AboutBoard Of Directors
Neil Walter – Board President
Neil has served on charter school boards for six years and written a book on charter school facility finance. He has also written a number of white papers on school and governmental finance. Neil is both partner and CEO for Brokers Holdings, which operates commercial and residential brokerages in Utah and Nevada as NAI Excel and ERA Brokers Consolidated. He taught economics and upper-division finance courses as an adjunct professor for nine years at Dixie State University. He is a CFA charter holder and earned his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Matt Smith-Lahrman, Academic Committee
Matthew Smith-Lahrman is a Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Applied Sociology program at Dixie State University, where he has worked since 1998 when it was known as Dixie Community College. He grew up in San Diego, received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Northern Arizona University in 1987, a master’s in Applied Sociology from NAU in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University in 1996.
He is a board member of Saint George Academy because he believes in its mission of teaching and learning. He sees the SGA as not only giving students a solid foundation in the sciences and humanities, but also as imparting to them the skills necessary to be flexible learners for life. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, once internalized, give people the ability to learn many things in many settings. He hopes that as a member of the board he can help faculty, staff, and students at the SGA attain their educational and life goals.
Carol Vallejo – Governance Committee
Carol was born and raised in Utah and began living in Saint George in 1983. She has a Bachelors of Social Work from the University of Utah and is currently looking forward to Graduate School where she will be pursuing her Masters in Social Work. She has been working as a paralegal for the last 16 years and has extensive legal and bookkeeping experience. Carol is a passionate advocate for special education programs and first started working with the SPED program as a volunteer in high school. She has two beautiful children the youngest of which is attending SGA.
Shane Laroia – Board Member, Audit Committee Chair
Mr. Laroia has focused 20+ years of his career either working in, advising or selling to the Global 2000. As a curious problem solver, he focuses on creating/implementing transformative strategies and business architectures that deliver quantifiable results.
As an active, hands-on technology leader, Laroia has served as President of the Integration Consortium and co-chair of many industry advisory boards and panels. He chaired four acclaimed panels with industry leadership such as the CTO of the GSA (General Services Administration) as well as the former CIO of the Obama White House, and the CIO of Bombardier discussing the impacts of Digital Transformation and Machine Learning on the IT community. He performs pro-bono public service focused on ideating creative solutions to complex National Security and US Intelligence Community problems. Mr. Laroia is “Fully Cleared,” “Green Picture Badged,” TS/SCI (Poly) with access to 4 core compartments at two flagship US Intelligence Community Agencies.
Mr. Laroia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology from the University of Houston and a Master of Science Degree in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston Victoria.
Dee Wilson – Board Member, PR Chair
Dee Wilson is a mom, a veteran, a student, and a business owner; she is the owner of 67investments and Superior Property Rental. She obtained her degree at Dixie State.
Dee achieved the rank of Sergeant in the United States Air Force and has worked as a lab supervisor for a skin cancer/dermatology office, OSHA compliance officer for a plastic surgeon and has worked in the accounting department for Wilson Electronics.
Dee started and is currently the PTO president. She is originally from Seattle, Washington but has lived in many states; also lived in England for two years. She has resided in Saint George, Utah for the past 24 years.
Dee has been married for over 30 years and has three sons, one of which is in college and the others attend SGA. Dee enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, mountain biking, travelling, painting, photography, concerts, and taking classes.
AmiJo Comeford, Ph.D. – Academic Committee
Dr. Comeford is a professor of English and Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Dixie State University. She serves as a student mentor and advisor at DSU and was appointed as one of 3 Ombuds. She originally chartered the DSU Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the student English Honor Society in 2007, and has served as the adviser since then. She serves on the national board for this organization. Ami has been selected as Dixie State University’s Advisor of the Year multiple times and Teacher/Faculty Member of the Year for 2009-2010. She served on the board for Utah Humanities from 2011-2017. She is also currently serving on the board for Arts to Zion.