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BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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Michelle Alarie - President

Michelle Alarie is the current President of EKA’s Board of Trustees, a position she has served in for the past two years.  Michelle is a local attorney at the national law firm Armstrong Teasdale LLP.  In her work, Michelle assists clients of all sizes with their litigation needs.  Michelle joined the EKA Board in 2018 in an effort to better understand public education and funding in Nevada and to support public charter school initiatives.  Michelle’s three nieces attend charter schools in Nevada.  In her free time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, travel, and relaxing pool days.

Tracy DiFillippo - Vice President

Tracy DiFillippo is the Vice-President of the Explore Knowledge Academy Trustees.  She is a partner at Armstrong Teasdale who practices in the area of commercial litigation and appellate work. She regularly represents clients in commercial and business litigation matters involving contracts, construction, insurance and directors and officers (D&O) liability. In addition to an active legal practice for which she is highly recognized among industry publications, such as The Best Lawyers in America®, she is involved in the local community, sitting on the Leadership Circle of Communities in Schools.  Tracy has a seventh grade son that attends EKA and a four year daughter.

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Rachael O’Leary - Member

Rachael O’Leary has served on Explore Knowledge Academy’s Board of Trustees since 2019.  In 2018 Rachael moved from Alaska with her husband, and three children to experience life in a warmer climate.  Rachael has a certificate in accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and worked in commercial loans until moving to Las Vegas.  She has served on many PTAs, PTSAs and has been involved in numerous educational boards throughout her three children’s careers.  Her youngest child is a junior at EKA and she considers herself lucky to be able to serve on EKA’s Board.

Kenneth Retzl - Treasurer

Kenneth Retzl, Ph.D., is the proud parent of a first-grade student at Explore Knowledge Academy and is committed to ensuring all students receive the education necessary to pursue their dreams. Outside of his role on the Board, Dr. Retzl is the Director of Education Policy with the Guinn Center. At the Guinn Center, he crafted many applied research reports, policy briefs, and op-eds related to Nevada education. Prior to his position at the Guinn Center, Dr. Retzl worked at the Clark County School District (CCSD), leaving in 2018 as the Director of Research, Accountability, and Data Services. Dr. Retzl also has extensive experience in the accounting field, as he worked as a Certified Public Accountant for two accounting firms in Madison, Wisconsin. During this time, his primary focus was non-profit organizations, community colleges, and local governments (including several school districts).

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Pam Tarkanian - Secretary

Pam is the Secretary of the Explore Knowledge Academy Board of Trustees.  She obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Nevada - Reno. Her Masters of Education was obtained from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. She first began teaching in Carson City School District and then became a teacher in Clark County School District. She later served as an Administrator and Director of Student Services. Her expertise includes assignments at the elementary, middle and high school levels while always advocating for students with exceptionalities.

Mary Stella - Member

She is married to Vincent Stella and they have three grown children. She has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for the past 28 years. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in Counseling from the University of Missouri.  After moving to Las Vegas, she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and obtained a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.   She retired from the Clark County School District in 2018 after 25 years of service as a Special Education teacher for 11 years and as an Administrator for 14 years providing services to students, teachers, principals,and parents. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, she taught in the St. Louis area as well as in Chicago, Illinois. She enjoys hiking, gardening, and watching football.   After many rewarding years in the field of education, she would like to give back to my community as a member of the Board of Explore Knowledge Academy.

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If you would like to view the Board of Trustees meeting minutes, click here.

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