Board Member Application


L. Lane Blackmore: Lane is a builder, developer, and designer with over 40 years of experience in the Southern Utah construction industry.  For the past 33 years, Lane has served as the President and CEO of the Home Company Inc.  Lane holds multiple patent claims in the field of automated parking, and served ten years on the Laverkin City Council.  While in elected office, he represented Laverkin City on the Ash Creek Special Service District Board and the Water Conservancy District Board.  Lane is a board member of two charitable non-profit organizations and was one of the founding board members of the Southern Utah Home Builders Association.  Lane is committed to the long-range success of Valley Academy Charter School and its mission statement.

Term ends: June 2018, Board Chair


Ruesch_Ben32Benjamin Ruesch: is an attorney and has been admitted to practice before all Utah state courts including the Utah Supreme Court and before the Federal District Court for the District of Utah. His office is located in Hurricane, Utah. He has successfully assisted clients on a wide range of legal issues involving transactional or litigation matters involving real estate law, water law, business and cororate law, estate planning and probate, bankruptcy, and construction law. Mr. Ruesch earned his bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University in 2004, then went on to obtain his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of La Verne College of Law in Ontario, California in 2009, graduating cum laude.

Mr. Ruesch grew up in Hurricane and graduated from HHS in 1998, but he has lived in various other places in Utah, Illinois, Missouri, California, Puerto Rico and Brazil. He enjoys his family, all sports including football, tennis and basketball, church and scouting (Eagle Scout earned in 1996).

Term ends: June 2019, Board Vice Chair


Miranda Kloos: Miranda has worked for Wells Fargo Bank since 2003 and has held many positions with them including teller, banker, service manager, and branch manager.  She is currently the Regional Services Consultant for the St. George area and provides support to the local branches. She has an Associate Degree in Accounting and an Associate Degree in Business Management. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources.

Miranda is originally from North Dakota, but has called Utah her home since 2003. She and her husband have one daughter that has attended Valley Academy since it opened in 2012. They chose Valley Academy because of the emphasis on the arts and the alternative choices that it offered. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors enjoying the wonderful Southern Utah weather and scenery.

Term ends: June 2018, Board Treasurer/Board Secretary


Steven DeMille Head ShotSteven Demille:  Steven is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has spent much of his professional career working with youth and struggling adolescents. Steven originally moved to Southern Utah in 2000 to work with struggling youth in an outdoor treatment environment. Steven has since worked at a community counseling agency and with kids in foster care. He has also worked at a local adoption agency working with birth parents and adoptive parents. Currently, Steven is the Research Director for an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program. Steven earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Southern Utah University and later a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix. Steven is currently finishing his doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision through Capella University.

Steven has served on the Utah Mental Health Counselors Association board and did a three year term as President for Chi Upsilon Chi, an International Counseling Honor Society. Steven also served on the research committee and leadership committee for the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council. Steven presents nationally and internationally on effectiveness research, ethics, and Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare treatments with adolescents.

Steven is married with four kids. He likes spending time outside, playing sports with his kids or traveling as a family. Steven and his wife Katie decided to enroll their kids at Valley Academy because of the schools emphasis on character development and the arts. Having worked with struggling youth for many years he has come to value the role that schools can have in supporting a youth’s development both personally and academically.

Term ends: June 2017, Board Member


Modern-Day-Pioneer-200x300David Hinton: David grew up in Hurricane, graduating from high school in 1963. He served an LDS mission to Scotland from 1964 – 1966. David graduated from Dixie Jr. College in 1967 with an Associates of Science degree. His main focus was in music where he played the saxophone, participating with the College’s traveling stage band. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, with minors in health and music.

David served his country during the Viet Nam conflict, spending his time abroad in Korea. He served in the field of intelligence. During this time he met and married Gerri Tichenor from Concord, California. They have been married for 43 years, having 7 children, 2 boys and 5 girls. They are now the proud grandparents of 22 grandchildren.

David taught for 25 years in the Washington County School District, teaching mostly 3rd grade.

After retiring from Public Education, he help found a private school. (Zion Youth Academy) where he served as the director for 1 year, and as a teacher in the subjects of religion and constitutional history. At the end of 2 years he retired to work in his back yard.

He has served in various positions in the LDS church, serving currently as Hurricane Valley Family History Center Director. He has been a member of the SUP for 18 years, serving on the Hurricane Valley chapter’s board for each of those years, excluding 18 months while he served with his wife on an LDS mission to Tennessee. He has served as president twice, and has served as the Area Vice President of Area 14 for the National Office. He is now entering his third tenure as President of the Hurricane Valley Chapter.

Term ends: June 2018, Board Member 


20160512_150751-1Kevin Castro: Kevin is originally a native of California and was raised in Napa Valley.  He is married to Margarita, his wife of 35 years.  They have 5 children, ranging in age from 34 to 17.  Kevin is a Gemologist and Master Goldsmith by profession.  He owns and operates Castro & Co. Jewelers in Cedar City.  Creating beautiful works of “wearable art” is his passion, right behind his family.  He is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America and the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Fransisco.

Term ends: June 2019, Board Member


12105802_10208071053079938_5636745622157278670_nEva Pelton: Looking back on my life, I realized most of my years have been filled with more wonderfully artistic, educational, and creative experiences than I can list. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I was born with a passion for creativity and raised with a strong appreciation for community service, the arts and education. My mother worked as an artist and electromechanical designer, my father was a writer and teacher. Therefor, I was encouraged to be curious about the world around me and was always told that a good education could lead a person anywhere they chose. Having family in Europe and all across the US, travel was an understood part of life and learning along the way was a given. In 1994, while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ceramics and Sculpture from San Francisco State University, I decided to explore the southwest for a month in summer. This magical experience changed the course of my life. I met my husband in Zion and, upon graduation, moved to the red sandstone cliffs which I had become enchanted with. Since moving to Zion, I have worked tirelessly to promote education, music and the arts for the children of Southern Utah. I have been a preschool teacher, substitute teacher, art teacher, and arts coordinator for numerous schools and youth programs in the area. My two daughters are students at Valley Academy and I have been quite impressed with the education and loving environment we have experienced here. I am honored to be on the Valley Academy School Board and look forward to being a positive force in the community on an even greater level.

Term ends: June 2019, Board Member

539 N 870 W | Hurricane, UT 84737 | Phone: 435.216.4311 435.635.0772 fax: 435.635.6966