From left to right: Mike Littau, Michael Stuart, Sue Brix, Susan Saephanh and Trent Copland
Since its inception in November 2004, the University Preparatory School Board has had five Board members. Charter law requires at least one member to be a parent of a current student, and the U-Prep Board has had at least one and often more parent members. In addition to developing the by-laws, policies, and procedures for the school, the members have received training in charter law, finance, and governance. Board meetings generally occur once a month with two Board retreats annually. At the retreats, Board members review policy, handbooks, and charter documents while also addressing topics such as mission and vision, strategic planning, and accreditation. The U-Prep School Board is a Brown Act Board and follows the open meeting procedures; each meeting includes a budget report, an update on student achievement, and time dedicated to board training/development. In 2008, the Board began the process which would lead to the establishment of the University Preparatory School Educational Foundation. The U-Prep School Board’s current areas of focus include sustainability of academic and college readiness programs and services, increasing dual enrollment course offerings, ensuring high quality professional development for staff, and strengthening partnerships with families, community agencies and businesses, and colleges. Parents and community members, who are interested in serving a four year term on the school board, should send a letter expressing interest to the Board President.
Michael Stuart, President
Michael J. Stuart joined the University Preparatory School Board in June 2013; his 38 years of educational experience culminating in serving as a board member. He lives in Redding with his wife Erin, the former Principal/Superintendent and one of the founders of University Preparatory School.
Michael was a high school history teacher and football and basketball coach at Chester Jr. /Sr. High School for 15 years. He then became a high school Assistant Principal at Shasta High School for 3 years followed by a 6 year stint as Enterprise High School principal. He was selected by the Board of Trustees of the Shasta Union High School District as the District Superintendent in 1998. He was in this position for ten years and then retired from the district.
In his “retirement” he has served as an Interim Superintendent at Durham Unified School District and at the Gateway Unified School district for one year each. He also was the Lead Faculty for the Administrative Credential and Masters in Education program for National University at the Redding campus for four years. Michael has a strong commitment to University Preparatory School, its mission and to the people who work so hard to create an exemplary school that is an excellent environment for the success of students.
Susan Saephanh, Vice President
Susan Saephanh is a Redding, California native and a University Preparatory School alumna. She was a member of the inaugural graduating class. While at U-Prep, Susan led the award-winning yearbook team as editor-in-chief overseeing the creative art direction and product design and development. She is proud to call U-Prep her alma mater.
Prior to joining the board, Susan assisted public relations account executives at a marketing agency. She also worked with a talented digital creative studio as a student in their digital boot camp. She’s passionate about creativity especially in design and technology and how humans influence today's digital products. Susan received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication with a minor in Textiles & Clothing at the University of California, Davis.
Susan is currently a content manager for a local multimedia group. When she’s not managing content or web projects, you can find Susan at craft coffee shops dreaming about a world where code is a second language. She will be joining Leadership Redding this year as a selected class member of 2015-2016.
Sue Brix, Member
Sue Brix grew up in the Bay Area and moved to Redding in 1974 when her husband, Randy, was offered a teaching job in Burney. She started working at Shasta College in 1976 as an administrative assistant. After 34 years (and working in numerous departments), she retired in August of 2010. She has been involved in education for almost 40 years.
Mrs. Brix has volunteered for many organizations. During the past 20 years, she has served on the boards of Palo Cedro Youth Soccer, Boy Scouts of America, Shasta Union High School district, Another Chance Animal Welfare League, as well as the Grand Jury in 2001-02.
Mrs. Brix has two children, Ryan who works for Chevron and is currently on a rotation schedule in Angola, Africa (one month work – one month off), and Stacy who lives in Walnut Creek and is a 9th grade health teacher in Danville. Mrs. Brix is enjoying her retirement with her husband (retired from SUHSD as Associate Superintendent of Instruction) and visiting her two grandchildren, Diana and Angelina (with another one on the way!). She has become a frequent I-5 commuter!
Besides going to the Bay Area to visit her kids and grandkids, she and Randy enjoy travelling, RV’ing, snow skiing and working around their home. They harvested their first crop of grapes this year (2013) from the re-planted vineyard and make wine as a hobby.
Mrs. Brix enjoys being part of a Board of a school that has such a good reputation and looks forward to ensuring that the vision and mission of U-Prep continues on for many years.
Mike Littau, Member
Mike Littau grew up in the Bay Area. In 1995 he relocated to Redding and attended Simpson University, where he earned a B.A. in Communications. Mike is married with 4 children, his oldest is an eighth grade student at U-Prep. Mike hopes that many Littau children will be roaming through the classrooms in future years!
Mike had worked in various banking and financial services jobs before opening an insurance office in 2006 with North State Insurance. He manages a successful office with 8 staff. Mike serves on boards with Shasta Regional Soccer Association, Redding Youth Soccer League, and Le Tip International. He has also served on the Simpson University Alumni Association as well as local church boards.
Free time is spent with family, coaching numerous soccer teams, playing baseball and traveling whenever spare time can be found. Mike loves to run, you might find him on some of the various trails in town if you can keep up with him!
Mike feels honored to serve on the University Preparatory School Board. He is proud to be an active member of a school with such high recognition and commitment to excellence. He is looking forward to problem solving and brainstorming with his fellow Board Members and hopes to offer any support needed to continue the success of U-Prep for many years to come!
Trent Copland, Member; Educational Foundation Board Representative
Trent Copland is proud to say that he is a 5th generation resident of Shasta County. Trent’s grandfather served on the SUHSD School Board of Trustees for many years so it is a natural fit for him to follow in those footsteps. Mr. Copland graduated from Shasta High School in 1972, continuing on to Shasta Community College, then graduating with a degree (International Relations) from CSU Chico in 1976. Mr. Copland continued with his education, obtaining a multiple and single subject credential in 1985. While retired from education, Trent continues to co-own, with his wife Nancy, Fast Weenies restaurant (est. 1982). Mr. Copland has traveled extensively to China, (where he taught one year in Jinan), Japan, Cuba and Mexico. He enjoys art, writing and community engagement.