About Foothills

Board of Governors

The Foothills Academy is grateful to the Board of Governors for their volunteer commitment to the students, families and staff of the Academy.

The Board of Governors oversees the workings of the Foothills Academy Society. As the legal entity of the Society, the Board monitors programs, financial statements and policies as they relate to the Society and provides assistance and direction to the Executive Directors. There are also four active subcommittees of the Board:  governance, finance & audit; community advocacy; and strategic planning.

As of November 2018, the Foothills Academy Society Board of Governors are:

  • Mr. Harold Esche , Chair

    Harold Esche is a Professional Engineer who holds a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the University of Calgary. He has taught at the Business School and Continuing Education Faculties at the University of Calgary. Harold served on several non-profit boards before joining the Foothills Academy Board in 2014.  He currently serves as Board Chair.

  • Mr. Bob MacDonald , Vice-Chair

    Mr. MacDonald graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Economics. For the past 20 years, he has been the President of his own IT consulting company. He has many years of experience in the commercial real estate and information technology industries. Mr. MacDonald is actively involved as a volunteer in the community. He is currently Vice-Chair of Foothills Academy Society, a board member for Orienteering Calgary, and he serves on two committees for the national sports organization, Climbing Escalade Canada. Mr. MacDonald was also a director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta - Calgary Chapter board and he served as a Vice-President of the constituency board for a former Deputy Premier, the late Ron Stevens.  

  • Ms. Lauren Bell , Secretary

    Lauren Bell holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Law degree from the University of Calgary. She works as counsel for the National Energy Board. Lauren began serving on the Foothills Academy Society Strategic Planning Committee in January 2017 and joined the Board as Secretary in September of that same year. As the parent of a child that attends the school program, Lauren understands the importance of programs specifically designed to support children with Learning Disabilities.

  • ​​​​​​​Mr. Dennis Auger , Treasurer
  • Ms. Leslie Archibald , Governor

    Ms. Archibald holds Bachelors of Science and Commerce degrees from the University of Alberta and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta. Her financial leadership experience includes over 30 years in the energy sector as the CFO, Treasurer or Controller of both public and private companies. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Western Ranchlands Corporation, a volunteer director of the Bowness Community Association and a director for several private businesses. Her longstanding volunteer commitment to Foothills Academy is rooted in a passion for supporting youth development.  

  • Ms. Penny Hamilton , Governor
  • Mr. Atir Khwaja , Governor

    Atir Khwaja holds a Bachelor of Computer Science degree and works at Royal Dutch Shell as a Senior IT Manager. His volunteer experience started with being involved with coaching sports for his two children and recently he served on the Foothills Finance Committee. He looks forward to being part of the journey with Foothills Academy to make an impact on our community.

  • Mr. John Krupa , Governor

    John Krupa is a parent of a child attending Foothills Academy.  In the past John managed the Calgary Board of Education's Leasing and Property Development division and Facilities Information Systems.  John has a Bachelor of Science and many years of experience working with leasing and  public real estate assets.  John also sits on the Board of the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance Alberta Division.  He  teaches skiing in the winter and in the summer volunteers as a coach with West Hill Girls Softball.

  • Mrs. Kathy Laycock , FAPA Representative

    Kathy Laycock is a proud mother of three Foothills Academy students - each with individual learning styles. Kathy, having this unique perspective, brings an essential component to the FAS Board of Governors holding the FAPA Representative seat as well as sitting on two subcommittees. Kathy passionately feels all students deserve equal opportunity for success in education. Due to this passion, she has actively been apart of FAPA since 2013, including serving as FAPA President for three consecutive years. Recognizing the value of the FAPA bursary fund, Kathy is heavily involved with fundraising efforts to support foothills families as it can make such a difference in a child’s life.

  • Dr. Karen MacMillan , Executive Co-Director

    Karen MacMillan is a Registered Psychologist with a PhD in Educational Psychology and she is an Adjunct Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.  She began consulting at Foothills Academy in 2012 as the Clinical Supervisor for the Counselling Psychology team. Karen became an Executive Co-Director at Foothills Academy in 2015, and she is actively involved with a variety of committees and boards focused on advocacy and policy-making for the LD/ADHD population.

  • Mr. Simon Williams , Executive Co-Director

    Simon Williams holds an MSEd in Educational Leadership as well as a degree in Special Education from the University of Cambridge and he has taught in the UK, Australia, USA and Canada.  He began teaching at Foothills Academy in 2005 and became a School Program Coordinator in 2008. Simon became an Executive Co-Director at Foothills Academy in 2015, and he is actively involved with a variety of committees and boards focused on advocacy and policy-making for the LD/ADHD population.