EMSA Board of Directors


To contact the board, email: board@emsacharter.org

Gary Swick, Interim Board President
Instructor, Northern Illinois University; retired high school science teacher D300
Mr. Swick is an instructor in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University and is a retired High School Environmental Science teacher for District 300. During his educational career, he earned many state and national level awards, including a Milken Family Foundation Fellowship, National Environmental Education Foundation’s Bartlett Award, and the President’s Environmental Science Teacher Award. He is President of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Friends of the Fox River. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point and holds a Masters of Science Degree in Outdoor Teacher Education from Northern Illinois University.


Kerry Kelly,
Board Member

Lawyer, Steffen & Kelly
Ms. Kelly is a local attorney and provides contract analysis and legal advice to the EMSA design team. In addition, she has a personal passion for education, in particular science education. As a founding member of the EMSA design team, she led the initial development of the organization, driving the initiative forward and galvanizing a diverse and dynamic team of volunteers toward a shared vision for EMSA. Her efforts resulted in the selection of the school model, community outreach, board development and charter proposal development. She has served as Board Chairperson for The Larkin Center and NorthEast Neighborhood Association. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Genetics & Development at University of Illinois, and her Juris Doctorate Degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Adam Gray, Founding Board Treasurer
Tax & Financial Manager
Mr. Gray manages H&R Block sites in Illinois and provides extensive budgeting, investment and financial management experience to the EMSA team. He has led major investment decisions through customer negotiation, internal appraisal and approval, legal agreement and practical implementation for companies such as Castle Leisure. He helped accelerate growth through prudent investment management of Scotland’s largest independent operators including Saltire Taverns. He earned his degree at Napier University, Edinburgh.

Doree Haight, Founding Board Secretary
Senior Manager, Sears Holdings; Owner/manager of The Haight events space
Ms Haight is the owner of The Haight event space in downtown Elgin, and has held senior account positions at various advertising agencies and companies in the metropolitan Chicago region. She has played an integral role in the development of EMSA’s marketing plan that will drive and sustain long-term growth for EMSA, while expanding and strengthening partnerships externally and internally. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Communications from Carthage College.

Melanie Gibb, Board Member, Vice President
Senior Instructor, Judson University
Ms. Gibb is a Senior Instructor within the Department of Art and Design at Judson University and creates the visual voice to EMSA design team. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual Communications and Fine Arts from Judson University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from Northern Illinois University — where she focused her studies on the intersection of secondary education and design thinking and methodologies.

Kimberly Shaw, Board Member
Higher Education Professional MBA
Experienced Financial Aid Counselor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Customer Service, Financial Aid, and Admissions. Strong student service professional with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) focused in Sociology from Northern Illinois University.

Sue Bennett, Board Member, Co-Chair EPTC
Bethea Lane, Board Member, Co-Chair EPTC