Northern Arizona Governing Board Members
As of June 2018, all Phoenix Campus Governing Board Meetings were combined to one joint meeting, known as AMS Northern Arizona. For meeting notices prior to June 2018, please see the individual campus Governing Boards.
Mr. Steven Garbade is an experienced executive in the field of Information Technology with an extensive background supporting educational institutions, SMBs and large corporations. Steven holds a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island. He is currently the VP of IT for Manifest, a full service marketing agency, where he was recently chosen as "Top Manifester of the Quarter - Q2 2019". Steven volunteers on the Governing Board with a firm dedication to helping underserved neighborhoods in need of quality educational programs. Working with AMS allows Steven to give back to the local communities by providing a superior educational alternative for students.
Ms. Holly Marcus has an extensive background in sales and account management, product/service education, and client/customer service and support. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Marketing, from Drake University and is currently a licensed residential real estate agent with Homesmart. Her nearly 20 years of corporate experience was accumulated at various companies such as Monster (a leading global online careers company), Insight Enterprises (a technology solutions organization), and within the manufactured home industry. Holly has served in several volunteer roles including the Leadership Council for the Arizona Society of Human Resource Management (AZ SHRM) and the Fundraising Committee for an organization dedicated to breast cancer awareness. She is passionate about serving on the Board because of AMS’ mission to serve students in at-risk communities. She most connects with the pursuit of excellence in educating well-rounded global citizens with a STEAM focused education, and ensuring young citizens have relevant skills sets to be workforce ready.
Mr. Robert Avalos is a commercial banker at Arizona Bank and Trust focused on middle market, non-profit, and real estate lending. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from New Mexico State University and has considerable volunteer experience working with non-profits in various capacities, including as a Board member. For Robert, being on the governing board of AMSA has personal significance. In his words: “The mission of AMS holds a special place in my heart. I identify strongly with many of the students in AMS schools as we have similar backgrounds and culture. Historically, many of these children often get overlooked and ultimately fall through the cracks. AMS provides these children not only opportunities, but substantially better opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have. It is my honor to play a small role in this dynamic movement that will ultimately transform our communities.”
Mr. Kim Chayka leads the AMS Network’ overseeing all ancillary functions that support the critical tasks of AMS’s educational program. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Business Economics. Kim is a published author who has contributed to newspapers, education blogs, and the Journal of School Choice. In 2016, he received the Hammer Award from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and, the following year, he received their Volunteer of the Year award, in conjunction with other school leaders, for working with A for Arizona to advance pro-quality school policy and legislation. He has presented at the Arizona Charter School Association’s Annual Conference on topics including replication and scaling, facilities development and academics, and he has led presentations at other conferences, including A for Arizona’s Annual Conference and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ Annual Conference. Mr. Chayka is driven by a passion in ensuring that every neighborhood in Arizona and beyond has access to a high quality school that allows all students to prosper and reach their dreams.
Dr. Jeff Turney, Member
Dr. Jeff Turney is a dedicated law enforcement professional, an expert in security, and an active volunteer. He has served the City of Glendale Police Department in a variety of roles including patrol officer, domestic violence detective, and patrol supervisor. Jeff volunteers his time as Glendale’s Chamber of Commerce Military and Veteran’s Affair Committee, chairperson and sits on the Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Board. He is also a board member for "Angels on Patrol," an organization dedicated to assisting police officers as they help citizens in crisis. Additionally, he was an adjunct professor at Aspen University where he taught criminal justice at a Bachelor and Master level. Jeff has received his PhD in Public Safety, specializing in Leadership, two Master of Arts Degrees from Webster University in Public Administration and Business & Organizational Security Management and a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy. Jeff serves on the AMS Governing Board because he feels all children should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. He admires AMS’ dedication to bringing that opportunity into impoverished areas and their mission of challenging their students to be and do their best.
Anthony Lehn, Member
Mr. Anthony Lehn is an experienced firefighter, community program director, and facilities professional. He serves his community in Glendale and Peoria Arizona as Senior Program Director for the Glendale/Peoria Family YMCA where he oversees efforts to bolster the community’s recreation programs and extracurricular participation. Anthony graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration from Arizona State University and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He also has over 30 years’ experience working with youth. He has coached wrestling, football, track and field, swimming, basketball, softball and soccer, and has served as an instructor for a variety of certification courses including CPR/AED, babysitting, lifeguarding, and first aid. Anthony believes caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are core values that make a key difference in a child’s life, especially as they move through adolescence into adulthood. He sees those values reflected throughout the AMS school environment, and he firmly believes continuing to hold students to a higher expectation will provide the best opportunities for those students to advance to a quality secondary and post-secondary education.
Victoria Mnatsakanova, Member and AMS Foreign Language Teacher
Ms. Victoria Mnatsakanova has a Master of Arts in Slavic Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Bachelor of Second Language Acquisition with a focus on English, German and Russian from the Pedagogical Institute of Saratov in Saratov, Russia. She is a committed educator and has taught students at elementary, middle school, high school and university levels. Victoria is currently in her 7th year with AMS and works as a Foreign Language teacher. She has witnessed and experienced all the challenge and rewards of being a teacher and she is grateful that she is allowed the opportunity to change young lives. In her own words: “AMS serves areas that are in the most need of highly educated, passionate professionals. Becoming a board member offered a great opportunity for me to provide even more input and give more to my students, my school, and my community.”