Board of Directors » Board of Director Members

Board of Director Members

Carol RiegerPresident
Carol Rieger

Carol Rieger has served as a member of the Board of Directors since April 2018, having
previously served as a member and chairperson of the GVA-Aurora School Accountability Committee. A GVA parent since 2012, Carol strongly believes that the school provides quality education and offers a rare experience to students, families, and the community in its mission of foreign language immersion.

Growing up in the Denver area, she was exposed to foreign languages from junior high school
through college where she studied Russian and has dabbled in French, Spanish, and Italian.
Carol earned her B.A. in Geology from Western State College of Colorado (now Western
Colorado University) and is a licensed Professional Geoscientist (PG) and certified Project
Management Professional (PMP). For more than 30 years, she has worked as a consultant in
the environmental and hazardous waste remediation industry and happily serves as the
Program Hydrogeologist with the U.S. Army's Operations and Maintenance Contractor at the
Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

In addition to her volunteer duties with GVA-Aurora and its Board of Directors, Carol serves on
the Board of Directors for the Global Village Academy Collaborative and Western Colorado
University Foundation.

cyndi bush lunaVice President
Cyndi Bush-Luna
Cyndi Bush-Luna began her career in education as a high school Social Studies teacher. After several years of teaching, she decided she wanted to work with students who were struggling in school rather than students who were high achievers or privileged. Cyndi sought out opportunities in Denver but was not happy with the choices.
In 1994, after completing her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, with two other teachers and a Business Manager, she decided it was time to start an alternative high school that met the current needs of students. They operated Colorado High School as a private alternative high school until 2002 when DPS approved the school as a chartered alternative education campus. Becoming a charter school certainly had the benefit of funding along with the challenges of navigating the new state and district SPF. With other alternative education campus leaders, they found the need to lobby both the State and District Boards to understand the unique needs of struggling students.
In 2013, Cyndi retired and has enjoyed helping other schools meet the challenges of being successful charter schools. Cyndi is honored to serve GVA as a community member as she deeply respects the mission and vision of this educational model.
electra stewart-harperSecretary
Electra Stewart-Harper
Electra Stewart-Harper and her son have been a part of the GVA Aurora family since 2013. From the start, Electra jumped in as an involved parent serving as a member of the GVA Aurora School Accountability Committee, PTO, African American Parent Leadership, and as a frequent volunteer and chaperone. Electra is a Colorado Native who attended Aurora Public Schools. She was intrigued by the charter school system, in particular GVA Aurora and the second world language K-8 education that GVA offered.
Electra has worked in the mortgage industry for 15 years, currently as an Appraisal Vendor Liaison at a top mortgage company. Electra is pleased to be on the Board to help ensure the success of GVA-A and all Eagle students.
waiting for photoTreasurer
Dr. Jeriod Patterson

Dr. Patterson is an entrepreneur and a small business owner in Aurora, Colorado. Jeriod chairs the board of directors for the GEH scholarship endowment and serves as a board member for the Delta Eta Boule Foundation and the Alpha Community Education Initiative.  Dr. Patterson believes that every student should receive an excellent education, and his vision is to advance educational resources, policies, and practices to improve the quality of life in our communities.

Educationally, Jeriod received his B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona, M.A. in Space Systems Management from Webster University, M.A. in Business from Webster University, and a Doctor of Management from Colorado Technical University.

Jeriod also serves as a steward at Shorter Community AME Church. He is married to the lovely Dr. Jeanette R. Patterson and has a beautiful daughter, Seantay, who is a proud graduate of Eaglecrest High School and Adams State College.

Mike MelakuDirector
Mike Melaku
Mike Melaku joined the Board of Directors in 2021. He is a longtime resident of Aurora and has been involved in community work for over 20 years including local volunteer work to promote civic engagement among Aurora's immigrant and refugee residents. Mike holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder in Urban Planning and Geographic Information Systems and has built a successful career in building IT infrastructure across multiple industries. 
Mike looks forward to contributing to the GVA board, as the vision for Global Village Academy resonates deeply with him. He spent part of his early childhood in Kenya and moved to the United States in grade school. This exposed him to some language immersion experience during his formative years. He also understands the importance of preparing students and our future workforce to be globally minded, multilingual, and culturally competent. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and outdoor activities with his wife Nicole.