Board of Directors

James Kamb

James Kamb

Term Ends January 2025
Committees: GFC
[email protected]

It's exciting to have the opportunity to serve each teacher, parent and child at Aurora Academy as the President of the Board of Directors! My passion for helping teams create repeatable, effective processes that maximize decision making abilities drives me to serve in this capacity. My two children are receiving their education here, and I want their experience-and the experience of your children- to be positively impacted by great teachers and an excellent education. 

As the director of facilities maintenance at Denver Rescue Mission, I've learned that individuals who form a strong team can tackle large challenges, creating good for those in need. It's no different at Aurora Academy where our mission is to provide a well-rounded, rigorous curriculum with high academic standards for kindergarten through 8th grade students. 

Thank you for this opportunity to serve you.

Laura Kirkbride

Laura Kirkbride
Term Ends 2025 
Committees: TBD

I’m so proud to be serving on the Board of Directors at Aurora Academy. I have been volunteering in various roles at the school since my son started Kindergarten in 2016 who is now a 7th grader. 

I work for Arapahoe County Human Services where I determine and maintain eligibility for several public assistance programs. I really enjoy helping my clients find the help that they need and I will bring the same passion to help others to Aurora Academy. This school has always felt like a second family and I want everyone at the school to feel like they have that level of support.

I was born and raised in Colorado, and specifically in Aurora. I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Public Health from The University of Northern Colorado.

Bernadette Fleming Picture

Bernadette Fleming

Term: Expires January 2024
Committees: Finance Committee

I’m excited to return to the Board of Directors for Aurora Academy. I am a big believer in the charter school experience, and specifically in the Aurora Academy experience. I have four sons, and all have attended Aurora Academy with my youngest currently enrolled.  I’ve learned that Aurora Academy does a phenomenal job of establishing a foundation that helps children succeed both here and as they go into their high school environment.  I think that having a K-8 school really helps kids with the adjustment into middle school. I have a BS in Accounting, and work in a leadership position at Computershare managing REO properties. I am also the treasurer on an HOA board for a community in Aurora.   

Raquel Akerly
Term: Expires June 2026
Committees: PTO
This compelling opportunity to serve our students, teachers, administrators, and parents will be driven by my passion to fill in gaps through informed communications.  I believe that influencing change comes from a place of curiosity, because inquisitive thinking naturally addresses challenges.  I have homeschooled three of my children and currently have both an elementary and a middle school student enrolled in AACS.  The transition from homeschooling in a pandemic to years later enrolling into this charter school, has been met with a team of people who generally care about families.  This is my attraction and the driving force behind the circumstances in which I am serving you today.  My core value is in community building, so that many hands can make light work. 

Tonoa Manuel

Tonoa L. Manuel

Term: Expires January 2024
Committees: PTO President

Wife, Mother, Community Advocate, Group Facilitator, and Lead Strategist.  
Founder, Curator, and Lead Strategist at SIYG Consulting Firm
I'm a native of  Denver, Colorado, currently residing in Aurora with my family, but infused with a little midwest  swing. I lived in Colorado the first 15 years of my life and now the past six. I spent 13 years in St. Louis, Missouri, and was definitely molded by hustle, determination, and will! The impact of what I  saw as a child, and the environment in which I was associated with, allowed me to quickly see disparity and lack of equality. I understood that I was not the only one who dealt with the struggles of self-esteem 
and self-love, I saw that something needed to be done and opportunity could be provided for all those that wanted and needed. I began working on myself in order to pour back into the communities that  made me who I am and what I wanted to become. With over 10 years of experience in Project Management & Risk Mitigation, in both the private and non-profit sector, I've taken the things that I've learned over time and built the foundation of SIYG. I hold a Masters in Criminal Justice, combined with a B.S. in Project Management Administration. I've designed workshops for organizations geared towards professional development, sharpening of social & emotional skills, and assisted organizations in  understanding their strategic framework and operations. 

The foundation to a lack of diversity, inequity and non-inclusive work environments is the presence of  unconscious or implicit bias. Unconscious bias brings irrelevant factors into the decision-making  process. While these influences may be unintentional, it does not change the fact that they are fundamentally unjust. During our time together we will co-create values, priorities, objectives,  infrastructures and foundational principles and/or current foundational principles, and structure them in a  cohesive way that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, more than the normal "check box" method.  Having the privilege to work with organizations like the Colorado Department of Public Health and  Environment, Denver After-school Alliance, MBSK Colorado, Mentor Colorado, Prep Academy, Black  Business Initiative, Crowley Foundation, Steps for Success, The Latino Coalition and CU Boulder, and  many more geared towards professional development, sharpening social & emotional skills, and assisted  organizations in understanding their strategic framework and operations for a DE&I lens. I was  nominated for the 2021 Denver Urban Spectrum's African Americans Who Makes A Difference & featured twice for community acknowledgment in Voyage Denver Magazine. SIYG Consulting Firm had  the opportunity to showcase how society can bridge the gap with our differences to elevate and grow to  the next level, with a Community Mapping Experience at TEDXMileHigh: Humankind in June 2019. My proudest moment was being selected to facilitate a workshop called, "Merging Intersections: How Understanding Identity Strengthens Match Relationships," at the 2020 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, bowling, and spending time with family. 

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