

Neil Garner is proud to have been an Ogden citizen where he and his wife Jill happily raised their four children. Neil and has wife Jill currently live in Syracuse, Utah. Neil is a member of the Syracuse city Planning commission. Neil and Jill are proud grandparents and enjoy this phase of their lives. He enjoys volunteering in the community and serving the youth. He and his wife love the outdoors, especially hiking and kayaking in the Uintah mountains.

ngarner@saacharter.org

June 2025

Jerrad Pullum, originally hailing from Lawton, Oklahoma, embarked on a global journey early in life when his family relocated to Germany due to his father's assignment in the US Army. At the age of 5, they moved to North Carolina, where Jerrad completed his elementary and high school education.

Post high school, Jerrad chose to serve his country and enlisted in the Air Force. He later pursued his passion for Computer Science, earning his Bachelor’s degree with a minor in Aerospace Studies from Utah State University. His educational journey continued with a Master’s in Information Technology Management from Wester University (St. Louis, MO).

Jerrad's commitment to service spans both enlisted and officer roles in the Air Force, where he contributed to military intelligence, hospital resource management, communications plans and programs, and held leadership positions such as executive officer, combat camera officer, and information technology officer.

With 12 years of active duty, Jerrad transitioned to civil service, excelling in various capacities on Hill Air Force Base. His roles have included leading the Base Network Section, the Communications Focal Point, the Information Assurance Section, and the Engineering Data Management Branch. Presently, Jerrad serves as the head of the Logistics Support Branch and the Commander’s Action Group in the Aerospace Dominance Enabler Division.

Beyond his professional achievements, Jerrad is a devoted family man. Married to Deborah Pullum, they have five adult children, three of whom attended SAA. Additionally, they have one 16-year-old who completed his education at SAA from Kindergarten to 9th grade and is now a junior at the Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering, & Science (NUAMES). The Pullum family is blessed with nine grandchildren, two of whom currently attend SAA. Jerrad's commitment to education extends to over 13 years of dedicated service on the SAA Board.

jpullum@saacharter.org

Financial Oversight

The Governing Board oversees the financial health of Syracuse Arts Academy. All budgets are approved by the Governing Board and published on the Utah Public Finance website. To contact the board with any questions or concerns, email us at board@saacharter.org.  

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.  You can get a copy of Syracuse Arts Academy's current monthly financials.

The Board Audit Committee is comprised of the Financial Coordinator and the Vice Chair.

Stakeholders of Syracuse Arts Academy may report financial concerns regarding fraud, waste, abuse, or non-compliance directly to the School in accordance with the School’s grievance policies.  Alternatively, stakeholders may report such financial concerns to the Utah State Board of Education through their Public Education Hotline at (801) 538-7813.

Board Meetings

All Syracuse Arts Academy (SAA) Board of Directors Meetings are open to the public. Meeting information is posted at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance and includes the time and location on the Utah Public Notice website. SAA follows the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act. If you are interested in receiving an automatic email or RSS feed whenever the SAA Board of Directors will be having a public meeting, you may visit the Utah Public Notice Website and search for Syracuse Arts Academy.

2023-2024 Board Meeting Schedule

**Please note that not all previous meeting minutes are available.  To request an electronic or written copy of prior years’ minutes, please email your request to Dale Pfister at dpfister@saacharter.org.

Founding Members

Jennie Bair

Shauna Bradford

Janae Davenport

Tami Olsen

Tami Poe

Vicky Veazie

Chris Dallin

Andrea Larkin

Brian & Jana Truman

Charlene Nelson

Lyle Elmore

  • Feb28
    A Day
    Chess Club
    Fortis Forum - Math Help
    Girls Home Basketball Game - Mount Ogden
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